Amesbury plays well in 4-1 loss to D3 powerhouse St. Mary’s of Lynn

Augie relaxes between innings of the St. Marys/Amesbury softball game

Augie relaxes between innings of the St. Marys/Amesbury softball game

Pitcher Mia Nowicki gets congratulated by teammate Katie Terban

Pitcher Mia Nowicki gets congratulated by teammate Katie Terban

(Amesbury MA) Amesbury didn’t make a full recovery from the nightmarish 16-15 loss to Newburyport last game but their improved play was noticeable.

The Indians (2-2) lost, 4-1, to a very strong St. Mary’s (Lynn) team in a non-league game on a beautiful Tuesday morning.

Sophomore Vanessa VanBuskirk drove in three runs for St. Mary’s (4-1).

The Spartans pitching (sophomore Michaela Hamill and freshman Mia Nowicki) gave up seven hits but it was their ability to strand nine Indians that made the difference.  Twice St. Mary’s pitchers were confronted with bases-loaded situations but yielded just one Amesbury run.

The Spartans scored two runs in the second and two more in the sixth.  The Indians collected their lone run in the fourth.

Pitcher Rachel Cyr gets one of her seven assists.

Pitcher Rachel Cyr gets one of her seven assists.

Rachel Cyr went the distance for Amesbury and pitched well.  The senior was victimized by a trio of infield bleeders in StM’s 2-run second and two walks in the 2-run sixth.

In the Spartans’ second inning, juniors Molly Doyle and Mollie Mello reached on slow rollers that neither AHS shortstop Maddie Napoli nor third baseman Autumn Kligerman had easy chances on.  (Senior Alexis Mango ran for Mollie Mello.)  A wild pitch moved both runners up and Mia Nowicki’s grounder to pitcher Rachel Cyr enabled Molly Doyle to score St. Mary’s first run.  Alexis Mango reached third on the play.  Vanessa VanBuskirk then hit a blooper over the pitcher, but in front of the shortstop, with plenty of spin on it that fell in and drove across the Spartans second run.  Nothing was hard hit but St. Mary’s was up, 2-0, after two innings.

Rachel Cyr gets back to third as Katie Terban applies the tag

Rachel Cyr gets back to third as Katie Terban applies the tag

Amesbury cut the lead in half in their fourth inning and came very close to having an even bigger inning.  Rachel Cyr started things off by reaching on a dropped popup by senior second baseman Jennie Mucciarone.  Autumn Kligerman bunted Rachel to second.  Next batter junior Meagan Aponas took a full swing and got a dribbler to go down the first baseline.  None of the St. Mary’s fielders reacted to it and so Meagan reached first.  Sophomore Sammy Stone then hit a grounder back to pitcher Michaela Hamill who tried unsuccessfully to get Rachel Cyr off of third.  So Amesbury now had the bases loaded with just one out.  They did get a run as Lauren Fedorchak’s fielder’s choice scored Rachel Cyr but Michaela got freshman Maddie Napoli to pop out ending what might have been a much bigger inning.

Mia Nowicki pitched the final three innings for the Spartans.

Against Mia in the fifth, the Indians got senior Lucy Scholz (3 hits) to third with two outs but failed to capitalize.

Jess Marinello scores the Spartans 4th run

Jess Marinello scores the Spartans 4th run

The Spartans put up two runs worth of insurance in the sixth inning.  Rachel Cyr’s only two walks of the game proved costly.  With two outs, St. Mary’s runners (Molly Doyle and pinchrunner Jess Martinello), who had reached on walks, were on second and third.  Vanessa VanBuskirk delivered the two of them with a hard shot to centerfield.

Amesbury trailed, 4-1, with two out in the bottom of the seventh.  But the Indians didn’t go quietly getting consecutive hits from Alexi Boswell and Lucy Scholz.  Amanda Schell extended the inning with a walk loading the bases.  However, Mia Nowicki got Rachel Cyr to fly to senior centerfielder Alex Fisher to end Amesbury‘s hopes for a last-inning comeback.

