Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mariners’ Lafata reflects on team’s 7-1 start to season

"Mariners’ Lafata reflects on team’s 7-1 start to season"
By Jason Brisbois

CAPE ANN - While the record is no longer perfect, it’s still nothing to sneeze at.

The Manchester Essex Mariners began the 2009 season by jumping out to a 7-0 start before falling to Rowley by a 7-3 score on Tuesday night. Not a bad way to start out defense of the Mariners’ 2008 Intertown Twilight League title. And certainly not a bad way to send a message to the rest of the league that the Mariners are still the team to beat.

The Cape Ann Beacon recently caught up with Manchester Essex’s player/coach Bryan Lafata, who has played in the ITL for the past 18 years and is in his fifth year at the Mariner helm to get his thoughts on the 2009 season so far.

Is this the best start you've seen with the team? Is any other season comparable?

As far as I can remember, 7-0 is one of the better starts I've been a part of. It is a deceptive start though, as we really have not played very consistent.

How much do you think momentum from last season's championship has carried over? Is there a high confidence level with this team?

The confidence level definitely carries over from last year. Also, pitching and defense is what really led us last year. Pitching is keeping up their end of the bargain so far this year, but our defense has not been very stellar.

What does the team look like compared with last year's team? Are a lot of players back from that group?

We have almost the entire team back from last year, and we've added a few young players to help with depth and give them experience in the ITL. Pitching is definitely a strength, as we have six-to-seven legitimate pitchers. Our depth is also a positive when we have the entire squad there.

Why do you think you've been so successful so far this season?

The pitching staff has done a great job, led by Mike Gibbon who is 3-0 to start the year with only one earned run in 18 innings. Steve Stout and Jack Brancaleone have been the other two starters that have pitched well. Ryan Marques has been tremendous out of the bullpen, and we added a new righthander, Matt Hildebrand, who is very consistent around the strike zone. Mike Cain, Dylan Maki and MacKenzie Quinn add more depth to the staff as the season goes along.

How about the offense?

Offensively, our most consistent hitters have been leadoff hitter Rory Gentile, Nate Bertolino and first baseman Mike Cain. All three have been hitting the ball well and getting on base at a great rate. Rory is our leadoff hitter and really does a great job setting the table for us. Nate has been one of the best all-around players in the league for some time now, and is so consistent for us day in, and day out. Mike has been a pleasant surprise early this year; we know he's a great athlete and hitter, but he has been really driving the ball and taking full advantage of all the baserunners on when he is up. He also plays a tremendous first base, which makes life much easier on the pitching staff.

How important is it to have a fast start in the ITL? What can this do for your team the rest of the season?

It's nice to have a fast start to begin the season, but I'd much rather finish strong. I've been in the league many years and seen quite a few teams start hot and then fade at the end of the season or in the postseason. It's always good to stay near the top of the standings early in the season, so as the season moves along you do not need to try and get yourself out of a hole and depend on other teams to lose their games.

Starting strong does provide confidence to the team, but in baseball, anything can happen. We lost to Rowley as they have a very strong and deep team. Topsfield, like Rowley, has added a core of good young ballplayers, and they are going to be in it for the long run. That then leaves Rockport, Hamilton, Ipswich and Beverly who have all been in the top of league for many years. So really, anyone can win on any given day and you can't expect to win by just showing up to the park. Last year was one of the most competitive seasons I've seen, and this year looks to follow the same path.

Townies’ slow start and quick rebound similar to 2008

"Townies’ slow start and quick rebound similar to 2008"
By Jason Brisbois

This story might seem a bit familiar to those who follow Rockport’s Intertown Twilight League baseball team: The Townies began the regular season slowly, going 1-3 out of the gate and sputtering to get wins. After a recent run, Rockport is now back in the thick of things in the ITL, improving its record to 5-4 and moving up to third place in the standings.

Not a bad turnaround at all. However, if this scenario seems familiar, it’s because a similar story unfolded in 2008 for the Townies. Rockport started 1-4 and sputtered in beginning their defense of the 2007 ITL championship. The team then righted the ship and rebounded, improving their record to a manageable 4-5-1 by the last week of June.

That sense of déjà vu was certainly not lost on Jeremy Spittle, the Townies’ player/coach.

“Last year, I think we got off to an even worse start,” said Spittle, now in his 10th year with the team. “I don’t know. It’s a combination of things, from missing guys early in the year to collective rust from the year before, to not being crisp and ready to go. I think we’ve done this the last couple of years, but I think in comparison to last year, we’re bouncing back quicker.”

