(Newburyport MA) If it wasn’t for bad luck, they’d have no luck at all.
Nice song but today we could apply it to the Amesbury Indians.
Twice in three days Amesbury has been close to a win only to have their hopes dashed in the late innings.
On Thursday it was a loss in extra innings to Hamilton-Wenham.
Today, it was a, 7-6, walk-off loss to Newburyport at Pettingell Park.
The undefeated Clippers (7-0) are into a remarkable season.
“Our team never feels as if they’re out of any game,” said NHS coach Mark Rowe afterwards, “There is something special going on.”
This game definitely required some of that “special” stuff for Newburyport because Amesbury was up, 6-0, after 4 ½ innings thanks to a five-run fifth inning.
“The third time through the lineup we started hitting the ball and we scored some runs,” said AHS coach Joel Brierley afterwards.
Newburyport, however, answered with five runs in the bottom of the 5th. Jake Buontempo’s 3-run, two-out homer was the big shot.
“I was down 2-2 so I had to protect the plate,” explained Jake. “I choked up on the bat. I think it was a fastball away. I got all of it.”
“Jake’s homer was huge,” said Nick White. “The momentum after a home run is like nothing else. It gets the whole dugout fired up.”
The Clippers tied the score in the sixth. Quinn Fortuna (two hits) started the inning with an infield single. Freshman Connor Stick was inserted as a pinch-runner. Connor stole second and came home on Ryan Archer’s single up the middle.
The Indians (4-3) had the go-ahead run on second with one out in the top of the seventh, but reliever Charlie Forrest got a strikeout and a groundout to end the threat.
Newburyport won the game in their half of the seventh inning.
Luke Stallard singled off reliever Josh Sorgini and stole second. Jake Buontempo walked. Quinn Fontana’s deep grounder to short would have loaded the bases but a wide throw to second allowed Luke to score from second with the game-winner.
“That last play was a hit,” recalled Coach Brierley. “The throw probably should have gone to third base because it was in front of him. He’s a good kid. He’ll learn from it.”
Amesbury took a 1-0 lead in the 4th inning on a Jeremy Lopez home run over the rightfield fence. It was the senior’s first varsity homer.
“Jeremy’s our leader on the field, on the mound, and at the bat,” said Coach Brierley.
The Indians had five runs in the fifth inning on five hits. Tim Gilleo cleared the bases with two-out double. Before Tim’s hit, Drew MacDonald had singled in a run. After Tim’s hit, Trevor Kimball drove in a run.
Amesbury looked in good shape, with a six-run lead, to pin a loss on Newburyport, but the Clippers rallied and remain undefeated.
“We have a lot of good hitters,” said Coach Rowe. “I now kind of expect something good will eventually happen.”
Drew MacDonald and Trevor Kimball paced Amesbury with two hits each. Will Arsenault, Jeremy Lopez, Tim Gilleo, and Drew Scialdone each had a hit.
Quinn Fortuna led Newburyport with two hits. He also got the “cooler” treatment after his single contributed to the winning run being scored.
It was hot and humid enough that we all could have used some cooling off.
Newburyport’s other hits were by Jax Budgell, Tony Lucci, Luke Stallard, Jake Buontempo, and Ryan Archer. Jax, Luke, and Ryan each had an RBI.
Luke Stallard started for the Clippers and went 4 2/3. Charlie Forrest took it from there.
Charlie came on in the fifth inning with two-on, two-out, and five runs already in for Amesbury. He got a ground out to end the inning.
“It hurt us to leave those two runners on,” said Coach Brierley.
Jeremy Lopez went five innings for Amesbury. Josh Sorgini followed and pitched into the seventh.
“It was great to catch sophomore Charlie Forrest,” said Nick White. “I think it was his first time pitching varsity.”
Nick will be attending Clemson in the fall. He assured me that it had nothing to do with the weather! “I have family down there, and they have a good business program. I might try to play club baseball.”
Jake will be playing baseball at Framingham State next year. “I will be majoring in criminology,” he said.
Coach Brierley: “It wasn’t the outcome we wanted but we’ll bounce back.”
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge significantly if you click on them.)