Monthly Archives: June 2016

Yoan Moncada (#1 Boston Red Sox prospect) now at AA Portland

Boston's #1 prospect (Yoan Moncada) is now playing for Portland

Boston’s #1 prospect (Yoan Moncada) is now playing for Portland

Mauricio Dubon and Yoan Moncada

Mauricio Dubon and Yoan Moncada

(Portland ME)  I went to Hadlock Field on Thursday night to get a first look at the Red Sox’s #1 prospect Yoan Moncada.

The bonus was the seeing the AA debuts of shortstop Mauricio Duban (Boston’s #13 prospect) and starter Jalen Beeks.

A good crowd was on hand for a Thursday night game.  I guessed at first that watching Yoan Moncada in action was the motivation.  Later there was mention that there would be fireworks after the game.  The latter is the best explanation for the crowd size.

The last-place Sea Dogs lost the game 5-2 to the Harrisburg Senators.

Jalen Beeks started for Portland and had ten strikeouts in five innings of work

Jalen Beeks started for Portland and had ten strikeouts in five innings of work

The atmosphere at AA games is so different from the majors.  Players on either team are hardly known by the typical spectator.  Why do they come?  Tickets are inexpensive and the entertainment between innings is watch-worthy.  You also have the mascot, my friend Slugger, roving through the grandstand interacting with fans especially the young ones.

My goal was to get pictures of Yoan Moncada and I succeeded.  The sun was tough so it was difficult to know for sure what I had for quality.  I used the Portland dugout in the early going and then switched to the Harrisburg side when I knew that left-handed Yoan would be batting.

I had hoped to get Yoan handling something at second base but it never happened while I was there.

I did catch the 20-year-old coming off the field several times.

Yoan Moncada out at first on a close play after a bunt attempt

Yoan Moncada out at first on a close play after a bunt attempt

Yoan attempted a bunt in his second at-bat and but for a terrific play by Harrisburg pitcher Phillips Valdez would have beaten it out.  His speed is impressive.  He leads all of the minor leagues with 36 stolen bases.  In this game he didn’t reach base to show off that speed.

I saw him interact with some of his former Salem (VA), A ball, teammates before the game but there was little interaction beyond that.  Could be a language issue.

Lefty starter Jalen Beeks gave up four runs (three earned) in five innings.  The big stat for him was striking out ten Senators during those five innings.

Shortstop Mauricio Duban had a triple and later scored a run.  I look at a player like Mauricio and the word “shortstop” is the first thing that gets my attention.  Where would he play at the next level?  The same is true for second baseman Yoan Moncada.  Dustin is signed through 2021.

Andrew Benintendi and Yoan Moncada

Andrew Benintendi and Yoan Moncada

Realistically, outfielder Andrew Benintendi, now at Portland, would seem to have the best shot in Boston.  The Boston GM, however, said that Andrew’s hitting needs to improve.  I was impressed with Andrew’s patience batting during this game.  He was taking pitches and I know that the Red Sox want their hitters doing that.  I predict that Andrew will be in Pawtucket before the other three.

Slugger had another mascot working with him tonight.  At times I wasn’t sure which one was which!

Slugger loses track of his opponent's right

Slugger loses track of his opponent’s right

Slugger sent flying

Slugger sent flying

Slugger really had me scratching my head on this night.  I have known him as a dog of many talents just based on his speed on the base paths.  I discovered tonight that Slugger does NOT have a future in boxing.  Why?  Someone got it into his head that with a fancy bathrobe and some king-sized boxing gloves he could put on a good show.  It didn’t happen.  The opponent, on this night, was a young girl who could hardly reach Slugger’s waist.  But this kid had moves.  While Slugger danced around she did too.  It appeared that Slugger was so impressed with her footwork that he lost sight of the boxing glove on her right hand.  She delivered a shot to Slugger’s midsection and back he went on his back in a complete fog.  I expected the Sea Dog’s medical staff to get involved but they didn’t.  I thought that the young lady would check Slugger out but she didn’t.  I was going to get involved but I was in front of the Harrisburg dugout and the action was in front of the Portland dugout.  Slugger did eventually recover enough to get to his feet.  I did notice that he walked off as if he wasn’t sure if he was on foot or horseback!

