Category Archives: Amesbury

Amesbury softball surprises St. Mary’s 4-2 in Division 3 North semifinals

Hayley Catania ended the first and fifth with consecutive strikeouts

Emma DiPietro (triple) scored in the 5th inning to tie the game

(Lowell MA) Neither team expected to even be in this game!

St. Mary’s was young while Amesbury was seriously reconstructed.

On this afternoon, it was the reconstructed team that put enough pieces together to win the Division 3 North softball semifinals 4-2 at Martin Field in Lowell.

The top piece for Amesbury (15-8) was senior Hayley Catania.  The AHS pitcher allowed five hits (three of them in the first inning) and struck out ten Spartans.  But there’s more to the story: Hayley also had two hits and an RBI.  Her alert baserunning keyed one of the Indians runs in the 2-run fifth.

Shortstop Alyssa Grossi makes a nice running catch

Both teams had powered past quarter-final opponents.  St. Mary’s had four homers versus Pope John while Amesbury had three long ones against Lynnfield.

Today’s contest had only two loud hits and both of them were by Amesbury.  Emma DiPietro had a triple in the 2-run fifth and Hayley had an RBI double in the Indians 2-run seventh.

St. Mary’s (14-9) scratched out a run in the first.  Consecutive singles (Felicia D’Alessandro, Marina DiBiasio, Jordan Sullivan) produced a run.  This was where Amesbury’s Hayley Catania gave us a glimpse of the kind of game she would have as she then struck out Jennie Iudice and Taylor Sullivan to end the inning.

Amesbury had runners in scoring position in each of the first three innings, but pitcher Lily Newhall kept the ball in the infield and escaped being scored on.

Starting with the 2 K’s in the first inning, Hayley retired eleven in a row including six strikeouts.

While the pitching was terrific for Amesbury they still trailed by a run until the fifth inning.

Emma Catania singled home a run in the 5th but was thrown out stretching it.

Junior Emma DiPietro tripled with one out over CF Christina Nowicki’s head.  Hayley Catania walked but on ball four the ball got away from catcher Jordan Sullivan allowing Emma to score and tie the game.  Hayley alertly took second when the Spartans concentrated too much on Emma crossing the plate.  That alertness paid off for AHS because when her sophomore sister Emma singled to center, Hayley came home with the go-ahead run.

Now down, 2-1, the pressure was on the St. Mary’s offense.  Alyssa Grossi singled to center opening the bottom of the 5th.  A sacrifice bunt (Katie O’Neill) moved her to second with one out.  But here came Hayley Catania, doing exactly as she had done in the first inning, striking out the next two batters (Angelina Catino and Christina Nowicki) to hold the slim lead.

Emma DiPietro’s triple goes over CF Christina Nowicki’s head

Both teams went down in order in the sixth.

The seventh was not for the weak of heart on either team!

Amesbury put two runners on with no one out on a walk (Emily O’Donnell) and Julia Campbell reaching on an error by pitcher Christina Nowicki.  Freshman Maddie DiPietro pinch ran for Emily.  That brought up Hayley and St. Mary’s coach Paige Licata had a meeting at the mound.

“We talked about walking her (Hayley),” said Coach Licata.  “I told Christina (Nowicki) to keep the ball away from her, and she did, but the ball was still pulled to left.  With a hitter like that you take your lumps and hope you can produce more runs.”

Hayley took that outside pitch over LF Julia Nickolau’s head bringing Maddie DiPietro across and getting Julia Campbell to third.  Senior Hannaih Burdick’s grounder to second enabled Julia to tally Amesbury’s 4th run.

Maddie DiPietro (8) and Julia Campbell (10) wait on the bases to see if Hayley Catania’s long fly will be caught….it wasn’t.

Hayley Catania happy to survive the St. Mary’s 7th

The Indians would need those extra runs in St. Mary’s final at-bats.  Things started harmlessly enough (for Amesbury) as two Spartans struck out.  Then Hayley walked Alyssa Grossi and Katie O’Neill followed with a 2-strike single to right.

Was a miracle comeback about to happen?

The Spartans created a rundown between first and second and Alyssa Grossi scored as Katie O’Neill got back to first safely.  Now the tying run was at the plate.

