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Last-inning rally earns Amesbury 6-5 walk-off win vs Lynnfield

Shea Cucinotta (white helmet) singled in the game winner for Amesbury
Evan Balian had 3 hits and 3 RBI

(Amesbury MA) Lynnfield gave Amesbury (6-3) too many chances and it finally caught up to them in the last inning.

The Pioneers had issued seven walks and had hit two batters through six innings.  However, they had a 5-3 lead.

That lead vanished after the Indians got two more walks in their half of the seventh.  Senior Tiernan Bentley drove both walkers (Tim Gilleo & Trevor Kimball) in to tie the score.

“I haven’t been hitting all that well this season,” said Tiernan afterwards.  “It felt good to get one.”

Two hit-batsmen followed (Luke Arsenault & Jake Harring) loading the bases with one out and Shea Cucinotta the batter.  Shea had a hit the previous inning.

With a chance to seal the outcome, Shea delivered a shot to the outfield that scored pinchrunner Donovan Landry and the celebrating began for Amesbury’s 6-5 walk-off win.

Pinchrunner Donovan Landry home with the game winner

“I’m not going to lie,” explained Shea, “I was a little nervous coming up in that situation.  My heart was beating out of my chest!  I knew that I just had to put the ball out there somewhere to score the run.  It felt great.”

“Give Amesbury credit,” said Lynnfield coach John O’Brien post-game.  “They hung in there and got the big hit when they needed it.”

“We just can’t walk people and hit people,” added Coach O’Brien.  “You need to throw strikes and let the guys make the plays.”

Despite the loss, Lynnfield senior Evan Balian had an impressive afternoon.  He came to bat in the seventh inning with a chance to hit for the cycle. 

Evan hit a homer (3rd inning) over the rightfield fence and a triple (fifth inning) over the rightfielder’s head.  He had a single in the first inning. Evan had three RBI. 

A key moment in this game was the Lynnfield seventh.  The Pioneers (3-6) had the two-run lead but Amesbury reliever Tiernan Bentley was able to retire the side in order.  Tiernan got the dangerous Evan to ground out to first to end that inning.

Tiernan Bentley drove in 2 runs in the 7th to tie the score

“Coach (Brierley) told me to go out there and throw strikes and that’s exactly what I did,” said Tiernan.

Lynnfield got two runs in the top of the first.  An RBI by Evan Balian and a wild throw to third on a steal attempt accounted for the LHS runs.

The Indians managed to get both those runs back thanks to six walks and a hit batsman in the first two innings.  They did strand six runners.

“We gave them runs early and we left the bases loaded in the first two innings,” said Coach Joel Brierley.  “We have to do better.”

The Pioneers got out of that second inning on an unusual play.  Tim Gilleo’s popup into short left attracted both 3B Trent Balian and SS Nick Razzaboni.  The fielders collided but Nick was able to stick out his hand and make a diving catch to save multiple runs from scoring.

SS Nick Razzaboni and 3B Trent Balian
Nick Razzaboni makes the catch
Trevor Kimball out at the plate

Tim Pivero started the third inning in relief of starter Blake Peters.  A nice throw (LF Aidan Burke) and tag (catcher Evan Balian) nailed Trevor Kimball at the plate for the final out of that inning.

Lynnfield built their lead to 5-2 in the sixth.  A wild pitch (Drew Scialdone) allowed Luke Martinho to score.  RF Luke Arsenault tossed out Nick Razzaboni at the plate trying to score on Jack Bird’s single, to record the final out of the inning.

Amesbury got that run back with a Luke Arsenault triple and a sacrifice fly by Jake Harring in their half of the sixth inning.

Amesbury then took advantage of the walks and HPB’s in the 7th and rallied to earn a walk-off win.

Pickoff attempt

The Indians collected all their six hits in the final four innings.

“Once we get to see a pitcher for a second or third time, that’s when we score our runs,” explained Coach Brierley.  “Even when we’re down, I know we’ll find ways to score.”

“We wanted the top of our order (Jake Harring, Shea Cucinotta, Jeremy Lopez) to get up in that final inning,” said Coach Brierley.  “The walks and hit-batsmen enabled it to happen.”

Winning pitcher Tiernan Bentley is a senior.  “I plan to go to UConn in the fall and play rugby.”

Lynnfield starter Blake Peters collected two hits.  “Blake has pitched three or four really nice games,” said Coach O’Brien.  “It wasn’t his day today.”