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

Mauricio Dubon tries on his new Portland Sea Dogs' hat

Mauricio Dubon tries on his new Portland Sea Dogs’ hat

Mauricio Dubon

Mauricio Dubon

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Harrisburg catcher Spencer Kieboom

Harrisburg catcher Spencer Kieboom

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Rafael Bautista (#16 Washington National's prospect) about to cross home

Rafael Bautista (#16 Washington National’s prospect) about to cross home

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Mauricio Dubon had a triple vs Harrisburg

Mauricio Dubon had a triple vs Harrisburg

Yoan Moncada in Portland dugout

Yoan Moncada in Portland dugout

Yoan Moncada throwing

Yoan Moncada throwing

Yoan Moncada

Yoan Moncada

Wilmer Difo (#6 Washington National's prospect)

Wilmer Difo (#6 Washington National’s prospect)

Yoan Moncada bats

Yoan Moncada bats

Mauricio Dubon

Mauricio Dubon

 

 

 

 

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Madison finishes perfect season with 3-1 Class C title win over Bucksport

Madison Bulldogs: 2016 Class C softball champions

Madison Bulldogs: 2016 Class C softball champions

Aly LeBlanc drove in the go-ahead run while Madeline Wood pitched a 4-hitter

Aly LeBlanc drove in the go-ahead run while Madeline Wood pitched a 4-hitter

(Standish ME) Madison capped an undefeated season with a Class C title win over Bucksport, 3-1, on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Bailey Field on the campus of St. Joseph’s.

This game was tied at 1-1 into the bottom of the sixth inning before a second-life triple by senior Aly LeBlanc gave Madison the lead.  Senior Erin Whalen followed immediately with a sacrifice fly to left and the Bulldogs had a two-run cushion.

Winning pitcher, junior Madeline Wood, kept the ball in the infield for the final three outs and the celebrating began for the 20-0 Bulldogs.

First baseman Erin Whalen handles the final putout

First baseman Erin Whalen handles the final putout

Terrific pitching by Bucksport’s Kate Saunders (6 hits/5 K’s) and Madison’s Madeline Wood (4 hits/7 K’s).

Kate was 12-0 for the season coming into the championship game.

Madison put a run on the board in the bottom of the 3rd inning.   Sophomore Aishah Malloy drilled a line drive into the gap between center and right and turned it into a no-out triple.  One out later, senior Kayla Bess hit a ball to left of Bucksport shortstop Darian Jellison and Aishah took home on the fielder’s choice.

Eliza Hosford crosses home with Bucksport's run in the 4th inning

Eliza Hosford crosses home with Bucksport’s run in the 4th inning

The Bucks (19-2) answered with a run in the top of the 4th inning.  An infield hit (Eliza Hosford) and a well-placed bunt (Darian Jellison) gave Bucksport two runners with no outs.  Those runners would advance to second and third with no outs on a passed ball and a stolen base.  Two outs later the runners were still in the same places but Kate Saunder’s sharp single to right on the ground delivered Eliza.  A quick relay in by RF Aishah Malloy kept the runner on second from trying to score.  Pitcher Madeline Wood K’d Kaylee Grindle to end the threat.

Bucksport started the 6th inning with a bunt single (Darian Jellison) in a tie game.  Key play in the game?  Rightfielder Aishah Malloy stabbed a well-struck line drive at the top of her glove hit by next batter Julia Zavalza.   If that gets over Aishah, Darian scores from first and Bucksport would have had the lead.

Aly LeBlanc about to reach third after driving in the go-ahead run for Madison

Aly LeBlanc about to reach third after driving in the go-ahead run for Madison

In Madison’s game-winning bottom of the sixth, junior Madeline Wood led off with a walk.  Good place for Aly LeBlanc (one of the nine finalists for the Miss Maine Softball Award) to get an at-bat……..if you’re from Madison!  During the at-bat Aly hit a very high popup behind the plate that catcher Makenzie Smith had a chance at but dropped.  That second life was all that Aly needed.  Next pitch she hit a rope over Kaylee Grindle’s head in right.  Madeline Wood scored easily while Aly slide safely into third with no outs.  Aly would add Madison’s third run of the game on Erin Whalen’s fly to left.

