Swampscott stuns Newburyport 6-5

Swampscott celebrates the upset
Jack Russo scored the game winner

(Newburyport) He was going down as he let the shot go and it went in.

Not only did it go in, but Jack Russo’s goal was the game winner for Swampscott.

The Big Blue stunned Newburyport, 6-5, on Thursday afternoon.

It was the Division Three opener for both squads.

Swampscott moves on to face Pentucket on Saturday.  The Panthers had a 13-4 win over Big Blue on April 2nd.

The ways things turned out didn’t surprise either coach.

“We’re battled tested with Danvers, Beverly, Marblehead, and Masco so we knew we were capable of doing it,” said Swampscott coach Geoff Beckett afterwards.

Harrison Kinne carries

“In the tournament at the end of the year, anyone can beat anybody,” said Newburyport coach Josh Wedge post-game.

The result was surely a surprise to those doing the MIAA power rankings in Division Three since (12-7) Newburyport was the #8 seed and (10-8) Swampscott was the #25 seed.

Newburyport took a one-goal lead three straight times and Swampscott followed by doing the same thing.

The team behind always caught up until Jack Russo gave Big Blue a 6-5 lead with 5:15 left in the final quarter.  The Clippers weren’t able to get the equalizer in the several opportunities they had.

“Our defense was amazing,” said Swampscott goalie Aidan Breault.  “We gave up only one goal in the second half.”

Aidan Breault (9)

Aidan made some key saves but added, “I couldn’t have done it without the defense in front of me.”

The Clippers ability to score goals took a hit in the first quarter when senior Jonny Groth was injured and never returned.

“When Jonny, our best middie went down that was tough,” said Coach Wedge.  “He was our senior leader all year on offense.”

Big Blue took the lead for good on Jack Russo’s goal in the fourth quarter.

“I was trying to push top-side,” recalled Jack regarding his game winner.  “I saw the goalie slide, so I gave a nice little swim move and honestly prayed and it went in.  I was falling and I tried to use my momentum to put it in the net.”

“Swampscott is a very athletic team,” said Coach Wedge, “and I knew that they would give us problems if we didn’t execute.”

Cole Mellett with the ball

“To win we had to put forty-eight minutes together,” said Coach Beckett.  “We probably played about forty-five minutes but luckily it was enough.”

Senior Ryan McHugh opened the scoring for Newburyport but Cole Hamernick answered for Swampscott in the first quarter.

Coach Wedge called a timeout with fifty-six seconds left in the first quarter and his team came out and scored (Ryan Philbin) ten seconds later.

The back-and-forth continued in the second quarter.  Big Blue’s Jason Codispoti tied the game at 2-2 before Owen Kurez put the Clippers ahead again. 

Jack Russo went over the top of a defender to tie the game at 3-3 with seven minutes left until halftime.

Jack Hadden

Harrison Kinne poured in from the left and Big Blue had its first lead of the game, 4-3, with 5:52 left in the 2nd quarter.

Newburyport’s Jack Hadden made a long run to tie things (4-4) at the half.

I expected the higher seed to string goals together and gain some separation in the second half.

It didn’t happen.

“Our stick skills were a little sloppy,” said Coach Wedge.  “We had opportunities that we just dropped.”

Swampscott wasn’t playing very well either.

“We let them hang around in the third quarter with a lot of turnovers,” said Coach Beckett.

Goals by Cole Hamernick (Swampscott) and Ryan McHugh (Newburyport) kept things even when the third quarter ended.

Ryan McHugh had 2 goals for Newburyport

Only one goal was scored during the twelve-minute final quarter, and it was by Jack Russo.

“Their goalie (Ryan Portalla) was playing good all day,” said Jack, “so I finally got one by him.  Newburyport is a well-coached, great team.  #1 (Jack Hadden) is a heckuva player.”

Jack Russo saw plenty of Jack Hadden as the two of them tangled numerous times in Swampscott’s offensive end.

Christian Urbano and Harrison Kinne each had two assists for Swampscott.

Aidan Breault not only had a big game in net, but he also wasn’t hesitant to carry the ball into the other end.

“I got bored down there sometimes,” he laughed, “so I’ve got to run it up and make a play and try to set up the offense.”

Plenty of good weather this afternoon.

