Monthly Archives: June 2019

Manchester-Essex wins first Division 4 title 5-2 over Tahanto

Dylan Wilson catches the final out

Hornets celebrate

Hornets behind the banner

Jimmy Railsback and Harry Painter

(Lowell MA) Manchester-Essex seniors filled the big moments for the Hornets this afternoon leading the team to its first baseball state title, 5-2, over Tahanto at LeLacheur Park.

“The seniors have absolutely led this season from beginning to end,” said ME coach BJ Weed afterwards as he dried off from a post-game dousing.

Seniors Luke Leavitt (2 hits, 2 runs, 1 RBI), Harry Painter (3 hits, 1 run, 2 RBI), and Dylan Wilson (2 hits, 2 RBI) supplied the firepower in ME’s five runs.

Dylan also came on to protect the Hornets’ 5-2 lead over the final two innings.

“I was lucky enough to come in and close the game,” said Dylan.  “We were up 5-2.  I was just trying to pump the zone with a good defense behind me.  Just throw strikes and let my defense work.”

Dylan Wilson pitched the final two innings for ME

Some might dispute Dylan’s “let the defense work” line during the final inning.  Why? There were two popups in the last inning and Dylan was all over both of them.  The game-clinching out was a popup that Dylan caught in the righthand batter’s box.

“I knew coming in that I wanted to get the last out,” Dylan said smiling afterwards.  “I saw that last popup and said to myself, ‘I’m not letting anyone else get this.’”

Tahanto, from Boylston, had a very young team.  They started three freshmen and an eighth grader (catcher Andrew Brown).

The Stags tied the score (1-1) in the first and only trailed 3-2 after three innings.

The fourth inning was decisive.  The Hornets (20-5) pushed across two runs and had the pitching the rest of the way to make that 5-2 lead stand up.

Sophomore Will Levendusky led off the fourth inning with a bunt single.  Later, with two outs, Luke Leavitt doubled to right scoring Will.  Harry Painter (3 hits) followed with a double over Matt St. Denis (LF) to bring Luke home with the 5th ME run.

Freshman Kellen Heney pitched 4 2/3 innings

Freshman Kellen Heney pitched the first 4 2/3 innings for the Hornets.  The Stags (17-7) threatened to get runs back against Kellen in their half of the fifth with two on, two out.  But Coach Weed summoned Vaughn O’Leary and the freshman struck out Derek Arcand to end the inning.

Another chance for Tahanto in the 6th but again with two on, and two out, the Hornets got yet another strikeout (Ryan Walton), this time from Dylan Wilson, to frustrate the Central champs.

Freshman Trevor Grady doubled in the 7th with two outs but Dylan Wilson reeled in the last out.

Manchester-Essex got a run in the first inning.  Harry Painter doubled, went to 2B on a wild pitch, and scored on Dylan Wilson’s single to right.

Adam Fuller scores as catcher Mike Quill reaches to tag

Tahanto got that run back in their half of the first.  Adam Fuller walked, stole second, and was driven in by Ethan Sauriol (3 hits) with a two-out single to left.

Two runs for ME in the third.  Will Janowicz (bunt single) and Luke Leavitt (walk) led off the inning.  Harry Painter singled and the throw home allowed Will to score and Luke to get to third.  Dylan Wilson’s single brought Luke home.

Taranto receives their trophy

Tahanto coach Neil Greewald: “It wasn’t our best game for sure.  Hats off to Manchester-Essex.  They out-pitched us, out-hit us, and played better defense.”

Mike Quill (catcher): “It was incredible to win this.  Everyone has worked hard all year and it has paid off. Kellen (Heney) is a young kid with composure.”

Bennett O’Leary (shortstop): “All year long people doubted us because we got eliminated in the first round of the playoffs last year.  We used it to motivate us.  We had one goal this entire season and that was to win the state championship and we did it.”

Luke Leavitt (Southern Maine commit): “We put it together this whole post-season.  We were never losing.  We never found out what it was like to be chasing.  I told the younger guys yesterday, ‘There’s no better feeling than to win something like this with your best friends.’”

Luke Leavitt

Franklin Wood (reserve): “It was amazing.  So much fun to be a part of this.  It was great to see us keep battling the whole game and having our captains lead us through was awesome.  Usually a Catholic school wins D4.  It was good to see a public school do it.”