Amesbury is now in Division 3 as is St. Mary’s so it was a good chance for both teams to check each other out for a possible D3 North tournament game later on.

Vanessa VanBuskirk leads teammate Jennie Mucciarone to the bag

Vanessa VanBuskirk leads teammate Jennie Mucciarone to the bag

Jennie Mucciarone (going to Tufts) was part of St. Mary’s D3 basketball state champs as was Mia Nowicki.

Pitcher Rachel Cyr had seven assists.

St. Mary’s reached the state D3 final last year before losing, 5-2, to Assabet Valley.  The Spartans were 20-6 last season.  Amesbury was 19-3 in 2013 but in Division 2.

Amesbury is scheduled to visit Ipswich tomorrow for a 10AM game……..weather permitting.

Weather?  It is nice to go to an outdoor event in April and feel over-dressed. This was one of those mornings.

St. Mary’s box

Amesbury box

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

Lauren Fedorchak eyes a popup

Lauren Fedorchak eyes a popup

Alexi Boswell

Alexi Boswell

Maddie Napoli throws to first

Maddie Napoli throws to first

Vanessa VanBuskirk

Vanessa VanBuskirk

Mollie Mello

Mollie Mello

Michaela Hamill

Michaela Hamill

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Filed under Amesbury, St. Mary's

8-run second inning keys 11-2 Chelmsford win over Newburyport

Taylor Rowsell scores the 8th Chelmsford run

Taylor Rowsell scores the 8th Chelmsford run

Amy Sullivan tagged out at the plate by Carly Rennie

Amy Sullivan tagged out at the plate by Carly Rennie

(Newburyport MA) Chelmsford defeated Newburyport, 11-2, in non-league softball game on a sunny Monday morning.

This game was settled in the second inning.  How?  Any time you have an inning in which one team slugs three triples and the other team commits four errors you can be sure the damage will be significant.  And it was.

Chelmsford (7-1) sent twelve batters to the plate in that second inning and eight of them crossed home plate before the inning was over.

Catherine Nestor, Carly Rennie, and Libby Mercuri each tripled over outfielder’s heads in the decisive frame off of NHS starter Vicki Allman.  Because the Lions were such good hitters, it was imperative that the Clippers limit the CHS at-bats with tight defense.  Not in this inning.  Infielders Molly Kelley, Jade Carpenter, and Meghan Stanton all picked up errors.

Abby Desrosiers (scholarship to Merrimack)

Abby Desrosiers (scholarship to Merrimack)

I’m going to beat that error thing to death but it was such a big part of this game.  Chelmsford scored a run in the first on an attempt by Abby Desrosiers to steal third.  The throw from catcher Lauren Singer went past third baseman Jade Carpenter enabling Abby to continue on home with the Lions’ first run.

Ahead, 9-0, after two innings, Chelmsford put runners on first and second with one out in the third inning with Stephanie Gleason now pitching for Newburyport.  A throwing error (Meghan Stanton) loaded the bases and Carly Rennie singled to center driving in two more runs.

A week ago Newburyport (3-3) was able to get a win over Amesbury, 16-15, because the Clippers were able to put an eight-run inning together.  Not against Chelmsford.  CHS coach Bruce Rich used three pitchers (Jackie Arndt, Meg Dugas, and Erin O’Keefe) and kept NHS away from a big inning.

The Clippers had five hits and stranded six baserunners in the first three innings but came away with no runs.  CHS starter junior Jackie Arndt K’d Lauren Singer to end a two-on, two-out situation in the first.  In the second, NHS had two more on (singles Molly Kelley and Vicki Allman) with only one out but Jackie escaped by striking out Morgan Johnston and getting Ashley Hodge to pop to shortstop Abby Desrosiers.  In the third inning the Clippers had a walk (Amy Sullivan) and two hits (Carly Siemasko and Lauren Singer) and came up empty again as rightfielder Catherine Nestor nailed Amy Sullivan at the plate after Lauren’s single.

