Category Archives: Amesbury

Turners Falls holds off Amesbury 5-4

Turners Falls – 2021 Division Three state champions
TF starter Jade Tyler

(Amesbury MA) First it was their bats.

Then it was their gloves.

But eventually it required a strikeout to get Turners Falls the 2021 Division Three state softball title.

Amesbury came out on the short end of a 5-4 score on Thursday afternoon, but they were tough to the finish.

The Indians (16-1) trailed 5-1 with two outs in the seventh inning but put three runs across.  Amesbury, in fact, had the tying and winning runs on base when the final out was recorded.

“We didn’t give up,” said AHS coach Jacquie Waters afterwards, “and that makes me proud of them.”

Many from Amesbury turned out for the state finals and Turners Falls had plenty of folks make the two-hour trip from Western Massachusetts.

Coach Waters and captains with trophy

The concern pre-game was the weather, but it never rained.

The Thunder (18-0) came out hitting Amesbury starter Alana Delisle hard. 

Alana had pitched in relief to get the win versus St. Mary’s (D3 North title game) and had gone the route against Case (D3 state semi-final).

But TF had six hits and three runs after 1 1/3 innings, so Coach Waters brought on Liv DeLong.

Liv retired eight straight batters to end the Thunder’s momentum.

Liv DeLong had a homer in the first inning

Liv also put a run up for Amesbury in the bottom of the first inning with a shot over the rightfield fence.

This game stayed 3-1 until the seventh inning.

The Turners Falls bats gave them the lead.  In innings three through six, their gloves preserved it.

LF Liv Stafford
RF Holly Myers

“Oh, man!” exclaimed Turners coach Gary Mullins afterwards discussing the defense.  “I didn’t know you could make those catches…….and we had three of them.”

All three of the Thunder outfielders (LF Liv Stafford, CF Emily Young, RF Holly Myers) had highlight catches.

Interestingly, the spectators were restricted to watching from along the outfield fence and therefore had the best view of the fine plays.

Amesbury’s Izzy Levasseur was victimized twice. In the third, her chance for a two-out, two-run double was thwarted by Liv Stafford’s running grab near the LF fence.

In the sixth, rightfielder Holly Myers robbed Izzy, leading off, of a possible double or triple. 

Shortstop Hannah Marchefka had a defensive gem in the fourth inning.  She charged an infield blooper and converted it into a double play.

If you had to choose one TF defensive memory, however, it was Emily Young’s home-run robbing catch in the fifth inning.  Liv DeLong was the batter. She already had a home run and the strength to hit a ball out in any direction.  Liv lofted a long fly to center.  CF Emily Young raced back near the fence, caught the ball, and fell into the fence.  There was a moment of, “Does she have still have the ball,” but Emily showed her glove and Liv’s long flyball was in it.

CF Emily Young prevents a Liv DeLong home run

The Thunder defense collected outs in those innings where baserunners and runs would have been more likely. Remarkable performance!

Was it fatigue?  Late-game pressure? Both teams struggled in the seventh inning.

Liv DeLong, who had thrown 4 2/3 innings of shutout relief, walked the leadoff batter and, with two outs, hit a batter.

Madi Liimatainen had four RBI

That set up TF catcher Madi Liimatainen with the same two-on, two-out situation she faced in the first inning.  On that occasion, the eighth-grader tripled.  This time it was a double to left, and again two runs scored.

“Coach (Mullins) told us at the start of the seventh that we needed more runs,” said Madi afterwards.  “Off the bat, I knew it was going to go pretty far.  Might have gone out at home.”

A 3-1 lead seemed safe the way Turners Falls was defending.  Now the lead was 5-1.  Even safer?  Not on this afternoon.

Amesbury had a hit, but also had two outs to start the seventh inning. 

Elusive grounder in the seventh inning

Turners needed just one more out……….but the next four Amesbury batters reached and three runs scored. The Indians were suddenly within one, 5-4, with runners on first and second.

But senior starter Jade Tyler saved the day for Turners with a game-ending strikeout.

“My heart was beating back there,” said TF catcher Madi Liimatainen recalling the final at-bat.  “I knew Jade would come through in the clutch.  She always does.  I’m pretty sure the last pitch was a rise ball.  After strike three, I couldn’t help but go jump into Jade’s arms.”

Coach Mullins joked afterwards: “The more pressure like this they put on me the quicker I’ll die!”

Catcher Ella Delisle and pitcher Liv DeLong

Olivia Whittier, Holly Myers, Madi Liimatainen, and Taryn Thayer each had two hits for Turners Falls. 

Madi had four RBI and Olivia had one RBI.

Starter Jade Tyler yielded six hits and had six strikeouts.

Dominating performance by AHS junior Liv DeLong.  Liv had a home run and a double that led to three RBI.  She also scored twice.  In long relief, the lefty struck out seven while giving up five hits.