Harry Painter (UMass Lowell commit): This will be my home field for the next four years.  It’s beautiful.  I can’t wait.  We worked hard; early mornings, late nights.  It all paid off.  Every one of my hits came off a fast ball.  I tried to stay off the curve balls as much as I could.  I wanted to get into good counts and drive the ball.  At UMass Lowell I’m thinking of studying sports physical therapy.  I learned a lot when I had surgery on my arm.”

Coach Weed: “This is almost like a dream to me.  I can’t say enough about this team.  I am almost speechless.  We’ve had the goal to win a championship since we started five years ago.  We started Harry (Painter) slowly this year because of his injury last year.  He got better every outing and he hit .544.”

Dylan Wilson: “I will be going to UMass Amherst to study Biology.”

Tahanto was the #7 seed in the Central.  They are in the Midland Wachusett League.

Matt St. Denis

In 2017, the Stags were 22-1 losing in the state semi-finals that season.

Today’s game was the first state final Taranto has been in since 1993.

Manchester-Essex won ten straight including five in the tournament.

Harry Painter was the Player-of-the-Year in the Cape Ann League.  Harry, Bennett O’Leary, and Dylan Wilson were on the CAL First Team.  Luke Leavitt and Mike Quill made the CAL second team.  Coach Weed was Coach-of-the-Year.

Beautiful weather for today’s noon start.

Busy twenty-four hours for Hornets’ fans.  The girls lacrosse team was in the state finals last night.

Disappointed that the MIAA had no programs for a game of this importance.

Manchester-Essex box

Tahanto box

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

Bennett O’Leary (SS) gets the force at 2B as Adam Fuller approaches

The celebrating begins

Dylan Wilson (3B) makes a nice running catch in the first inning

Dylan Wilson batting

Ethan Sauriol (2B) awaits the throw as Will Janowicz slides

Jimmy Railsback caught in a rundown

Justin Wolfe

Lars Arnsten (2B) reaches for a throw

Vaughn O’Leary

Will Janowicz scores the 2nd ME run on a wild throw in the 3rd inning

Will Levendusky cools off Coach Weed

Lars Arnsten

Luke Leavitt tagged out at 3B by Rob Salerno

Trophy pose

Trophy raised






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Medway reaches D3 state final with 5-1 win over Bishop Fenwick

Nick Sheehan scores the Mustangs 5th run.

Justin Pratt gave up one run on four hits in five strong innings

(Lowell MA) Bishop Fenwick fell behind in their first four Division 3 tournament games……..and rallied to win.

That routine didn’t pan out against Medway Wednesday night at Alumni Stadium in the D3 state semi-finals and the Crusaders (18-8) were ousted, 5-1.

The Mustangs (17-6) will chase their first ever baseball title Saturday against Taconic.

Medway’s pitching (Justin Pratt & Eli Joyce-Vorce) kept BF’s normally loud bats very quiet.  The Crusaders came in averaging 10+ hits per game.  They had five tonight against the team from the Tri-Valley League.

“We’ve seen it all year,” said Medway coach Mike Coppinger afterwards, “it’s tough trying to get a bunch of hits in a row against us.”

“Pitching was great today,” said catcher Trent Flood.  “Justin (Pratt) came in, hit his spots and threw strikes.  Eli (Joyce-Vorce) came in and shut them down for two innings.”

Trent Flood had a hit, an RBI, and scored a run

The Mustangs put three, 2-out runs together in the first inning off BF starter Christian Loescher.

Trent Flood doubled over Angelo McCullough (LF) to score Sam DiPillo.  Later, Justin Pratt’s half-swing brought Matt Kaplan and Trent home.

“It wasn’t the best piece I’ve had but I’ll take the runs,”  said Justin with a smile post-game.

Angelo McCullough doubled leading off the Fenwick first, but the Mustangs escaped without being scored on.  3B Greg Assad got in front of a line drive for one out and shortstop Nick Sheehan handled a final-out grounder.

The team from the Catholic Central League got a run in the 4th inning.  Senior Trey DeLoury singled, took second on a wild pitch, and was sacrificed to third (Ethan Belt).  Cory Bright’s double over CF Troy Newman’s head brought the run across.

The previous tourney script for Bishop Fenwick was for the bats to go from there and create some late-inning magic.  But the Mustangs had too much pitching.

Medway ace Eli Joyce-Vorce warmed up in the 4th and was likely coming into the game if there was trouble in the 5th.  But Justin retired BF in order in the 5th.

Eli Joyce-Vorce pitched the final two innings

Eli finally did come on to start the sixth.