Newburyport   2   2   1   0   =   5

  Swampscott   1   3   1   1   =   6

Ball on the turf

Newburyport defenders in pursuit

Jack Russo and Jack Hadden get entangled

Jason Codispoti scored twice for Swampscott

Player in the air

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Trevor Kimball pitches Amesbury past Blackstone Valley 7-1

Amesbury advances in the Division Four state tournament
Jake Harring scores Amesbury’s first run

(Amesbury) Two batters into the game, Amesbury had two hits and a run.

Nine batters into the game, Blackstone Valley Tech was still trying to get someone on base.

Amesbury ended up with nine hits in a 7-1 win over Blackstone Valley on Wednesday afternoon in the Division 4 Round of 16.

They will now face #9 Abington in a D4 Round of Eight game.

Trevor Kimball was the complete-game winner for #1 Amesbury.  The junior lefty struck out eleven Beavers and gave up only two hits.

Trevor Kimball

“I think it was my best performance all year,” said Trevor afterwards. 

The combination of Trevor’s pitching and the team’s hitting made it difficult for #17 Blackstone Valley.

“It’s tough to overcome seven runs against pitching like that,” said BVT coach John Burke afterwards.

“My best pitch today was my breaking ball,” said Trevor.  “I threw it as a secondary pitch for a lot of strikes.  My fastball was moving good, and it was missing bats.”

The Amesbury batters gave Trevor runs to work with right from the start.

Jake Harring (3 hits) singled to open the Amesbury first and Shea Cucinotta tripled to the fence in right scoring Jake.

Coach Joel Brierley and Coach John Burke

In the second inning Cam Stanley reached on an error and took second on a messed-up pickoff attempt.  Another Jake Harring single delivered Cam.

Amesbury sent up nine batters in the third inning and added four more runs.  Trevor Kimball, Will Arsenault, and Jake Harring (2) had RBI for Amesbury.

After three innings, Amesbury led 6-0 and Trevor had yet to give up a hit.

Tade Riordan put an end to the no-hitter with a long double to left leading off the fourth inning.  Tade reached third on a wild pitch and scored on Corey Magill’s sacrifice fly.

Tade Riordan scores for Blackstone Valley Tech

Nick Laflamme also had a hit in that inning. 

The last three innings the Beavers were held hitless and only one batter reached base.

Aiden Donovan scored twice

Trevor had six strikeouts over the final three innings including the last four batters he faced.

“Trevor pitched the best game I’ve ever seen him pitch,” said teammate Drew Scialdone post-game.  “When you’re going like he was you’re going to win games.”

Aiden Donovan scored Amesbury’s seventh run on a Cam Stanley sacrifice fly in the fifth inning.

“We came out swinging today and Jake and Shea set the tone for the rest of the game,” said Coach Brierley afterwards.

Jake Harring

Jake Harring led Amesbury with three hits and three RBI.

“We had a good crowd, and we were able to string hits together,” explained Jake.  “I like to sit on fastballs early in the count.  If they give it to me, I try to pepper it to any part of the field.”

Aiden Donovan and Cam Stanley both scored twice for Amesbury.

“My arm is a little sore and I’ve got a headache,” said Trevor afterwards.  “It’s hot but we got the win and that’s what counts.”

“We’ve got to take it one game of a time,” said Drew Scialdone.  “We’re playing our best baseball at the right time.”

Blackstone Valley is located in Upton and play in the Colonial League.

Blackstone Valley    0   0   0   1   0   0   0   =   1

              Amesbury   1   1   4   0   1   0   –    =   7

Blackstone Valley Tech unofficial box

Amesbury unofficial box

Shea Cucinotta drove across the first Amesbury run

2B Tony Rose

Drew Scialdone tripled during Amesbury’s four-run third inning

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Triton rallies by Foxboro 10-6

Triton celebrates Round of 16 victory

(Byfield) It’s that time of year.

There were close plays.

Peyton Feldman tries to avoid the tag of Triton catcher Haleigh Harris

There were controversial plays.

There were tears and there were adults yelling at each other afterwards.

It’s tournament time. 

The early rounds were over and now the higher seeds were facing each other with high expectations.

And when today’s Division 3 (Round of 16) Foxboro/Triton game was over, Coach Alan Noyes first words were, “How about them Vikes!”

