Monthly Archives: April 2017

Rafael Devers (#1 Red Sox prospect) and Gleyber Torres (#1 Yankees prospect) at Portland

Gleyber Torres

Rafael Devers

I had my first visit of the season to Hadlock Field in Portland, Maine on Saturday.  I hope it won’t be the last.

The intended plan was to get a look at the #1 prospects of both the Red Sox and the Yankees.

I had checked the Portland schedule and discovered that April 21-23 would have the Trenton Thunder in Maine.

You always wonder about what April weather will bring.  It was supposed to rain early in the day but then clear off.  What I ended being in was 40’s and occasionally misty.

The good news?  The players weren’t wearing sunglasses.  The bad news?  The players covered parts of their faces to protect from the cold.

When Mookie Betts briefly came through Portland two years ago my pictures had him wearing what looks like a red ski mask.  It can be that cold in Maine in April.

Jalen Beeks was the winning pitcher

I overheard one of the Trenton players say that he hated to come to Hadlock except in August because it is always too cold.  I would agree with that assessment if he had left it to April. May into September can be very pleasant in Maine.

I wanted pictures of Rafael Devers (Red Sox) and Gleyber Torres (Yankees).  These 20-year-olds are considered the best in each system.

Gleyber was a problem because I learned on Thursday night that he was on the 7-day DL.  I wondered if he would be traveling with the team.  I also did not know what he looked like even if he was with the team.

Rafael was a different story: He was active and in the starting lineup.  The Sea Dogs also have their names on the back of their uniforms.  Trenton had no names on the back and no number on the front.

I decided to concentrate my efforts on discerning Gleyber’s whereabouts.  I thought I had him spotted in front of the Trenton dugout.  Finally realized that I was shooting Dante Bichette.  He looked familiar because he looks just like his father the former major leaguer!

I was helped in my Gleyber search by Yankee autograph seekers.  Several of them were nearby and they started yelling into the Trenton dugout for Gleyber.  I heard one of the “yellers” say that Gleyber was sitting in the dugout.  Sure enough, it was him.  He was out of uniform trying to keep warm.  I got several shots of him.  Trenton is back in Portland the end of May.  Hopefully, Gleyber will not have been promoted to AAA or to the Yankees.

Rafael signed autographs so he was out in the Portland dugout area early.  I was impressed by the size of him.  He is broad and looks strong.  I had the chance to get shots of him before game time.

Game time changed from 1 to 1:30. The infield was covered and it was misty.  Off came the tarp.  I think that I could have helped them roll it up if I had moved in quickly enough.

Proposal accepted

It is a routine at Hadlock to have a collection of folks throw first balls.  Within that collection today was a college student (Husson?) and his girlfriend.  Unbeknownst to the girl, the guy had written, “Will you marry me?” on the ball that was going to be tossed.  When his turn came to throw the ball, he presented it to his girlfriend as he got down on his knee.  He asked the Big Question and got a positive response.  Whatever works!

In a 7-inning game (first half of a double-header) the Sea Dogs won 3-0.  Jalen Beeks, Portland starter, was in serious bases-loaded trouble in first inning but escaped it.  The lefty was impressive in his six innings.

Aneury Tavarez, who is way too good for AA, had two hits and scored the first Portland run.  He wouldn’t have scored if the Trenton leftfielder (Billy McKinney) hadn’t bobbled a single that came his way.

Nick Longhi in dugout after homer

Boston’s #11 prospect (Nick Longhi) is also with Portland.  Nick is a first basemen.  He homered over the Hadlock monster to get Portland’s second run.  His full face is still a rumor to me but I did get him heavily covered in the Sea Dog’s dugout after the long one.

Rafael was very good at 3B.  He made a terrific stop on a ball to his left.  His arm is strong.  He was not cheated at the plate.  His swing looked long to me but he did make contact.  How well the left-handed batter does against lefties may well determine how fast he moves to Pawtucket.

I also got my first look at outfielder Danny Mars.  It is extremely hard to imagine a bright future for an outfielder in the Red Sox farm system with youngsters Bradley, Betts, and Benintendi already at Fenway.  Danny looks like a pretty good hitter.  Injuries happen.  Trades happen.  We’ll see how Danny’s future plays out.

Miguel Andujar

I did not see Prospect 7 (Justin Sheffield) or Prospect 8 (Chance Adams) as both are Yankee pitchers.  With numbers on the front of their uniforms, I would have a chance when they came from the clubhouse.  Minus the numbers, I’m in trouble, unless they’re starters.  Maybe in May?