“I get them off-balance,” he told me afterwards, “and get ground balls.  We’ve got a great defense.”

Eli orchestrated three straight ground outs in the 6th.

The Mustangs cushioned their lead with two runs in the seventh inning.  Troy Newman singled to lead off.  Nick Sheehan’s fly to left was misjudged by junior Jake Murphy putting two runners in scoring position.  Because the Crusaders pulled their infield in, Matt Peterson’s blooper over short added two runs instead of being an out.  Medway now led, 5-1.

Fenwick got a runner (Scott Emerson) on second with two outs in the seventh but Harrison Brickett’s grounder ended things for the Crusaders.

Trey DeLoury came on for BF in the 4th and at one point struck out four straight Mustangs.

Medway finished with eight hits.  Tri-Valley Defensive Player-of-the-Year Nick Sheehan had two hits and started a double play.

Catcher Keegan O’Connor under a popup

BF Coach Russ Steeves: “We ran out of innings today.  They were the better team.  It was good hitting against good pitching.  The sidearm kid (Eli Joyce-Vorce) came in and obviously he’s very good.

Justin Pratt: “To win this is crazy.  It’s a great feeling.  I was just trying to hit my spots and keep it low.  Eli’s great.  We can use him whenever we want.  This is our first state final.  We’re going to be so pumped.”

Trent Flood: “Our pitching staff is lights out.  I love to catch them.  If we get runs our pitching will win the game.  What makes Eli so tough to hit is his arm angle.  I hit against him like five times and it’s the weirdest things I’ve seen.  You want to jump on it when it comes out of his hand.”

Eli Joyce-Vorce: “It’s pretty crazy to be heading to the championship game.  We hadn’t even won a sectional before.  Everyone has stepped up.  I will be attending Temple University in the fall.  No baseball there.  I’ll play club.”

With Eli only being used for two innings against Bishop Fenwick you could expect that Taconic, in the state title game, will see quite a few innings of him.

Bishop Fenwick won a state title in 2004.

Trey DeLoury struck out four straight Mustangs

The Crusaders had seven players hitting at least .300.

Medway has only given up a total of two runs in the five tournament games they’ve played.  That’s pitching and defense!

BF had won twelve straight before today’s loss.

Medway box

Bishop Fenwick box

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

Cory Bright and Nick Sheehan

Nick Sheehan (SS)

Double over CF Troy Newman

Scott Emerson (one hit)

Eli Joyce-Vorce (2 innings, 1 hit)

Ethan Belt (Clark commit)

Jake Murphy (LF) dives in the seventh inning

Justin Pratt (1 hit, 2 RBI)

Keegan O’Connor

Matt Peterson (1 hit, 2 RBI)

Nick Sheehan (SS) starts a double play







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Brewer wins 2nd straight Class B title 7-1 over York

Brewer – 2019 Class B champions

Libby Hewes – no strikeouts but 14 ground-ball outs

(Standish ME) No strikeouts required!

Brewer defeated York, 7-1, to get a second straight Class B championship on Saturday afternoon at St. Joseph’s.

While Brewer pitcher Libby Hewes didn’t strike out any of the York hitters, she did induce fourteen ground-ball outs and that worked nicely for the defensively flawless Witches.

“We try to keep the ball low and outside,” said winning coach Skip Estes afterwards.

The Witches were also extremely efficient with two outs.  They collected one run in the first, two in the second, and three in the fourth inning when only a single out would have ended each of those innings.

The three runs in the 4th came off the bat of junior Kenzie Dore. Her line-drive homer over the CF fence put York down, 6-0.

“They had nobody on, and two strikes,” recalled York coach Kevin Giannino.  “Then it was base hit, base hit, and then she (Kenzie Dore) hit the clincher.”

The Wildcats (16-4) would get a run back in the 6th when Abby Orso went deep for a solo homer (her 12th) over the left-field fence.

Pitch inside against Kenzie Dore

The Witches (18-2) got that run back in the top of the 7th.  Singles by Becca Gideon and Kathryn Austin were followed by an error (3B Hannah Gennaro) scoring Becca.

Brewer had twelve hits off York pitcher Abby Orso.  “Our AD (David Utterback) calls this team, ‘Skip’s buzzsaw’ because these kids can hit 1-9.”  On this afternoon 1-8 had hits against a very good pitcher.

The Wildcats totaled only five hits against Libby Hewes never having more than one baserunner in any inning.