The Vikings had just defeated #9 Foxboro, 10-6, on Tuesday afternoon.

#8 Triton was overmatched by Foxboro starter Emma Callahan for four innings getting only two hits.

Foxboro celebrates during their four-run third inning

The Warriors aggressive style at the plate produced runs (six of them) but also ended the third, fourth, and fifth innings with outs on the bases. 

Those inning-enders didn’t seem all that important at the time because after 4 ½ innings Foxboro had a 6-0 lead while Triton had only two hits.

Skylar Colburn – 3 hits

But in the bottom half of the fifth inning, the Vikings put on a hitting show.  They whacked seven hits and scored ten runs.

“That ten-run inning was the high this year,” said Coach Noyes afterwards.

It was a nightmare inning for the team from the Hockomock League.  There was a walk, a hit batsman, two infield errors, and several other plays that just didn’t go Foxboro’s way. 

The Warriors, however, had time to cut into their 4-run deficit, but the Triton defense wouldn’t allow it. 

In the Foxboro sixth, shortstop Kyla Story handled three hard-hit grounders flawlessly. 

Shortstop Kyla Story

“That was the best game I’ve had out there,” said Kyla afterwards.

In the Foxboro seventh after a leadoff single, 2B Maddy Jacques fielded a grounder, stepped on second and threw to first for a double play.  1B Skylar Colburn handled the game’s final out unassisted.

“It was one of the best defensive games we’ve played top to bottom,” said Triton catcher Haleigh Harris post-game.

Sophomore Mallory Johnson came on in relief in the third inning and ended up with the win as the Vikings rallied.

Mallory Johnson got the win for the Vikings.

“I have two excellent pitchers,” said Coach Noyes.  “We’re not here without the both of them.”

“I just threw outside fastballs over and over again,” recalled Mallory.  “If it hadn’t been for the defense behind me, it would have been a completely different game.”

The Warriors (12-10) had a two-run double (Emma Callahan) and a two-run single (Meg Kelley) in their four-run third inning.

Peyton Feldman had an RBI in the fourth while teammate Ava Hill had one in the fifth.

Emma Callahan paced Foxboro with three hits.

Almost all of Triton’s positive stats were in their explosive fifth inning.  Skylar Colburn and Grace Romine had two hits in the inning.  Grace also had two RBI in the inning.

Skylar collected four hits two days ago and three hits today against Foxboro.

This game was filled with close plays.  Not everyone was pleased with the calls.  Both coaches got onto the field to seek explanations for on-the-field decisions by the officials. 

Shortstop Peyton Feldman made some good plays for Foxboro.  2B Vittoria Cuscia made a nice catch in foul territory in the first inning.

2B Vittoria Cuscia makes a nice catch in the first inning

One of the plays that Coach Noyes referenced afterwards was centerfield Izzy Oldini getting into the infield to tag out a runner at second to end an inning.

CF Izzy Oldini tags out Ava Hill in the fifth inning.

The weather was good although the wind had the dust flying.

The Triton boys/girls lacrosse teams were on hand late in the game to encourage the school’s softball team.

Foxboro   0   0   4   1    1   0   0   =    6

    Triton   0   0   0   0   10   0   –   =   10

Triton boys lacrosse team watching the game

Emma Callahan had three hits for Foxboro

Triton unofficial box

Foxboro unofficial box

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Brady Ford’s 3-run homer key in Newburyport’s 4-1 win in D3 tourney over Tantasqua

Brady Ford greeted by teammates after 3-run homer in 6th inning
Jack Fehlner

(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 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.

SS Luke Stallard

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.

Henry Blake

“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.

Caught in a rundown

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

Newburyport unofficial box

Tantasqua unofficial box

Play at third base

Waiting on a pitching change

Hunter Normandin scores the Tantasqua run in the 7th inning

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Triton advances with 16-4 win over Cardinal Spellman in D3 Round of 32

Cardinal Spellman catcher Roslyn Quinn set to apply the tag at home
Emma Penniman pitched a 3-hitter

(Byfield) Triton’s good contact and Cardinal Spellman’s defensive struggles were key factors in the Vikings 16-4 win on Sunday afternoon.

#8 Triton (16-5) now advance in Division 3 to the Round of 16 and will have another home game on Tuesday (4PM).