But Hayley got Angelina Catino to fly out to RF Karleigh Walker insuring Amesbury a trip to Saturday’s North final against Austin Prep.

The Indians reaching the D3 North surprised their coach (Jacqui Waters) as much as anyone: “I have only two players playing where they played last year.  This is all ecstasy to me.  I never thought we’d be here.”

Lily Newhall gave up five hits over six innings.

Coach Paige Licata was surprised that her team made it as well:  “We started 0-3 with a team with no seniors and two juniors.  Today we used a 7th grader (Angelina Catino) at first and an 8th grader (Lily Newhall) pitching.  There was no one crying afterwards because everyone will be back.”

Hayley Catania: “To beat St. Mary’s was a first for me.  My best pitch today (like against Lynnfield) was my drop curve.”

St. Mary’s had only three outfield outs, all to RF Karleigh Walker.

Coach Waters: “Our two seniors (Hannaih Burdick & Hayley Catania) have held this team together.  Often graduated seniors aren’t like that but our two have stayed attentive.  We practice three hours a day, six days a week on the basics and go at it as hard as we can.  We’ve gotten better and better as the season has progressed.  I learned that approach from previous coach Chris Perry and it has paid off.”

Weather looked as if it could rain at any time.

RF Karleigh Walker successfully handled three fly balls including the one that ended the game.

Funny moment: I asked Coach Licata about Hayley’s pitching and she said that she’d coached against her two years ago.  She then asked me laughing, “She’s a senior, I hope, isn’t she?”

No one I talked to afterwards knew when the last time was that Amesbury softball had beaten St. Mary’s.  Coach Waters guessed that it might have been 2005.  It had obviously been a while!

I did see Amesbury soccer defeat St. Mary’s in the tournament this season at Landry Stadium.

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

Christina Nowicki

Waiting for the game to start

Pitcher Christina Nowicki loses the ball attempting to tag Julia Campbell

Maddie DiPietro turns 3B and heads home in the 7th inning

Hayley Catania after the win

Victory hugs

2B Felicia D’Alessandro tosses to first

Hayley Catania throws to first

Shortstop Alyssa Grossi throws to first

Freshman Marina DiBiaso

3B Julia Campbell throws out bunter Katie O’Neill

 

 

 

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Amesbury bats drop Lynnfield 13-1 in D3 North quarterfinals

Emma Catania had a 3-run homer in the first inning

Freshman Maddie DiPietro crosses home in the sixth inning with the game-ending run

(Amesbury MA) Amesbury coach Jacqui Water told me after today’s game that her team had done a lot of extra hitting lately.

That information might help explain the hitting barrage the Indians unleashed on Lynnfield during a 13-1 mercy-ending D3 North quarterfinals game on sunny Tuesday afternoon.

The game ended in the Amesbury 6th when the Indians took a twelve-run lead.

Today’s tournament contest got away from the Pioneers early.  Amesbury had ten runs on ten hits after just two innings.

Unfortunately, for Lynnfield, their hitting was held in check by senior Hayley Catania.  Hayley allowed only four hits and struck out nine batters.  During one section of the game she retired eight in a row.

The Indians season continues as they advance to the D3 north semis on Thursday (3:30PM) at Martin Field in Lowell against St. Mary’s.

On May 2nd the Pioneers had rallied with three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat Amesbury, 7-6, at Lynnfield.

Hayley Catania pitched a 4-hitter with nine strikeouts

Coach Waters remembered it: “I wasn’t comfortable with our lead today because of it.”

LHS coach Paul Marinelli said that his defense was partly responsible for today’s bad start: “We gave away too many things in the beginning.  We got in a hole as a result and couldn’t get out.”

The Pioneers best scoring chance was in the sixth when they loaded the bases with two outs.  Hayley Catania, however, struck out Jillian Babine to end that threat.

Stranded baserunners were rare for Amesbury.  They stranded just three in six innings.

The Indians had homers in each of the first three innings.  Sophomore Emma Catania hit her HR into the gap in left center in the first.  Freshman Julia Campbell hit an opposite field liner that lasered past RF Gabby Langone in the second.  Senior Hayley Catania also hit into the left-center gap and the ball rolled nearly to the stadium wall in the third inning.