“Our main goal was to score first and it happened,” explained catcher Jordan Goodrich. “Then our defense backed it up.”

Libby Hewes appreciated the early runs: “It was definitely a better feeling this year having those safety runs going into the late innings.  Our goal was to get up first.  If we didn’t get home team, we were going to get our bats going early.”

Shortstop Kenzie Dore throws to first

York coach Kevin Giannino was surprised that his team didn’t get more hits: “We didn’t strike out.  We just hit so many right at them.  Brewer is a very strong team.”

Libby Hewes (2 hits) singled in the first and took second on a wild pitch.  With two outs, Becca Gideon singled past third driving across Libby.

The Witches started the second inning with two singles (Olivia & Mia Cattan).

Key play: Sarah Wood bunted right along the third-base line.  3B Hannah Gennano let the ball roll hoping it would go foul.  It didn’t and when she picked it up, Olivia was safely into third.  This loaded the bases with no outs.

Abby Orso – eight strikeouts and a home run

Abby Orso (8 strikeouts) K’d Janessa Bishop and Jordan Goodrich but disaster struck on the second strikeout.  The ball bounced away from catcher Kayla Dredge and Olivia was able to sneak into home (without sliding) giving Brewer their second run.

Mia moved to third when her sister scored and came home on a wild pitch.

That put York behind 3-0.  On this afternoon, that 3-run deficit was huge, even after two innings.

Jordan Goodrich, Libby Hewes, Becca Gideon, and Kathryn Austin each had two hits for Brewer.

CF Becca Gideon came close to making a diving catch in the third inning.

Jordan Goodrich: “Libby was super consistent the whole game and didn’t let up.  We worked a lot on defense the last two days because we were a little shaky in our last game.”

Libby Hewes: “Insane is the feeling that we have after winning this for the second time.  Everything was working for me today.  I am going to Husson in the fall hopefully to play softball.”

Coach Skip Estes: “Libby doesn’t get a lot of press because she doesn’t have huge strikeout numbers.  She pitches to contact, and we have a good defense.”

Kenzie Dore – three-run homer in the fourth inning

Coach Estes regarding Kenzie Dore: “She’s a once-in-a-lifetime player. Her defense and hitting are both good.”

Coach Estes on his seniors: “I have coached this group of seniors since they were in junior high and summer league.  I knew back then that they were special.”

For the second year in a row I did not sit in the press box.  Instead, I located in a centerfield “monster” seat.  Great view with plenty of room.

Beautiful June day (70s) with a nice breeze.

Brewer box

York box

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

Mia Cattan takes a throw at first

Olivia Cattan (RF) and Becca Gideon (CF) avoid a collision

Abby Orso rounds the bases

Becca Gideon (11) heads home with an unearned run in the 7th

Becca Gideon (CF) dives for a fly ball

Olivia Cattan gets third

Olivia Cattan slips in behind Kayla Dredge and Abby Orso

Celebrating begins

Gold Glove

Olivia Cattan (RF) catches the final out

York lineup

Helping hand

Kenzie Dore rounds the bases








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4-run first helps Amesbury defeat Boston Latin Academy 7-1 in D3 North Q’finals

Amesbury scored four runs in the first inning

Amesbury pitcher Alana Delisle survived a tense sixth inning

(Amesbury MA) Boston Latin Academy made mistakes in the first inning, fell behind, and never recovered losing 7-1 to Amesbury on Wednesday afternoon.

The Indians (19-3) get St. Mary’s tomorrow in the Division Three semi-finals at Lowell’s Martin Field.

Freshman Alana Delisle continues to impress everyone including her coach Jacqui Waters: “Alana was on top of her game.”

Alana walked only one batter and struck out ten.

No strikeout was bigger than the one she got versus Sophie D’Amico to end the sixth with the bases jammed with Dragons.

Alana Delisle had ten strikeouts

“She (Alana) was great,” said catcher Avery Hallinan.  “Her pitches have a lot of movement.”

The Indians put four runs on the board in the first inning.

“Every once in a while, we play young,” explained BLA coach Rocco Zizza.  “That is what happened in the first inning.  We gave them five outs.”

Amesbury had runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out.  Instead of conceding the run and getting the second out, shortstop Ellie Etemad-Gilbertson chose to go home with the grounder hit her way.  The throw was late.  The runner (Liv DeLong) scored and no out was gotten.

Liv DeLong out at the plate

The bases were soon loaded, and Avery Hallinan walked to force in the second run.