Carly Siemasko (3 hits and an RBI)

Carly Siemasko (3 hits and an RBI)

Newburyport avoided the shutout with unearned runs in the sixth and seventh innings.  An error by shortstop Abby Desrosiers in the sixth gave NHS an extra out and the Clippers loaded the bases.  Carly Siemasko drove in the Newburyport run singling to deep short.  Outfielders McKenzie Lalumiere and Catherine Nestor ended that inning (bases loaded) nearly colliding on a fly ball to right center.  McKenzie, however, came away with the catch.

The NHS run in the 7th came after a second Abby Desrosiers error enabled Meghan Stanton to reach.  The Clippers would get runners on first and third.  With two outs the runner on first got in a rundown while Meghan scampered home from third.

Freshman Meg Dugas pitched 3 1/3 innings while senior Erin O’Keefe recorded the last two outs for the Lions.

Junior Carly Siemasko reached base all four times getting three hits and a walk.

Meg Dugas had three hits for Chelmsford.  Carly Rennie knocked in three runs to pace CHS in that category.

Catherine Nestor made several terrific plays in right field

Catherine Nestor made several terrific plays in right field

Catherine Nestor made a couple of tough catches in right field for the Lions.

Abby Desrosiers will be playing for Division 2 Merrimack next year.

Meghan Stanton made a nice catch on Abby’s liner in the seventh inning.

Division 1 Chelmsford was 9-10 last season.  They’re in the very strong Merrimack Valley Conference.

Next game for Newburyport is tomorrow (Tuesday) at Triton (10AM).

Wonderful weather at Cashman Park.

Chelmsford box

Newburyport box

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

McKenzie Lalumiere and Catherine Nestor converge

McKenzie Lalumiere and Catherine Nestor converge

Shianne Sneider

Shianne Sneider

CHS coach Bruce Rich

CHS coach Bruce Rich

Erin OKeefe

Erin OKeefe

rundown scramble in the 7th inning

rundown scramble in the 7th inning

CHS starter Jackie Arndt

CHS starter Jackie Arndt

Lauren Singer makes a nice catch on a foul popup

Lauren Singer makes a nice catch on a foul popup

Shannon Garrity

Shannon Garrity

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Filed under Chelmsford, Newburyport

Pat Slack and Georgetown hitting attack lead to 5-0 win over Amesbury

Pat Slack and teammates celebrate his two-hit shutout

Pat Slack and teammates celebrate his two-hit shutout

Colby Ingraham about to cross home with the first Royals run

Colby Ingraham about to cross home with the first Royals run

(Amesbury MA)  Now, that’s more like it!  (That was a reference to the weather.)

Georgetown had everything go their way as they defeated Amesbury, 5-0, on a sunny Saturday morning of Cape Ann League baseball.

The Royals (4-1) rode the arm of senior Pat Slack (two hitter) and a non-stop hitting attack (nine hits) to the victory.

While G’Town had hits and stranded baserunners (nine) in every inning, the Indians went through 4 1/3 innings without a baserunner.  Nick Hawrylciw was the first to reach for Amesbury beating out (barely!) a grounder to shortstop Colby Ingraham.  Later in that fifth inning Spencer Fournier would get a no-questions-asked single to right center.  But those two hits were all that Amesbury (3-3) could muster.

Spencer Fournier (#8) had one of two Amesbury hits

Spencer Fournier (#8) had one of two Amesbury hits

Spencer Fournier’s hit to right center was only one of two balls to reach the Georgetown outfield.  Pat Slack was that dominating in the complete game shutout.  He had four strikeouts and kept the ball down.  First baseman Nick Correnti ended up with ten putouts.

Junior Sam Burnham pitched six innings for Amesbury (3-3) in his first varsity start.  Levi Burrill covered the last inning for the Indians.

Sam Burnham was charged with five runs but only two of them were earned.