Indeed, they seem to be. The Townies are back on the plus side of .500 with a few weeks left in the month, whereas it took them until the threshold of July to even reach .500 last year. And they seem to be settling into a groove just a bit quicker than last season, thanks in large part to a jam-packed schedule over the past week. In fact, the large number of games in a short span of time seems to have given this team momentum: The Townies defeated Ipswich, 7-5 on Monday night, and also by a 4-2 score the night before that. They also beat Beverly, 9-3, on Friday. Five days, three wins and the Townies are back in the hunt.

“Playing Beverly on Friday, and Ipswich on Sunday and Monday, from our end we can see the team get in more of a rhythm offensively,” said Spittle. “We’re seeing the ball better. We were rusty earlier in the year.”

It’s the evolution of the offense that has propelled the team back above .500 and where it seems to belong, especially after being a playoff team last season. Players such as Tommy Robertson (who was phenomenal against Beverly, going 3-for-4 with 3 RBIs and 3 runs scored), Chris Bouchie (2-for-4, 2 walks on Monday against Ipswich), Brent and Brock Currier and Spittle himself all contributed at the plate and showed the form that was present during last season’s similar renaissance.

“We weren’t getting that timely hit,” said Spittle. “The guys that produced over the weekend weren’t coming through then, and this weekend we saw a lot more of that. We saw a lot more productive-looking swings. Nobody was just swinging at the first pitch.”

The pitching has been fairly consistent this season, which is impressive considering the Townies will be without their ace, Adam Orlando, this season. Orlando is out due to injury, but stalwarts such as Brent Currier and Lou McGrath have done an admirable job toeing the rubber. Even in the early season defeats, the pitching staff has kept the team in tight games, including a 2-1 loss to Rowley and a 3-2 loss to Manchester Essex.

“It wasn’t like we were pitching that bad earlier in the year,” Spittle said. “The walks were killing us. Now I’ve noticed the pitching has come alive the past couple of games, with Lou and Brent.”

Another key name on the mound is Andrew Vasallo, who came on in relief of Greg Kistner in Monday’s win over Ipswich and helped to keep the Chiefs in check just enough to allow the Townies to rally.

There are also a number of players who have moved into key roles with the team and are producing at the right time. Dan Greel, who local high school baseball fans will remember as an all-star with the Rockport Vikings, has been a revelation at catcher for the Townies. Greel has also contributed at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a homerun against Ipswich on Sunday.

“Dan has started every game at catcher for us and has made a big difference at that position for us,” said Spittle. “He went 3-for-3 the other night, and he’s thrown out guys in a couple of games. He hasn’t gotten consistent playing time with us before, but this year he’s the catcher and we’re going to ride him out.”

Other names that will seem instantly familiar to high school baseball fans are Ryan Cusick and Conor Resel, two members of the Gloucester High baseball team that made this spring’s memorable run to the Eastern Mass finals and have signed on to play for the Townies this summer.

“If they don’t have a Legion baseball commitment, they’ll be at most of the games if they can make them,” Spittle said. “They’ll more than likely start the majority of the time here. They’re good, very young ballplayers.”

All of this is intentionally part of the “Keeping up with the Joneses” aspect of the ITL. Manchester Essex, Rockport’s cross-town rival and the defending league champion, was undefeated so far this season as of the start of the week. Keeping up with the Mariners is essential for the Townies.

“We wanted to mix in older guys with younger guys, which is the route Manchester adopted,” Spittle said. “We’ve got to keep up with them. They’re our number one rival, and always have been.”

The Townies play Hamilton on Sunday and will face Beverly on Thursday.

General Warm-Up Looming

"General Warm-Up Looming"

By Dom Nicastro

Hamilton - The Hamilton Intertown League baseball team has been unlike the weather lately. They’ve been inconsistent.

Where rain has been the norm for the past two weeks, solid play from the Generals has not. Heading into the middle of this week, the team stood at 3-5, losing two of its last three.

One of those losses, a 7-6 defeat to Ipswich, came thanks to Dylan Durning, who stole home for the game-winning run at Linebrook Park in Ipswich.

Dave Shoreman won with a complete-game effort, allowing four hits, striking out nine, walking six and hitting one batter twice.

Connor Sullivan was charged with the loss in his ITL pitching debut. He pitched great, Hamilton player/coach Tom Jones said, allowing only two hits and one run in four innings of relief.