Coach Gary Mullins numbers come at you like Tom Brady’s do.  Gary has coached for forty-one years.  In that time, his teams have won over seven hundred softball games.  The Thunder have now won ten state softball titles.  Last one was in 2017.  They have won the West sectional twenty times including the last seven straight seasons.

You can tell by those numbers that Gary’s program doesn’t restart, it simply reloads.  Think of the different teams & players that Tom Brady has made look good!  The personnel may change but the ability to win continues.

Coach Gary Mullins visits the pitcher

This game was a unique matchup for me.  Why?  I lived in Turners Falls from grade one into my freshman year in high school.  And now I live in Amesbury.

When I lived in Turners Falls, their sports teams were called, “Indians.”  Pressure developed in recent years to change the mascot and that change was made to the “Thunder” in 2017.

Turners Falls graduates five starters including pitcher Jade Tyler.  Don’t be surprised if they reload for another big run next year.

Amesbury graduates one starter (Julia Campbell) and has talent throughout their returnees.  There are no certainties in life but it’s a safe assumption that the Indians will be contenders in next year’s Division 3 softball.

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

3B Juliana Rode pregame
Liv DeLong – 2 hits, 2 runs, 3 RBI
2B Taylor Murphy
RF Lauren Celia – 1 run, 1 hit
Waiting on a pitching change
Ella Delisle watches a high pitch go by
LF Liv Stafford tracks a fly ball
Liv Stafford congratulated by teammates
3B Alana Delisle throws to first base
SS Hannah Marchefka starts a double play in the 4th
CF Emily Young congratulated after catch
2B Cali Catarius throws to first base in 6th inning
RF Holly Myers closes in on a fly ball in the 6th inning
Madi Liimatainen on 2B after two-run double in 7th inning
Turners Falls captains with D3 title trophy

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Amesbury capitalizes on Case misplays to gain D3 state finals

Amesbury celebrates their win over Case
Megan Smith (white helmet) congratulated after scoring a run

(Amesbury MA) For 4 ½ innings one run looked big, and Case had it.

The next two innings?

“Defensive meltdown,” are the two words that come to mind.

Undefeated Amesbury turned errors into eleven runs during those two innings and won, 11-1, to gain a spot in the Division Three finals on Wednesday.

“It was certainly not our best day,” said Case coach Shannon Silva afterwards.

“We didn’t hit (Case had three) and I knew that one run wouldn’t be enough to win this game,” she added.

But that run looked awfully big for a while.

A Megan Smith single, a wild pitch, a sacrifice bunt, and another wild pitch put the Cardinals on the board in the third inning.

Ella Delisle had three hits for Amesbury

The Indians had runners on in the second, third, and fourth innings but Case starter Hailey Berube (six strikeouts) held them off.

“That run of theirs looked big for a long time,” said AHS coach Jacqui Waters. 

The Cardinals had their first error in the fourth inning, but Hailey Berube got a two-on strikeout to keep it from being costly.

In the fifth inning, Amesbury put two hits together (Lauren Celia double & Ella Delisle single) to tie the score.

This game was decided just five batters later.

Case, uncharacteristically, committed an error on each of the next five batters.  There were bad throws and grounders unstopped.  Six runs crossed for Amesbury.

Looking for the handle

“When I watched them play and read everything about them, this was one thing that didn’t happen to them,” said Coach Waters.

More misplays (two) for the Cardinals in the sixth inning and Amesbury added five more runs.  In that productive sixth inning, Izzy Lavasseur, Julia Campbell, and Cali Catarius had RBIs for the Indians.

Sophomore catcher Ella Delisle had a big game for Amesbury.  She had three hits, an RBI, and threw a runner out at second base.

“We were down but came back,” said Ella.  “It shows how determined we are as a team.  The comeback felt good.”

Liv DeLong started for Amesbury and went three innings.  Alana Delisle went the next three innings and Liv covered the seventh inning.

“I brought in Alana after Liv had pitched through their lineup,” said Coach Waters, “and that worked in our favor. Defensively, we seem to better when Liv is at first base.”

Hailey Berube
Liv DeLong

Liv is a lefty and Alana is a righty.  “When a team sees a lefty and then a righty it kind of messes with them a little bit,” said Liv.

The game ended on what looked like a hit to right, but RF Lauren Celia charged the line drive and threw the runner out at first base. 

“We practice that play a lot,” said Lauren.

“Amesbury played a great game,” said Coach Silva.  “They played a clean game and they hit the ball consistently.  If you put the ball in play, things can happen.  We had eight errors.”

Case (10-4) is from the South Coast League.

The team from Swansea was the #8 seed in the South. 

Lauren Celia ties the score in the 5th

Case won the Division 3 South in 2019.