An infield error allowed the third run (Julia Campbell) to score.

Meg McElaney’s sacrifice fly brought Alan Delisle home for the 4th AHS run.

The early 4-run cushion was important.  “It was awesome to get that early lead,” said Alana.

“We were more relaxed after the first,” added Avery.

In the second inning, Liv DeLong singled, stole second and came home on freshman Olivia Levasseur’s double.

Senior Michaela Russell put the Dragons on the board in the third inning.  The Trinity (CT) commit singled and stole second.  As Michaela tried to steal third, the throw from catcher Avery Hallinan to 3B Olivia Levasseur went past third bringing Michaela across.

Coach Rocco Zizza

But that was all the scoring that the team from the Boston City League would do.

An infield throwing error in the 5th inning, and a drop in right by Brenna Emma allowed Julia Campbell to tally Amesbury’s sixth run.

The Dragons (17-7) had their chance in the sixth inning to put a dent in the Indians’ 6-1 lead.  They loaded the bases (singles by Carleigh Schievink, Caroline Conroy, and Brenna Emma) with two outs.  But Alana Delisle got Sophie D’Amico swinging, registering her ninth strikeout.

“We started getting our bats on the ball after the first few innings,” said Coach Zizza.

Amesbury added their final run in the sixth.  Meg McElaney tripled down the left field line and came home on junior Lauren Hale’s sacrifice fly.

Coach Zizza: “Credit Amesbury.  There are a good team and they beat us.  Those four runs in the first inning changed things.”

Coach Waters: “Alana is unusual.  She doesn’t get nervous before the game.  I hope she stays like that for the next four years.”

Nyla James battles the sun

The sun was tough in right field.

Both teams’ centerfielders (Julie Campbell & Sophie Rutstein) made terrific catches.

Boston Latin Academy was fifteen minutes late and the game started at 4:30 instead of 3:45. Trying to imagine what the traffic might be like going back to Boston after the game since the Red Sox had a 4PM start and the Bruins an 8PM start.

BLA has won the Boston City League championship fourteen straight years.

The Dragons were 12-10 last season but 23-3 the year before.

Amesbury gets a rematch with St. Mary’s.  The Indians defeated the Spartans last season at Martin Field after a string of losses to the team from Lynn.

Michaela Russell and Caroline Conroy each had two hits for Boston Latin Academy.

Leadoff batter Liv DeLong paced Amesbury with three hits and also scored twice.

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

Abby Aponas (2B) catches the final out

Alana Delisle puts down a bunt

Carleigh Schievink

Ellie Etemad-Gilbertson

Shortstop Emma DiPietro

Foul ball

Michaela Russell scores the Dragons’ run

Shortstop Michaela Russell

Olivia Levasseur

Serena D’Amico

Julia Campbell (CF) on the run

Pitcher Michaela Barcelou

Michaela Russell sails into second as Emma DiPietro awaits the throw

Sophie Rutstein makes a running catch




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Freshman Alana Delisle leads Amesbury past Lowell Catholic 4-2 in D3 North tourney

Alana Delisle’s pitching and defense keyed Amesbury’s First Round win.

Emily Bartlett scores in the first inning

(Amesbury MA) Closer than you might have thought.

#18 Lowell Catholic scored early and pressured late in the game, but #2 Amesbury had enough to notch a, 4-2, win on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Amesbury (18-3) now faces Boston Latin on Tuesday in the Division Three North quarterfinals.

The Indians freshman pitcher Alana Delisle was the difference maker for the home team.

Alana struck out eight Crusaders including the last two batters in the 7th inning with two LC runners in scoring position.

She also, somehow, caught a do-or-get-hurt line drive the third inning.

Later, in the sixth inning Emily Bartlett doubled and teammate Brenna Riley singled her home with two out.  However, Alana cut off the throw home after Brenna’s single and threw to first to catch Brenna away from the bag for the final out of the inning and limit the LC runs to one.

Avery Hallinan tracks a popup

“Alana was fantastic,” said AHS coach Jacqui Waters afterwards.  “We went back-and-forth as to who should pitch today and I’m glad we went with her.”

Lowell Catholic (12-10) put two hits together (triple Emily Bartlett & single Amanda Bursey) to jump out 1-0 in the first.

But then Alana settled down to retire fifteen of the next sixteen batters she faced.

“I threw some curves and some changeups,” said Alana.  Her changeup was a real problem for several of the Crusader hitters.