“We had timely hitting today,” said Triton coach Alan Noyes afterwards, “which we haven’t had for a few games.”

The Vikings rapped out twelve hits in a game that ended in the bottom of the fifth inning after an RBI single by Maddy Jacques moved the spread to twelve runs.

“They hit the ball in play,” said Coach Mike Gerrish of Cardinal Spellman.  “They made things happen.”

Skylar Colburn had four of Triton’s twelve hits

The #25 Lady Cards (11-13) were gifted to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.  A dropped foul pop and an infield error extended Cardinal Spellman’s at-bats and they made the Vikings pay.  Ava Loud had an RBI single in that inning.

Triton quickly answered taking advantage of three walks and a throwing error.  Haleigh Harris had a two-run single, and Skylar Colburn (4-for-4) drove in another run in the Vikings four-run response.

What looked to be, at this point, a high-scoring game in the making did not go that way.  Triton starter Emma Penniman settled in, and the Vikings defense was flawless the rest of the game.

Things didn’t go as well for the Lady Cards.  The defensive struggles continued (seven errors over the next 3+ innings by my count) and Triton continued to get hits. 

Ball loose in the Lady Cards’ infield

“They put pressure on us with the bats,” said Coach Gerrish. “We made mistakes at costly times.”

The Vikings added three in the second inning and blew things open in the fourth with seven more runs.  In that fourth, Kyla Story had two hits and two RBI.  Maddy Jacques also had two RBI and teammates Mallory Johnson and Haleigh Harris added one RBI each.

Lucy LaCara scores in the first inning

Cardinal Spellman kept the Mercy Rule from kicking in by getting two runs in the top of the fifth inning.  Emma Barnes and Ava Loud had RBI for the team from Brockton.

Maddy Jacques’ (two hits & 3 RBI) drove Grace Romine in to give Triton the walkoff win in the fifth inning.

“Emma Penniman didn’t have her best stuff, but she battled,” said Coach Noyes.

Emma gave up three singles (Emma Barnes, Ava Loud, Casey DiMastico) and had five strikeouts in five innings of pitching.

“I was nervous going into this game because they (Cardinal Spellman) are a really good team,” said Emma afterwards. 

Emma Penniman scored twice

“My fastball and my curve were working today,” she added.

Sophomore Skylar Colburn was the hits leader getting four including a double.  She was the one wearing the Vikings headgear afterwards.

“I had a hit every time I batted,” Skylar said post-game. “I don’t know why.  I just had a good day.”

Izzy Oldini and Kyla Story both scored three times.

Maddy Jacques, Mallory Johnson, and Haleigh Harris each had three RBI.

A line drive off Ava Loud’s thigh in the fourth inning necessitated a pitching change for Cardinal Spellman.  Ava Nabstedt filled in the rest of the game.

The weather, in the low 70s, was as good as it gets.

Cardinal Spellman   2   0   0   0   2   =   4

                      Triton   4   3   0   7   2   –   16

Cardinal Spellman unofficial box

Triton unofficial box

1B Lucy LaCara

Haleigh Harris scores Triton’s fourth run

Casey DiMastico and Maddy Jacques

Reghan Haley

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Pentucket wins tourney opener 16-1 over O’Bryant

Molly LeBel had a no-hitter with 16 strikeouts
Meghan Hamel scores Pentucket’s 11th run of the first inning

(Groveland) Molly LeBel was unhittable and her teammates had hits throughout the lineup.

Molly faced eighteen Tigers and struck out sixteen including the last eleven straight. The talented freshman reached 200 strikeouts for the season today.

Pentucket overwhelmed O’Bryant, 16-1, in a D3 Preliminary Round game that ended after 4 ½ innings.

“That was my best game yet,” said Molly after learning of the numbers she had put up.

“I realized early on that they weren’t catching up to the speed,” added Molly, “so I was just throwing straight down the middle.”

“She was a wonderful pitcher,” said O’Bryant coach Bridget Ryan post-game. The team from Roxbury and the Boston City League struggled to make contact most of the afternoon.

The Tigers manufactured a run in their first at-bats.  Freshman Rylee Hamblin scored the O’Bryant run.  Rylee walked, stole second, and reached third on a throwing error.  She came home on a wild pitch.