Amesbury gets Turners Falls next in the D3 state finals.  The game is scheduled for Wednesday with a coin toss deciding whether it will be at Turners Falls or at Amesbury.

Anyone remembering this game will probably start with the heat…..95 degrees and hazy.  I found, however, that once the game started, I wasn’t aware of either of those.

Nice catch by Case rightfielder Abby Sirois in fifth inning.  Abby caught the ball and then went flying over teammate 2B Alexandria Yost…..but still held on.

Izzy Levasseur had two hits and scored two runs for Amesbury.

Amesbury ended up with eight hits.  Case had three hits.

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

Liv DeLong pitches
Hailey Berube pitches
Amesbury looks for a handle
Hannah Pelletier tries to steal second
SS Olivia Levasseur makes the tag
Abby Sirois slides in with a double as Cali Catarius takes throw
3B Izzy Levasseur throws to first
Pitcher Hailey Berube sees Liv DeLong off 3B
Two Amesbury runs score on a bad throw
RF Abby Sirois comes in for a fly ball
Abby Sirois goes over 2B Alexandria Yost
Julia Campbell singles in a run

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Liv DeLong hits walkoff winner

Amesbury Indians are the Division 3 North champions
Ella Bezanson hits home with the game winner

(Amesbury MA) Amesbury captured the Division 3 North title with a 3-2, eight-inning walkoff win over St. Mary’s on Saturday afternoon.

Amesbury takes on D3 South champs Case on Monday night at 5PM at the Amesbury Middle School.

Liv DeLong had the big hit for the (15-0) Indians. The hard-hitting junior drove in Ella Bezanson with the game-winner.

“I couldn’t have had a better setup in the eighth,” explained Amesbury coach Jacqui Waters post-game.  “Those are my top two hitters.”

Amesbury had only five hits off the Spartans Lily Newhall but two of them came in the decisive eighth.

Earlier, Lauren Celia gave the Indians the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning with a two-run single down the third-base line.

Lauren Celia had a two-run single

“It felt good to get a hit in a late-season game,” said Lauren.

But the runs didn’t hold up. 

St. Mary’s (21-3) took advantage of two Amesbury miscues and tied the score, 2-2, in their half of the sixth inning.

“I liked the way we came back after being down 2-0,” said St. Mary’s coach Frank Pagliuca afterwards.

The Spartans put the pressure on Amesbury in the seventh and eighth.

Felicia D’Alessandro singled with two out in the seventh.

Brooke Mohoney singled and reached second on a Jill Kirby sacrifice bunt with one out in the eighth.

St. Mary’s captains

In both situations, Amesbury pitcher Alana Delisle had the defense behind her to keep St. Mary’s from scoring.

“We had an opportunity in the eighth inning and didn’t take advantage of it,” said Coach Pagliuca.  “Amesbury had the same opportunity in the eighth inning and took advantage of it.”

That similar situation was having a runner on second base with one out.

After an Ella Delisle popup leading off the decisive eighth, the Indians had their two best hitters whack the two hardest hits of the game.

“I felt it on the end of my bat,” explained Ella Bezanson who doubled to the right centerfield fence, “and I knew it was a good hit.”

In the sixth inning, Amesbury had runners on second and third with two outs.  On that occasion St. Mary’s decided to pitch to Alana Delisle even though there was an empty base.  The strategy worked perfectly as Spartans’ ace Lily Newhall struck Alana out to end the inning.

Liv DeLong at bat in the 8th inning

Now in the eighth inning, with Ella Bezanson on second base, the option of walking the next batter (Liv DeLong) was again available.

There was a long conference on the mound as the Spartans planned what they would do.

They would pitch to Liv DeLong.

“Liv told me that she was going after the first pitch,” said Coach Waters.

“I was up there ready to hit,” recalled Liv.  “I was ready to swing at anything.  I saw the first pitch coming and I said, ‘this is it.’”

Liv hit a rope to center field.  It hasn’t rained much lately, and the ground out there is hard.  Liv’s hit took an up bounce on St. Mary’s CF Marina D’Biasio and Ella was on her way home.

Liv DeLong’s hard hit bounces up on CF Marina D’Biasio in the 8th iinning

“When Liv hit that ball, I was jumping up-and-down inside,” said Ella.

Lily Newhall
Alana Delisle

I asked Coach Pagliuca about choosing not to walk Liv DeLong: “I won’t comment on what I told the pitcher.  The girl hit the ball.  It is what it is at this point.  Liv is a good player, and she took advantage of the opportunity.”

The pitching of St. Mary’s Lily Newhall and Amesbury’s Alana Delisle was very impressive.

“Lily kept a powerful lineup off-balance all game,” said Coach Pagliuca.

Lily gave up five hits and had eight strikeouts.  The junior had a no-hitter through four innings.