The first of the unearned runs opened the scoring for the visitors in the first inning.  After Colby Ingraham doubled with two outs, AHS shortstop Ben Cullen booted Kyle Nelson’s grounder allowing Colby Ingraham to get home.

Three more runs came across for the Royals in the second inning.  Kevin Terban singled to left and was driven home by Chris Chiklakis’s triple to right center.  An infield hit to deep short by Ben Noelk enabled Chris to get G’Town’s third run.  A two-out throwing error by shortstop Ben Cullen followed adding a fourth run to the Royals’ total.

Sam Burnham

Sam Burnham

Georgetown’s third unearned run came in the sixth inning.  Left fielder Brad Kelleher had trouble retrieving Mike Goddu’s single and as a result Mike reached second.  Sam Burnham balked Mike to third.  Sam would have gotten out of the inning but another infield error (second baseman Jared Dupere) gave Georgetown its fifth run.

So despite all the Georgetown hits and baserunners, this could have been a much closer game minus the five Amesbury miscues.

The Royals, meanwhile, were flawless in the field with few tough chances.  Amesbury’s hardest shot, other than Spencer Fournier’s single, was a line drive toward second by Mac Short that Kevin Terban snared about shin level in the fourth inning.

Pat Slack (three hits) had two doubles that were part of Georgetown’s four extra-base hits.

Amesbury starter Sam Burnham took a hard shot off the shin in the third inning but recovered to toss the hitter out at first.

Colby Ingraham

Colby Ingraham

Cape Ann League All-League performer Colby Ingraham is back.  He suffered a torn ACL in football.  He has a noticeable limp but still has enough range to handle the shortstop position.  Colby almost got himself into trouble with the first base umpire when he had a loud reaction to his throw in the 5th inning that didn’t result in an out at first.  GHS coach Justin Spurr was quick to pay a visit to the field to cool things down.

Mac Short, Colby Ingraham, and Ben Noelk were Cape Ann League All-League players in 2013.  Pat Slack was a CAL All-Star last year.

Kevin Terban had two hits and scored two runs for the Royals.

Ben Cullen showed terrific range tracking down a first inning foul popup down the third baseline.

I’m guessing on this one but I believe that Amesbury sophomore second baseman Jared Dupere is the brother of Sarah Dupere the very talented senior softball pitcher at Governor’s Academy.  I saw Sarah K seven Pingree batters and get three hits herself in a 13-0 shutout against the Highlanders.

Next game for Georgetown in Tuesday (10AM) hosting Hamilton-Wenham.  Amesbury will host Pentucket (3:45PM) on the same day.

The weather was terrific.  There was a pretty good crowd on hand and almost all of them were over-dressed.  It’s just hard to believe so far this season that sunny, breezy, and 60′s could all come together in a pleasant outdoor experience!

Georgetown box

Amesbury box

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

Pitcher Sam Burnham recovers after taking a shot to the shin

Pitcher Sam Burnham recovers after taking a shot to the shin

Jared Dupere

Jared Dupere

Levi Burrill

Levi Burrill

Pat Slack

Pat Slack

Nick Correnti stretches for his 10th putout

Nick Correnti stretches for his 10th putout

Ben Cullen tracks down a foul popup

Ben Cullen tracks down a foul popup

Pat Slack caught in a rundown in the third inning.

Pat Slack caught in a rundown in the third inning.

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Filed under Amesbury, Cape Ann League, Georgetown

Masconomet stays undefeated with 5-2 win against Newburyport

Tom Budrewicz (#11) heads home with second Masco run on Scott Webster balk

Tom Budrewicz (#11) heads home with second Masco run on Scott Webster balk

Will Twiss (six hitter with eight strikeouts)

Will Twiss (six hitter with nine strikeouts)

(Newburyport MA)  Both teams continued to go in the direction they have been going.

Masconomet ran its winning streak to five as they defeated winless Newburyport, 5-2, in a cold Thursday afternoon/evening of Cape Ann League baseball.