Coach Bridget Ryan and Rylee Hamblin at third base in the first inning

Down 1-0, the Panthers (12-9) put on a hitting show in their half of the first inning.  They sent sixteen batters to the plate, hit three doubles and four singles, and scored eleven runs.

Nikki Mitchell scored three times

Kendra Griffin and Bailey Stock each drove across two runs in the game-deciding starting inning.

“Everyone hit the ball really hard today,” said Pentucket coach Deb Smith afterwards.  “There were very few grounders.”

There were only two O’Bryant errors so almost all the runs were earned.

Pentucket added three more in the second.  Jocelyn Bickford had a two-run single while senior Emma Lopata put a scare into the visitors to the dog park beyond left field.

“I hit another homer earlier in the season to the same spot,” recalled Emma.  “This time, however, I think I hit a dog out there which wasn’t so good.”

Emma Lopata welcomed at home after a homer

Emma was back in the third inning with an RBI single while teammate Kayla Murphy scored Emma with a double in that same inning.

Rylee Hamblin

“We were missing three starters,” said Coach Ryan afterwards.  “They were on a field trip, so I had to put a lot of kids in different positions.  Pentucket, however, is a very good team.”

The Panthers advance to the next round on Tuesday (4PM) against Arlington Catholic.  I strongly suspect that #26 Pentucket will find #7 AC a bigger challenge than #39 O’Bryant was today.

The big adjustment for Pentucket in this game was replacing play-every-inning catcher Ella Agocs.  Freshman Jocelyn Bickford was given the assignment.

“Jocelyn did amazing,” said pitcher Molly LeBel.  “It was her first time behind the plate.  I was very impressed with her.”

Jocelyn Bickford

Jocelyn loved the next assignment.  “I had never done it before,” she said.  “It was so much fun.  You get a nice perspective of the game back there.”

“Both Molly and Jocelyn were awesome,” said Coach Smith.

Kayla Murphy (3 hits), Nikki Mitchell (3 runs), and Jocelyn Bickford (3 RBI) had the top stats for Pentucket.

The weather continues to prevent anyone from putting away the cold-weather gear.  Felt like an April game to me.

Nice to have players introduced and the National Anthem played.

   

O’Bryant   1   0   0   0   0   =   1

Pentucket   11   3   2   0    –   =   16

O’Bryant unofficial box

Pentucket unofficial box

Kayla Murphy had three hits

Pre-game watch

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Amesbury wins Spofford Tourney 6-2 over Georgetown

Amesbury wins the 2022 Spofford Tournament

(Georgetown) You can’t always tell the end from the beginning.

Amesbury starter Aiden Donovan hit the first two Georgetown batters, walked the next one, and gave up a two-run single to Jack Lucido in the first inning.

Georgetown scored two runs in the first inning.

I’m not sure you could have a worse beginning.

Amesbury captains with trophy

But at the end the final score was 6-2 in favor of Amesbury.

Amesbury won the two-day Spofford Tournament on Sunday afternoon at Georgetown.

After the shaky start, Aiden Donovan retired the next three batters he faced to limit the damage to two runs.  Over the next five innings, he only allowed two baserunners (on walks).  That first-inning single was the only hit he allowed.  Talk about a recovery!

“Credit to (Aiden) Donovan,” said Georgetown coach Phil Desilets afterwards.  “He settled down.  He got in a groove, and we couldn’t get anything going against him.”

Trevor Kimball scored the third Amesbury run in the first inning

Georgetown found its own share of trouble in the first inning.  A walk, a hit batsman, and two errors opened up opportunities for Amesbury. 

Tourney MVP Shea Cucinotti delivered the first Amesbury run with a sacrifice fly and Aiden Donovan’s blooper to rightfield delivered two more.

Zach Gilmore took over pitching for the Royals in the second inning and quieted Amesbury for three straight innings. 

The Amesbury fifth inning was a different story.  Shea Cucinotta started things with a single and then Drew Scialdone homered over the 342 foot sign in left center. 

Drew Scialdone hit a two-run homer in the 5th inning

“It was an outside pitch, but I pulled it,” said Drew afterwards.  “I thought it was a popup, but I’ll take the home run.”

“If you have a lead, you always want to work to extend it and put more pressure on the other team,” he added.  “We were able to do that today.”