Alana also yielded five hits but had ten strikeouts.

“Alana is probably the hero of the game,” said Coach Waters.  “I had no doubt that I was pitching her today.”

SS Sam Porazinski makes a nice catch

“Alana did so well today,” said her sister Ella who is the team’s catcher.  “She hit every spot.  She’s so good.”

Ella calls the pitches for her older sister. 

“Rise balls and changeups were working, as well as a few screwballs,” said Alana.  “Ella was smart about how we used them.”

St. Mary’s had won twelve straight.  Their losses were to Gloucester and Bishop Feehan.

This season Amesbury has rolled through the Cape Ann League getting no-hitters from Alana Delisle and Liv DeLong as well as mercy-rule endings in most games.

The weather was pleasantly warm.

Good turnout with the spectators located beyond the outfield fence.

St. Mary’s box
Amesbury box

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

Amesbury team
Coach Waters with the AHS captains
Ella Bezanson and Liv DeLong with the team about to join
SS Olivia Levasseur throws to first
Alyssa Grossi on her way home with the Spartans 2nd run
Brooke Moloney scores St. Mary’s first run
Olivia Levasseur scores Amesbury’s 2nd run
Izzy Levasseur scores Amesbury’s first run
Lily Newhall throws to first base
Alana Delisle throws to first base
Lauren Celia tagged out at second by SS Sam Porazinski
CF Ella Bezanson
Brooke Moloney
SS Sam Porazinski
Lily Newhall
1B Liv DeLong
Alana Delisle

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Georgetown defeats Amesbury in surprising fashion

Iain Kantorski tagged out at home by catcher Tim Gilleo
Garrett Sedgwick tagged out at 3B

(Amesbury MA) Georgetown certainly didn’t do it the easy way.

The Royals had two runners thrown out at home.

They had two others caught at third.

Didn’t matter, Georgetown still came away with a satisfying, 6-3, season-ending win over Amesbury on Tuesday afternoon.

The sunny skies at the start gave way to dark clouds, thunder, and then game-ending lightning as the Amesbury half of the sixth inning was about to start.

I usually talk to coaches and some players afterwards but not today.  That lightning changed my plans and had me and my camera equipment beelining it immediately for the AHS parking lot.

Ayden Kent was one of six Royals pitchers

Not only did Georgetown (6-10) run into outs on the bases but they also used a different pitcher in each inning. Those frequent pitching changes would seem to have been a recipe for disaster sooner or later but not on this afternoon.

We’ll never know what the Indians (8-7) might have done with two more innings of batting, however.  I’m betting though that we would have seen two more Georgetown pitchers.

The Royals had eleven hits, at least one in every inning, off Amesbury pitchers (Trevor Kimball & Josh Sorgini).

Georgetown got off to a great start with RBI doubles by Nick Gaeta (two hits) and Jack Lucido in the first inning.

That inning ended with Jack getting caught trying to steal third base.

Amesbury got a run back in their half of the first inning.  Jeremy Lopez (three hits, two RBI) doubled home Shea Cucinotta.

Drew MacDonald out stealing

Drew MacDonald was caught stealing in that inning.

Georgetown continued to hit during the next three innings but ran themselves into outs on the bases that kept them from scoring runs.

Great throws by LF Drew MacDonald (2nd inning) and RF Drew Scialdone (3rd inning) were key plays for the Indians in staying close on the scoreboard.

In the fourth inning, Garrett Sedgwick tried to go to third (from second) on an infield out but was thrown out at third on a good throw by 1B Tiernan Bentley.

I thought that the wasted opportunities might catch up to Georgetown, but it didn’t happen. 

2B Nate Giguere makes a play to first

New pitchers came and went each inning for the Royals, yet the one-run lead stayed in place.

The Indians loaded the bases against Ayden Kent in the third inning but a two-out liner by Trevor Kimball was snagged by 1B Nick Gaeta to end the threat.

The Royals finally scored more runs in the fifth inning.  RBI by Iain Kantorski & Carter Lucido finished starter Trevor Kimball’s afternoon. 

Josh Sorgini came on in relief.

Twice Georgetown, with runners on first and third, sent the runner on first and were able to score the runner from third and add two more runs to their total.

Amesbury did not recover completely from those four additional runs.  They did score two runs, however.

Jeremy Lopez had 3 hits and 2 RBI

Jeremy Lopez doubled to the rightfield corner sending home Drew MacDonald.  Later, Jeremy stole third and came across when the throw (from the pitcher) to third was wild.

That 6-3 score turned out to be the final as the threatening weather kicked in.

Everyone in Georgetown’s starting lineup had at least one hit.  Rob Popielski and Nick Gaeta each had two hits for the Royals.

Jeremy Lopez had a perfect day going three-for-three with two RBI.