The inexperienced Clippers (0-4) hung with Masco through four innings (2-2) before the Chieftains tallied two in the 5th and one in the sixth to pull away.

A key to the Masco win was the pitching of senior Will Twiss.  Will allowed six hits with nine strikeouts and retired the last seven Clippers he faced.  He only walked one batter.

Scott Webster started for NHS and lasted 4 1/3 innings.  The sophomore struck out seven but also allowed six walks.  During his stint runs were scored on a balk and a wild pitch.  It was feast or famine!

Leighton Paradis tossed the final 2 2/3 for Newburyport and he was charged with an unearned run.  Elias Varinos’ sharp single to left in the sixth inning got past Tom Isabel allowing Sam Hamburger to score all the way from first with Masco’s fifth run.

Caleb Stott leads off third in the first inning

Caleb Stott leads off third in the first inning

Newburyport put up a run in the first.  A double by Caleb Stott and a bloop single by Ryan Furlong had the Clippers in nice shape with no outs.  Masco gave up an unearned run when catcher Mike Manni’s throw to second, as Ryan Furlong attempted to steal, was wild and Caleb Stott reached home from third.  Will Twiss retired the next three batters (2 K’s and a groundout) to limit the damage.

The Chieftains took a 2-1 lead in the fourth.  Joe Klingensmith singled and stole second.  Tom Budrewicz tripled to the fence in right center scoring Joe.  Pitcher Scott Webster balked Tom home.  Masco would load the bases after that with two walks and a hit batsman but Scott Webster K’d Dan Dempsey and had Sam Hamburger fly out to end the threat.

The Clippers pulled even in their half of the fourth inning.  A walk and steal by leadoff batter James Nutter was followed by a single by Scott Webster.  Tom Isabel put the ball in play and James came in from third with the tying run.

Elias Varinos caught in a rundown after driving in the 5th Masco run

Elias Varinos caught in a rundown after driving in the 5th Masco run

The visitors collected the game winners in the fifth with two runs.  Elias Varinos (2 hits) doubled to the right field corner leading off.  Scott Webster then served up a wild pitch, a walk (Joe Klingensmith), and another wild pitch and Elias was home with Run #3.

Leighton Paradis relieved Scott Webster and walked Mike Manni to load the bases.  Chris Rich’s sacrifice fly delivered Joe Klingensmith with the fourth Masco run.

The Chieftains collected their fifth run after a single and an outfield error in the sixth inning.

Scott Webster (seven strikeouts)

Scott Webster (seven strikeouts)

Newburyport pitching only allowed four hits but the walks (nine) and pitching miscues (wild pitches/balk) spoiled things for the Clippers.

The Clippers return tomorrow (Friday) for a 10AM game versus nonleague Beverly (2-3).  Maybe that elusive first win will turn up.

Ryan Furlong paced the Clippers with two hits.  Sophomore Elias Varinos had two of Masco’s four hits.

Masco was 19-6 last season and reached the Division 2 state semi-finals.  They have won the Division 2 North title three times in the last six years.  Their last state title was in 2000.

Joe Klingensmith and Tom Budrewicz made the Cape Ann League All-League team last year.  Greg Dougherty was a CAL All-Star.

Greg was rung up three times by Newburyport pitching.

Masco’s next game is at 10AM on Saturday at Saugus.

Tom Isabel made a terrific catch in the first inning on a deep fly to left center by Greg Dougherty.  The wind may have helped keep it in the park.

Joe Klingensmith (D1 scholarship to UMass Amherst)

Joe Klingensmith (D1 scholarship to UMass Amherst)

Joe Klingensmith has a scholarship to D1 UMass Amherst next season.  He had four homers and seventeen RBI last season.  He had a hit (single) and scored two runs today against the Clippers.

You get used to fans complaining about balls and strikes even though they’re usually in poor position to see where the pitch ends up.  Today the complaints were a bit different: “That was a strike.  It’s cold out here!”