Those two runs proved to be the difference in this one.

Sophomore Darian Jellison led Bucksport with two hits

Sophomore Darian Jellison led Bucksport with two hits

Sophomore Darian Jellison had two hits for Bucksport while sophomore Sydney LeBlanc had two hits for Madison.

Bucksport coach Mike Carrier has won four state titles.

Aly LeBlanc will be playing at Division 2 Augusta College (GA) next year.

Madison won the Class C title in 2014 with a 1-0 win over Calais.

Last time Bucksport lost (before today) was on May 18th versus Orono.

Bucksport defeated Madison, 7-0, for the title in 2013.

Bucksport defeated Dirigo last year for the state title.

I had a nice pressbox view of the game on a very sunny afternoon.

Aishah Malloy's crucial catch in the Bucksport 6th

Aishah Malloy’s crucial catch in the Bucksport 6th

Last year I saw Yarmouth defeat Hebron at the same site for the Class B championship.

Not quite sure how Madison ended up in the South geographically speaking.

Madison box

Bucksport box

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

Madeline Wood before the game.

Madeline Wood before the game.

Madeline Wood pitching

Madeline Wood pitching

Madysen Robichaud, Eliza Hosford, Kaylee Grindle

Madysen Robichaud, Eliza Hosford, Kaylee Grindle

Aishah Malloy on her way to third

Aishah Malloy on her way to third

Aishah Malloy about to cross with the first Madison run

Aishah Malloy about to cross with the first Madison run

Kate Saunders

Kate Saunders

Madeline Wood caught rounding second

Madeline Wood caught rounding second

Makenzie Smith

Makenzie Smith

Madeline Wood heads for third

Madeline Wood heads for third

Celebrating the third Madison run

Celebrating the third Madison run

buma-A9-4-some-celebrate-at-moundbuma-A8-mound-celebration

Aly LeBlanc

Aly LeBlanc

Aly Dean

Aly Dean

Madeline Wood

Madeline Wood

buma-A4-Mad-raises-trophy

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Amesbury advances to D3 North quarterfinals with convincing 9-2 win over Mount Alvernia

Adrienne Harris greeted by teammates at home after a 2-run homer in the third inning

Adrienne Harris greeted by teammates at home after a 2-run homer in the third inning

Senior 2B Lauren Fedorchak leaps for a throw as Abby Duggan slides.

Senior 2B Lauren Fedorchak leaps for a throw as Abby Duggan slides.

(Amesbury MA) The Amesbury Indians took down Mt. Alvernia, 9-2, on a drizzly Sunday afternoon to reach the quarterfinals in D3 North softball.

The Mustangs (13-7) came in with three straight shutouts, including a 12-0 win over Cathedral in the D3 North preliminary round.

That trio of consecutive shutouts ended quickly as sophomore Caity Baker (three hits/two rbi) delivered a two-run homer to left in the first inning at fence-less Perry Field.

The Indians (17-4) were back with another two-run dinger (Adrienne Harris) in the third inning after gathering three runs in the second inning.  Adrienne’s shot also sailed over the leftfielder’s head and rolled forever.

Both AHS homers would probably have cleared fences.

Sophomore Caity Baker - three hits including a 2-run homer in the first inning

Sophomore Caity Baker – three hits including a 2-run homer in the first inning

The Mustangs had eight hits off AHS pitcher Haley Catania but only in the one-run seventh did they put more than one hit together.  And also, only one of those hits (triple) was for extra bases.

On the other hand, Amesbury had five extra-base hits and multiple hits in the first four innings and scored in each of those innings.

This afternoon featured an Amesbury defense that was error free.  Second baseman Lauren Fedorchak started 4-3 double plays in the sixth and seventh innings.

Down 8-1 in the fifth inning, the Mustangs wrecked a promising inning by running into two outs on the base paths.  Abby Duggan broke for third on a grounder back to Haley Catania.  Haley looked toward first and then alertly tossed instead to 3B Adrienne Harris who had Abby by a lot.  Later in the inning Maeve Moynihan was tagged out by shortstop Maddie Napoli trying to steal.