Zach Gilmore

“Drew’s homer put us in a nice position,” said Amesbury coach Joel Brierley post-game.

Amesbury increased its comfort zone with a run in the sixth inning.  Cam Stanley beat out an infield hit and scored when Jake Harring found the gap in left center.

Coach Brierley brought in Trevor Kimball in the last inning and three straight strikeouts later Amesbury had the victory.

“I thought Aiden (Donovan) pitched awesome today,” said Coach Brierley.  “We knew that he would settle down.  Very proud of what he did today.”

Shea Cucinotta was tourney MVP

Senior Shea Cucinotta was selected as the tourney MVP.  “I think that this award is about our team, but it means a lot to me,” said Shea.  “Everyone played very well.  There were tons of hits and great plays in the field.  I think we’re in for a heckuva playoff run.”

Amesbury finishes 16-4 in Division 4 and are currently at the top of the Power Rankings. The pairings for the tournament come out this week.  If Amesbury lasts, they are assured of home games until the Final Four.

Georgetown finishes 10-10 in Division 5 and are currently fifth in the Power Rankings.  That could change because of their win over Newburyport on Saturday.

“We have to turn the page from today’s loss,” said Coach Desilets, “have a great week of practice and get ready for the playoffs.”

“It’s one game at a time from here on out,” he added.  “It’s the best time to be playing ball.”

One of the best defensive plays of this game was made by pitcher Zach Gilmore.  A foul popup behind the plate looked likely to fall in but Zach raced off the mound to make the catch.

Amesbury pitching (Drew MacDonald, Aiden Donovan, Trevor Kimball) gave up only one hit in the tournament. 

Georgetown   2   0   0   0   0   0   0   =   2

    Amesbury   3   0   0   0   2   1    –   =   6

Aiden Donovan had two RBI

Jack Lucido drops a bunt

Aiden Fortier

Amesbury unofficial box

Georgetown unofficial box

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Drew MacDonald leads Amesbury past Triton 5-1

Drew MacDonald drove in three runs
Drew pitched a five-inning no-hitter

(Georgetown) If this isn’t his best game it’s got to be awfully close to it.

Impressive performance by Drew MacDonald leading Amesbury past Triton, 5-1, on Saturday afternoon in the rain-shortened opening round of the Spofford Tournament.

The Amesbury senior drove in three of his team’s five runs and pitched a five-inning, no-hitter.

Amesbury (15-4) faces Georgetown in the title game tomorrow afternoon (2PM).

The Vikings (11-8) took a one-run lead into the bottom of the fourth inning.  Cole Daniels reached on an infield error and scored after a wild pitch, a stolen base, and another wild pitch.

Cole Daniels scores the Triton run on a wild pitch

Triton’s DJ Watson had limited Amesbury to two hits going into the fourth inning. 

DJ Watson was the Triton starter

However, in the fourth inning a single (Drew Scialdone) and a double (Trevor Kimball) set Drew MacDonald up for a two-run single to give Amesbury the, 2-1, lead.

Unfortunate decisions cost Triton in the fifth inning.  On two occasions, batters reached on infield grounders when plays at other bases backfired. 

Shea Cucinotta’s single in that inning drove across Luke Arsenault and Jake Harring.  Later, an infield grounder by Drew MacDonald scored Drew Scialdone with Amesbury’s fifth run.

And then the incoming dark clouds, with accompanying thunder, put a pause to the game.  The game never resumed and Amesbury had itself a 5-1 win. 

And Drew had himself a no-hitter.

Drew ended up walking two and striking out six.

The defensive gem on this afternoon belonged to Triton centerfielder Cole Daniels.  Leadoff batter Jake Harring looked to have hit a ball into the left/centerfield gap, but Cole ran it down and dove to finish a terrific play.

CF Cole Daniels makes a diving catch

Drew Scialdone and Drew MacDonald led Amesbury’s seven-hit attack with two hits each.

The twosome also had a “hit” in the first inning as they collided going after a popup in the first inning. 

Tangled on a popup

Amesbury unofficial box

Triton unofficial box

Jake Harring celebrates at home

Watching the game

Shea Cucinotta tagged out by Triton 2B Connor Rumph

Chris O’Connell

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Kayla Murphy hits two homers as Pentucket defeats Newburyport 7-5

Happiness at home for Pentucket
Kendra Griffin out at home

(Groveland) Home plate was where the action was.