Hamilton’s starter, Jeff Jensen, allowed four runs in the first, thanks in part to Durning’s first home run of the year.

Tim O’Leary took Shoreman deep to left to bring the score to 4-3, but Kevin Michael’s homer to center gave Ipswich a 6-4 edge.

Mark Provost’s double knotted the score at six, but Durning doubled in the seventh and then stole home with one out and the bases loaded after two walks. Hamilton played perhaps its best game against Beverly later.

Jon Jackson pitched a complete game for the Hamilton Generals in a 7-1 win over Beverly. Jackson allowed only two hits, one unearned run, and struck out 10.

Jones (solo homer), Reggie Maidment (single), Jered Stewart (two solo homers) and Justin Tilley (two-run single) had the Generals’ RBI. Stewart, Bryan Vitale, Luke Painchaud and Maidment all had multi-hit games for the Generals.

Beverly had crushed the Generals earlier, 12-2.

Jones and Maidment each had two hits for Hamilton. Judd Funchion took the loss allowing, 10 runs over 5-plus innings.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Rams and Tories Rained Out

In a shocking turn of events, it rained tonight. Rowley and Topsfield got all the way to the top of the second before the skies opened up. Looking into make up dates.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Game Two: Beverly vs. Ipswich Rained Out

Game two of the doubleheader was called due to rain in the top of the 3rd inning.

Game One: Beverly - 17, Ipswich - 14

Beverly overcame a 13 to 4 deficit to win a wild one in Ipswich.

Beverly took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first before Ipswich erupted for 7 in the bottom half. Big blows in the inning were Rick Sotiropolous' homerun and Dowley's three run double.

Beverly cut the lead to 7 to 4 with two more runs in the bottom of the 2nd. But, Ipswich continued the onslaught with 4 more runs of their own taking an 11 to 4 lead after two innings. Dowley's 3 run homer keyed the rally.

In the bottom of the third Ipswich scored twice more before Gary Pisa came on in relief and induced a 4-6-3 double play leaving the score at 13 to 4 after three innings. Gary Pisa would allow only one unearned run over 3 2/3 innings of stellar relief holding Ipswich down long enough to earn his first ITL victory.

Beverly waited until the top of the 5th to mount the comeback. The Giants plated 8 runs and cut the Ipswich lead to 13 to 12. Derek Scialdone and Jay Trowt each knocked in two runs during the inning. Gary Pisa held Ipswich scoreless in their half of the fifth.

In the top of the 6th the Giants scored two runs to take a 14 to 13 lead. Jay Trowt's sac fly scored Scialdone and Boyle followed him home courtesy of an errant throw. In Ipswich's half of the inning, following an error and two hit batters, Dave Shoreman doubled in the tying run. The game stood at 14 to 14 after six innings.

The Giants scored three runs in the top of the seventh to take a 17 to 14 lead. Tom Radzim made his second webgem of the day, but Scialdone was credited with a go ahead sac fly to deep center. John Boyle then smashed a triple to deep center plating a run. Bill Boccuzzi knocked Boyle home to finish the scoring.

John Boyle came on in relief in the bottom of the seventh protecting a 3 run lead. Boyle struck out the side in order earning his second save of the season.

Beverly's offense was led by Boyle (3 for 5, 2RBI), Scialdone (2 for 4, 3RBI), and Trowt (1 for 3, 3RBI). Ipswich got contributions from Dowley (2 for 4, HR, 6RBI), Tom Radzim (2 for 5, 2RBI), and Dave Shoreman (2 for 3, RBI).

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Generals Over Tories, 10-2

A night after suffering a tough loss in relief, Mike Drinkwater was back on the mound for the Generals, this time as a starter. Drinkwater allowed only 2 runs over 4 innings of work on route to the win. Rogers went 5 for the Tories allowing 7 runs and was charged with the loss.

The Generals did most of their damage in the 3rd inning, sending 11 men to the plate and scoring 7 times. Jones and Provost had back-to-back RBI doubles to get on the board. Jensen also contributed with an RBI double of his own later in the inning. The Generals took a 7-0 lead after 3 complete.

In the bottom of the fourth the Tories touched up Drinkwater for 2 runs. McCarthy and Travers both had RBI singles. The Tories again threatened in the 5th, now with Jensen on the hill. They worked the bases loaded but Jensen got out of the jam unscathed as he made a nice play on a comebacker to end the inning.