Hayley would also round the bases in the second inning when her hard-hit single to left went through LF Allie Wing.  The Pioneers were quick to retrieve the ball and Hayley had to slide into home to score.

Freshman Chloe Shapleigh homered in the 3rd inning

A while ago the Indians celebrated Seniors Day at their last home game.  I assumed that Amesbury (14-8) wouldn’t have any tournament home games.  So I asked senior Hayley Catania about her favorite memories of Perry Field after the Senior’s game.

Not so fast! The #11 Amesbury won their tourney opener over Shawsheen on the road and #14 Lynnfield did the same with O’Bryant.  That brought the quarterfinals game back to Amesbury today.  Today I was certain that Hayley won’t be playing on Perry Field again when we talked after the game.  “It was a nice last game here today – to hit well and pitch well,” said Hayley afterwards.

LHS freshman Chloe Shapleigh had one of those good and not-so-good games.  The good?  Chloe was the Pioneers’ leadoff batter and went three-for-three including a long homer to right.  Chloe’s teammates had only one hit among them.

The not-so-good?  The LHS shortstop had four errors by my count.  One was on a bobbled grounder but the other three were on throws, two of them to first base.  The other throw was an attempted flip toss to third in the sixth inning that went over 3B Jillian Babine’s head and allowed Maddy DiPietro to score the game-ending run.  I strongly suspect that Chloe’s defense will improve and will combine with her good hitting to impress Cape Ann League teams over the next three seasons.

Julia Campbell celebrates her home run in the second inning

One of Amesbury’s best shortstops (Maddie Napoli) was home from college and in the house today.

Emma Catania drove in four runs for Amesbury.

Meg McElaney and Hayley Catania each collected three hits for the Indians.  Hayley also scored three runs.

Coach Waters had good words for seniors Hannaih Burdick and Hayley Catania: “Sometimes you lose the seniors after they graduate, and the season is still going on.  These two have kept the team going.”

Senior Hayley O’Brien

Hayley Catania: “My drop curve was working well today.  When they loaded the bases (6th inning) I had to focus a little more.”

Coach Marinelli: “We graduate one senior (pitcher Hayley O’Brien) so we should be good next year. Amesbury has always been a good team and I would rather play them than some of the Boston teams in the tournament.”

Hayley O’Brien will be attending Fitchburg State next year and expects to play softball there.

A little windy at times today but the temperature made for a pleasant afternoon.

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

Hayley Catania slides under the tag of Allie Wing

Meg McElaney scores the 10th Amesbury run

Taylor Tringali

Hayley Catania homered in the third inning

Breanna Serabian

Shortstop Emma DiPietro snags a line drive

Play at second

Shortstop Chloe Shapleigh throws to first

Emma DiPietro

Shortstop Chloe Shapleigh flips toward third base.

Hayley O’Brien

Emma DiPietro leads off the game with an infield hit

Reilly Ganter

RF Gabby Langone

Shortstop Chloe Shapleigh sets to tag out Emma DiPietro

 

 

 

 

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Amesbury rallies past Manchester-Essex 5-2 on Senior Day

Senior Hayley Catania pitched a 3-hitter with 7 strikeouts

3B Molly Field sets to throw to first

(Amesbury MA) Amesbury took advantage of some shaky Manchester-Essex defense and defeated the Hornets, 5-2, on a sunny Wednesday afternoon.

“We took advantage of mistakes,” said Amesbury coach Jacquie Waters afterwards. “Their pitcher (Sydney Levasseur) was very good.”

Three Indians reached on errors and all three would score.

Today the Amesbury seniors (Haley Catania, Caitlin Conrad, Hannaih Burdick) were honored.

Haley celebrated in her own way pitching a 3-hitter and striking out seven Hornets.

Bella Graves tripled and scored a run in the second inning

Hannaih had two of the Indians five hits and drove in a run.

ME coach Frank Sarro was named Coach-of-the-year in the Cape Ann League last night.  Qualifying for the post-season was big news at Manchester-Essex.  I asked Frank when they had last qualified and he guessed it was 16-20 years ago.  Then I asked him when was the last time ME had defeated Amesbury.  He wasn’t sure that they ever had. That streak is at least thirteen, according to Mascores, going back to the 2011 season.

