(Amesbury) Amesbury may not have played well…..but they played well enough.
Amesbury (12-4) got a walkoff, 7-6 win against Ipswich on Tuesday afternoon.
Jake Harring delivered the walkoff hit.
“It felt good,” he said, “but I’m not sure we should have celebrated that hard. We’ve got to be better.”
Unofficially, Amesbury had more errors (eight) than they had runs. Outfield drops, infield bobbles, you name it, it was happening this afternoon.
“It was an ugly baseball game,” said Amesbury coach Joel Brierley afterwards. “Someone had to win, and it happened to be us.”
It was just another tough loss in a season of tough losses for Ipswich (3-11).
“Today is the third game we’ve had the lead going into the seventh inning and lost in a walkoff,” said Ipswich coach Zack Lamkin afterwards.
The Tigers had seven hits and stranded ten baserunners.
Matt McGowan ended up with three hits and drove in two runs for Ipswich.
Trevor Kimball was the hard-luck starter for Amesbury. The AHS junior went five innings, allowing six hits and five runs (all unearned).
Amesbury, despite its defensive misadventures, put single runs on the board in each of the first four innings.
A Luke Arsenault homer to left accounted for the Amesbury run in the second inning.
Ipswich carried a 5-4 lead after five innings.
Things turned for Amesbury in the Ipswich sixth inning when centerfielder Drew MacDonald made a good catch and then a very good running catch. Those catches kept the Tigers from enlarging their one-run lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, Drew whacked a double to rightfield that drove in two runs and put Amesbury in front, 6-5.
Credit Ipswich for recovering.
Drew Lane walked leading off the seventh. Josiah Scarano pinch-ran and was bunted to second by AJ Pezza. Matt McGowan delivered the tying run with a single.
Amesbury came into this game averaging seven runs per game. They only had six going into their half of the seventh inning.
Luke Arsenault doubled down the leftfield line with one out to lead off the seventh. He was moved to third by a Tyler Bartniski sacrifice bunt. That set Jake Harring up for the game-winning hit.
“It was off the end a little bit,” said Jake of the game-winner. “I didn’t think it would go over his (rightfielder) head, until I saw his back turned.”
“For the most part we controlled this game,” said Coach Lamkin afterwards. “We battled today. It’s just a matter of finishing.”
Amesbury is currently #1 in the Division 4 MIAA power rankings. Staying there will eliminate any early-round bus rides in the post-season. Playing on the Amesbury High School field does have its drawbacks, however.
“This field is tough to figure out,” said Coach Brierley. “You would think that we would have an advantage since we practice here but not necessarily. Shea (Cucinotta) is a D2 shortstop and he still doesn’t know how to play this field.”
“That being said,” he added, “we still have to make the routine plays if we want to go far in the tournament.”
Cade Wetter scored two runs for Ipswich while Evan Stein had two hits.
Jake Harring, Drew Scialdone, Drew MacDonald, and Luke Arsenault each had two hits for Amesbury.
Drew Scialdone pitched two innings and picked up the W for Amesbury.
The weather was perfect.
Ipswich 0 1 3 0 1 0 1 = 6
Amesbury 1 1 1 1 0 2 1 = 7
(The pictures will enlarge.)