LC pitcher Emily Bartlett (6 K’s) escaped a bases-loaded situation in the 2nd and two runners on in the 3rd inning.

“One or two miscues caused the outcome of this game,” said LC coach Frank Nugent after the game.

One of those miscues was in the fourth inning and allowed Amesbury to tie the score.  Julia Campbell (three hits) hit a ball that right fielder Jillian O’Hearn nearly caught.  However, it bounced off her glove and went a distance away into foul territory.  While Jillian was getting the ball back into the infield AHS assistant coach Jim Hounam waved Julia on to third.  The throw from 2B Brenna Riley went past third and out-of-bounds allowing Julia to tie the score.

Near catch by Jillian O’Hearn in right field

Julia Campbell into third as the ball goes by

Umpire signals that Julia Campbell has been awarded home

It was 1-1 into the bottom of the 5th.

Meg McElaney after her hit drove in an Amesbury run

Amesbury picked up a decisive three runs in that inning.  A misplayed bunt and a wild pitch allowed tainted runs to score and moved AHS ahead, 3-1.  Megan McElaney followed with an RBI single that provided a crucial third run in that inning and gave the Indians a 4-1 lead.

In the sixth the Crusaders tallied a run but ended a promising inning with an out on the base paths.

The seventh was even more promising for the visitors.  “We rallied in the seventh and had a chance but couldn’t get it done,” said Coach Nugent.

LC’s Megan Murphy led off with a single.  Meg McElaney (LF) followed with a nice running catch of a long fly by Antonia Mukiibi that could have been run-producing.  Karlee Calavritinos then reached on SS Emma DiPietro’s throwing error.

Two on, one out, with a two-run deficit.  Re-enter pitcher Alana Delisle to K the final two batters and preserve a 4-2 win.

“They made a couple of miscues and that’s how we won,” said Coach Waters.  “They are a very good team and they made it tough for us.”

LC coach Frank Nugent

“Amesbury should be happy with their team,” said Coach Nugent.  “They don’t make a lot of mistakes.  Their pitcher threw strikes.  They have a very good program.”

Meg McElaney: “My friend Julia (Campbell) and I have been doing a lot of tee work because I have been in a batting slump.  My first two at-bats didn’t go that well, but I was really focused.  I told Coach Jim (Hounam) I was going to get a hit and I did.”

Amesbury reached the D3 North finals last season.  A rebuilding season looked to be realistic for this season, but a host of newcomers have stepped right in to continue the Indians winning ways.  Five freshmen (Avery Hallinan, Alana Delisle, Olivia Levasseur, Liv DeLong, and Ella Bezanson) were in the AHS starting lineup today.

Senior Amanda Bursey paced LC with a run scored, two hits, and an RBI.

Beautiful weather.

Lowell Catholic box

Amesbury box

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

(3B) Antonia Mukiibi throws to first

Bat on the ball

Brenna Riley tagged out at first by Liv DeLong after a throw from Alana Delisle

Caroline Bond (6) runs the ball back into the infield

Indians celebrate a run

Emily Bartlett sets to throw to first

Emma DiPietro bunts

Grace Maston, Brenna Riley, and Carley Feingold pregame

Olivia Levasseur scores on a wild pitch

Pregame gathering

Karlee Calavritinos steals second.

Liv DeLong scores the second Amesbury run

Liv DeLong steals second as SS Grace Maston reaches to apply a tag









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Newmarket wins D4 title 12-2 over error-prone Pittsfield

Newmarket Mules celebrate a long awaited championship

2019 D4 champions

Josh Mastin allowed only three hits and two runs

(Manchester NH) Five times in the last two years Newmarket had teams in championship games and lost.

That streak of frustration ended for the Mules as they won the D4 baseball title, 12-2, over Pittsfield in a sun-filled Saturday game at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

“This was for our town,” said Lucas Russell afterwards, “and for all the alums who failed before.”

Lucas had four RBI in a 10-run third inning that took most of the suspense out of this game.

The ten-run rule went into effect after 4 ½ innings.

Pittsfield had five errors and all twelve Newmarket runs were unearned

“One bad inning,” said Pittfield coach Rob Stockman.  “We’ve had some trouble on defense and it reared its ugly head today.”

Did it ever!  The Panthers (19-2) had two errors in the third and three more in the fourth when the Mules (18-2) added two additional runs.

“We never expected to put up runs like that against a team like that,” said Newmarket coach Stan Jurkoic.  “Having those runs certainly helped to ease thing.”