But today the Hornets had their chances.  This game went into the sixth inning with Amesbury holding on to a very slim 3-2 lead.  “The way the game was going was making me nervous,” recalled Coach Waters.

In the Manchester-Essex 6th, Hayley Catania struck out Taylor Reader but then walked Molly Field and Kristen Harding.  When the UMass (Boston) commit fell behind Sydney Levasseur 3-0 that one-run lead looked to be in serious jeopardy.  But back came Hayley to throw strikes and get Sydney swinging.  “That was a good comeback after going down in the count,” said Hayley afterwards.  Shortstop Emma DiPietro’s strong throw to first finished the inning and the Indians one-run lead was still standing.

Maddie DiPietro crosses home in the Amesbury sixth

In the seventh inning, two ME errors allowed the Indians to pad their lead by two runs and Hayley set down the Hornets 1-2-3 in their last at-bats to preserve the W.

Manchester-Essex took the lead in the second inning after Bella Graves’ triple to right center was followed by Michaela Edelstein’s bloop single to right field.

Amesbury tied it up in the third.  Hayley Catania singled to left and took second when Ella De Gaspe Beaubien bobbled the ball.  Hannaih Burdick’s single between third and short scored Hayley.

In the Manchester-Essex fourth, they took advantage of an Amesbury drop (2B Abby Aponas) to retake the lead.  Molly Field reached on the error and later would cross home on a fielder’s choice by Bella Graves.  Amesbury shortstop Emma Dipietro ended the Hornets scoring by assisting on the final out on a ball to deep short with a runner on third.

Amesbury pulled ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning.  Meg McElaney walked, stole second and scored on SS Kristen Hardy’s 2-base throwing error.  Karleigh Walker, who reached second on the error, took third on a wild pitch and home on a passed ball.

Hayley Catania gets the assist on the final out of the game

The Indians created a 3-run cushion in the sixth.  Emma Catania reached on Molly Field’s 2-base throwing error and later pinchrunner Maddie DiPietro scored when 1B Michaela Edelstein, looking into a tough sun, couldn’t come up with Lauren Hale’s high chopper. Later in the inning, Abby Aponas scored on a wild pitch.

As you can see, ME was in this game but just didn’t play tight enough defense to end a “forever” streak against Amesbury.

“He (Frank Sarro) has done a nice coaching job with them,” said Coach Waters.

The D3 Hornets finish the regular season with a 10-10 record.  Coach Sarro credited the team’s senior leadership (Kristen Harding, Taylor Reader) for making it possible.

“I thought that we kind of got caught up in the festivities of today, but Hayley came through again for us,” explained Coach Waters.

The AHS coach was pleased with her team’s comeback after being down 2-1 in the 4th.  “We haven’t done that enough this year.”

Emma DiPietro steals second base

Amesbury (12-7) has Concord-Carlisle tomorrow (Thursday) away before the tourney pairing come out on June 5th.  No home tournament game for the Indians this time around.

That made today’s game the last one for Hayley on the home field.  “I have lots of memories from playing here,” she said.  Biggest one?  “It probably was my freshman year when we beat North Reading in the bottom of the 7th inning.”  The NR Hornets have a 50-game win streak still going against Cape Ann League teams during the regular season.  That streak goes back into Hayley’s freshman year.

I asked her about her pitching today: “My fastball and my drop curve were working but not my rise.”

There were many foul balls to the right side today.  A testimony to the speed of both pitchers.

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

Kaylin Franceour

Catcher Claire Gendron eyes a foul pop

Karleigh Walker scores on a passed ball

Meg McElaney steals second

Michaela Edelstein

2B Bella Graves flips to first

Emma DiPietro made all the plays at shortstop today

Hannaih Burdick and 3B Molly Field

Abby Aponas

Hornets outfielders – Ella De Gaspe Beaubien, Taylor Reader, Sophia Pomeroy

Steal attempt by Molly Field in the first inning

Hayley, Caitlin, Hannaih

Hayley Catania

Hannaih Burdick

Caitlin Conrad

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Amesbury knocked from tourney in tough 4-3 loss to Whittier

Junior shortstop Josh O’Brien handles the final chance during Whittier’s 4-3 win over Amesbury

Jon LaVerde scores the first Amesbury run

(Amesbury MA) In a season of painful losses, one more was added to Amesbury’s list as they were edged by Whittier, 4-3, on a sunny Wednesday afternoon.