The Generals tacked on 3 more in the 6th to round out the scoring. Vitale and Luke Painchuad both got RBI singles. Jensen finished off the bottom of the sixth thanks to some nice defensive plays by the Generals, the game was then called due to darkness. Jones, Provost, Vitale, Jensen, & Painchuad all had multiple hits for the Generals. Hittinger and McCarthy had two hits apiece for the Tories. The two teams play another makeup game next Tuesday (6/30) at Patton Park, 5:45pm start.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Mariners beat Genearls 6-4 in 8 innings

The M/E Mariners pulled out a comeback extra-innings win against the Hamilton Generals last night at Patton Park. Marques picked up the win in relief while Drinkwater suffered the loss. Neither starting pitcher, Stout & Jackson, figured in the decision.

The Generals took a 4-0 lead after three innings. With two out and two on in the bottom of the third, Jered Stewart delivered a RBI single. Vitale followed by clearing the bases with a 3-Run HR into the pond.

The Mariners struck back with 2 in the top of the fourth. Bertolino had a RBI single and Buckley got a bases loaded HBP to bring in the other run. Down 2 in the sixth, Cain tied the game with a monster 2-Run HR high into the willow tree in left. The Mariners completed the comeback with 2 more in the eighth. Lafata and Bertolino started the inning with singles. The Orlando bunt induced a throwing error that allowed Lafata to score from second. Bertolino was thrown out at home on the play trying to score from first. With in infield in, Cain got another RBI single to finish out the scoring. The Generals couldn't get anything off Marques in the bottom half. Mariners improve to 9-1 on the season where the Generals drop to 3-6.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Beverly - 4, Rockport - 3

The Beverly Giants went to Evans Field for a "home game" on Thursday night and beat the Townies by a score of 4-3.

Beverly took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st on a Nick Adams (2 for 3, RBI, SB) RBI single. The score stayed 1-0 until the bottom of the 3rd when Kevin Harutunian led off with a single, stole 2nd, advanced to 3rd on a Nick Adams single, and scored on a RBI groundout by Mike Freni, giving the Giants a 2-0 lead after 3 innings.

The Townies got an unearned run in the 4th as Beverly made two errors to cut the lead to 2-1. With two outs and the bases loaded Beverly starter Luke Deschamps got a groundout to get out of the jam. The Giants got an unearned run of their own on an RBI single by Andy Hobin to make it a 3-1 game after 4 innings.

Rockport quickly got the run back in the top of the 5th. Anderson reached on an error, went to 2nd on a passed ball, stole third, and scored on an RBI groundout by Tommy Robertson to cut the Beverly lead to 3-2.

Beverly got an insurance run in the bottom of the 6th. Derek Scialdone and Rob Freni had back to back singles to start the inning and Jay Trowt scored Scialdone to give Beverly a 4-2 lead.

Deschamps took the ball to start the 7th, but after a baserunner was pulled for John Boyle, who wrapped three strikeouts around a Robertson RBI single to pick up the save as Beverly hung on 4-3. Deschamps picked up the victory going 6 innings, giving up 2 hits, 3 runs (0 earned), no walks and 6 Ks.

Topsfield emerges through the fog over Beverly 9-5

Wednesday night Beverly and Topsfield played in Topsfield after a long week of rain and called games. Topsfield Dropped 1-0 after the first inning, but with great pitching from Zack Lamkin and great defense from the Tories catcher McCarthy and timely hitting from the Tories they chipped away. Scoring 3 runs in the second inning and shutting Beverly down for 3 innings. Topsfield got the score to 9-1 with Hathaway leading the way with a 3 for 3 performance and 3 RBI’s along with good hitting from Gallugi with 3 RBI’s and Dyer, Lobdell, and Lamkin getting clutch hits in the 4th inning. Beverly came back strong in the 5th making a run and getting the score to 9-5, led by the hard hitting Jeff Barraceli showing there tough team demeanor and battling back for there starting pitcher Rocky Pizza who only gave up 1 hit in his 3 innings of work but not getting the defensive help needed to let “rubber arm go the distance. but after the top of the 6th inning the game was called for darkness and the Tories get there 3rd win of the season. Topsfield Plays Ham-Wen at home Friday in a make-up game at 5:45 Procter School field.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Topsfield - 9, Beverly - 6

Details to follow...

Ipswich @ Rowley Postponed

Ipswich @ Rowley has been postponed, researching possible make up dates. Dates to be announced.

