Bethel takes girls soccer opener 3-2 over Newtown

Bethel goalkeeper Sophia Corbo shut out Newtown in a very busy first half

Bethel goalkeeper Sophia Corbo shut out Newtown in a very busy first half

Annie Bedore (2 goals) and Jess Keller (1 goal)

Annie Bedore (2 goals) and Jess Keller (1 goal)

(Newtown CT) The Bethel girls soccer team opened their season with a 3-2 win over Newtown on Tuesday afternoon in South-West Conference action.

Newtown (0-1-2) fell behind 2-0 in the first half before tying the score midway through the second half.  The Nighthawks looked to be heading for their third tie of the season before a dreaded “own” goal gave the visitors the lead late for good.

Sophomore Annie Bedore netted two goals for the Wildcats.  Jess Keller (penalty kick) and Makenna Cerney cashed in for Newtown.

The key to the Bethel win was the amazing first-half goaltending of junior Sophia Corbo.  The Nighthawks were held scoreless but believe me it wasn’t for lack of chances.  Let the pictures tell the story:

Julie Shugrue in close

Julie Shugrue in close

Makenna Cerney in close

Makenna Cerney in close

Julia Schoeni shoots

Julia Schoeni shoots

Julia Schoeni collides with Sophia Corbo

Julia Schoeni collides with Sophia Corbo

GK Sophia Corbo robs Julia Schoeni

GK Sophia Corbo robs Julia Schoeni

The Wildcats (1-0) had few chances in the first half but made the most of them.  Annie Bedore was able to get in very close on both her scores.  One of them came off a rebound of Alex DeLuca’s shot from the right.

Jess Keller fires a penalty kick in the second half

Jess Keller fires a penalty kick in the second half

Newtown dominated most of the second half.  Their chances weren’t as golden as in the first half but they tied the score.  Senior Jess Keller drove a penalty kick to Sophia Corbo’s left for the first goal.  On the second Nighthawks tally, Makenna Cerney dribbled in close and then finished off her own rebound.

Makenna’s goal made it 2-2 with plenty of the second half left.  The Bethel defense began to limit Newtown’s opportunities.  Most of the play was in the middle half of the field for quite a while.

A deflection off a Newtown defender gives Bethel the eventual game winner

A deflection off a Newtown defender gives Bethel the eventual game winner

Eventually Bethel earned a corner kick from the left.  Alex DeLuca took the shot and got it into the middle in front of the net.  The ball hit a Newtown defender and suddenly changed direction whizzing past Newtown GK Megan Doyle.  That “own” goal ended up the game winner.

Nice setup at Treadwell Park for soccer and soccer viewing.

Both teams return to action on Thursday.  Newtown visits New Fairfield while Bethel hosts Pomperaug.

I am able to add or subtract from this write-up.  So if I missed something or need to add something let me know and I will do it.

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

Hannah Booth looks to shoot as the Newtown bench watches

Hannah Booth looks to shoot as the Newtown bench watches

Renata Navarro and Julia Shugrue

Renata Navarro and Julia Shugrue

Lauren Bradshaw

Lauren Bradshaw

Sofia Orrico

Sofia Orrico

Alex DeLuca

Alex DeLuca

Makenna Cerney gets into position to score the first Newtown goal

Makenna Cerney gets into position to score the first Newtown goal

Annie Bedore (#2) gets a great look

Annie Bedore (#2) gets a great look

Alex DeLuca (#7) shoots from the right.  Annie Bedore (#2) will get a tasty rebound off the shot

Alex DeLuca (#7) shoots from the right. Annie Bedore (#2) will get a tasty rebound off the shot

chasing a loose ball

chasing a loose ball

Marissa Thill

Marissa Thill

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Late goal gets Lake Region past Gray-New Gloucester 4-3 in Western Maine Conference Class B girls soccer

Sophomore Kristen Huntress sets to rip home the game-winner with 23 seconds left.

Sophomore Kristen Huntress sets to rip home the game-winner with 23 seconds left.

Junior Maddie Simms had the hat trick for Lake Region

Junior Maddie Simms had the hat trick for Lake Region

(Naples ME) The Lake Region Lakers girls soccer team defeated the Gray-New Gloucester Patriots, 4-3, on a controversial goal with 23 seconds left on Friday night in Western Maine Conference action.