“We needed to win today to keep our season alive,” said AHS coach Joel Brierley afterwards.  “That’s why this one hurts more than the others.”

Whittier coach Joe Boland was glad to escape with a W.  “It was close all day long and either team could have won it.”

The Wildcats (13-2) trailed, 3-2, after four innings but scratched out runs in the 5th and then the 7th to take home a victory.

Junior Josh O’Brien’s single to right in the seventh delivered Kyle Eddy with the eventual game winner.

Reliever Matt Michel escaped Amesbury scoring threats in the final two innings.

Key performer for Whittier was reliever Matt Michel.  The Wildcats junior was brought into a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the sixth.  He responded by getting a strike out (Derek Doherty) and a fly out (Jon LaVerde).

“We had them on the ropes with the bases loaded (in the 6th inning) and I thought with all the things that had happened to us we were finally going to catch a break, but it didn’t happen,” explained Coach Brierley.

The Indians (6-11) had Blake Bennett on second with one out in the final inning but again Matt Michel found a way out.  He induced infield outs from Derek Beaupre and Tucker Molin.

Shortstop Josh O’Brien handled the final chance.  He also had the big hit in the top of the seventh.  “Josh is our best hitter,” reported Coach Boland.

Amesbury starter Blake Bennett allowed only one hit (Matt Michel) in six innings of pitching but had seven walks.  Three of those walks turned into runs.

The Wildcats scored two runs in the opening frame off of three walks and two wild pitches.

Blake Bennett

“Blake hadn’t pitched for two weeks,” said Coach Brierley.  “He was rusty.”

What kept this game close was that Blake could not only pitch his way into trouble, he could also pitch his way out of it.  He had seven strikeouts.

The most painful run for the Indians was probably in the fifth when the visitors tied the score.  In that frame Blake had Will Carpenter struck out but catcher Derek Beaupre couldn’t handle the pitch.  Will reached first and Kevin Eddy scored.  In a low-scoring game those plays are crucial to the outcome.

The Wildcats ran into two outs on the bases.  In the Whittier 5th, John Schwartz left too early from third on a fly ball. In the final inning, Brock Roy attempted to score from second on Josh O’Brien’s hit, but Blake Bennett’s relay nailed him at home.

Whittier coach Joe Boland

“Amesbury made a great play to get that second runner,” said Coach Boland.

Blake, Logan Burrill, and Tom Flanagan had RBIs for the Indians.  Logan Burrill had three hits.

In the bottom of the 7th Logan nearly tied the game with a fly to deep center.  “Twenty feet to the left and that’s a homer,” recalled Coach Brierley.

Freshman Jon LaVerde scored two runs for AHS while sophomore Tucker Molin scored the other one.

Leadoff batter Kyle Eddy and second batter Brock Roy totaled six walks between them.  Kyle scored three times and Brock once.

Logan Burrill (3 hits) safe at second after a steal

Coach Boland on Matt Michel: “He is a heck of a competitor and loves to pitch.  He doesn’t walk many batters, so I trusted him in the bases loaded situation he came into.”

Coach Boland, in his 24th season with Whittier, recorded his 300th win in April.  “I have great respect for Coach Boland,” said Coach Brierley.  “He has over 300 wins. He has created a good culture at Whittier and they find ways to win the close ones.”

Whittier starter Will Carpenter came into today’s game with a 13-0 record as a starter.  That win streak was in serious jeopardy in a 3-3 game that he left in the sixth inning with the bases loaded.  Matt Michel, however, came on to save the day for Will’s streak.

The Division two Wildcats have won thirteen of their last fourteen games.  They are 9-1 in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference.

Despite missing the tournament, Coach Brierley found room for optimism. “We have shown signs of life and that we can play.  The six wins doubles what this team had last season.  We lose only one guy from this year’s team.”

The weather was terrific.  The bugs that usually are on hand were apparently feeding elsewhere.

It was surely a first for me: Coach Boland introduced me to the team after the game and I was applauded for covering the game.

