Friday, June 29, 2007

Townies Top Tories, 14-9

The Rockport Townies staged their second last-inning, game-winning rally on the road this season to down Topsfield, 14-9. Rockport scored eight times before the Tories retired a batter in the top of the seventh inning.

Topsfield opened up early on Rockport starter Ryan Blanchard, who had an off-day struggling with his control. Clean-up hitter Doug Hittinger paced the attck with two homeruns and six RBIs in his first three at bats. The Tories led the Townies 9-2 after five, as Rockport stranded seven runners on base to that point. In the top of the sixth Rockport struck for four runs, and were threatening for more, leaving the bases loaded for the second consecutive inning. A scoreless botton half of the sixth was followed by the game-deciding Townies explosion in the seventh. Rockport sent 12 men to the plate, racking up six hits, a walk and benefiting from one Topsfield error.

Southpaw reliver Pat Clark got the win for the Townies, his second of the year. Tom Robertson had three hits and drove in four runs, while Jeff Frithsen and Chris Bouchie each collected three hits to lead the Rockport attack. The Townies pounded out 17 hits. In addition to Hittinger's big day (3-4, 2HR, 6RBI), Ben Hathaway had a pair of hits for Topsfield.

The game featured what was possibly the greatest defensive play of the ITL season. Running full-bore with his back to the infield, Hittinger leapt straight back toward the trees in left field and made a diving, over-the-shoulder circus grab a la Jim Edmonds, robbing Townie Justin Paradis of extra bases.