Sophomore Kristen Huntress ripped home the game-winner after a collision and a turnover gave her a wide-open, close-in, look.

GNG coach Kiaran McCormack protested the goal vehemently enough to draw a yellow card.  He could have been complaining about the collision between the Lakers’ Melody Millett and the Patriots’ Izzy Detroy that put Kristen Huntress into glorious scoring position or the apparent off-sides by at least two Lakers.  Take your pick.  They both appeared to have credence but on this night play continued and the excited Lakers had a very happy ending.

The wind was a factor in this game.  GNG (2 goals) had it in the first half and the Lakers (3 goals) in the second.

Junior Maddie Simms registered a hat trick for LR.  Her third goal put the home team ahead 3-2 with 12 1/2 minutes left in the game.  That lead looked like it might hold up but with 1:25 to go, freshman Emma Woods beat Lakers GK Isabel Scribner to the ball and tied the score.  It was Emma’s second goal of the game and 5th of the season.

The Patriots celebrate the tying goal with 1:25 left in the game.

The Patriots celebrate the tying goal with 1:25 left in the game.

And again that goal looked like it would hold up but the Lakers pressure produced the game-winner by Kristen Huntress just over a minute later.

The Patriots (1-2) had a bunch of chances in the first half led by sophomore Kaelyn Woods.

The most dangerous player for the Patriots, in my opinion, was senior Maria Valente.  It was her throw-ins that were so amazing.  She put several long-distance tosses into the box setting up scoring chances.  Sarah Giggey capitalized on one of Maria’s throw-ins in the first half to give GNG a 2-1 lead.

Maria Valente had an assist on a throw-in

Maria Valente had an assist on a throw-in

The Patriots hit the crossbar in each half.

Kristen Huntress had a great look at a straightaway shot that sailed just over the crossbar in the second half.

The Lakers (2-1) are off to a surprising start.  Last season LR won only two games all season.  Last season LR scored a total of eleven goals.  Already they have six.  It certainly has helped the Lakers to start the season with three straight home games.  Can they do as well away from home?

Sophomore Melody Millett had assists on the first and fourth Lakers’ goals.

A big part of the Lakers’ early success has been the quality defensive play of Devynn Turner and Katie Throgmorton.  Their decision making has been solid.

Lakers’ GK Isabel Scribner continued with her very aggressive style.  Despite being burned twice taking chances, she robbed the visitors several times using the same approach.  Fun to watch but I’m not sure what it does for the LR coaching staffs’ heart rate!

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

Emma Dyer closes in on Lakers GK Isabel Scribner

Emma Dyer closes in on Lakers GK Isabel Scribner

Maddie Simms puts her foot into her third goal

Maddie Simms puts her foot into her third goal

loose ball

loose ball

Patriots goalie Zoe Adams tips a shot over the net

Patriots goalie Zoe Adams tips a shot over the net

Kaelyn Woods

Kaelyn Woods

CeCe Hancock splits Emily Hotham (#12) and Izzy Detroy (#11)

CeCe Hancock splits Emily Hotham (#12) and Izzy Detroy (#11)

Maddie Simms gets an open look and fires her third goal

Maddie Simms gets an open look and fires her third goal

Emma Woods (2 goals) and Hannah Dixon

Emma Woods (2 goals) and Hannah Dixon

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Lake Region girls blank Wells 2-0 in Western Maine Conference soccer

Megan Boos about to score the first Lake Region goal with an assist to #1 Kaylyn Jordan

Megan Boos about to score the first Lake Region goal with an assist to #1 Kaylyn Jordan

CeCe Hancock dribbles into position for goal-scoring shot on net

CeCe Hancock dribbles into position for goal-scoring shot on net

(Naples ME)  Lake Region blanked Wells, 2-0, in girls’ soccer on a comfortably cool Tuesday night under the lights.

The Lakers (1-1) had goals in each half (Megan Boos & CeCe Hancock) and eye-catching goaltending (Isabel Scribner) in the Western Maine Conference Class B matchup.

Sophomore Kaylyn Jordan recorded assists on both of the Lakers’ goals.

Senior GK Isabel Scribner set the defensive tone by getting out and after every ball anywhere near the goal.  There was no sitting back waiting for her teammates to clear balls away.  There were some dangerous moments but on this evening Isabel’s approach keyed the LR shutout.