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

Catcher Derek Beaupre tags out Brock Roy at the plate

2B Derek Doherty

Freshman Tim Gilleo

2B Michael Cordeiro

Whittier starter Will Carpenter

3B Aidan Shea

Josh O’Brien

Shortstop Josh O’Brien throws on the run

Shortstop Jon LaVerde corrals a popup

Throw to first

Kyle Eddy steals second

Kyle Eddy scored three times

Juniors Josh O’Brien and Logan Burrill

Senior Graham Gannett

 

 

 

 

 

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Amesbury boys/girls sweep Pentucket and Newburyport in outdoor track

Michaela Halloran quickly takes the lead for Amesbury in the 2-mile

Drew Everett and Brian Abel are 1-2 in the two-mile

(Newburyport MA) Good day for the boys/girls track teams of Amesbury.

The undefeated Indians came away with victories over Pentucket and Newburyport on a comfortable, then chilly, Wednesday afternoon of Cape Ann League outdoor track at Fuller Field.

Division 2 Pentucket and Division 3 Amesbury have two of the best track teams in the area.  Both were 7-1 last year. Be certain that when the CAL season ends, the Sachems and Indians will figure significantly in the post-season races.

Please permit a paragraph of whine: With no numbers, it is a challenge to  sort out names.  With no posted stats, it is a challenge to produce accurate results.

Reminds me of some Maine lore.  An out-of-towner drove into a small Maine village and hit a tremendous pot hole.  After coming to a stop, and checking his tire, the Flatlander expressed his displeasure to the first local he saw.  “Why don’t you have a sign warning about that pot hole?” he asked.  The local guy responded, “Everybody knows about it.”

Pentucket’s Keegan O’Keefe finishes the 4×100

Kind of like area outdoor track.  Who needs a program when everyone knows each other!

That’s one of the things I like about outdoor track; relaxed atmosphere.  There’s plenty of socializing and plenty of encouraging going on.

I thought that host Newburyport was wonderfully organized.  Things ran smoothly and quickly.

Fuller Field seems to be perfectly set up for outdoor track.  Are bleachers a necessity?  Not on this afternoon.

Prime reason for covering today’s meet?  Take a look at UNH commit Saige Tudisco.  The Pentucket senior delivered.  Won all four events (long jump, high jump, 100 hurdles, 200) and she was in with a next-level approach to each event.  The highlight for Saige may have been beating the very fast Caroline Schissel (Amesbury) in the 200.

Saige Tudisco edges Caroline Schissel in the 200

Caroline Schissel (left) nips teammate Schuyler Snay in the 100. Kaley Enright is 3rd.

Earlier, Caroline had a win over teammate Schuyler Snay in the 100 setting an Amesbury school record (12.19) in the process.

The Amesbury girls defeated Pentucket 79-66 while the AHS boys won 78-67.

The third school in the tri-meet (Newburyport) had wins from Sam Acquaviva (800) and Donte Harmon (100 meters).

Freshman Syeira Campbell takes the 400

Pentucket’s promising freshman (Syeira Campell) cruised in the 400 (59-84).

Amesbury’s Chelsea Lynch (400 hurdles, pole vault, 800) and Michaela Halloran (mile, two mile, 4 x 100 relay) finished first in three events.

The weather today highlighted the best of spring (sunny 60s) early on and later lowlighted the worst of spring (cloudy, windy, fog, 40s). How do you dress for such conditions?

(All of the pictures, and there are plenty, will enlarge if you click on them.)

Charlie Schissel wins tight 200

Schuyler Snay finishes the 4 x 100

John Sydlowski wins 400

Amesbury’s Sydlowski twins

400 – Chelsea Lynch, Ellison Seymour, Maia Esty

Clippers Donte Harmon wins the 100

110 hurdles – Jack Clohisy wins

Saige in the 100 hurdles

Sam LaPointe, Zach Labrecque, John Nelson watch the shot put competition

Drew Everett and Chelsea Lynch

Saige in the high jump

Chelsea Lynch won the pole vault

Beverly Browne sets to pole vault

Peter Lopata takes the mile for Pentucket

Michaela Halloran cruises in the two-mile

Saige in the long jump

Saige Tudisco

Chelsea Lynch takes 400 hurdles

Newburyport senior Anastasia Hansen honored before the meet

 

 

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Manchester-Essex holds off Amesbury 5-4 in eight innings

Robbie Sarmanian settles under the final out.

