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Manchester-Essex outlasts Ipswich 10-9 in Cape Ann League baseball

Hunter Flood in the home run trot.  The sophomore had five RBI for the Hornets

Hunter Flood in the home run trot. The sophomore had five RBI for the Hornets

Liam Logue drives in the 10th ME run

Liam Logue drives in the 10th ME run

(Ipswich MA) If there is such a thing as a hitters’ duel this was it.

Both Manchester-Essex and Ipswich took plenty of good hacks but it was the Hornets coming away with a 10-9 win on a warm Thursday afternoon.

The Hornets (4-12) took the lead with a 3-run first inning and never trailed.  The Tigers (3-12) were within a run with two runners on in both the 6th and 7th innings.  ME sophomore reliever Brad Graves got Austin Rubino to pop out to the catcher ending the 6th while junior closer Craig Carter got an infield grounder from Erik Gongas to finish the game.

Today’s game was the last home game for six Ipswich seniors (Jon O’Brien, Erik Gongas, Freddy Cerendolo, Austin Rubino, Ryan Silva and Sean Whooley) and they were recognized by Coach Gardy O’Flynn before the game.

maip A15 IHS seniors
Manchester-Essex jumped into a 7-2 lead after two innings thanks primarily to Hunter Flood.  The ME sophomore drove across two in the first with a single and three in the second with a homer over the leftfield fence.

Mike Loebelenz got the win for Manchester-Essex

Mike Loebelenz got the win for Manchester-Essex

Ipswich had eleven hits off of Hornets starter (and winner) Mike Loebelenz through five innings.  But the Tigers were never able to get more than two runs in any inning despite all the solid raps and trailed 9-7 after five.

The biggest run in the game was the Hornets’ tenth run.  The crucial insurance run came in the 7th inning.  Brandon Bartlett walked and pinchrunner Chris Carr stole second.  Liam Logue’s two-out single through the left side of the IHS infield brought Chris home.

Senior Sean Whooley had four hits and two rbi in his last game on Mile Lane for Ipswich.

Sophomore Alex Morris also had two rbi to go with three hits.

The good crowd on hand saw a very bizarre second inning.  After Sean Whooley singled, Mike Savoie grounded to third.  ME third baseman Kevin Carter threw wide to second but Sean didn’t realize he was safe.  So as he’s jogging off he’s suddenly caught in a rundown between 2B and 3B.  No sooner did Sean get tagged out when Mike Savoie is caught in a rundown between 1B and 2B.  Fortunately for Mike, the ME rundown ended with a throw into the woods by catcher Dom Cirone that allowed Mike to reach third.

Dom Cirone (3 hits) camps under a popup

Dom Cirone (3 hits) camps under a popup

Dom Cirone paced the Hornets scoring three times and getting three hits.  Hunter Flood and Ethan Ketchum each had two hits.  The ME hit total reached twelve off of IHS starter Ryan Silva and reliever Austin Rubino.

ME rightfielder Chuck Otterbein made a terrific running catch on Freddy Cerendolo’s drive in the gap in the third inning.

Manchester-Essex still has a chance to get into the Division 4 post-season tournament.  Only the Hornets games versus D4 opponents count toward making the post-season.  The Hornets have three games left with D4 opposition (Cristo Rey, Georgetown, and Rockport).  ME has to win two of those games to qualify.  It’ll be tough since the Hornets have already lost to Cristo Rey and Georgetown this season.

Dan Bennett looks for the plate

Dan Bennett looks for the plate

The Tigers defeated ME, 12-3, in an earlier meeting.

Today’s winning pitcher (senior Mike Loebelenz) also had victories over Triton and Hamilton-Wenham this season.

Weather?  Comfortably warm with clouds showing up to cool things a bit.

Manchester-Essex box

Ipswich box

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

Sean Whooley (4 hits) in a rundown

Sean Whooley (4 hits) in a rundown

Jake Long finds a way home

Jake Long finds a way home

ME closer Craig Carter (#3)

ME closer Craig Carter (#3)

Freddy Cerendolo

Freddy Cerendolo

Kevin and Sean Whooley

Kevin and Sean Whooley

Chuck Otterbein dives into third

Chuck Otterbein dives into third

Leftfielder Jake Long eyes the home run ball (upper left)

Leftfielder Jake Long eyes the home run ball (upper left)

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Filed under Cape Ann League, Ipswich, Manchester-Essex

Newburyport defeats Manchester-Essex 3-0 on James Nutter’s six-hitter

Connor MacRae and Colby Morris both scored on Ryan Shorts single in the second inning.