Ali Duplisea

Ali Duplisea

The best chances for Wells (0-2) were in the second half.  In one of the chances, sophomore Aimely Nolan couldn’t quite find the handle after a shot had gotten away from Isabel.  Another time, senior Ali Duplisea flew over Isabel after nearly winning a race to the ball in close.  

Sophomore Megan Boos had a big first half for Lake Region.  (I don’t recall seeing her play in the 2-0 Lakers loss to York.)  Early in the half, Megan set up teammate CeCe Hancock for a scoring chance and later almost scored on a long shot from the right.

In between those near-goals, Megan tallied her first goal of the season.  Megan was facing the Wells goal on the left when her sophomore teammate Kaylyn Jordan took a long shot from the right.  Wells GK Natalie Thurber was covering the near post as the shot came through and went all the way across to the other side of the goal.  Megan came in from the left side unguarded and tapped in as easy a shot as you could ever dream of.  

This first LR goal happened with 17:05 left in the first half.

battling for the ball

battling for the ball

Nine-plus minutes into the second half, the Lakers struck again.  Kaylyn Jordan passed into the middle to junior CeCe Hancock.  CeCe was usually heavily-guarded wherever she went, but on this occasion she was able to dribble into wide open space straightaway.  Her hard, high shot went in untouched by Wells GK Natalie Thurber.

Lake Region suffered through a 2-9-3 season in 2013 so they seemed to be pretty excited to get that first win so early in this season.  Last year the Lakers only scored eleven times, so to get two versus the Warriors was special.

Wells couldn’t finish on this evening but seniors Ali Duplisea, Maddie Taylor, and Betsy Andrews had solid games for the Warriors.

Juniors Katie Throgmorton and Devynn Turner, as well as freshman Lauren Jakobs, helped LR dominate the middle of the field.  

Wells will be hosting Freeport on Thursday (6PM) while Lake Region hosts Gray-New Gloucester at the same time on Friday.

The Lakers have defeated Wells in three of the last four years.  

Wells was 6-7-1 last year.  They have ten seniors on this year’s team.

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

shot on net

shot on net

Isabel Scribner

Isabel Scribner

Sam Young (#5) sets to shoot as Leah Tufts (#3) and Betsy Andrews (#10) move in to defend

Sam Young (#5) sets to shoot as Leah Tufts (#3) and Betsy Andrews (#10) move in to defend

golden LR chance

golden LR chance

CeCe Hancock lobbies

CeCe Hancock lobbies

Melody Millett and Sydney Robinson

Melody Millett and Sydney Robinson

Kayla Schneider

Kayla Schneider

Megan Boos, Kaylyn Jordan, and Lauren Jakobs celebrate first goal

Megan Boos, Kaylyn Jordan, and Lauren Jakobs celebrate first goal

Lakers celebrate first win

Lakers celebrate first win

Megan Boos breaks ahead

Megan Boos breaks ahead

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Rusney Castillo sighted at Portland as Binghamton forces Game Five with 11-4 win in Eastern League playoffs

Boston Red Sox prospect Rusney Castillo looks out from the Portland Sea Dogs dugout

Boston Red Sox prospect Rusney Castillo looks out from the Portland Sea Dogs dugout

Keury De La Cruz and Rusney Castillo

Keury De La Cruz and Rusney Castillo

(Portland ME) I hoped for better.

I decided to take in Game Four of the Eastern League playoffs because I wanted to be at Hadlock Field when the Sea Dogs reached the EL finals.

I also wanted to get a good look at Red Sox newcomer Rusney Castillo.

Well, the Rusney Castillo part worked out.  The other part fell apart after Portland starter Mike Augliera loaded the bases with Binghamton Mets in the fifth inning with no outs.

Sea Dogs manager Billy McMillon twice signaled for relief thereafter and found none.  Mike McCarthy and Peter Ruiz?  Couldn’t have done worse.  Walks, hit batsmen, and hits, and before you knew it a 2-2 game after four innings was an 11-2 laugher two innings later.  The final score was 11-4.

It was a disappointment but there is tomorrow in this best-of-five series and that decisive game will be played at Hadlock Field.

Rusney Castillo played center field for the Sea Dogs

Rusney Castillo played center field for the Sea Dogs

I did get a good look at recently signed ($72 million) Rusney Castillo.  I would describe him as short, thin-waisted but powerfully built.  He never got on base in this game so I never got a chance to see any of the blazing speed he apparently has.