I did see Miguel Andujar (#10 Yankee prospect) again.  He was playing shortstop last year but with Gleyber Torres on the team he has switched to third.  The 22-year-old will make the majors in time.

I may be the only one who looks forward to it but the Slugger race is big to me.  I want the big guy to win.  I want that losing streak ended and I want to see it when it happens.  I wish I could coach Slugger.  Today he rounded second, his opponent was going in the opposite direction, with a nice lead.  Stay the course and grab the W would have been my coaching encouragement.  But not today.  Slugger felt a breeze (It was a windy day) and raised his arms and got blown off course.  While he’s trying to re-navigate his course, his chance for a victory dissolves.  His opponent had another gear from third to home and won handily.  Slugger, even in defeat, tried to be friendly afterwards but the young winner did not appear to reciprocate.

I enjoyed the visit and thank Chris Cameron for arranging it.  There is good baseball at affordable prices at Hadlock Field in Portland.

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

Aneury Tavarez scores first Portland run

Dante Bichette jr

Rafael Devers

Danny Mars

Rafael Devers

Rafael swings

Rafael Devers

Rafael Devers

Slugger has the early lead

Slugger caught in a draft

Post-race confrontation

 

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Filed under Portland, Portland Sea Dogs, Trenton Thunder

Bryana Michitson records 500th strikeout in 13-4 Haverhill win over Newburyport

Ashley Moore stole two bases, hit a home run, and make a nice catch in rightfield

Bryana Michitson and catcher Andrea Albano celebrate the last out

(Newburyport MA) Senior Bryana Michitson recorded her 500th strikeout as Haverhill defeated Newburyport, 13-4, on a sunny morning/afternoon at Pepe Field on Monday.

Bryana (Assumption commit) also had a home run in the Hillies 5th inning.  She limited the Clippers to three singles.

Newburyport (0-4) fell behind by three runs early but were able to keep the deficit there until a 12-batter, 7-run Haverhill 6th inning settled this one.

The Hillies (2-2) had a tough loss to Merrimack Valley Conference rival Central Catholic on Saturday, after the visiting Raiders rallied for nine runs in the last two innings to win, 14-12.

No rallies in today’s game.  Bryana saw to that striking out thirteen including two in every inning except the sixth.

That sixth inning looked promising for the Clippers.  After a dropped fly ball (Lindsay Joubert CF) and a single (Meghan Winn), there was a single by Jade Carpenter.  Bases loaded?  Not today.  Meghan overran second and Kerri McLaughlin’s throw to SS Molly McGonagle produced an out at second.  Newburyport ended up getting just one run out of an inning that could have started with the bases loaded and no outs.

Sophomore Ashley Moore paced Haverhill with three hits (including a home run in the 7-run sixth inning), and three RBI.  Ashley also stole two bases and made a nice running catch in the Newburyport 5th.

Meghan Winn tries to avoid the tag of Molly McGonagle

Sophomore Jadynne Hill scored three runs and drove in two runs for the Hillies.

Newburyport’s most productive inning was the third.  Catcher’s interference and a Haverhill infield error turned into a run with an infield hit by Anne Siemasko.  Later in that same inning Meghan Winn walked and the ball eluded Haverhill catcher Andrea Albano.  Paige Gouldthorpe alertly came home and teammate Anne Siemasko followed when Andrea’s throw got past pitcher Bryana Michitson.

Haverhill collected four hits in a row (Lindsay Joubert, Andrea Albano, Jadynne Hill, Bryana Mitchitson) before Ashley Moore’s homer in the decisive sixth inning.

Today’s win was Bryana’s 34th.  Quite a career and still counting.  There have been four no-hitters so far and a perfect game.  Most strikeouts in a game?  Last year she had nineteen versus North Andover.

Coach Kara Milillo (3rd year) has also been a big story at Haverhill.  She has definitely turned a team that was 29-67 around making the post-season last year for the first time in six years.

Newburyport pitcher Paige Gouldthorpe chases a ball that deflected off her in the first inning

It has been a struggle for Newburyport.  They have lost 12 of their last 13 games going back into last season.  Playing two MVC teams (North Andover, Haverhill) back-to-back is a tough way to turn things around.  Ahead is the Cape Ann League schedule and I would expect the Clippers to start putting W’s together.

Weather was remarkable for April.

This game actually started ten minutes early.  Glad I decided to be ½ hour early!

Haverhill – 3-0-2-0-1-7-0 = 13

Newburyport – 0-0-3-0-0-1-0 = 4

(All pictures will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

(Retweeting this story is the best way I know of to get this story to those who would enjoy it.)