And cold it was.  Winter is not over.  Even the sun doesn’t help if the wind is blowing.  “You want some cheese with that whine?”

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

Joe Klingensmith about to turn third

Joe Klingensmith about to turn third

Tom Budrewicz (CAL All-League)

Tom Budrewicz (CAL All-League)

Dan Dempsey

Dan Dempsey

James Nutter slides into second

James Nutter slides into second

Tom Isabel takes a cut

Tom Isabel takes a cut

Leighton Paradis

Leighton Paradis

Greg Dougherty (CAL All-Star in 2013)

Greg Dougherty (CAL All-Star in 2013)

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Filed under Cape Ann League, Masconomet, Newburyport

Newburyport gets wild 16-15 walkoff win over Amesbury

Morgan Johnston walks home the winning run for Newburyport

Morgan Johnston walks home the winning run for Newburyport

Maddie Napoli puts the tag on Lauren Singer

Maddie Napoli puts the tag on Lauren Singer

(Newburyport)  Newburyport batted around in two of the last three innings and overtook Amesbury, 16-15, on a very windy Monday afternoon in Cape Ann League softball.

The Clippers (2-2) were down by two runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh but a two-run single by Lauren Singer tied things at 15-15.  A catcher’s interference call followed loading the bases and pitcher Rachel Cyr’s walk to Morgan Johnston forced across the game winner.

This game was anything but smooth.  The 20-30 MPH gusty winds made every ball in the air an adventure.  Infield popups dropped among players.  Outfield flies sailed over the heads of outfielders.  In fact, line drives right at players were dropped.

Lucy Scholz races to third

Lucy Scholz races to third

Things weren’t much better on the ground.  Part of the trouble for the infielders was the steady collection of baserunners serving up distractions.  There were way too many throws to the wrong bases.

The Indians (2-1) dominated the first four innings.  They led, 8-3, and already had eleven hits off of NHS starter Vicki Allman while AHS starter Rachel Cyr was limiting the Clippers to just three hits.

Newburyport turned things around in the fifth inning.  They sent twelve players to the plate and collected eight runs on just four hits.  Junior Morgan Kelley tripled in two of the runs.  Amy Sullivan scored twice.

Alexi Boswell

Alexi Boswell

Amesbury hit the ball hard all game and finished with seventeen hits.  Five of the hits came in their sixth inning and they made Newburyport’s 11-8 lead disappear in a six-run inning.  The Indians sent eleven batters to the plate.  Alexi Boswell had two hits in the inning.

Newburyport went quietly in their sixth inning and trailed, 14-11.

The Indians added another run in the seventh as Amanda Schell hit a ball sharply to right.  NHS rightfielder Morgan Johnston looked to have a chance on the ball but it got by her to the fence.  Amanda was able to circle the bases for Amesbury’s fifteenth run.

Sammy Stone pitched the scoreless sixth for the Indians and 2/3 of the seventh inning.

In the seventh Newburyport got down to its final out before five straight Clippers reached to win on a walkoff walk by Morgan Johnston.

One reason for the Clippers win may well have been that despite getting hit hard pitcher Vicki Allman only walked two.

Carly Siemasko catches a popup

Carly Siemasko catches a popup

Sixteen players scored runs in this game.  Thirteen players had RBIs.

Rachel Cyr drove in four runs while Molly Kelley and Lauren Singer drove in three each.

Amy Sullivan scored three times.

Alexi Boswell led all players with four hits, while teammates Lucy Scholz and Rachel Cyr had three apiece.

Meagan Aponas catches a fly just beyond the reach of Maddie Napoli

Meagan Aponas catches a fly just beyond the reach of Maddie Napoli

Lauren Singer had four hits for the Clippers including two triples.

Meghan Stanton looked good taking over for Kendra Dow at shortstop for Newburyport.

Weather?  No question it was windy but it was also warm.