Both Newburyport and Pentucket had runners thrown out there.

The biggest celebrating there, however, was done by Pentucket as they gathered twice to congratulate Kayla Murphy after home runs.

Pentucket (9-8) held on to get a 7-5 win over Newburyport (9-11) on Wednesday afternoon.

The Clippers took a 2-1 lead into the fourth inning.

Emma Lopata scored three times

In that fourth inning, Emma Lopata walked ahead of Kayla’s first home run to put the Panthers (their new mascot) in front for good.

Pentucket added another run in the fifth inning on an infield throwing error, before Kayla went deep again this time with Sydney Pichette and Kendra Griffin on board.

Kayla joked that she “wasn’t trying to get any of the dogs in the dog park,” (located just beyond the leftfield fence).

Emily Meleedy had eleven strikeouts for Newburyport

Both of Kayla’s homers landed in about the same spot in left center.  “I was looking for my pitch,” she said.  “The home run pitches were low in the strike zone.”

Sitting on a 7-2 lead going into the last inning seemed to be a comfortable situation for Pentucket.  After pitcher Molly LeBel retired the first two batters, things looked even more promising.

Credit Newburyport.  They weren’t planning to go quietly.  Five batters later the Clippers had the tying runs on the bases and the go-ahead run at the plate.

After an error on her first fielding chance of the inning, shortstop Kyla Murphy got a second chance and retired the last batter on an infield grounder.

Cassidy Bolcome heads for home

“I was hoping for one good play at the end, and I got it,” said Kayla afterwards.

“Everyone did their job,” said Pentucket coach Deb Smith, “and Kayla crushed it.”

One thing that Coach Smith didn’t want to do was pitch to Newburyport’s Emily Meleedy. Twice the talented sophomore received intentional passes.

“She’s in the middle of the Merrimack (River) if you pitch to her every time,” said Coach Smith.

A key play occurred in the fifth inning.  Newburyport had runners on second and third with two out.  Emily Meleedy was at the plate. Pentucket opted to intentionally walk her which would load the bases.  However, Molly LeBel’s attempt to finish off the intentional pass got beyond Pentucket catcher Ella Agocs.  Olivia Skibbee, who was on third base, broke for home but Ella’s flip to Molly covering home erased the runner and ended the inning. 

Olivia Skibbee tagged out by Molly LeBel

“That play was a turning point in this game,” said Coach Smith. 

Molly LeBel was the winning pitcher

Newburyport coach Bob Gillespie was disappointed with the loss.  “We have been making it a habit of needing comebacks after slow starts,” he said. 

“We have also struggled to win on the road,” he added.  The Clippers are now 2-7 away from home.

The Panthers are currently 7-1 at home.

The Clippers end the regular season 9-11.  The May 23rd Power Rankings for Division 3 had them at #21.  The top thirty-two get in the tournament.  You also get in if you win at least half your games.

Pentucket is now at 9-8 with three games left.  If they can win one of those games they’ll be in the tournament.  As of May 23rd, they are ranked #30 in Division 3.

Molly LeBel: “Even when things got tough in the last inning, I knew that the team had my back.  They have a lot of good hitters so mixing up my pitches was crucial.  I was throwing as hard as I could today.  I always try to do that but today I was actually doing it.”  Molly gave up seven hits and struck out four batters.

Sophia Lavallee had 2 hits and 2 RBI

Emily Meleedy struck out eleven but also gave up eleven hits.  “She is an unbelievable pitcher,” said Coach Smith.  “You have to go after her first pitch.  We told them to be aggressive today and we hit the ball hard.”

“The ending was shaky,” Coach Smith added, “but that seems to be our MO.  They want to give me a heart attack!”

Sophie Lavallee and Emily Meleedy paced Newburyport with two hits each.  Cassidy Bolcome and Emily each scored twice.

Kendra Griffin led Pentucket with three hits while Emma Lopata scored three times.

Newburyport centerfielder Nieve Morrissey made two nice catches in Pentucket’s sixth inning.  She ran in for one and raced back for the other.

Newburyport   0   0   0   2   0   0   3   =   5

      Pentucket   0    1   0   2   4   0   –   =   7

On April 28th Newburyport defeated Pentucket, 9-5 at Newburyport.  The Clippers built up an 8-0 lead after four innings before Pentucket rallied late to make things interesting at the end.

