Amesbury holds off Ipswich 2-1 in Cape Ann League baseball

Pat Scanlon scores the second Amesbury run on a close play at the plate.

Pat Scanlon scores the second Amesbury run on a close play at the plate.

Ben Cullen gets the first Amesbury run on an infield out

Ben Cullen gets the first Amesbury run on an infield out

(Ipswich MA) Both teams loaded the bases in the first inning but only one team (Amesbury) came away with runs.

The two runs that the Indians scored in the first inning proved to be the difference as Amesbury defeated Ipswich, 2-1, on a beautiful Thursday afternoon of Cape Ann League baseball.

The victory put an eight-game losing streak to rest for the Indians (4-9).

The Tigers (2-10) wasted a terrific pitching performance by senior Sean Whooley.  Sean allowed only four hits and had six strikeouts.

Chris Grady scores on a hit by Mike Savoie

Chris Grady scores on a hit by Mike Savoie

The missing ingredient for Ipswich on this day was big hits.  By “big hits” I mean ones when there are teammates in scoring position.  The only “big hit” for Ipswich was by Mike Savoie in the third inning when he drove in Chris Grady from third.  The rest of the opportunities, and there were ten of them, were squandered.

Nick Hawrylciw picked up the win for the Indians with a complete-game, six-hitter.  The senior stranded ten runners.

His biggest pitch of the game?  His last one.  The Tigers had runners on second and third with two out.  Austin Rubino was the batter with a 3-2 count.  Nick Hawrylciw’s pitch hit Austin but to everyone’s surprise Austin was called out.  Why?  Batter’s interference.  I spoke with both umpires afterwards and they explained that the batter (Austin) had leaned into the strike zone when he got hit therefore the pitch was called a strike. It ended the game with Nick Hawrylciw getting credited with a strikeout.

Austin Rubino about to be called for batter interference

Austin Rubino about to be called for batter interference

Amesbury capitalized on Ipswich miscues to get their two runs in the first inning.  The Indians started off the first with Ben Cullen getting hit by a pitch,  Pat Scanlon reaching on an error (Chris Grady), and Mac Short walking.  Nick Hawrylciw’s fielder’s choice brought Ben Cullen across.  Then pitcher Sean Whooley’s pitch in the dirt escaped catcher Jon O’Brien and Pat Scanlon was able to slide into home on a very close play.

Twice during the game Amesbury was able to pull their infield in and prevent runs from scoring on groundouts.

Ben Cullen tries for third base.

Ben Cullen tries for third base.

Amesbury sent only twelve batters to the plate in the final four innings.  In a bizarre fifth inning, the Indians had two hits (Chris Chioffi and Ben Cullen) but both runners were thrown out by IHS catcher Jon O’Brien.

In the seventh inning, Ipswich had a great chance to tie the game.  First batter Dan Bennett walked but then was picked off first.  Sure enough, next batter Sean Whooley singled, and after a popout, Freddy Cerundolo doubled.  Minus the pickoff, the Tigers have tied the game.

Leftfielder Alex Morris about to make a running catch

Leftfielder Alex Morris about to make a running catch

Alex Morris paced Ipswich with two hits.  He also made a great catch to end the second inning.

CAL All-League catcher Mac Short blocked a number of pitches in the dirt.

Ipswich won the earlier meeting between the two teams, 6-3, on April 18th.

Both teams return to action on Saturday morning.  Ipswich hosts Rockport and Amesbury hosts Manchester-Essex.

Ipswich has now lost seven straight games.

Weather?  Absolutely perfect.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Sean Whooley

Sean Whooley

Mike Savoie

Mike Savoie

Chris Chioffi

Chris Chioffi

Nick Hawrylciw

Nick Hawrylciw

Pickoff attempt

Pickoff attempt

Chris Chioffi out stealing

Chris Chioffi out stealing

Chris Grady bunts

Chris Grady bunts

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