More Makeup Games

Sunday, June 28th Beverly at Ipswich at 3PM (part of double-header)

Sunday, July 26th Beverly at Ipswich at 3PM (part of double-header)

Monday, July 20th Hamilton at Manchester/Essex 5:45pm

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

League Leaders as of June 20th

Jared Stewart Hamilton 4
Jeff Barricelli Beverly 3
Dave Shoreman Ipswich 3
7 players had 2 each

Mike Cain Man/Essex 16
Jeff Barricelli Beverly 13
Joe Orlando Man/Essex 9
Jered Stewart Hamilton 9
Tim O'Leary Hamilton 7

Batting Average:
Mark Provost Hamilton .563
Andrew Dyer Topsfield .563
Ben Hathaway Topsfield .533
Ryan Montecalvo Ipswich .533
Scott Lobdell Topsfield .500
Nate Bertolino Man/ Essex .500

Player Team Win Loss IP K ERA

Joe Katin Rowley 2 1 20 1/3 13 0.34
Mike Gibbon M/E 4 0 25 24 .56
Brent Currier Rock 2 1 16 1/3 17 .86
Mike Drinkwater HW 2 1 11 19 1.91
Jon Jackson Hamilton 1 0 14 17 2.00

Topsfield / Hamilton Make-Up Games

Hamilton @ Topsfield - Friday, June 26th @ Proctor Field 5:45pm start.

Topsfield @ Hamilton - Tuesday, June 30th @ Patton Park 5:45pm start.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Beverly at Ipswich Postponed (again)

Sunday's game was postponed due to weather conditions meaning Beverly and Ipswich need to make up 2 games later this season.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Beverly at Ipswich Postponed

Postponed due to field conditions in Ipswich. Beverly travels to Ipswich Sunday for a "home game".

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mariners 4, Rams 1

Manchester/Essex rebounded from their first loss of the season earning the series split in Rowley tonight. More details to follow.....

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Jackson, Generals over Giants: 7-1

Jon Jackson pitched a complete game gem for the Hamilton Generals as they were able to defeat the Beverly Giants. Jackson allowed only 2 hits on the night, 1 unearned run, and struck out 10 on the way to the victory. Luke Deschamps was charged with the loss in 5 innings of work.

The Generals got on the board in the first on a Jones solo HR. The Generals manufactured one more in the second with two outs. Luke Painchaud and Brian Marques worked back-to-back walks followed by a Maidment RBI single. Jered Stewart added 2 solo HR's later in the game, one in the third, and the next in the fifth. Justin Tilley also added a 2-out, 2-rbi single to round out the Generals scoring. Stewart, Vitale, Luke Painchaud, & Maidment all had multi-hit games for the Generals. Hickey and C. Freni got the two hits for the Giants.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rockport 7 Ipswich 5

The Townies defeated the Chiefs 7-5 on Monday night in Ipswich.

Rockport was led offensively by Brent Currier (1for3, hr, 2rbis, rs), Mike Anderson (2for5, 2rs, rbi, sb), Brock Currier (2for4, 2b, 2rbis, rs), Chris Bouchie (2for4, 2b, rs) and Jeremy Spittle (1for2, 2rbis).

Greg Kistner got the start for the Townies, his first in four years. He got chased out of the game in third, going 2 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and five runs. Andrew Vasallo came on to pitch 4 1/3 innings of scoreless relief for the victory. He struck out one, allowing two hits, while picking a runner off first in the 4th and inducing the Chiefs into two 5-4-3 double plays in the 5th and 6th innings collectively.

Ipswich was paced offensively by Peter Sotoripoulos (3for4, 2b, 2rs), Ryan Montecalvo (2for3, rs), Tommy Radzim (2b, 2rbis) and Kevin Michael (h, rbis). Greg Doucette took the loss for the Chiefs.

The Townies improve to 5-4, climbing over .500 for the first time this season. The Chiefs fall to 1-6. Townies return to action Sunday against Hamilton in Rockport, while the Chiefs takes on Beverly in Ipswich on Friday night.

Rockport 4 Ipswich 2

The Townies bested the Chiefs 4-2 on Sunday night at Evans Field in Rockport.

Brent Currier went the distance on the mound, striking out seven and scattering seven hits, including striking out the side in the top of the seventh with the bases loaded. Offensively, Dan Greel (3for3, hr, 2 rbis), Brent Currier (1for3, 3b, rs), Chris Bouchie (1for3, rbi, sb, rs), Brock Currier (1for3, bb, rs) and Jeremy Spittle (1for2,rbi) paced the Townies.