Drew MacDonald and Trevor Kimball each had two hits for the Indians.

The Georgetown season ends on an upswing as they finished winning three of their last five.

Amesbury will be in the post-season tournament.  They suffered losses yesterday and today.

Amesbury defeated Georgetown, 5-4, in early May at Georgetown.

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

Ayden Kent caught off 3B by Josh Sorgini
Drew MacDonald – 2 hits and an outfield assist
2B Jake Harring tags out Nick Gaeta as a run scores
Shea Cucinotta, Jake Harring, and Trevor Kimball wait on a pitching change
Josh Sorgini pitched in relief
Rob Popielski scores a run for Georgetown
Nate Giguere slides in safely
Jake Gilstein
Carter Lucido pitched for Georgetown
Baserunner Iain Kantorski and SS Shea Cucinotta
Nice running catch by CF Carter Lucido
Shea Cucinotta heads for home
Nick Gaeta scores in the first inning
Trevor Kimball started for Amesbury
Coaches go over the rules pregame

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Last-inning rally earns Amesbury 6-5 walk-off win vs Lynnfield

Shea Cucinotta (white helmet) singled in the game winner for Amesbury
Evan Balian had 3 hits and 3 RBI

(Amesbury MA) Lynnfield gave Amesbury (6-3) too many chances and it finally caught up to them in the last inning.

The Pioneers had issued seven walks and had hit two batters through six innings.  However, they had a 5-3 lead.

That lead vanished after the Indians got two more walks in their half of the seventh.  Senior Tiernan Bentley drove both walkers (Tim Gilleo & Trevor Kimball) in to tie the score.

“I haven’t been hitting all that well this season,” said Tiernan afterwards.  “It felt good to get one.”

Two hit-batsmen followed (Luke Arsenault & Jake Harring) loading the bases with one out and Shea Cucinotta the batter.  Shea had a hit the previous inning.

With a chance to seal the outcome, Shea delivered a shot to the outfield that scored pinchrunner Donovan Landry and the celebrating began for Amesbury’s 6-5 walk-off win.

Pinchrunner Donovan Landry home with the game winner

“I’m not going to lie,” explained Shea, “I was a little nervous coming up in that situation.  My heart was beating out of my chest!  I knew that I just had to put the ball out there somewhere to score the run.  It felt great.”

“Give Amesbury credit,” said Lynnfield coach John O’Brien post-game.  “They hung in there and got the big hit when they needed it.”

“We just can’t walk people and hit people,” added Coach O’Brien.  “You need to throw strikes and let the guys make the plays.”

Despite the loss, Lynnfield senior Evan Balian had an impressive afternoon.  He came to bat in the seventh inning with a chance to hit for the cycle. 

Evan hit a homer (3rd inning) over the rightfield fence and a triple (fifth inning) over the rightfielder’s head.  He had a single in the first inning. Evan had three RBI. 

A key moment in this game was the Lynnfield seventh.  The Pioneers (3-6) had the two-run lead but Amesbury reliever Tiernan Bentley was able to retire the side in order.  Tiernan got the dangerous Evan to ground out to first to end that inning.

Tiernan Bentley drove in 2 runs in the 7th to tie the score

“Coach (Brierley) told me to go out there and throw strikes and that’s exactly what I did,” said Tiernan.

Lynnfield got two runs in the top of the first.  An RBI by Evan Balian and a wild throw to third on a steal attempt accounted for the LHS runs.

The Indians managed to get both those runs back thanks to six walks and a hit batsman in the first two innings.  They did strand six runners.

“We gave them runs early and we left the bases loaded in the first two innings,” said Coach Joel Brierley.  “We have to do better.”

The Pioneers got out of that second inning on an unusual play.  Tim Gilleo’s popup into short left attracted both 3B Trent Balian and SS Nick Razzaboni.  The fielders collided but Nick was able to stick out his hand and make a diving catch to save multiple runs from scoring.

SS Nick Razzaboni and 3B Trent Balian
Nick Razzaboni makes the catch
Trevor Kimball out at the plate

Tim Pivero started the third inning in relief of starter Blake Peters.  A nice throw (LF Aidan Burke) and tag (catcher Evan Balian) nailed Trevor Kimball at the plate for the final out of that inning.

Lynnfield built their lead to 5-2 in the sixth.  A wild pitch (Drew Scialdone) allowed Luke Martinho to score.  RF Luke Arsenault tossed out Nick Razzaboni at the plate trying to score on Jack Bird’s single, to record the final out of the inning.

Amesbury got that run back with a Luke Arsenault triple and a sacrifice fly by Jake Harring in their half of the sixth inning.

Amesbury then took advantage of the walks and HPB’s in the 7th and rallied to earn a walk-off win.