Connor MacRae and Colby Morris both scored on Ryan Shorts single in the second inning.

James Nutter tossed a six-hitter in his first start of the season.

James Nutter tossed a six-hitter in his first start of the season.

(Newburyport) The Clippers (5-4) put together their second straight shutout as they defeated Manchester-Essex, 3-0, on a chilly Thursday afternoon of Cape Ann League baseball.

Senior James Nutter tossed a complete game, six-hitter in his first start of the season.  Another first-time starter (Evan Habib), had a complete game, three-hitter against Ipswich on Monday.

The visiting Hornets (2-7) have now lost six of seven including two in extra innings.  They did, however, knock off defending D4 state champs Georgetown last Saturday.

Newburyport collected two runs (one unearned) in the second inning and another run in the third.  That turned out to be more than enough on this day.

The Clippers loaded the bases in the second inning on an error (first baseman Max Nesbit throwing), a single down the third-base line (Colby Morris), and a bunt single (Mike Sweeney).  Senior Ryan Short hit a ground single up the middle driving in Connor MacRae and Colby Morris.

A throwing error cost Manchester-Essex a run in the second inning

A throwing error cost Manchester-Essex a run in the second inning

It looked as if the Clippers might add more runs after Andrew Fiascone walked.  However, a double-steal attempt nabbed Mike Sweeney at third.  Then a popout to first (Ian Michaels) turned into a double play when Ryan Short, who broke for the plate, couldn’t get back to third.  But Newburyport did get two runs.

Their third run came in the next inning.  Brian Fiascone doubled to right center leading off.  Colton Fontaine’s sacrifice fly moved Brian to third and Connor Wile’s fly to center brought Brian home.

Brandon Bartlett

Brandon Bartlett

Hornet pitcher Brandon Bartlett allowed just one hit (Mike Sweeney single) over the final three innings but his teammates couldn’t break through against James Nutter.

ME’s Max Nesbit started the game with a double but James whiffed the next three Hornets to escape.

Clippers leftfielder Mike Sweeney, in the fourth inning, tried unsuccessfully to make a running catch but recovered quickly and gunned down the batter (Craig Carter) at second base.

After Corey McCollum singled in the fifth inning with one out, a bunt attempt (Henry Gedney) was caught in the air by James Nutter.  His quick toss to first baseman Connor MacRae doubled off Henry Gedney to end that inning.

Second baseman Brian Fiascone took Mike Sweeneys throw and waits for baserunner Craig Carter

Second baseman Brian Fiascone took Mike Sweeneys throw and waits for baserunner Craig Carter

The visitors had two men on in the last inning with two outs before leftfielder Mike Sweeney made a running catch in foul territory to end it.

Newburyport’s next game is tomorrow night (6:30PM) at Rockport.  ME returns to action next Tuesday at Pentucket.

A little over a year ago (April 26th) on the same site, Manchester-Essex defeated the defending D3 state champs, 5-2, ending the Clippers 18-game winning streak.

Max Nesbit catches a popup as Ryan Short starts back to third

Max Nesbit catches a popup as Ryan Short starts back to third

Brian Fiascone and Mike Sweeney each had two hits for Newburyport.

Craig Carter and Corey McCollum each had two hits for the Hornets.

Shortstop Colby Morris made a nice play on a slow grounder in the second inning.

First baseman Connor MacRae made a nice scoop of a low throw (Colton Fontaine) in the fourth.  Connor also put his body in front of a grounder in the final inning recording an unassisted putout.

James Nutter was on one of the winning relay teams for the 2013 D4 state indoor track champion Clippers.

Ryan Short drove in two runs

Ryan Short drove in two runs

The weather?  Where did the 70 degrees and sunny disappear to?

Newburyport boxscore

Manchester-Essex boxscore

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

Brandon Bartlett chases a bunt as Colby Morris runs for second

Brandon Bartlett chases a bunt as Colby Morris runs for second

Colby Morris

Colby Morris

Kevin Carter

Kevin Carter

Craig Carter tags out Brian Fiascone

Craig Carter tags out Brian Fiascone

Brian Fiascone reaches third base.

Brian Fiascone reaches third base.

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Filed under Manchester-Essex, Newburyport