The Panthers have won three straight.

I continue to misread the weather.  It was sunny and pleasant.

Pentucket unofficial box

CF Nieve Morrissey makes a nice catch

Trouble with a popup
Kayla Murphy celebrates with her teammates
Newburyport unofficial box

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Amesbury seniors lead to 13-4 win over Hamilton-Wenham

(Amesbury) It’s your day, why not put on a show!

Drew MacDonald, Shea Cucinotta, Cam Stanley
Drew MacDonald 5 RBI

And that’s what the three Amesbury seniors did on Senior Day.

Amesbury defeated Hamilton-Wenham, 13-4, on Tuesday afternoon.

Drew MacDonald had five RBI.

Shea Cucinotta had four hits.

Cam Stanley scored three times.

Each of the Amesbury seniors led the category they were mentioned in.

The win evened the season’s series with the (10-9) Generals.

Three weeks ago, HW defeated Amesbury, 2-1, at Patton Park in Hamilton.

“In that 2-1 loss, we left a lot of runners on base,” recalled Amesbury coach Joel Brierley afterwards.  “We had the bases loaded with one out in the seventh and couldn’t score.”

“Today, when we got runners on base we scored them,” he added.

Amesbury (14-4) had thirteen hits and received five walks in their six innings at the plate.

Connor McClintock had 3 hits

Junior Connor McClintock led the Generals with three hits and two RBI.  Only a leaping catch by Amesbury shortstop Shea Cucinotta in the fifth inning kept Connor from having four hits. 

Connor also impressed on defense.  The HW centerfielder showed good lateral range robbing Drew MacDonald of extra bases in the third inning.  Later, he rushed in to take a hit away from Jake Harring on a sinking line drive.

“No question, Connor is good,” said HW coach Reggie Maidment afterwards.  “We’re glad he’s on our side.”

Connor led off the game with a triple and was driven home by Nick Freni.  In the second inning, Connor came up with two runners on and delivered both of them.

Shea Cucinotta – 4 hits/3 RBI

Amesbury was able to match the Generals’ run in the first inning with a Drew MacDonald RBI single.

Amesbury picked up three runs in their second inning.  Jake Harring had a two-run double and Drew Scialdone had a sacrifice fly.

So, it was 4-3 after two innings in a game that looked to have a high-scoring future.

That future became a reality for Amesbury but not for Hamilton-Wenham.

Amesbury starter Trevor Kimball settled in over the next four innings allowing just one hit (Nick Freni) and one run.

Amesbury gained separation with a five-run fourth inning.

Cam Stanley – scored 3 runs and had 2 hits

“We had one tough inning,” said Coach Maidment referring to that inning.  “We made a few mistakes.  Against a lineup like Amesbury’s, you can’t do that or it’s going to hurt you.”

Amesbury batted around in their productive fifth inning.  The big hit was Drew MacDonald’s bases-clearing double.  Will Arsenault and Shea Cucinotta drove in single runs.

Amesbury picked up an unearned run in the sixth inning and batted around (again) to collect three more runs in their sixth inning. 

“This was probably one of our best team performances of the season,” said Coach Brierley post-game.  “Trevor threw strikes and got a lot of outs.  Our defense was good, and we hit the ball.”

Catcher Nick Freni looks for a sign

Today’s game featured two of the best teams in the state in Division 4.  Amesbury is ranked second while Hamilton-Wenham is fourth in the MIAA Power Rankings that came out May 23rd.

The two teams could face each other again but this time in the post-season.  Being so highly ranked, that possible next meeting would probably be somewhere in Final Four territory.

It was indeed a big day for Amesbury’s three seniors.  The trio scored six runs, had nine hits, and drove in eight runs. 

Hamilton-Wenham   1   2   0   0   0   1   0   =   4

                 Amesbury   1   3   0   5   1   3   –   =   13

The weather became less comfortable as the afternoon wore on. 

Trevor Kimball gave up four hits and four runs.

Watching the game

Amesbury coach Joel Brierley busy coaching third

Luke Arsenault scores Amesbury’s fifth run

Hamilton-Wenham unofficial box

Amesbury unofficial box

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