Pickoff attempt

The Indians collected all their six hits in the final four innings.

“Once we get to see a pitcher for a second or third time, that’s when we score our runs,” explained Coach Brierley.  “Even when we’re down, I know we’ll find ways to score.”

“We wanted the top of our order (Jake Harring, Shea Cucinotta, Jeremy Lopez) to get up in that final inning,” said Coach Brierley.  “The walks and hit-batsmen enabled it to happen.”

Winning pitcher Tiernan Bentley is a senior.  “I plan to go to UConn in the fall and play rugby.”

Lynnfield starter Blake Peters collected two hits.  “Blake has pitched three or four really nice games,” said Coach O’Brien.  “It wasn’t his day today.”

Trevor Kimball started for Amesbury.

Weather was good with low 80’s and a breeze.

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

Shea Cucinotta up with the bases loaded in the 7th
Trevor Kimball scores the tying run in the 7th
Evan Balian retired in the 7th inning
Pitcher Tim Pivero beats Drew MacDonald to 1B
Luke Arsenault scores the 3rd Amesbury run
Play at second
Tim Gilleo and Danny Dorman
Blake Peters had two hits and scored two runs
Jake Harring on base four times
Aidan Burke scores the first Lynnfield run
Aidan Burke and Shea Cucinotta
Trevor Kimball started for Amesbury
2B Jack Bird

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Amesbury scores ten runs in the first inning and defeats Ipswich 15-5

Shortstop Shea Cucinotta saw his first action today in Amesbury’s big win
Evan Stein scores the second Ipswich run

(Amesbury MA) Ipswich was coming off their first win.

Amesbury was coming off two tough late-inning losses.

Two teams trending in opposite directions.

And Ipswich kept trending in a positive direction with a three-spot in the top of the first inning.

But that’s where it ended for the Tigers.

Amesbury responded with ten runs in their half of the first inning and cruised from there to a 15-5 victory.

Luke Arsenault had 3 hits and 2 rbi

The mercy rule kicked in during the Amesbury fifth inning.

“We needed this after last week,” said AHS coach Joel Brierley afterwards.  “However, we didn’t plan on beginning the way we did today.”

“We started today thinking that we would win,” said shortstop Shea Cucinotta post-game.  “You just can’t take a team for granted.  But we did pull together and get a victory.”

Special game for Shea because it was his first of the season.  The Cape Ann League All-Star has been missed by the Indians (5-3) for sure.

“Now we have Shea back as well as our senior catcher (Tim Gilleo),” said Coach Brierley.  “So we have a couple of weeks to put everything together before the tournament.”

The Amesbury hitting has been good and continued to be just that today.

The Indians had fourteen hits to go with the fifteen runs in only 4+ innings.

Drew MacDonald started for Amesbury

Eight of the nine AHS starters had hits.  Luke Arsenault had three hits, while Trevor Kimball and Jake Harring added two hits.

The biggest hit in the game may well have been Jeremy Lopez’s in the big first inning.  The Amesbury senior cleared the bases with a two-out triple to right.

That opening inning had all sorts of nightmarish ingredients for the Tigers (1-8).  There were two outfield errors, two hit batsmen, and two walks.  That’s a mix that will get a team in serious trouble for sure………and it did in the visitors.

Ipswich was coming off an exciting 9-8, last-inning, win over Pentucket.  Their bats were still hot at the outset of today’s game. 

Two batters in they had a run after Finn MacLennon doubled and Evan Stein singled.  A few batters later Wes Smith drove in another run with a single.  A fielder’s choice (Jake Reily) led to the third run.

Jeremy Lopez drove in 3 runs and scored 2 runs

Great start for Ipswich but it didn’t continue.  AHS starter Drew MacDonald pitched clean innings in the 2nd and 3rd innings.  Tiernan Bentley took care of things in the 4th and 5th innings.

The Indians needed a run in their fifth inning to activate the mercy rule.  They got what they needed.  Will Arsenault doubled.  Josh Sorgini’s fielder’s choice moved Will to 3B.  Tiernan Bentley’s single brought home the game-ending run.

“We came out here and we wanted to have some fun today and that’s what we did,” explained Drew MacDonald.

Drew claimed that he knew the source of Amesbury’s good hitting.  “We’ve been having Jeremy’s older brother throw some BP.  I think he’s our good-luck charm now.”

Cade Wetter pitched for IHS

Shea Cucinotta was excited to be playing again after being injured playing football.  “It was great to go out there with the boys.  I missed it.  Getting in for the next half of the season is going to be real good.  I was a little rusty out there today, but it feels good to be moving again.”

Ipswich finished with six hits.  Wes Smith had two of them to go with an RBI.

The Indians added three runs to their ten runs in the second inning.  Jake Harring’s double brought in two of the runs.

