(Amesbury MA) Amesbury changed dugouts, uniforms and even had some help from the sun but it wasn’t enough as Newburyport defeated the Indians, 5-4, on a sunny/cloudy Sunday afternoon.
With the victory Newburyport (4-7) ended a three-game winless streak. The Clippers claimed four runs in the first inning and the eventual game-winner in the fourth inning.
Amesbury (3-9) saw its losing streak reach eight. The Indians tallied twice in the first and sixth innings.
After the 4-run first, AHS starter Zack Fitzgerald yielded just a run and three hits the rest of the way.
James Nutter (5 1/3 innings) and Scott Webster (1 2/3 innings) handled the pitching for Newburyport. They allowed only five hits and two walks. Scott struck out the last two Indians to preserve the win.
Newburyport loaded the bases in the first inning with no outs. Scott Webster drove in two of the baserunners (Caleb Stott and Chance Carpenter) with a single to left center. An Amesbury attempt to get the second runner at home allowed the other two NHS runners to end up in scoring position. Later in the inning Dan Baribeault’s two-out, two-strike single to right delivered both Ryan Furlong and Scott Webster.
Amesbury came back in the bottom of the first to load the bases with one out. Spencer Fournier’s fly ball scored Ben Cullen from third. On that play the NHS throw from the outfield came home but the throw (catcher Scott Webster) back to second was wild and the two runners ended up in scoring position. A passed ball (Scott Webster) allowed Pat Scanlon to cross with Amesbury’s second run.
So after one inning both teams, in my opinion, had given up an extra run. At that point I envisioned a lot of runs the rest of the way. But it didn’t go that way thanks to good pitching and sound defense.
The Clippers collected their important fifth run in fourth inning. Caleb Stott reached on a perfect bunt and then stole second. Caleb took third on Chance Carpenter’s fielder’s choice and scored on Ryan Furlong’s single to deep short.
Newburyport came close to a second run in that fourth inning but a good throw by shortstop Ben Cullen to catcher Mac Short nailed Ryan Furlong at the plate.
Amesbury entered their sixth down 5-2 but added two runs with help from the sun. After NHS starter James Nutter put two batters on with a hit batsman and a single, Scott Webster came on in relief. After a strikeout, a wild pitch put two Indians in scoring position with two outs. Then on an afternoon in which the sun was in and out, it popped out on a routine Brad Kelleher fly ball to centerfielder Chance Carpenter. The result was that the two-out, routine fly ball turned into a two-run single. Both Jared Dupere and Zack Fitzgerald came across. Ben Cullen lined to Dan Baribeault to end the sixth but the Indians were within one run, 5-4.
Mac Short walked with one out in the Amesbury seventh but then Scott Webster caught Nick Hawrylciw looking and Spencer Fournier swinging to give NHS their 4th win.
Caleb Stott and Chance Carpenter paced Newburyport with two hits apiece.
Mac Short singled twice for Amesbury.
Third baseman Dan Baribeault played his second game with the Newburyport varsity and drove in two runs.
Weather? Plenty of sun and plenty of clouds with a couple of sprinkles.
Amesbury was 11-9 last year while Newburyport was 15-8.
Amesbury’s next game is Tuesday at North Reading. Newburyport will be at Masconomet on Monday.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)