Bad morning for Pittsfield to be giving up all those runs because Newmarket senior Josh Mastin was not nearly as generous.

Ben Stephens takes the last cut for the Panthers

Josh gave up single runs in the first and third but limited Pittsfield to three hits.

Tough morning for Kyle Stockman and Devin Bedell

Josh’s best pitching may have been in the first inning.  After an out, there was a walk, single, and another walk.  A wild pitch gave Pittsfield the lead 1-0, but Josh retired the next two batter (popup & infield out) to limit the damage to one run.

The Mules threatened in the first (2nd and 3rd – no outs) but D4 Player-of-the-Year Devin Bedell got a strikeout and a ground out to keep Newmarket off the scoreboard.

So, early on this game has the feel of one that would be tight to the end.  Maybe a one-run, last-inning nail biter?

Pittsfield has defeated Newmarket twice during the season.  They had pitching and hitting.

But on this morning, they didn’t have solid defense, especially in the third inning.

Fred Holmes makes a nice catch in the 2nd inning

“We have a young team and you need someone to step up and make a play to stop the bleeding,” said Coach Stockman.  “We just didn’t have that today.”

Thirteen Mules batted in the third inning.  Everyone in the batting order scored a run.  Josh Mastin crossed home twice.

Three runs into the inning, Coach Stockman switched Gavin Bedell in to replace his brother Devin.

Two batters later, Hayden Goodreau walked to force in a run.

Then the Mules’ bats went to work and lessened the guesswork on the final outcome.  Zach Hilton singled in a run.  Josh Mastin singled in two runs.  Lucas Russell then stroked an inside-the-park, three-run homer to stretch the Newmarket lead to 10-1.

“The bats were moving, and we were having a lot of fun out there,” recalled Fred Holmes of the inning.

“I squared it up,” said Lucas.  “It was a changeup and I kept my weight back and drove it up the middle.”

Lucas Russell crosses home as Coach Jurkoic watches

“Newmarket was just a better team today,” added Pittfield assistant coach Noah MacGlashing.  “One error turned into five.  We fell apart.  Take that inning away and it’s a much different game.”

Jesse MacGlashing drove in a run

But that inning didn’t go away, and the shaky defense was the key factor in two more Newmarket runs in the next inning.  Zach Hilton got his second RBI with a single and another run was added as the throw back in from the outfield rolled into the Pittsfield dugout.

The Panthers needed a run in the bottom of the fifth to keep the game going but after a walk, Josh Mastin got two infield groundouts before striking out Ben Stephens to end it.

“I wanted to strike out one last person to win it and that happened,” said Josh.

“It was just a great day for us,” said Coach Jurkoic.  “Josh put in another unbelievable performance.”

Newmarket last won a baseball title in 2001.  “Today was all for the fans,” said Josh.  “They have been waiting and it finally happened.”

Sophomore Jesse MacGlashing drove in Pittsfield’s second run in the third inning.

Josh Mastin tagged out by catcher Jesse MacGlashing in the first inning

Josh Mastin, Fred Holmes, and Zach Hilton paced Newmarket with two hits each.

Fred Holmes: “This win totally makes up for our other losses.  It was a bummer losing in the soccer finals to Sunapee but this one is just fine with me.”

Josh Mastin: “I struggled a bit.  I’m tired out from pitching all the time.  My fastball was okay.  My curve and my off-speed pitches were working.  I thought the game would be close.”

Carter Bousquin: “That 10-run inning was insane.  It’s such a great feeling to win the championship.  Josh’s curve was on-point today.  Guys were absolutely buckled up by that curve ball.  He wanted that final strikeout badly.”

Lucas Russell: “This is what we all dreamed of when we were kids.”

Coach Rob Stockman (left)

Coach Rob Stockman: “You give a team like Newmarket five or six extra outs and you’re going to take a beating.”

Fred Holmes is planning to attend Utica College (NY) in the fall and study construction management.

Lucas Russell will attend San Diego State (weather?) and major in business administration.

Kyle Stockman

Kyle Stockman will be at Plymouth State.  “We liked what Coach Clay had to say,” explained Coach Stockman.  “It’s close to home.  He has some travel team friends who are going there.”

Beautiful weather for the game.

