(Amesbury MA) Amesbury pitcher Jeremy Lopez knew that he had something special going.
But Coach Joel Bierley didn’t.
“I was too busy yelling at him for walking kids,” said Coach Bierley.
Jeremy finished with a one-hitter as the Indians (3-1) defeated North Reading, 5-3, on Thursday afternoon at Amesbury High School.
Jeremy carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning.
“I knew in the back of my mind that North Reading didn’t have any hits but then I hung one and he (Alex Carucci) took it for a ride,” said Jeremy.
“I’m happy with the win,” added Jeremy.
Amesbury took advantage of NR starter Nick Doucette’s first-inning wildness to get off to a 3-0 start.
The Hornets (1-2) may not have been hitting but they turned walks and aggressive baserunning into single runs in the third and fourth.
“We struggled in the first inning, but we bounced back after that,” said NR coach Eric Archambault post-game.
The Indians had three runs but only two hits through four innings. That changed in the fifth inning. Consecutive doubles by Drew MacDonald, Jeremy Lopez, and Trevor Kimball added two runs to the AHS total and the Indians led, 5-2.
“We got our bats going the third time through the lineup,” said Coach Bierley. “We swing the bats well.”
“Those three doubles were huge,” added Jeremy. “Those two runs put us over the top and gave us the edge.”
The Hornets, however, refused to go away quietly. Their first hit (Alex Carucci double) was followed by a Matt Ryan bunt in the same 6th inning that was mishandled giving NR their third run.
A key play in that sixth inning was AHS shortstop Jake Harring catching a North Reading baserunner off third base.
Jake also assisted on the final out of that inning with Hornets on second and third.
“This is Jake’s first year with us,” said Coach Bierley. “He has a high baseball IQ.”
Once NR starter Nick Doucette got over his wildness in the first inning, he was terrific. The Hornets junior struck out eight of the next twelve batters he faced.
“Nick settled down for sure,” explained Coach Archambault. “He’s a really good pitcher and this was his second varsity start. I expect him to bounce back.”
Joe Giacalone, who had three steals against Lynnfield, added two more against Amesbury.
The Indians ran into two outs at third base in their half of the sixth inning.
Sophomore Jake Harring collected two of Amesbury’s seven hits.
Jeremy Lopez: “The defense made the plays. The coach told me to throw strikes.” (Jeremy had five strikeouts.)
Coach Archambault: “Hats off to their pitcher. He pitched a heckuva game. He threw strikes.”
Jeremy Lopez: “My curve was definitely on today. It’s a favorite of mine and I’ve learned to throw it a lot more. My fastball was pretty good. I thought I was getting squeezed a bit, but I didn’t let it bother me. I kept throwing strikes and the defense made the plays.”
Jeremy told me that he plans to repeat his senior year at Winchendon School where he expects to continue playing baseball.
Weather was nice.
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