Play at second

(Amesbury MA) “We have a lot of pitching options,” said Manchester-Essex coach BJ Weed.

And those of us watching yesterday afternoon at Amesbury High School saw five of them during an eight-inning game won by ME, 5-4, over the Indians on sunny Tuesday afternoon.

The Hornets (6-5) carried a two-run lead into the bottom of the 7th but Amesbury tied it on a sacrifice fly by Derek Beaupre.

Cosmo Pallazola escaped a 7th inning jam

Not only did the Indians tie it, but they had runners on first (Blake Bennett) and third (Logan Burrill) with only one out and a chance for a nifty comeback win. But not on this afternoon.  Reliever Cosmo Pallazola retired Derek Doherty on a popup and K’d Jeremy Lopez to extend the game.

AHS coach Joel Brierly told me after their last game, that his team needed to learn to be able to make the “routine plays.”

Their inability to make those routine plays gave the Hornets two runs in their half of the eighth.  A throwing error by 3B Tom Flanagan, a balk and wild pitch by pitcher Logan Burrill, and a misplayed fly ball in RF by Jeremy Lopez, were factors in the visitors collecting two runs.  Senior Jackson Levendusky drove across Robbie Sarmanian to get one of the runs.  Later Jackson scored, what proved to be the winning run, on the drop in right field.

3B Tom Flanagan makes a tough catch

Senior Robbie Sarmanian took over the pitching duties in the 8th for Manchester-Essex.  A walk and a fielder’s choice got Amesbury’s Tucker Molin to second.  Tucker scored when shortstop Bennett O’Leary threw away a two-out grounder.  Robbie, however, was able to catch the final out near the foul line to end the game and get the save.

Amesbury starter Graham Gannett gave up three runs on five hits during seven innings of work.

The Indians (5-6) flashed some pretty good defense through seven innings.  CF Logan Burrill turned a running catch into a double play in the Manchester third.  2B Derek Doherty handled a hard-hit, one-hopper to end the Hornets fourth.  3B Tom Flanagan ventured back toward the outfield and make a tough running catch to close the 7th inning.  Unfortunately, for Amesbury, the 8th inning wasn’t nearly as clean defensively and it cost the Indians dearly.

Elbow pain

Senior Mitch Paccone started for Manchester-Essex and left after three pitches to Amesbury’s second batter, complaining of elbow pain.  Dylan Wilson and Mason Paccone followed before Cosmo Pallazola came on for the 7th and Robbie Sarmanian finished for the visitors in the eighth.

ME got a run in the second inning.  Bennett O’Leary doubled to the fence in left and came home on a sacrifice fly by Cosmo Pallazola.

The Indians (3-7) evened the score in the 4th.  Derek Beaupre walked leading off and later was driven across on Tom Flanagan’s flair to right.

ME put two across in the fifth.  Mike Quill drove in Will Janowicz with a blooper to left field.  Later, Robbie Sarmanian’s fielder’s choice brought in freshman Will Levendusky.

The Division four Hornets have now defeated Amesbury four straight times.  The Hornets got by Amesbury 2-1 in April as Mitch Paccone K’d eight Indians and Jackson Levendusky drove in both runs.

Junior Mike Amundsen came off the AHS bench in the bottom of the 7th to provide some excitement on the bases.  Mike replaced Graham Gannett who had walked to start the inning.  Mike was then nearly picked off first and then second as many of his teammates were insisting that he stay closer to the base he was at.  Distracting a team’s defense without getting caught is probably a good thing.  Mike did get the 2nd AHS run.

3B Mike Quill battles the wind

Mike Quill and Will Janowicz each had two hits for ME.  Cosmo Pallazola had two rbi.

Tom Flanagan and Derek Beaupre each had an rbi for Amesbury.

Nice afternoon for baseball.  Later the shadows made it a little difficult for yours truly to see the ball.

Wondered why Mitch Paccone and his very sore elbow went from pitching to playing second base.  Probably not unusual.  I’ve seen pitchers throw many innings of pitches and then stop pitching and play shortstop.  Are those arms fooled??