For the Chiefs, Kevin Michael went the distance, striking out 8, while allowing 4 runs on 8 hits total. The Ipswich offense was paced by Dave Shoreman (2for4, 2 2bs, rbi), Andy Knox (2for3, rs) and Pete Sotoripoulos (2b, rbi).

The Townies improved to 4-4, while the Chiefs dropped to 1-5.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Beverly - 12, Hamilton - 2

The Beverly Giants (2-5) broke a five game losing streak with a win over the Hamilton Generals (2-5). Jason Boaman won his first ITL starts allowing 2 runs (1 earned) over 5+ innings of work. Tom Carr pitched two scoreless innings in relief.

The Giants offense came courtesy of three homers. Two came off the bat of John Boyle (2 for 4, 2HR, 2R, 5RBI) and one from Jeff Barricelli (3 for 4, HR, 3R, 3RBI). Nick Adams, Mike Freni, Derek Scialdone, and Bill Boccuzzi all added 2 hits apiece.

Tom Jones and Reggie Maidment each had two hits for Hamilton. Judd Funchion took the loss allowing 10 runs over 5+ innings.

The two teams meet again Tuesday night in Hamilton.

Injury News: Beverly's Pat Doyle left the game with a knee injury after chasing down a flyball in left field. The exact nature of the injury is unknown but we'll find out more after Pat visits an orthopedist tomorrow. We all wish Pat the best.

INJURY UPDATE 6/15: Pat suffered an MCL strain, not a torn ligament as originally feared. He'll miss at least 2 weeks, but this is very good news for Pat and the Giants.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Mariners Bats Come Alive Over Topsfield, Mariners 13 - Tories 2

On Friday night, one year after the passing of their beloved coach/teammate Jared Knowlton, the M/E Mariners bats exploded in a 13-2 victory over the Topsfield Tories at Proctor Field. The Mariners tallied 18 hits, including hits by every starting player (7 of the 9 had multiple hits). The win improves the Mariners to 7-0 on the season, while the Tories drop to 2-3.

Mike Gibbon picked up his 3rd win of the season by going 6 innings, giving up 2 unearned runs, striking out 4, with no walks and 7 hits allowed. Ryan Marques pitched a perfect 7th to end the game. Matt Rogers took the loss while pitching 3+ innings, and was followed by Palmadoro and Driscoll on the mound.

Leading the Tories offensively was leadoff hitter, Eric Bunker who went 2-4 on the day (2b, sb), Evan Bunker (2b, r), and other hitting safely (Doug Hittinger, Ben Hathaway, Dave Gallugi, and Driscoll). At the plate for the Mariners, Nate Bertolino (3-5, hr,2r, rbi) and Ty Haskell (3-4, 2rbi, 2r) both recorded 3 hit days. Also obtaining multiple hits were Mike Cain (2b, 2rbi), Bryan Lafata (r, 2rbi), Rick Bettencourt (2b, r), Kyle Hildebrand (r), and Mike MacFarland (2b, 2r, 2rbi, bb). Joe Orlando hit a 3 run homer for the Mariners as well.

Topsfield play a home and home series with the Hamilton Generals (Thurs in Hamilton, Friday in Topsfield), while the Mariners play the 5-1 Rowley Rams on Tues in Essex, and Wed in Rowley.

All game start times are 5:45

Rockport - 9, Beverly - 3

Rockport scored 2 in the third, 5 in the fourth, and 2 in the fifth to beat Beverly 9 to 3 at Evans Field Friday night. Lou McGrath pitched 5 innings allowing 3 runs (1 earned) for the victory. Rocky Pisa allowed 9 runs (3 earned) over 5 innings and took the loss.

Rockport was led by Tommy Robertson (3 for 4, 3RBI, 3R), Dan Greel (2 for 3, 2R), and Chris Bouchie (1 for 3, 2RBI). Lasallo pitched two scoreless innings of relief.

Pat Doyle (3 for 3, RBI) had a strong day for Beverly. Mike Freni (2 for 3) and Rob Freni (2 for 3) also contributed offensively. Tom Carr pitched a scoreless inning of relief.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Generals 10 Chiefs 2

The Chiefs bats couldn't get hot against Mike Drinkwater Thursday night.

The Chiefs were able to muster just two runs the whole game. 1 in the first on a Tom Radzim base hit scoring Kevin Michael. Kevin Michael would score in the second on an error by the General's 2ns baseman.

The Generals had the bats smoking against Chris Lane, the Chief's starter. Lane would go four innings, surrendering 9 hits, 7 runs (4 earned), while striking out 4 and walking 1. Dave Doucette would come on in the 6th, and surrendered 3 runs (2 earned), and striking out 3.