I am sure that Rusney is a little bit dazed by all that has happened.  He signed the big-money contract on August 23rd and then went to play in A ball in the Gulf Coast League.  Next he joined Portland.  That, so far, has meant two games in Binghamton (NY) and a seven-hour bus-ride to Portland for a 6PM game on Friday and a noon game today.  I suspect after tomorrow Rusney will move on to Pawtucket for the International League finals versus Durham.  At least it has given a lot of Red Sox fans a chance to see a highly-publicized player up close before he starts his career in Boston.  

Rusney smiled at the fans pre-game but didn’t sign autographs.  He seems to have bonded with leftfielder Keury De La Cruz during his short stay in Portland.

Fortunately for me, Rusney spent his in-the-dugout time down the end where the photographer’s were.  That gave this amateur plenty of chances to get a decent picture of him.  

Did it make a difference in the game?  I’m not sure but when I arrived, 1 1/2 hours before game time, the B-Mets were taking batting practice.  The team had just four hits in Friday night’s 6-3 loss.  Normally you don’t see a team taking batting practice before a noon game, but with elimination pending batting practice was called and it paid off with thirteen hits and eleven runs.  Maybe Portland should take BP tomorrow?

I succeeded in getting a picture of the B-Mets Brandon Nimmo.  Brandon was a first-round pick of the Mets in 2011.  The 21-year-old third baseman can hit.  He is from Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Bad start dooms Slugger

Bad start dooms Slugger

Another happy fan gets the best of Slugger

Another happy fan gets the best of Slugger

I have noted the running skills of Sea Dogs mascot Slugger every time I’m at Hadlock.  I always like his chances when I see the size of his around-the-bases running opponent.  They’re always small but never small enough that they can’t beat the easily-distracted Slugger.  Today the very social mascot found a need as the race started to get some batting tips over by the Binghamton dugout.  But he did and off raced his diminutive, full-speed opponent to a big lead.  Slugger was great once he was underway on the bases but that early chat did him in.  Why would he need batting tips anyhow?  My suggestion to the Sea Dogs management would be that his uniform number should be changed from 1 to 2 because that is where he’s finished every time I’ve watched.

Rusney Castillo smiled but didn't sign

Rusney Castillo smiled but didn’t sign

Seriously, another good time at Hadlock. The visit arranged for me late Friday night by the always-affable Chris Cameron.  I really appreciate it.

A crowd of over three thousand was on hand.  The game was originally scheduled for 6PM.  Changing the time to noon avoided the showers forecast but probably forced some fans to miss the game.  

I was surprised by how quiet the crowd was.  I could understand it after the team was down 11-2 but not before that.  I think that the Sea Dogs could use the boost.

Sean Coyle was hit by a pitch.  I think on the forearm.  I predict that Sean will start 2014 at Pawtucket.  Playing second base isn’t going to get him to Boston any time soon but maybe he’ll be a multi-position player like Brock Holt and Mookie Betts.

Good luck to the Sea Dogs tomorrow in Game Five.

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

Rusney Castillo

Rusney Castillo

singer of the National Anthem

singer of the National Anthem

Sean Coyle after getting hit by a pitch

Sean Coyle after getting hit by a pitch

Rusney Castillo

Rusney Castillo

Brian Burgamy

Brian Burgamy

intense Sean Coyle

intense Sean Coyle

Keury De La Cruz

Keury De La Cruz

Heiker Meneses

Heiker Meneses

Rusney Castillo prepares to bat

Rusney Castillo prepares to bat

Catcher Carson Blair homered for Portland

Catcher Carson Blair homered for Portland

Brandon Nimmo

Brandon Nimmo

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Filed under Binghamton Mets, Portland Sea Dogs

York shuts out Lake Region 2-0 in Class B girls soccer opener

Plenty of scoring chances for York.  Here Paige McElwain shoots as Devin Langadas pursues.

Plenty of scoring chances for York. Here Paige McElwain shoots as Devin Langadas pursues.

Sophomore Maddie Amidon sets to score the first York goal

Sophomore Maddie Amidon sets to score the first York goal

(Naples ME)  The York Wildcats girls’ soccer team had a goal in each half and won their season opener, 2-0, over Lake Region on very warm Friday afternoon.