Newmarket box

Pittsfield box

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

DJ Zensky scores the first Pittsfield run

Josh Mastin throws to first

Nick Berthiaume (shortstop) sets to throw

Lucas Russell mobbed after homer

Newmarket celebrates

Newmarket seniors





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Pentucket edges Newburyport 2-1 in eight innings in D3 North First Round

Owen Kamuda scores the winning run in the 8th

Pentucket starts to celebrate

Peter Cleary

Casey McLaren

(Groveland MA) Nothing surprising here.

You knew it would be tight and you knew it would be decided at the end.

With eleven days off, you knew that the aces, Peter Cleary and Casey McLaren, would be doing the pitching.

You also knew that at the end there would be significant celebrating and dejection.

And that was how it was as Pentucket edged Newburyport, 2-1, in eight innings on Thursday afternoon at Groveland Pines in First Round action.

Andrew Melone scores the first Pentucket run

The Sachems (14-7) now move on in the D3 North tournament to the next round.

The Clippers (11-10) end their season on a five-game losing streak.

“This game went exactly how we thought it would,” said Newburyport coach Mark Rowe afterwards.  “More great performances by Casey and Peter.  We had our opportunities and they did too.”

The score was tied, 1-1, after four innings.

The Clippers had a runner in scoring position in the fifth, seventh, and eighth but couldn’t break through.  The key for the Sachems was that in each of those innings was that although the Clippers put the ball in play they hit it in the direction of CAL All-Star shortstop Gus Flaherty. Gus handled a popup and two grounders flawlessly to get Pentucket off the field unscored on in those threatening innings.

Parker McLaren reaches for home in the 4th inning

The end came for Newburyport in the 8th inning.  A popup by Owen Kamuda fell for a single into short center to start the inning.  After Andrew Melone struck out, Gus Flaherty reached on a walk.  Two on, one out.  A grounder to shortstop Ryan Archie.  Might have been two but at least would be a force out.  Instead, Ryan bobbled the ball and hurried the feed to 2B Tyler Koglin.  Runner Gus Flaherty slide into Tyler as he reached for the throw and the throw went by Tyler into right field. Owen Kamuda, who was heading for 3B when the grounder was hit, raced home with the winning run.

“The ending was tough for Newburyport,” said Pentucket coach Mike Wendt.  “However, in a game like this, that was so well played, that’s what you get at the end.”

The Sachems celebrated their First Round win in a big way and it was understandable.  Pentucket was 2-18 last year!

Jordan Cane drove in the first Pentucket run

1B Jordan Case was with St. Mary’s last season.  The Spartans make the state tournament with regularity.  “I told this team that there’s something special about playoff baseball.”

Jordan drove in Pentucket’s first run in the first inning.  Andrew Melone led off with a double to left and went to 3B on Jake Etter’s fielder’s choice.  Jordan then singled up the middle with two outs to score Andrew.

“I was thinking middle away, but he grooved a fastball down the middle and I had good contact,” said Jordan.

Walker Bartkiewicz drove in Newburyport’s run

The Clippers tied things in the fourth.  Parker McLaren doubled leading that inning off.  After two outs, Walker Bartkiewicz singled Parker home.

Newburyport finished with six hits but only Walker’s drove in a run.  “We certainly would have liked some more timely hits,” said Casey.

Winning pitcher Peter Cleary credited his defense: “It was good.  I was pitching to contact.”

Coach Wendt: “Peter (Cleary) is unflappable.  When I give him the ball in any game, especially a big game, he is always poised and always in control.”

Parker McLaren and Gus Flaherty

Coach Wendt: “Peter’s pitch count was low because Newburyport was first-pitch, fastball aggressive knowing he would pound the zone early in the count.”

Jordan Cane: “Newburyport is so athletic.  I have great respect for them after playing against them in hockey and baseball.”

Casey McLaren finishes a remarkable basketball/baseball career at Newburyport.  I again asked him about possibly playing baseball at Tufts along with basketball.  “I am not opposed to it.  I may have to get in touch with them over that.”  He added that he thinks that he will study economics and finance at Tufts.

Nice crowd took in the action on a sunny late afternoon.

2B Trevor Blanchard went backwards to make a nice catch to end the Newburyport sixth.

Pentucket box

Newburyport box

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

Chris Husak 3B

Elusive popup

Elusive popup

Gus Flaherty throws to 1B

Safe or out?

Tommy Murphy and Gus Flaherty

Trevor Blanchard makes a catch

Ty Koglin, Ryan Archie, Parker McLaren pre-game

Joe Lynch steals 2B as Ryan Archie reaches to tag

Ryan Archie steals 2B



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