Jered Stewart(4 for 4), Tom Jones (2 for 3) and Reggie Maidment (2 for 3), would pace the offense for the Generals, both collecting 2 hits, and O'Leary again would take a Chiefs pitcher deep again, in the 3rd. Tom Jones also scored 3 of the 10 runs for HW.

The Chief's look to avenge the 4th loss of the year against Rockport this coming Sunday away in Rockport. The General's look for their 3rd win of the year on Sunday against Beverly.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rowley 6, Rockport 1

The Rowley Rams avenged their only loss of the season with a 6-1 win over Rockport @ Eiras Field in Rowley tonight. For Rowley Nick Liguori pitched 5 Innings picking up the win on 1R,4h, 2BB and 4K's. Matt Warden(2IP, 1H,2BB,2K) finished the final two frames. Rockport opened the scoring in the top of the 2nd when Greel scored on a fielders choice. Rowley came back with 3 of their own in the bottom of the inning keyed by a 2 run double from Tim Jean. The Rams kept up the pressure tacking on 1 in the 3rd on a Dave Mariani RBI double, and 2 more in the 4th on RBI singles from Ralph Renzulli and Devin Barry. Chris Bouchie started for Rockport and pitched 4 innings taking the loss. Rockport was led offensively by Anderson (2H,SB), while Robertson, Brent Currier and Greel contributed the other hits. Rowley's offense was led by Ralph Renzulli(3H,2RBI). Koby Thibault and Devin Barry both had 2 hit nights, while Tim Jean contributed 2 RBI. Rockport hosts Beverly Friday night under the lights, while Rowley is off until Tuesday when they open a 2 game set with Manchester/Essex in Essex.

Mariners Squeak out Win over Tories

On Tuesday night the Manchester-Essex Mariners rallied to beat the Topsfield Tories 10-9 in Essex. The win improves the Mariners to 6-0 and drops the Tories to 2-2 on the young season.

The Tories jumped out to a 7-0 lead after the first 2 ½ innings, led by 2 solo home runs by leadoff hitter Andrew Dyer (4-4 on the day with a double, 3 rbi, and an intentional walk). Also leading the Tories on Tuesday night was Zach Lampkin going 3-5 w/2 runs scored, cleanup hitter Lobdell (3-4, 2 2b’s,2r), and Dave Gallugi (3-4, 2b, r, rbi). Starting pitcher, MacCarthy, threw 5 innings on the hill giving up 5 runs (4 earned), with 3 strikeouts and 6 bases on balls. MacCarthy gave way to Evan Bunker who went 1+ innings giving up 5 runs (only 2 earned), 3 bb’s and 4 hits.

Steve Stout picked up his 3rd win of the season with 6 innings of relief, giving up 5 runs (4 earned), 4k’s, 4bb’s, and 10 hits. The Mariners rallied for 5 runs in the final 2 innings to win. Bryan Lafata’s walk off single with no outs and the bases loaded plated Bob Whynott for the win in the bottom of the 7th inning. The Mariners were led at the plate by Mike Cain (2-3, 3b, hr, 5 rbi), Rory Gentile (2-3, 2bb, hr, r, rbi). Joe Orlando and Rick Bettencourt were on base numerous times with both scoring a couple of runs.

The two teams meet again Friday night at Proctor Field in Topsfield (5:45 start).

Topsfield at Beverly 7/5/09 Postponed

Due to a State Babe Ruth tournament Cooney Field is not available. The game will be rescheduled for a future date.

