Tag Archives: Blake Bennett

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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Ipswich pulls away from Amesbury 42-21 with strong second half

Pat Gillis (three touchdowns) finds space and blocking (Tommy Herron 82 and William Ginolfi 65)

Amesbury’s Zack Levarity (2) gets the signal that he has scored at touchdown.

(Amesbury MA) Giving up 30+ points per game won’t win many of them and that logic held true for Amesbury Friday night as they fell, 42-21, to Ipswich at Landry Stadium.

Amesbury (0-5) was in a tie with the Tigers (3-2) in the second period, 14-all, but stayed quiet thereafter offensively until a last-minute tally versus the Ipswich reserves.

Two rushes into the game Ipswich was on the board with sophomore Justin Moran in the Amesbury end zone.  It looked to me as if the same play was used to get Justin to the Amesbury 25 and later in for the score.

Justin Moran (5) off to an early Ipswich touchdown.

The ease of the Ipswich touchdown had me thinking early on that the Amesbury defense was going to be severely tested……….and they were.

I wondered if the Indians could generate enough offense to hang around in a high-scoring matchup.

It turned out that Amesbury could put up points.  The home team answered the first two Tigers’ touchdowns with ones of their own.  Junior Patrick Birmingham figured in both of them.  His 17-yard run in the first quarter put Amesbury on the Ipswich five where Zach Levarity scored from.  In the second quarter, Patrick found daylight on the right and QB Blake Bennett tossed him a 13-yard catch-and-run tally.

Patrick Birmingham hauls in a TD pass from Blake Bennett.

So Amesbury wasn’t going away.  It was a matter of which team would be unable to answer first.

Ipswich responded to the tie score in the 2nd quarter with the second of Pat Gillis’ three TDs.  I am not sure if Pat was even touched on any of his touchdowns.  Good blocking and good deception within the Tigers offensive schemes created some serious openings in the Amesbury defense.

Amesbury didn’t get the score back in the first half but they received the kickoff in the 2nd half.

Something transformed the Ipswich defense in the second half.  The Indians tried a variety of plays in that second half but seemed to be confronted with multiple tacklers much of the time and held to short gains.

Pat Gillis (44) finds a huge opening to score

The Tigers gained two-TD separation in the third quarter.  A pass from QB Ben Yanakakis to senior Alex Bruhm had Ipswich cooking at the Amesbury five.  Pat Gillis finished in the end zone several plays later.

You’re trailing by fourteen points late in the third quarter so you dust off the passing attack.  Amesbury went that route with absolutely disastrous results.

Two straight Amesbury series ended up in touchdowns……..for Ipswich.  Interceptions.

Trying to get credit straight in sports is an interest of mine.  Christian Fabbri and Alex Bruhm ran back interceptions for touchdowns for Ipswich.  I took enough pictures so that I could see contributors to those pick-six plays.  Pete Spinale was bringing AHS quarterback Blake Bennett down as he tossed the first interception.  On the second one, Ben Yanakakis was in Blake’s face, certainly affecting Blake’s view downfield.

Christian Fabbri has an interception and blocking to get him into the Amesbury end zone.

Alex Bruhm takes an interception to the Amesbury end zone with Jacob Hamel chasing.

Needless to say, that revived IHS defense put fourteen straight points up for the visitors and put this game well out of reach.

Captain Connor Whitley among those honored pregame at Landry

Nice crowd at Landry Stadium as the senior athletes and cheerleaders were recognized.

Nice weather too.  I’ll take low 60’s, without a breeze, anytime at night in early October.

On one play in the second half, Ipswich had only ten players on defense and still held the Indians to a small gain.

I was completely fooled by Amesbury when they went for the first of two their extra points.  Why?  They had no holder just #90 (Ruairi Cleary) back there.  I assumed a timeout was coming but instead the ball was snapped to Ruairi and he dropkicked it for the extra point. Didn’t Doug Flutie do that once for the Patriots?

Ruairi Cleary drop kicks.

When the attempt for the second Ruairi extra-point attempt occurred I was camera ready and got a shot of the sophomore doing it.

Plenty of helpful information from the public address announcer.

Ipswich had lost its other two road games to Newburyport and Triton.

The Tigers have defeated Amesbury four straight times.

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

Amesbury gang tackles Pat Gillis

Ben Yanakakis stopped by Amesbury at the goal line.

Ben Yanakakis pressures Amesbury QB Blake Bennett and an interception resulted.

Matt Warren (50) recovers a fumble

Logan Burrill gang tackled by the Tigers

Izzy Morrissey hit hard by Zack Levarity

Pat Gillis breaks free

Pat Gillis races alone into the end zone

Caleb Comeau kicked five extra points.

Pete Spinale pressures Amesbury QB Blake Bennett and it leads to an interception.

Ipswich quarterback Ben Yanakakis

 

 

 

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