AHS coach Joel Brierley

Ipswich had single runs in the fourth (Finn MacLennon rbi) and the fifth (Drew Lane rbi).

Jake Harring, Shea Cucinotta, Jeremy Lopez, Drew Scialdone, Aidan Donovan, and Luke Arsenault each scored twice.

Jake Reily started for Ipswich and gave way to Drew Lane in the first inning.

The weather was splendid.  Temperatures were in the 70’s with a nice breeze.

There will be a tournament at the end of the season.  “It will be different this year because any team, no matter what their record is, can be in the tournament,” said Coach Brierley.  “We want to be over .500 and deserve to be there.”

The tournament won’t START until June 15th.  Amesbury gets out of school on June 17th.  “Our guys are completely okay will playing after school is over,” said Coach Brierley.

Amesbury faced Ipswich at Ipswich a week ago.  Drew MacDonald pitched a complete-game three hitter with seven strikeouts.  AHS won, 11-0.

Nice running catch by Amesbury CF Cam Stanley.

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

Ipswich dugout
Tiernan Bentley did some late-game pitching and hitting
Donovan Landry pitched for AHS
Drew Scialdone had a hit and scored two runs
Amesbury dugout
Cam Stanley makes a nice catch in CF
Trevor Kimball had two hits and an rbi
Both teams wait for the new pitcher
Tim Gilleo
Drew MacDonald scores the 4th Amesbury run
Shortstop Nate Baise and baserunner Jake Harring
Shea Cucinotta
Shortstop Shea Cucinotta and baserunner Evan Stein

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Undefeated Newburyport gets 7-6 walkoff win over Amesbury

Amesbury catcher Will Arsenault can only watch as Luke Stallard crosses with the winning run
Clippers celebrate

(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.

Jeremy Lopez had a solo home run

“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.

Jake Buontempo (gold helmet) had a 3-run shot during the Clippers’ rally

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.

Charlie Forrest had the win in relief

“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.

Quinn Fontana had two hits

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. 

Tim Gilleo had a 3-run double

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.”

Pickoff attempt

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.)

Luke Stallard started for NHS
Jeremy Lopez started for Amesbury
Aidan Donovan
Luke Arsenault chases a popup
Brady Ford chases a popup
Tiernan Bentley congratulated after scoring
Tim Gilleo scores as catcher Nick White corrals the throw home
SS Tony Lucci throws to first
Tyler Cowles
Ryan Archer scores
Jake Buontempo had a 3-run homer
Drew MacDonald swings
Connor Stick ties the game
Josh Sorgini
Celebrating the win begins for the Clippers

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Excellent pitching and hitting send Amesbury past Ipswich 15-0

Alana Delisle allowed 1 hit to go with 14 K’s
Ella Delisle had a HR and 4 RBI

(Amesbury MA) Consider yourselves warned future opponents.

Amesbury has a terrific softball team.

Ipswich (2-3) found that out today losing 15-0 on Monday afternoon via the mercy rule.

The Indians (3-0) have a brand-new field to play on and unlike their nearby former field, this one has a fence.

“This is the first time we’ve had an actual fence,” said junior Liv DeLong afterwards.  “It was really exciting to see three home runs go over it.”

Liv had one of the long ones and Ella Delisle and Ella Bezanson had the other two.

AHS had fifteen hits and all of the Amesbury starters scored at least one run in the 4 ½ innings played.

Ella Bezanson had the first of 3 Amesbury homers

The Indians had a six-run second inning and a seven-run fourth inning.

And then there was the pitching of AHS starter Alana Delisle.

Amesbury coach Jacqui Waters told me afterwards that she had originally planned on using several of her pitchers in each game.

Today she couldn’t do it as Alana put on a show.

“She was on fire,” said Coach Waters, “I wasn’t taking her out.”

Alana struck out fourteen Tigers and allowed just one hit.

“She took control of the whole game with fourteen strikeouts,” said Coach Waters.  “She was outstanding.”

“Alana was awesome today,” said her sister Ella, who was the catcher.  “Everything she had worked.”

The combination of Alana’s pitching and an offense, that on this sunny afternoon had hits and loud outs, made it tough for Ipswich.

Cassidy Smith dropped in the only Ipswich hit

Leftfielder Alexa Eliopoulos and shortstop Lexi James made outstanding plays in the field, but the sheer volume of tough chances made it difficult for the visitors to stop the runs from coming.

SS Lexi James made a nice running catch

The Indians didn’t bunt, just hacked away.  Ella Bezanson and Izzy Levasseur each had three hits for Amesbury.  Ella Delisle had four RBI.

Alana struck out the first eight batters she faced before walking Piper Reily in the third inning.

In the Ipswich fourth, Cassidy Smith dropped a short popup over Alan’s head and just in front of charging shortstop Liv Levasseur.  That was the Tigers first and only hit.