This was a Class B matchup in the Western Maine Conference.

The Wildcats had more than a few excellent chances against Lakers’ goalie Isabel Scribner but the senior GK was terrific despite the two goals allowed.

York passed well and had the Lakers chasing them on an afternoon in the mid-80’s.  No question fatigue was a factor for the home team.

A great pass led to the first York goal by sophomore Maddie Amidon late (6:46) in the first half.  Junior Lindsey Cole came in on the right side and didn’t force a shot instead spotted Maddie Amidon wide open in close.  Maddie had a chance to stop the ball and put a hard shot by Isabel Scribner with her left foot.

Players react to the goal scored by #4 Elaine Cavalieri

Players react to the goal scored by #4 Elaine Cavalieri

The other goal was scored two minutes into the second half by Elaine Cavalieri.  The senior came in on the right side, getting past defender Grace Farrington, and then cut back into the middle to get off the shot with several Lakers nearby.

The Lakers had trouble getting into scoring position.  In the first half the Wildcats forced offsides on several promising LR opportunities.

The Lakers had several direct kicks but couldn’t get the shots on need.  Most of the chances dealt with by York goalies Emma Rohrer and Kelsey Cole were from long range.

One eye-catcher for the Lakers was CeCe Hancock.  The energetic junior did not have a lot of space to operate in but on several occasions was able to dribble by defenders.

Despite the two goals Lakers GK Isabel Scribner made some terrific saves

Despite the two goals Lakers GK Isabel Scribner made some terrific saves

Maddie Amidon scored a goal against Lake Region last year.

Last year the Lakers scored only eleven goals in the 14-game season.

The Wildcats were state champs in 2007 and 2009.

Lakers Isabel Scribner, Katie Throgmorton, and Devynn Turner were honored by the Western Maine Conference last season.

Both teams graduated four seniors from their 2013 teams.

Sierra Swasey notched two goals last season versus Lake Region.  One was on a penalty kick.

I think that Lake Region has enough defense to at least match the six-win season they had in 2011.  The defense on this day played a lot of minutes in some tough heat.

Sierra Swasey and Shannon Todd were excellent in the middle of the field.  Both also created good scoring chances for themselves.

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

CeCe Hancock

CeCe Hancock

Taylor Bando gets in for a shot

Taylor Bando gets in for a shot

Sophomore Kate Marshall lines up a shot on GK Isabel Scribner

Sophomore Kate Marshall lines up a shot on GK Isabel Scribner

Devynn Turner (#22) tries to beat Maddie Amidon to the ball

Devynn Turner (#22) tries to beat Maddie Amidon to the ball

Lindsey Cole chased by freshman Danica Chadwick

Lindsey Cole chased by freshman Danica Chadwick

Sierra Swasey shoots on net

Sierra Swasey shoots on net

Shannon Todd tries to get away from Maddie Simms

Shannon Todd tries to get away from Maddie Simms

incoming

incoming

Elaine Cavalieri and Brittany Perreault

Elaine Cavalieri and Brittany Perreault

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Filed under Lake Region, York

Pat Fullerton wins again in Yankee Homecoming 5K

Tekeste Nurelign cruises to ten-mile win.

Tekeste Nurelign cruises to ten-mile win.

Katie Misuraca celebrates being top finisher among women in the ten mile

Katie Misuraca celebrates being top finisher among women in the ten mile

Pat Fullerton (2806) already in the lead at one mile ahead of Eric McDonald (1524), Lucas Parsons (3492), Stephen Robertson (1988) and obscured Brendan Sullivan

Pat Fullerton (2806) already in the lead at one mile ahead of Eric McDonald (1524), Lucas Parsons (3492), Stephen Robertson (1988) and obscured Brendan Sullivan

Beverly Antunes was the top woman 5K finisher

Beverly Antunes was the top woman 5K finisher

The races included young and old

The races included young and old

(Newburyport MA) Pat Fullerton (15:04) successfully defended his 5K title on an overcast Tuesday night.  The other three winners in the 55th Yankee Homecoming 5K and ten mile were new to the race.

Last year in the ten mile race, the top three finishers were all in view at the end of the race.  Not this time.  Tekeste Nurelign (49:54) of New York City won by over thirty seconds.  Ruben Sanca (50:30), who took second, had nearly a two-minute lead over Kebede Abu (52:27) in third.  Well spread out to say the least!

