Tag Archives: Coach Joel Brierley

#9 Abington starts fast and defeats #1 Amesbury 12-3 in D4 state quarterfinals

Abington reaches the Division 4 Final Four

(Amesbury) These tournament games can be tense. 

Last inning.

Last batter.

Last pitch.

Not this one.

#9 Abington took over the game from the get-go and never let up.

Aidan O’Donnell

#1 Amesbury was on the other end of things and lost 12-3 on Sunday afternoon in the Division 4 state quarterfinals.

“The well ran dry,” said Amesbury coach Joel Brierley afterwards.  “When we’ve been going well, we’ve been able to set the tone early.  Today was the complete opposite.”

Amesbury ace Drew MacDonald opened the first allowing two walks.  Stephen Madden and Spencer Merrick followed immediately with RBI doubles.  Before the first inning was over, AJ Nash added a sacrifice fly and the home team was down, 4-0.

Those early runs changed the whole complexion of the game. 

“Getting the run support right away really got a weight lifted off,” said Abington’s complete-game winner Aidan O’Donnell post-game.

“We came out in the first inning and scored some runs and took the pressure right off,” said Abington coach Steve Perakslis afterwards.

Amesbury coach Joel Brierley and Abington coach Steve Perakslis

The relaxed Green Wave had runners on in every inning and collected ten hits.

Amesbury home run celebration

Amesbury (18-5) did finish with seven hits, but they couldn’t package them into any multiple-run innings.

Amesbury’s hardest hit of the day was a long homer to left off the bat of St. Anselm’s commit Drew MacDonald in the second inning.

Aidan O’Donnell (UMass Dartmouth commit) had plenty of help from his defense.  The Green Wave (18-5) turned three double plays.  One was a standard 5-4-3 while the other two involved catches with Amesbury runners getting caught off first base afterwards.

1B AJ Nash puts the tag on Cam Stanley

Abington catcher Spencer Merrick also picked an Amesbury runner off first base.

You add good pitching to that kind of defense and the opponent is in for a long game.

“I tried to keep us in the game,” said pitcher Aidan O’Donnell.  “I was just trying to get outs.  I had full faith in the boys behind me.”

The Green Wave now moves on to the D4 state semi-finals against Manchester-Essex on Tuesday night (7PM) at Fraser Field in Lynn.

The Hornets won the state title in 2019.

Ryan Tobin scored three times

Eight different players from the Green Wave scored runs, with leadoff batter Ryan Tobin doing it three times.

Stephen Madden and Spencer Merrick led Abington in RBI’s with three each.

Drew MacDonald and Will Arsenault paced Amesbury with two hits apiece.  Drew also scored twice.

“We knew that we needed to play a good defensive game against a team like Amesbury,” said Coach Perakslis.  “We always know that we’re going to be in the game when Aidan O’Donnell is pitching.”

“Our offense had been a little stagnant for a while,” he added, “but we’ve been taking good swings in practice and in our two previous games.”

Stephen Madden had three RBI, two hits, and scored a run

Drew MacDonald, Aiden Donovan, and Josh Sorgini pitched for Amesbury.

Abington had five doubles.

Brady Burnham doubled off first

Besides the Drew MacDonald homer, Amesbury got RBI’s from Drew Scialdone and Will Arsenault.

Plenty of banter from both benches all game long.  It made it feel like an indoor event.

“There’s no reason to hold our heads down,” said Coach Brierley.  “Amesbury hasn’t had a season like this in a while.  I’m very proud of what the kids have done.”

The weather was perfect and the crowd, including many from Abington, was good-sized.

  Abington   4   0   2   2   3   1   0   =   12

Amesbury   0   1   1   0   0   1   0   =   3

Unofficial Abington box

Unofficial Amesbury box

Jake Harring leads off first base

Reaching for a runner

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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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Amesbury gets strong pitching/hitting in 9-3 win over North Reading

Drew Scialdone (with Coach Brierley) had three hits and four RBI
Trevor Kimball K’d eight Hornets

(Amesbury) Amesbury (9-4) got excellent pitching and hitting and defeated North Reading, 9-3, on Tuesday afternoon.

Trevor Kimball went the distance and the Amesbury hitters had ten hits.

“Amesbury is a really good team especially with (Trevor) Kimball on the mound,” said NR coach Eric Archambault afterwards.

Trevor had eight strikeouts and ended each of the final four innings with K’s.

The Hornets (7-6) left baserunners in all seven innings.  “We had our chances,” said Coach Archambault, “and we might have gained some momentum with some timely hitting.”

Shea Cucinotta and Craig Rubino

Drew Scialdone and Shea Cucinotta carried the Amesbury offense.

Drew was three-for-four, scored twice, and drove in four runs.

Shea also had three hits.  In his other at-bat the AIC commit walked.  He scored four runs.

“When guys are on base, you have to be a timely hitter and knock them in,” said Drew post-game.

“In my second at-bat I told myself not to swing at a curve,” he added.  “But I got two strikes on me and so I took a swing at a curve and got a hit.”

“Drew has been awesome for us,” said Coach Brierley.  “He’s hitting over .500 and has great confidence.”

Matt Ryan had three hits for NR

Amesbury jumped ahead in the first as Drew’s double scored Shea.

In the third inning, Drew’s single (off a curve) produced one run and Will Arsenault’s single brought home two more. 

Nick Doucette’s single in the fourth inning delivered Ryan McCullough. That lessened the NR deficit to 4-1.

Amesbury responded with their biggest inning of the game.  Drew was again in the middle of the hitting attack.  This time it was a single that drove home Luke Arsenault and Jake Harring.  Trouble in the NR outfield led to two more runs in that productive fourth inning.

The Hornets put three hits together in their fifth inning.  Ryan Baker and Aldo Vittozzi had RBI.  Matt Ryan (who had three hits) scored one of North Reading’s two runs.

Coach Brierley and Coach Archambault

Trevor held the Hornets scoreless in the final two innings.

“He (Trevor) mixed his pitches, threw strikes, and commanded the zone,” said Coach Archambault.

“Trevor was phenomenal,” added Coach Brierley.  “He was throwing breaking balls for strikes and he was keeping his fastball low.”

Second baseman Jake Harring made a nice play behind second base on a grounder at the start of the North Reading fifth.

“Our defense, for the most part, made the plays,” said Jake.

Ball drops into the Amesbury outfield

Amesbury has three straight wins over North Reading.

North Reading is now 0-5 on the road.  “We’ve got to get back to the lab and turn things around,” said Coach Archambault.

Amesbury is now 6-2 in the Cape Ann League while the Hornets drop to 4-5.

A common occurrence in most of the games I’ve covered is that the visiting team arrives late, as North Reading did today.  The reason is almost always the same one, getting a bus.

The weather was cold, windy, and unpleasant.  I’m hearing of 80’s on Saturday.  Now won’t that be nice!

North Reading   0   0   0   1   2   0   0   =   3

        Amesbury   1   0   3   4   0   1   –    =   9

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Amesbury unofficial box

North Reading unofficial box

Drew Scialdone tries to score on a passed ball. Catcher Alex Carucci applies the tag for the out.

Watching the game

Drew Scialdone scores a run

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