Tag Archives: Joe Burgess

Manchester-Essex ends Newburyport’s 18-game win streak with 5-2 shocker in Cape Ann League baseball

Joe Burgess rounds first. The Hornet senior had three hits and scored two runs in the ME upset.

Complete game winner Adrian Frattini scattered seven hits and assisted on the last out of the game.

(Newburyport)  Who saw this coming?

Undefeated Newburyport was riding an 18-game winning streak going back into last season.  They’re the defending Division 3 state champs.

Manchester-Essex was 2-16 last year and 2-3 this season with losses to Georgetown, Rockport, and Amesbury.

But at the end of this Thursday afternoon game the Hornets (3-3) were jumping up and down after a 5-2 upset over the Clippers (5-1) at cold and cloudy Pettingell Field in a Cape Ann League contest.

Winning pitcher Adrian Frattini had run support early (up 4-0 after 2 ½ innings) and scattered seven hits over seven innings.

For 6 ½ innings the Hornets played like they were the defending state champs showing strong pitching, timely hitting and flawless fielding, but in the bottom of the seventh, with a 5-2 lead, they started to unravel.

Clipper pinch hitter Ryan Short reached first after a passed ball on a strikeout with one out.  After a back-to-the-fence flyout by Colby Morris, shortstop Joe Burgess fell down trying to field Ian Michaels grounder putting two runners on with two outs.  Up stepped CAL All-Leaguer Brett Fontaine.  He hit a grounder to the right of first baseman Max Nesbit that had “routine out” written all over it.  However, pitcher Adrian Frattini was late coming over to cover and the hustling Brett Fontaine beat the throw.

But then ME got the game-ending break as Ryan Short tried to score from second on Brett’s grounder and Adrian’s throw to Dom Cirone nailed him by plenty to secure the Hornet upset.

Newburyport had another basepath blunder in the 4th inning when Connor MacRae strayed too far off second base on a sacrifice fly and was picked off.

Evan Habib – hit hard early

First-time Clipper starter Evan Habib gave up a double to Joe Burgess on the first pitch he threw and was down 2-0 after three batters.  John Browning delivered the first run with a double over leftfielder Mike Sweeney’s head.  John scored on Matt Corwin’s single to right.

Evan faced the top of the order again in the third inning and surrendered two more runs.  Another double by Joe Burgess (he was 3-for-3), started things and a single to right center by John Browning moved Joe to third.  Joe registered the Hornets’ third run of the game on a wild pitch. John would come home with Run #4 on a Max Nesbit sacrifice fly.

Stephen Singer came on to pitch to the Hornets in the 4th.  His problem was wildness.  Three walks, one of them intentional to Joe Burgess, and a hit batsman (John Browning) gave ME a 5-0 advantage after 3 ½  innings.

John Browning misjudges a foul fly

It looked as if the Clipper fortunes were changing for the better in the bottom of the 4th after Colton Fontaine got an extra swing because John Browning misjudged his foul fly.  Sure enough, Colton ripped the next pitch to left for a single.  Jimmy Conway followed with a walk before Connor MacRae laced a high fastball to left center for a double driving in Colton and sending Jimmy to third.

So there it was nicely set up for Newburyport; a run in, two runners in scoring position, and no one out.  But instead of a really big 4th inning the Clippers sacrifice flied into a double play and Ben Greene grounded out to short.  The Clippers got two runs but the chance for more escaped them.

Stephen Singer pitched his way out of a base loaded, nobody out, big-time jam in the fifth with a force at home surrounded by two strikeouts.

That escape kept the deficit at three runs (5-2) but the Clippers couldn’t rally back over the last two innings and get their first loss of the season.

Brett Fontaine and Joe Burgess

This was Adrian Frattini’s first start of the season.  It certainly shouldn’t be his last!

Noah Brown and freshman John Browning each had two hits for ME.

Centerfielder Ian Michaels had two hits for the Clippers.

