(Newburyport) It wasn’t what he intended but he’ll take it.
“I was trying to go to rightfield, but I hooked it around a bit and caught more than I expected, and it decided to carry,” said Brady Ford.
The shorter version, according to Jack Fehlner, was that “Brady hit a bomb.”
That unintentional bomb to left turned into a three-run homer in the sixth inning and spelled the difference in the Clippers 4-1 win over Tantasqua on Monday afternoon.
#10 Newburyport will face #7 Hudson at Hudson in the Division 3 Round of Sixteen later this week.
Today’s game was scoreless into the bottom of the sixth.
The Clippers, in fact, didn’t get a baserunner until the fourth inning against freshman starter Miles Blake.
Miles worked his way out of a base-loaded situation in that fourth inning getting Owen Tahnk to fly out.
The #23 Warriors (17-5) ran into two outs on the bases in their half of that fourth inning.
An infield error and two walks put Newburyport in a very promising one-out situation in the fifth inning. But Tantasqua coach John Leroux brought on Joe Amaru and he recorded an infield popup and a strikeout to douse that fire.
“We kept getting guys on base,” recalled Newburyport coach Mark Rowe. “You felt that something eventually was going to happen.”
And it did happen in the sixth inning.
Luke Stallard was hit by a pitch and went to third with one out on Max Puleo’s single. Owen Tahnk followed with a single that gave the Clippers the lead.
Now with two runners on, Brady Ford delivered a three-run homer.
The distance to the fence may only be 300 feet but the high fence adds significantly to the difficulty of hitting one out in that direction.
But out it went, and the Clippers had a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning.
“It was my first varsity homer,” said Brady who is a senior.
The Warriors were now down to their last three outs, but they did anything but go quietly.
Twice in the seventh inning, they had the tying run at the plate. And twice they hit long flies. One turned into a run-scoring single (Henry Blake) and the other was caught by RF Jack Sullivan close to the fence to end the game.
“They were timing me up pretty good in that last inning,” said winning pitcher Jack Fehlner afterwards.
“But we did what we needed to do,” Jack added, “and it was a great team win.”
“It was a back-and-forth game,” said Coach Leroux. “They just got the clutch hits when they needed them.”
Coach Rowe was pleased with the win but not as pleased with some of the at-bats his team had. “I feel as though we should have challenged them more,” he said. “There were too many lazy flyballs and strikeouts.”
Shortstop Luke Stallard was smooth on grounders and was in the middle of the two Warriors caught on the bases in the fourth inning.
“I just did my best to make the plays and keep my team in the game,” said Luke afterwards.
Talking about his freshman starter, Coach Leroux said, “He’s going to be very good in the future for us. I would have liked to have pitched him longer today, but he was on short rest from our tournament game the other day (5-1 win over Boston Latin).
Senior Jack Fehlner was the complete-game winner. Jack gave up four hits with no walks.
Devin Krochmalnyckyj, Jack Rapose, Jack Ricciuti, and Henry Blake had the hits for Tantasqua.
The weather was marvelous.
Tantasqua 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 = 1
Newburyport 0 0 0 0 0 4 – = 4