Thursday, August 14, 2008

General Concern

General concern: Manchester/Essex push Hamilton to the brink

By Cornelia Wolcott / Correspondent

Hamilton-Wenham -And then there was one. It came down to one game for the Hamilton Inter-town League baseball team Wednesday night as it traveled to Essex to try to avoid elimination in the ITL finals.

The Generals trailed the best-of-five series with Manchester/Essex, 2-0, after they dropped Game 1 (4-2) in Essex and Game 2 (4-3) in Hamilton.

The following is a recap of each game:
Game 1: Mariners draw first blood

Steve Stout got the win and Mike Cain earned the save. Jeff Jensen pitched well for the Generals, going five-plus innings in a losing effort.

The Generals got on the board first in the top of the third inning. Jered Stewart broke the ice with a one-out solo home run to left. The Generals then worked the bases loaded and got a sacrifice fly from Judd Funchion making the score 2-0.

The Generals made Stout work on the mound all day, but he seemed to always find the answers and get out of some tough jams.

The Mariners got one back in the bottom of the third to cut the lead in half. Bryan Lafata tied the score with an RBI single.

The score stayed that way until the bottom of the sixth inning. After the first two batters reached, Jensen gave way to Mike Drinkwater on the mound.

With the bases loaded and no outs the Generals found themselves in a tight spot. Drinkwater got a pop fly out, and then served up a slow roller to short.

Mahi was able to beat the throw at first after the Generals got the force-out at second. The play scored a run on the back end, and extended the inning for the Mariners. Whit Graham followed with a double that plated one more making the score 4-2 Mariners.

In the seventh Jim Maloney led off with a single. Stout then left the game for Cain, who got the next two batters out.

Back-to-back walks loaded the bases with two outs. On a full count Cain got Tom Jones to strike out earning the save and sealing the win for the Mariners.

The Generals had their chances but couldn't capitalize against the clutch pitching of the Mariners.

Game 2: Manchester holds on again

Mike Gibbon beat the Generals this time, 4-3. He topped Hamilton’s Judd Funchion.

Another Lafata RBI (sacrifice fly, scoring Cain) for the Mariners going.

Ty Haskell’s double scored Nate Bertolino (single). Haskell scored on a wild pitch to cap off the Mariners scoring.

Stewart’s two-run homer made things interesting in the sixth, but again Cain came in and slammed the door shut in the seventh.