Shortstop Maddie Napoli lunges and tags out Maeve Maynihan

Shortstop Maddie Napoli lunges and tags out Maeve Moynihan

That tag-out by Maddie on the attempted steal was quite remarkable.  The Player-of-the-Year in the Cape Ann League Kinney Division appeared to intercept the throw from catcher Caity Baker to 2B Lauren Fedorchak and then lunged to apply the tag.  Very athletic move!

Five wild pitches allowed Amesbury to put up three runs in the second inning.  A wild pitch put Adrienne Harris in scoring position after a walk and she scored on Haley Catania’s RBI double.  A wild pitch moved Haley to third and she scored when Maddie Napoli singled to center.  Maddie got to third on wild pitches and later scored the third run of the inning after yet another backstop ball.

Abby Duggan gets past pitcher Haley Catania scoring the first MA run

Abby Duggan gets past pitcher Haley Catania scoring the first MA run

Abby Duggan created the first Mount Alvernia run in the third inning.  The speedy junior singled, stole second, and reached third on a fielder’s choice.  She scampered home on a wild pitch.

Amesbury added solo runs in the 4th and 6th.

In the fourth, a hustle double by Caity Baker (head-first slide into second) produced a run after Megan Reid followed with a triple to right center.  The Mustangs’ centerfielder (Kaley Moran) nearly made a highlight-reel snag of Megan’s shot.  AHS could have had another run but Megan chose to stay at third when a two-out infield popup was dropped by the pitcher.

Megan Reid jars the ball loose at second

Megan Reid jars the ball loose at second

In the sixth, alert base-running paid off for the Indians.  After Caity Baker singled and Megan Reid walked, Caity raced to third after a pickoff toss to first.  Later, Megan stole second by sliding in and dislodging the tag attempt enough that Caity had time to slip home with the 9th AHS run.

Amesbury’s 9-1 lead going into the top of the seventh got a bit tenuous after a triple (Una Gavin) and a one-out RBI by freshman Alyssa Newton.  The next two batters reached, loading the bases with one out.  But senior Lauren Fedorchak started her second 4-3 double play to end the game.

Maeve Moynihan, Abby Duggan, and Una Gavin each had two hits for MA.

Centerfielder Kaley Moran chases a fly ball

Centerfielder Kaley Moran chases a fly ball

Mount Alvernia was 14-4 in 2015 and reached the D3 North quarterfinals.

I arrived late to the game after expecting it might be called off by the rainy forecast.  Some games were called off.  However, with the Mustangs traveling from Newton any postponement needed to happen hours earlier.

The Indians will take on #4 seed St. Mary’s on Wednesday night at Breed Middle School in Lynn in the D3 North quarterfinals.  The #5 seed Indians may regret those two losses to powerhouse D1 Concord-Carlisle this season because they might have avoided St. Mary’s this early and their second game in the tournament probably would have been in Amesbury.  But playing tough competition such as CC during the season can help prepare a team for the tourney.

I was at Martin Field in Lowell two years ago when Amesbury lost to the Spartans, 8-5, in the D3 North finals.  On that afternoon AHS went down 7-0 early but made things close at the end.  This time around Collen Newbury will not be coaching St. Mary’s.

Augie, Coach Waters’ dog, did not attend today’s game but his name came up between innings in the fifth inning.

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

Shortstop Maddie Napoli

Shortstop Maddie Napoli

Pitcher Haley Catania

Pitcher Haley Catania

Lauren Fedorchak starts a game-ending double play

Lauren Fedorchak starts a game-ending double play

Brooke Dougherty

Brooke Dougherty

Vicky Valdez

Vicky Valdez

Maddie Napoli scores the 5th AHS run on a wild pitch

Maddie Napoli scores the 5th AHS run on a wild pitch

3B Adrienne Harris throws to first

3B Adrienne Harris throws to first

Caity Baker slides in with a hustle double as Maggie Doldt takes the throw

Caity Baker slides in with a hustle double as Maggie Doldt takes the throw

Lauren Fedorchak tags before throwing to first for a double play in the 6th inning

Lauren Fedorchak tags before throwing to first for a double play in the 6th inning

Zoe Sweeney

Zoe Sweeney

 

Abby Duggan thrown out at third in the top of the fifth

Abby Duggan thrown out at third in the top of the fifth

 

 

 

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