Trevor Kimball started for Amesbury.

Weather was good with low 80’s and a breeze.

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

Shea Cucinotta up with the bases loaded in the 7th
Trevor Kimball scores the tying run in the 7th
Evan Balian retired in the 7th inning
Pitcher Tim Pivero beats Drew MacDonald to 1B
Luke Arsenault scores the 3rd Amesbury run
Play at second
Tim Gilleo and Danny Dorman
Blake Peters had two hits and scored two runs
Jake Harring on base four times
Aidan Burke scores the first Lynnfield run
Aidan Burke and Shea Cucinotta
Trevor Kimball started for Amesbury
2B Jack Bird

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Amesbury gets one-hitter from Jeremy Lopez in 5-3 win over North Reading

Senior Jeremy Lopez allowed one hit and struck out five Hornets

(Amesbury MA) Amesbury pitcher Jeremy Lopez knew that he had something special going.

Jeremy Lopez congratulated at game’s end

But Coach Joel Bierley didn’t.

“I was too busy yelling at him for walking kids,” said Coach Bierley.

Jeremy finished with a one-hitter as the Indians (3-1) defeated North Reading, 5-3, on Thursday afternoon at Amesbury High School.

Jeremy carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning. 

“I knew in the back of my mind that North Reading didn’t have any hits but then I hung one and he (Alex Carucci) took it for a ride,” said Jeremy.

“I’m happy with the win,” added Jeremy.

Amesbury took advantage of NR starter Nick Doucette’s first-inning wildness to get off to a 3-0 start. 

Joe Giacalone stole two bases and scored a run

The Hornets (1-2) may not have been hitting but they turned walks and aggressive baserunning into single runs in the third and fourth.

“We struggled in the first inning, but we bounced back after that,” said NR coach Eric Archambault post-game.

The Indians had three runs but only two hits through four innings.  That changed in the fifth inning.  Consecutive doubles by Drew MacDonald, Jeremy Lopez, and Trevor Kimball added two runs to the AHS total and the Indians led, 5-2.

“We got our bats going the third time through the lineup,” said Coach Bierley. “We swing the bats well.”

Drew MacDonald had a hit and scored twice

“Those three doubles were huge,” added Jeremy.  “Those two runs put us over the top and gave us the edge.”

The Hornets, however, refused to go away quietly.  Their first hit (Alex Carucci double) was followed by a Matt Ryan bunt in the same 6th inning that was mishandled giving NR their third run.

A key play in that sixth inning was AHS shortstop Jake Harring catching a North Reading baserunner off third base.

Jake also assisted on the final out of that inning with Hornets on second and third.

“This is Jake’s first year with us,” said Coach Bierley.  “He has a high baseball IQ.”

Once NR starter Nick Doucette got over his wildness in the first inning, he was terrific.  The Hornets junior struck out eight of the next twelve batters he faced.

SS Frank Cassarino throws to first

“Nick settled down for sure,” explained Coach Archambault.  “He’s a really good pitcher and this was his second varsity start.  I expect him to bounce back.”

Joe Giacalone, who had three steals against Lynnfield, added two more against Amesbury.

The Indians ran into two outs at third base in their half of the sixth inning.

Sophomore Jake Harring collected two of Amesbury’s seven hits.

Jeremy Lopez: “The defense made the plays.  The coach told me to throw strikes.”  (Jeremy had five strikeouts.)

Jeremy Lopez won his second game of the season

Coach Archambault: “Hats off to their pitcher.  He pitched a heckuva game.  He threw strikes.”

Jeremy Lopez about to tag out Matt Ryan at first

Jeremy Lopez: “My curve was definitely on today.  It’s a favorite of mine and I’ve learned to throw it a lot more.  My fastball was pretty good.  I thought I was getting squeezed a bit, but I didn’t let it bother me.  I kept throwing strikes and the defense made the plays.”

Jeremy told me that he plans to repeat his senior year at Winchendon School where he expects to continue playing baseball.

Weather was nice. 

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

Alex Carucci scores NR’s third run
Frank Cassarino and Jeremy Lopez
Hornets reliever Ryan Baker
2B Luke Arsenault
SS Jake Harring starts a double play
3B Aidan Donovan had an RBI and 3 assists
Trevor Kimball had an RBI and scored a run
Senior Tim Gilleo drove in the first Amesbury run
North Reading starter Nick Doucette
North Reading coach Eric Archambault
Amesbury dugout
Amesbury box
North Reading box

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