Manchester-Essex faces Ipswich at home on Saturday afternoon (1PM).

Newburyport rematches with North Reading on the same day at home at 10AM.  The Clippers won the first meeting, 1-0, on April 13th.

As the Hornets carried the lead into the late innings someone on the ME bench said, “This is like the US against Russia,” recalling the Lake Placid upset by the American Olympians.

(All of the pictures enlarge significantly if you click on them.)

Matt Corwin

Clipper coach Steve Malenfant

Matt Corwin tagged out by Colby Morris

Joe Burgess

Colton Fontaine

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Manchester-Essex Rolls Past Matignon 93-48 to the North D4 Semi-Finals

Chris Bishop – career high 34 points and a terrific defensive job

(Manchester) If you were looking for drama you were at the right place (Manchester-Essex High School) on Saturday night.  The Massachusetts High School Drama Festival was held there.

For those of us in the packed gymnasium there was little, if any, drama as the Hornets had everything working and routed Matignon, 93-48, in the D4 North quarter finals.

The Hornets are now three wins away from winning the state Division 4 title.  Remember that there are only D4 tournaments in the North and South.  The upper three divisions have a Central and a West also, so they play more games to sort their champion out.

M-E’s North semi-final opponent is St. Mary’s of Lynn.  The Hornets have played them twice, losing at home in December and winning at St. Mary’s on February 14th.  Also still alive are Georgetown and Winthrop.  The Hornets split with G’town during the Cape Ann League season.

Chris Bishop (#4) connected on six 3’s

M-E (17-4) led undramatically in this one from beginning to end and how fitting it was that Chris Bishop (34 points) should score first (on a layup).  The 6’1” junior had a career night burying six three’s in 2 ½ quarters of playing time.  Matignon played a lot of zone defense and their fear of Joe Mussachia (and his 24.7 scoring average) led to abundant open looks for everyone else.  On this night Chris took full advantage.

By the time Chris scored his last points, the Hornets had a 67-33 advantage and there still were 1 ½ quarters to play.

Matignon (14-7) trailed just 19-13 after a quarter and certainly promising for them was the fact that Joe Mussachia had already picked up two fouls.

Even with Joe on the pines at the start of the second quarter M-E started to do everything right and the Warriors could do nothing to stop them.

The Hornets pressure continually and the Warriors had eleven turnovers in the second quarter.  They were actually only able to get off seven shots and connected only once.

Down the other end, M-E missed its first seven shots and then went 11-for-18 rolling up an amazing thirty-three points.  Chris had seventeen of the points.  And if you really want to talk about great offense – the Hornets tallied twenty-seven points in their last eleven possessions.  I guess you could say they had it going!

The lead was 52-25 at the half and I doubt that any in the sweltering crowd gave Matignon a chance for a comeback in the second half.  The Hornets were just too good on both ends of the court on this day.  M-E led, 78-40, after three periods.

Ron Slager was held to six points after getting 22 in the Warriors win in the first round.  He had Chris Bishop defending him for some of the time.

Junior Bob Crane led Matignon scorers with twenty points.  His life became a whole lot easier when his defender (Joe Mussachia) picked up his second foul in the first quarter.

Joe Mussachia – thirteen points and a slew of rebounds and assists

Amherst-bound Joe ended up with thirteen points in limited minutes.  I don’t have his rebound or assist totals but I’d guess he was close to a triple/double.  He may have assisted on all of Chris Bishop’s three’s.

Joe Burgess came off the bench and tallied ten points.

The student section was decked in white shirts.  They all filed out before the game was over and then rushed back onto the court to congratulate the players when the game ended.

It was my first time seeing the indoor part of the M-E facility.  The lighting was excellent as well as the seating.  However, there seemed to be no way to vent the heat that the crowd created.  I’ve put on a few pounds this winter so sweating was actually a positive!

Bob Crane and Joe Mussachia share a light moment with an official.

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