One thing I didn’t learn about today was the quality of the Amesbury defense.  Not one ball got out of the infield.  Alana got an assist on the final out of the game but there were no other infield chances other than Cassidy Smith’s hit.

Impressive, to say the least.

Liv DeLong celebrates a home run

The new field has bleachers beyond centerfield although most spectators chose the 3B/LF foul territory to view from.

Coach Waters: “We owe this field to the alumni.  They raised some money.  The infield cost $16,000.  We needed a new field.  The other one was a mess.  Mayor Gove came through with funds for the backstop and all the fencing.  We have a brand-new scoreboard which is not in yet.  It was a gift from the Newburyport Institution for Savings.”

Alana Delisle: “Today was really fun.  Ella did a great job catching.  Everyone hit.  Ella calls the pitches. I just throw them.”

Ella Delisle: “I’ve been catching her my whole life.  Her curve was moving really well.”

LF Alex Eliopoulos made several nice catches in the outfield

The Indians haven’t given up a run yet in three starts.  Liv Delong had fifteen strikeouts in the season opener against Rockport.

Coach Waters informed me that there will be a state tournament following the regular season.  How far can the Indians go?

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

Alana Delisle
Lauren Celia
Caroline Spencer in for a grounder
Ella Delisle celebrates her 3-run homer in the fourth inning
Grounder up the middle
Lexi James
Annabel Morris set to pitch
Piper Reily
Veronica Deacon
Liv Levasseur
Amesbury pre-game gathering
Ella Bezanson
Julia Campbell
Liv Levasseur
Alana Delisle pregame

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Amesbury gets one-hitter from Jeremy Lopez in 5-3 win over North Reading

Senior Jeremy Lopez allowed one hit and struck out five Hornets

(Amesbury MA) Amesbury pitcher Jeremy Lopez knew that he had something special going.

Jeremy Lopez congratulated at game’s end

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. 

Joe Giacalone stole two bases and scored a run

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.”

Drew MacDonald had a hit and scored twice

“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.

SS Frank Cassarino throws to first

“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.)

Jeremy Lopez won his second game of the season

Coach Archambault: “Hats off to their pitcher.  He pitched a heckuva game.  He threw strikes.”

Jeremy Lopez about to tag out Matt Ryan at first

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. 

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

Alex Carucci scores NR’s third run
Frank Cassarino and Jeremy Lopez
Hornets reliever Ryan Baker
2B Luke Arsenault
SS Jake Harring starts a double play
3B Aidan Donovan had an RBI and 3 assists
Trevor Kimball had an RBI and scored a run
Senior Tim Gilleo drove in the first Amesbury run
North Reading starter Nick Doucette
North Reading coach Eric Archambault
Amesbury dugout
Amesbury box
North Reading box

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Baseball is back

Newburyport’s Mark Rowe and Amesbury’s Joel Bierley meet pregame
Jack Fehlner started for Newburypot

(Newburyport MA) It’s been nearly two years for the Cape Ann League.

Today baseball resumed and I decided to catch a look.

Didn’t keep score because it was only a Friday afternoon scrimmage at Pettingell Field.

But it was high school baseball between familiar foes Amesbury and Newburyport.

The players were not in game shirts and the scoreboard was not being used. The atmosphere was relaxed.

The scrimmage was the first chance to get back doing something the participants, including the coaches, missed badly.

Jeremy Lopez was the Amesbury starter

Baseball in April around here?  You know the weather will be a factor!  Today, we had cloudy (Will it rain?) mixed with sunshine (Is it June?).  The wind didn’t disappoint.  Gusty at times, causing outfielders to misjudge flies in right field.  The Clippers, in fact, collected two runs on a wind-influenced single to right.

Without rosters I won’t attempt to put names to all the pictures.  I am, however, planning to post the pictures from this blog entry onto my Instagram site (@mcclellandmiscellanea) and if I get identifications, I’ll edit them into captions on this entry.  Give me some help, would ya!

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

Ryan Archer
Diving attempt by Jeremy Conlin
Shea Cucinotta
Killian Cronin questions the call after being picked off second by Tony Lucci
Best view
Drew MacDonald chats with a coach
Jack Fehlner throws to first
Nick White and Jake Buontempo listen to Coach Mark Rowe between innings
Clippers relief pitcher Owen Roberts
Amesbury shortstop Jaken Harring
Josh Sorgini and Cam Stanley in the Amesbury dugout
Amesbury relief pitcher Drew Scialdone
Will Arsenault reaches second
Newburyport shortstop Tony Lucci
Newburyport centerfielder Jax Budgell
Amesbury first baseman Tiernan Bentley
Amesbury catcher Connor MacDonald
Jaken Harring takes the throw as Finn Sullivan steals second

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