Bryana Michitson – 505 strikeouts and 34 wins

Loose ball near second base

Baserunners Andrea Albano and Jadynne Hill on the move in the first inning

Anne Siemasko had a hit, an RBI, and scored a run

CF Anne Siemasko on the run for a fly ball

Bryana Michitson circles the bases

Ashley Moore slides home safely

Molly McGonagle scored a run and drove in two runs

Jadynne Hill beats throw home

Ashley Moore makes a nice catch

Mikayla Sargent steals 2B

Ashley Moore rounds 3B after homer

Ball goes off the glove of CF Lindsay Joubert

Jessica Meehan

 

 

 

 

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Autumn West and Julie Freitas lead Pentucket to opening win

Autumn West scores the first Pentucket run as Paige Gouldthorpe applies the late tag.

Pitcher Julie Freitas and Caitlin Kutcher after Newburyport’s final out

(Newburyport MA) The Pentucket/Newburyport softball matchup once again did not deviate from its usual pattern.

The Sachems (1-0), for the third straight time, carried a tight game into the late innings and came away with a win.

This time the final was 3-2 on a gorgeous Monday afternoon at Pepe Field in Pioneer Park in Cape Ann League action.

Junior Autumn West the hitting star for Pentucket.  The Sachems third baseman collected half of their six hits, scored their first run, and drove in what turned out to be the game winner.

Junior Julie (“Bug” to some) Freitas got the win for Pentucket striking out six including Mandy Linehan with two-on, and two out, in the bottom of the 7th.

Neither team hit the ball very hard.  There were no extra-base hits.

Junior Paige Gouldthorpe was the tough-luck loser for Newburyport (0-1).  Paige struck out Sachems in every inning and ended with 12 K’s.

Seeing-eye, dribblers through the NHS infield by Autumn West and Madi Codair in the first inning turned into two runs later in the inning.  Autumn slid home on a wild pitch and Madi scored on Gina D’Agostino’s fielder’s choice.

Madi Codair saves a run.

Fiona Hill saved runs with her catch in the 6th.

Those two Pentucket runs held up until the 5th and 6th.  The Clippers scored twice but stranded five baserunners in those two frames.  The key to limiting Newburyport to just two runs?  Terrific catches by 2B Madi Codair (5th) and CF Fiona Hill (6th).  In both instances the catches were made just above the ground.  Fiona’s catch was with the bases loaded.  If that ball had gotten past her the Clippers probably would have added three runs.  Crucial catches by both players!

Catrina Madden tallied the winning run with aggressive baserunning in the final inning

Aggressive base-running by sophomore Catrina Madden set up Pentucket’s game winner in the seventh inning.  Catrina singled, stole second after a strikeout, and reached third on a passed ball.  Autumn West’s opposite-field grounder over first easily scored Catrina with the Sachems third run.

In the Clippers 7th, pinchrunner Meghan Rogers reached second with two outs.  Olivia Salvatore ripped a single to left but it was hit so hard, and Pentucket LF Taylor Fitzpatrick got the ball back in so fast, that Meghan was held a third.  Julie Freitas then ended this one by striking out Mandy Linehan.

Good game.  Close game.  Entertaining game.

The weather (70’s) for April 10th was remarkable.

Sophomore Mikayla Vincent made several nice plays in left for the Clippers while Taylor Fitzpatrick did the same in the same position for Pentucket.

Pentucket was 13-8 last year while Newburyport was 7-13.

Last year in Newburyport’s opener at Pentucket, Mo Quinn drove in two runs in the bottom of the 7th for an 8-7 Sachems win.  Later when the teams met in May in Newburyport, Madi Codair had a 2-run double in the 9th inning that led to a 3-1 Pentucket victory.

The Clippers stranded eleven baserunners including eight in the final four innings.  Clutch pitching by Julie Freitas and star-in-the-book catches by Madi Codair and Fiona Hill gave Pentucket the W.

(The pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

NHS captains Caitlin Clarke, Jade Carpenter, and Mandy Linehan

Madi Codair throws to first

Grounder gets past NHS shortstop Jade Carpenter in the first

Meghan Winn throws to first

Infield hit

Taylor Fitzpatrick makes a catch in left

Taylor Fitzpatrick runs down a potential gapper.

Autumn West flashes a smile after driving in the eventual game winner in the 7th

Madi Codair tosses to first

Julie Freitas pitches

Paige Gouldthorpe had 12 strikeouts

LF Mikayla Vincnet snares a liner. The sophomore also drove in a NHS run

Catrina Madden reaches third in the 7th inning

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Filed under Newburyport, Pentucket