Next game for Amesbury will be hosting Rockport on Wednesday.  Newburyport will be traveling to Saugus on the same day.

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

Lauren Singer triples over Alexi Boswell

Lauren Singer triples over Alexi Boswell

Amy Sullivan scores as the ball gets by catcher Amanda Schell

Amy Sullivan scores as the ball gets by catcher Amanda Schell

Jade Carpenter fires to first

Jade Carpenter fires to first

Lauren Fedorchak

Lauren Fedorchak

Amanda Schell near home after circling the bases

Amanda Schell near home after circling the bases

Amy Sullivan and Coach Lori Solazzo

Amy Sullivan and Coach Lori Solazzo

Shelby OBrien

Shelby OBrien

Vicki Allman

Vicki Allman

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Filed under Amesbury, Cape Ann League, Newburyport

Hamilton-Wenham defeats Newburyport 3-2 on Austen Michel’s homer in the 8th inning

Austin Michel is in the home run trot after a long blast in the 8th inning

Austen Michel is in the home run trot after a long blast in the 8th inning

Brett Harring forced extra innings with a 2-out RBI in the seventh inning

Brett Harring forced extra innings with a 2-out RBI in the seventh inning

(Newburyport MA)  Hamilton-Wenham remains unbeaten after rallying to defeat Newburyport, 3-2, in eight innings on a sunny/drizzly Friday afternoon of Cape Ann League baseball.

The Clippers (0-2) were one out away from winning this game in seven innings but Brett Harring singled in the hole to score pinch-hitter Ted Hogan.

Austen Michel led off the Generals’ 8th with an opposite-field bomb over the rightfield fence off hard-luck Clippers starter Cam Beaulieu.  That run was enough as HW reliever Drew Gallant retired Newburyport in order in the bottom of the eighth.

Hamilton-Wenham (2-0) took a 1-0 lead in the third inning.  Harrison O’Brien reached on an infield single, was bunted to second, and reached third with two outs.  Drew Gallant pushed the run across with a single to center.

Newburyport tied the score in the 4th.  Scott Webster (2 hits) singled to left center and reached second when HW starter Jack Clay misfired on a pickoff attempt.  Ryan Furlong (2 hits) singled to center getting Scott Webster to 3B.  Scott rounded the base drawing a throw which sailed past the HW catcher.  Fortunately, pitcher Jack Clay made a nice play backing up his catcher.  However, Jack Clay followed with a wild pitch in the dirt that Scott Webster did come home on to tie the score at 1-1.

Scott Webster heads home with the second Newburyport run

Scott Webster heads home with the second Newburyport run

The Clippers pulled in front in the fifth inning.  Third baseman Harrison O’Brien rushed a throw after a good Chance Carpenter bunt and Chance ended up on second.  Chance reached third on a wild pitch and raced home on Caleb Stott’s sacrifice fly to right.

Hamilton-Wenham forced extra innings with an exciting seventh-inning rally.  Pinch-hitter Ted Hogan walked and pitcher Cam Beaulieu balked him to second.  Mark Vivenzio singled Ted Hogan to third and took second on the throw in.  That put two runners in scoring position with no outs.

Newburyport nearly came out of the inning unscathed.  Cam Beaulieu K’d Travis O’Brien and got Henry Eager to pop to third for the second out.  The Clippers needed one more out but they didn’t get it until after catcher Brett Harring had slashed an opposite-field grounder between third and short driving in Ted Hogan with the tying run.

Austen Michel’s homer was a no-doubter.

Caleb Stott waits to tag Austin Michel in the first inning

Caleb Stott waits to tag Austen Michel in the first inning

Austen Michel was out trying to stretch a single in the first inning.  The throw in from the Newburyport outfield sailed over the cutoff man but arrived in plenty of time for shortstop Caleb Stott to apply the tag.

The Clippers turned a nifty 5-4-3 double play in the second.