Beverly Antunes (18:29) from Somerville topped the female entrants in the 5K finishing 29th overall.

Katie Misuraca (59:54) from Gloucester led all women in the ten mile coming in 40th.

One certainty that I’ve figured out after watching a number of these Yankee Homecoming races is that leaders after a mile are usually the top finishers at the end.  That’s why I like to see what both races look like at the one-mile mark, which is close to the Cushing Museum.

This is what the ten mile looked like at the same spot:

The top three finishers in the ten mile are already in place (Tekeste Nurelign, Ruben Sanca, and Kebede Abu) after one mile

The top three finishers in the ten mile are already in place (Tekeste Nurelign, Ruben Sanca, and Kebede Abu) after one mile

The same formula is usually true for the women.

Second place finisher Aregash Abate (2976) and Katie Misuraca (1595) together after a mile

Second place finisher Aregash Abate (2976) and Katie Misuraca (1595) together after a mile

Another certainty is that there will be a significant turnover in the runners competing.  In the 5K, Pat Fullerton (1st), Stephen Robertson (3rd), Lucas Parsons (4th), and Joe Santo (5th) ran it last year.  In the ten mile, the returnees were former winner Justin Freeman (5th), Pat Rich (6th), and Jose Ortiz (7th).

ambulance crosses the finish line

ambulance crosses the finish line

One thing you hope not to see next year is for an ambulance to cross the finish line.  That unsettling occurrence took place as the 5K was winding down and the lead 10-milers were heading to the finish at the high school.  The logistics of getting an ambulance into the finish line area were almost as difficult as getting the ambulance back out.  The ambulance headed back out just as 10-miler Ruben Sanca in second place was ending his race.  Fortunately the gentleman needing the assistance appeared to have recovered from the effects of the 5K he had run before he left in the ambulance.

Weather?  Looked as if it would rain before the race started but it didn’t.  The cooler/cloudy conditions were surely enjoyed by the runners.

5K and 10 mile official results

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

Teskeste Nurelign

Teskeste Nurelign

Justin Freeman (3064) and Brandon Newbould (1696)

Justin Freeman (3064) and Brandon Newbould (1696)

Carly Curcuru (519), Deidre Martyn (3740), and Julia Shorter (2144) battle for 2nd in the 5K

Carly Curcuru (519), Deidre Martyn (3740), and Julia Shorter (2144) battle for 2nd in the 5K

Nathaniel Webber (2446), Joe Santo (2936), and Stephen Leonard (1327) chase the leaders in the 5K

Nathaniel Webber (2446), Joe Santo (2936), and Stephen Leonard (1327) chase the leaders in the 5K

Michael Carlone 8th in 10 mile

Michael Carlone 8th in 10 mile

Layce Alves of Rockport 3rd in 10 mile

Layce Alves of Rockport 3rd in 10 mile

 

Aregash Abate

Aregash Abate

battle for 9th in the 10 mile between Anthony Walsh (left) and Ian Nurse (right)

battle for 9th in the 10 mile between Anthony Walsh (left) and Ian Nurse (right)

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Prospect Blake Swihart sighted at Portland in 6-2 win over New Hampshire

Blake Swihart was the Portland catcher today.  How much longer?

Blake Swihart was the Portland catcher today. How much longer?

Danny Bethea returns to the Portland dugout after getting an RBI in his first at-bat with the Sea Dogs

Danny Bethea returns to the Portland dugout after getting an RBI in his first at-bat with the Sea Dogs

(Portland ME) The Portland Sea Dogs are playing so well that when you arrive at Hadlock Field and find a player missing you assume that there has been a promotion to AAA Pawtucket.

Henry Owens and Sean Coyle were absent from the Sea Dogs, 6-2, win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on Monday afternoon.  No promotions (yet) for either of them.  They had been participants in the All-Star Futures Game on Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis.

Why Henry hasn’t moved up is a mystery to this reporter.  The 21-year-old lefty has statistically dominated the Eastern League so far in 2014.  Henry tops the EL in wins (12), strikeouts (111), ERA (2.21) and WHIP (1.03).

The Sea Dogs (63-34) have the best record in the Eastern League.  The Binghamton Mets, however, are just 4 1/2 games behind in the Eastern Division of the EL.  The Sea Dogs dropped four straight in Binghamton this month so the race for the top spot in the EL could become very interesting the rest of the way.  And if Henry gets promoted, as well as Sean Coyle and catcher Blake Swihart, that top spot would be even harder to hold onto.