ME pitcher Dylan Wilson stopped Tucker Molin’s hot grounder in the 4th inning with his stomach and then threw to first.

Coach BJ Weed watches from long range

ME coach BJ Weed served the last game of a two-game suspension by watching from the distant bleachers along the right-field foul line.

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

Tag applied

Reaching for the bag

Will Janowicz had two hits

Shortstop Jon LaVerde calls

Pitcher Dylan Wilson

Lars Arntsen

Graham Gannett

Cosmo Pallazola

Mike Amundsen gets to third base

Mike Amundsen scores

Jackson Levendusky

AHS trouble in the eighth

 

 

 

 

 

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Luke Lagos leads Amesbury past Rockport 10-7 in CAL baseball

Luke Lagos struck out eight Vikings in today’s win

Luke Lagos on second after driving in three with a fifth inning double

(Amesbury MA) A losing streak had to end.

Today Amesbury’s two-game slide ended as they defeated Rockport, 10-7, on a sunny Saturday of Cape Ann League baseball.

The Indians’ Luke Lagos led the way for Amesbury with solid pitching and timely hitting.  The AHS senior lefty recorded eight strikeouts in six innings of work while at the bat Luke had two hits, including a bases-clearing double.  He drove across five teammates.

Amesbury coach Joel Brierley was pleased with the result: “It’s nice to win a home game but we have a lot of work to do especially defensively.”

Neither team was solid in the field with each squad erring three times.  “We made some costly errors,” said Rockport coach John Parisi afterwards. “It was two young teams trying to get better.”

Noah Rawson had three hits and scored three runs for Rockport

Amesbury had a tenuous 5-3 lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning before gaining separation with a five-spot. The resulting 10-3 lead was too much for the Vikings (1-10) to overcome, although they did rally for two in the 6th off Luke Lagos and got two more in the seventh inning off AHS reliever Thomas Flanagan.

The breakaway fifth saw AHS get runs on wild pitches (Sean Reardon) and Luke Lagos’s double to the fence in right that drove three Indians across.

“I was tired by then,” said Luke afterwards about his double, “and hoping it would clear the fence.  But it did clear the bases. I had been 0-for-7 coming into today’s game so it was nice to start hitting again.”

Senior Charlie MacDowell made his first start today

Despite the 4-game losing streak Coach Parisi saw some good things in today’s game: “This was pitcher Charlie MacDowell’s first start and I thought he did pretty well.”

The big stat collector for Rockport was senior Noah Rawson.  The Vikings’ catcher had three of his team’s eight hits and scored three runs.

For Amesbury (3-6), Logan Burrill was on base three times and drove in two runs.

Both Tucker Molin and Graham Gannett had two hits, and each scored twice.

“Our pattern has been to play well for five or six innings and then have a bad inning,” explained Coach Brierley.  “Just consistently making the routine plays will help us.”

Luke Lagos struck out the side in fifth with a nice mix of fastballs and sliders.  “I had a good slider at times.  Just need to be more consistent with it.”

Luke ended the Rockport 6th catching Cal Twombly off the base and seeing Cal erased in a rundown.

Looking for the handle

Nice weather. All the rain we’ve had, now mixed with sunshine, will cause the grass to grow in a hurry.  A couple of times the ball rolled toward the backstop and disappeared from sight!

In the last twelve meetings between the two teams, the Indians hold a 7-5 edge.  The two teams will meet again this Thursday in Rockport.

The Vikings had been averaging 3 runs a game and giving up 10 runs per game.  “When you score seven runs in a high school game like we did today, you should win,” said Coach Parisi.

The Vikings were 14-9 last season and reached the Division 4 North finals.

The Vikings will not be able to use the Sullivan Rule to get into the postseason because Ipswich and Hamilton-Wenham have moved to Division 4.

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

Tucker Molin, Graham Gannett, Thomas Flanagan

Umpire Mike Sullivan

Hillside crowd

Sean Reardon

Jeremy Lopez ready to apply the tag

Reaching for third

3B Austin Matus chases a grounder

Logan Burrill tags out Cal Twombly

Blake Bennett stretches for third

Holding the runner

Blake Bennett

 

 

 

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Filed under 2011 Division 3A Super Bowl, Amesbury, Rockport