Newburyport squandered a glorious chance in the second inning.  Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out but HW starter Jack Clay K’d Ben Ventura and got Jeremy Grabowski to ground out to second baseman Drew Gallant on a very close play.

Centerfielder Henry Eagar handles six chances.

Cam Beaulieu

Cam Beaulieu

Cam Beaulieu’s only walk was in the seventh inning.

The Clippers were held hitless during the final three innings.

Alex Demers led the Generals with two hits.

Weather?  Nice and sunny at the start but there was a storm cloud in the distance.  By the fifth inning that storm cloud was producing drizzle.  My camera and I have a deal: I keep it dry and it keeps working!  Fortunately, at Newburyport there is a storage shed nearby which provided adequate shelter.

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

Harrison OBrien about to be tagged out at third

Harrison OBrien about to be tagged out at third

Scott Webster hustles to beat a throw to first

Scott Webster hustles to beat a throw to first

Harrison OBrien settles under a popup

Harrison OBrien settles under a popup

reliever Drew Gallant

reliever Drew Gallant

reliever Will Cataldo

reliever Will Cataldo

Jack Clay

Jack Clay

Steve Malenfant and Reggie Maidment enjoying the pre-game

Steve Malenfant and Reggie Maidment enjoying the pre-game

James Nutter starts a 5-4-3 double play

James Nutter starts a 5-4-3 double play

catcher Brett Harring

catcher Brett Harring

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Mookie Betts, Blake Swihart, and Sean Coyle sighted at Portland Sea Dogs home opener

Peter Hissey and Sean Coyle

Peter Hissey and Sean Coyle

Sluggo circles Hadlock Field

Sluggo circles Hadlock Field

(Portland ME)  I saw my first home opener for the Portland Sea Dogs on Thursday night.

Cold, windy (normal April weather in these parts) but worth the trip.

I acquired a sense of urgency about getting to a game because of the terrific prospects that are on the Portland roster.

One thing I have learned the hard way is that prospects don’t always stay at AA very long.  I missed seeing (photographing) both Matt Barnes and Anthony Ranaudo despite the fact that they were at Portland for quite a while.

Blake Swihart

Blake Swihart

So when players like Blake Swihart, Mookie Betts, and Sean Coyle are at Portland for the first time I want to get pictures of them while I can.

Blake wasn’t in the starting lineup but there were opening game activities that allowed me to get some shots of him.  There were plenty of opportunities to get Mookie and Sean.

Henry Owens never appeared.  He pitched on Wednesday night.  I do have some shots of him from the Field of Dreams game at the end of last season.  Probably a good thing, as Rob Bradford’s WEEI.COM posed this question today, “When will Henry Owens be moved up?”

There were plenty of activities to keep the fans interest during pre-game ceremonies.  I had hoped to get a picture of my nephew’s son marching in the pre-game parade but he arrived late.  He qualified to walk by completing a reading challenge from the Portland Library.

Mookie Betts in the Sea Dogs dugout

Mookie Betts in the Sea Dogs dugout

The Sea Dogs (4-3) defeated New Britain, 6-4, in the game although I confess that the adverse conditions had me heading south long before the game ended.

I greatly appreciated having Assistant GM Chris Cameron handle the arrangements for my visit.

Here are some of the things I got pictures of (they all enlarge if you click on them) on opening night:

Sean Coyle

Sean Coyle

Sean Coyle bats

Sean Coyle bats

Sean Coyle

Sean Coyle

"Play ball!"

“Play ball!”

Mookie Betts in the field

Mookie Betts in the field

Mookie Betts keeps warm

Mookie Betts keeps warm

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts

Matt Spring crosses home with a run

Matt Spring crosses home with a run

Manager Billy McMillon

Manager Billy McMillon

DJ Baxendale (New Britain starter)

DJ Baxendale (New Britain starter)

Deven Marrero

Deven Marrero

Derrik Gibson

Derrik Gibson

Corey Wimberly of New Britain steals second

Corey Wimberly of New Britain steals second

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