Blake Swihart

Blake Swihart

But on Monday Blake was on hand and Henry and Sean were due back when the EL season resumes on Thursday.

Portland did promote a catcher to Pawtucket but this time it was reserve Matt Spring.  They also brought a new catcher in from the Lowell Spinners, Danny Bethea.

Danny got his first at-bats at the AA level versus New Hampshire (Toronto Blue Jays affiliate) and picked up an RBI in his first at-bat.  That RBI came on a slow dribbler down the first baseline that NH starter Casey Lawrence opted to go to first with allowing Jonathan Roof to score.

Portland starter Mike Augliera gave up his tenth homer of the season to Andy Fermin but benefited from a matching homer from teammate Heiker Meneses.  Mike is now 4-8 and hadn’t won a game in nearly two month.

Part of the Sea Dogs’ success this season has been the way they have dominated the Cats from New Hampshire.  With today’s win the season record favors Portland 10-4.

It was Campers’ Day at Hadlock and the camps each had their own tee-shirts.  On a hot afternoon (the game started at noon) there was plenty of action at the concessions stands.

Slugger has spent the season riding on a jeep instead of working on his base running.

Slugger has spent the season riding on a jeep instead of working on his base running.

It was another sorry day for Slugger in his season-long quest to beat someone (anyone) on the race around the bases.  For some reason Slugger’s opponent always gets a half-base lead.  That seems unfair since Slugger hasn’t won yet this year!  In today’s race Slugger was matched up against a girl.  This kid was small but fast but Slugger is big and fast and crossed second base with the lead. Then for some unknown reason the Sea Dogs mascot decided to head out between first and second for a brief chat with an umpire.  I ask you, what would they have to talk about at this point?  But Slugger still had a chance because as he got to first the little girl was just getting to third….this race was even.  But what happened next, is worthy of a full-blown investigation. A Sea Dogs’ staff member, standing at first base, offered Slugger a drink of water.  I now believe that the staff member and the little girl are related.  Of course, Slugger stops for the drink instead of taking it on the fly. When the mascot resumes running the little girl is home the winner.  Very disappointing.

I’ve seen Slugger lose after falling over second base, but losing because of time wasted chatting and drinking is unacceptable.  I would recommend that he spend some pre-game time running the bases instead of riding around recklessly on the back of a jeep!

Michael Almanzar score first Portland run

Michael Almanzar score first Portland run

Prime photo target for me at Hadlock was catcher Blake Swihart.  I suspect that his days with Portland are numbered.  Blake was a first-round compensation pick for Boston in 2011 after the Red Sox lost Adrian Beltre.  In today’s win Blake caught a NH runner trying to steal.  The 22-year-old has 10 homers and 48 RBI.

I was part of a good crowd (6,552) enjoying the game.  Portland games are affordable and offer glimpses of future Red Sox players.  Think Mookie Betts!

Thanks to Chris Cameron for setting me up to see the game.

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

Michael Almanzar

Michael Almanzar

Blake Swihart

Blake Swihart

fun with young fans

fun with young fans

Heiker Meneses (home run in game)

Heiker Meneses (home run in game)

Shannon Wilkerson

Shannon Wilkerson

Jon Berti (28 stolen bases)

Jon Berti (28 stolen bases)

Blake Swihart consoles starter Mike Augliera after home run pitch

Blake Swihart consoles starter Mike Augliera after home run pitch

Andy Fermin in home run trot

Andy Fermin in home run trot

Jonathan Roof scores as Casey Lawence throws to first

Jonathan Roof scores as Casey Lawence throws to first

Danny Bethea batting for the first time in Portland

Danny Bethea batting for the first time in Portland

Peter Hissey

Peter Hissey

newspaper toss

newspaper toss

NH starter Casey Lawrence

NH starter Casey Lawrence

shortstop Ryan Dent sets to throw to first

shortstop Ryan Dent sets to throw to first

Olympian Julia Clukey threw out the first pitch

Olympian Julia Clukey threw out the first pitch

Derrik Gibson back after short time with Pawtucket

Derrik Gibson back after short time with Pawtucket

Jonathan Roof

Jonathan Roof

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