Makeup Games

Ipswich @ Man./Essex - Wednesday, July 1st 5:45pm in Essex

Hamilton @ Beverly - Monday, July 6th in Beverly 5:45pm start

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rowley 9, Beverly 5

In a game that featured just about every play imaginable, the Rowley Rams came out on top of a wild one tonight 9-5 @ Eiras Field in Rowley. Beverly struck first in the first when Bocuzzi led off with a single, stole second and scored on an RBI single By Derek Scialdone. In the bottom of the 2nd the Rams scored 5 times (0 earned)to take the lead. In the top of the 3rd Beverly struck back with 3 of their own, keyed by hits from Adams, Baricelli and a big RBI double by Doyle. The Rams came up with 2 more in their half of the 3rd , both scoring on an RBI double by Joe White. After starting the 4th with back to back walks the Giants chased Rowley starter Matt Wile from the game, Dave Leavitt(4IP, 3H, 0BB, 0R,4K's, W) entered the game for Rowley, held Beverly to 1 run in the inning and finished the job earning the win in relief. Carr started for Beverly and Deschamps finished, Beverly's offense was led by Barricelli, 1h, 1r, 1rbi, Scialdone 1h, 1rbi and Doyle 2h, 1r and 2 rbi. Rowley's offense was led by Koby Thibault 1h, 1rbi, Nick Liguori 1h, 1r, 1rbi and Joe White 1h, 1r and 2 rbi. Beverly is off until Friday when they travel to Rockport, Rowley hosts Rockport tomorrow night 5:45 PM @ Eiras Field

Injury Update

In last night's game, Ipswich's Dylan Durning stole home in the bottom of the seventh to earn the walk-off win. On the play Dylan suffered a terrible injury, severely dislocating and fracturing his thumb. Dylan has since had successful surgery but faces a long road to a successful recovery. I'm sure I can speak for everyone in his ITL family that we wish him a speedy recovery. Dylan is one of the league's best, and his presence on the field will be missed while he is out of the lineup.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Durning Steals Win for Chiefs, Ipswich beats HW 7-6

In a barn burner of a night at Linebrook Park, the Ipswich Chief's pulled out a high energy win in the bottom of the 7th when Dylan Durning stole home to secure the win.

Dave Shoreman got the nod for the home town team going a complete game scattering 4 hits, striking out 9, walking 6, while also hitting one batter twice.

The Chiefs started the hit parade off of HW's starter Jensen, with 4 runs in the 1st off of Dylan Durning's first Homerun of the year. Andy Knox would follow a few batter's later with a sac fly to center scoring Tom Radzim.

In the 2nd inning Shoreman would start the inning off with two straight walks of General hitters, and O'Leary would take Shoreman yard to left to bring the score to 4-3 Chiefs. The Chief's would get back a run in the bottom of the inning, and then in the 3rd Kevin Michael would hit his first home run of the year to center, making the score 6-4 after 3 full.

The Generals would tack on 1 in the 5th, and 1 in the 6th off a Mark Provost double to left. Knoting the score at 6.

Shoreman in the top of the 7th would have a 1-2-3 inning. The Chief's started off the inning with Durning leading off on a double. A walk to Radzim, and then to Ryan Montecalvo. Michael would strike out with the bases loaded for the 1st out with bases still loaded. On a 1-2 count, Durning took off for home. The high pitch would get away from General catcher Bryan Vitale, and Durning would be safe at home for the win.

Durning was down for about a minute, and would soon get up holding his hand. Dylan is making his way into Boston this evening to see a doctor at Beth Isreal. Here's to Dylan making a full recovery.

These two meet Thursday night at Patton Park.

Rockport Edges Rowley 2-1

The Townies edged out the Rams in a pitcher's duel by a score of 2-1. Brent Currier and Joe Katin went six scoreless innings until the seventh and final inning.

In the top half of the inning, Rowley scratched a run across the board on a Liquori single, but wasted a chance to continue the inning when Currier picked off the runner from second base. In the home half of the inning, Andrew Vasallo started off the inning with an infield single, then moved over to second on a Mike Bertolino sac bunt. Tom Robertson followed with a liner that the first baseman could not handle and Vasallo scored to tie it 1-1. Up next was Currier, but before he could even swing the bat, an errant pickoff throw to first allowed Robertson to advance to third, putting the winning run only 90 feet away. Currier and Chris Bouchie were intentionally walked to set up the force, but it wasn't meant to be for the Rams. Brock Currier smoked a single passed the diving third baseman and Robertson scored to give Rockport its second victory on the young season.

Currier went the distance for the allowing only three hits with 7 K's and 2 BB's. Katin went 6 1/3 innings, scattering eight hits with 4 K's and 3 BB's.

Offensively for Rockport, James Randall went 2 for 3, while Robertson, Bouchie, Brock Currier, Vasallo, Dan Greel and Matt Ayer all contributed one hit a piece. Thibeault, Renzuli and Liquori had the hits for Rowley.

Rockport travels to Rowley for a rematch on Wednesday.

League Leaders

Through 6/6/09

Dave Shoreman Ipswich 3
Jered Stewart Hamilton 2
7 tied with 1

Jeff Barricelli Beverly 6
Doug Hittinger Topsfield 5
Mike Cain Man/Essex 5
Jered Stewart Hamilton 5
3 tied with 3

Shane Johnson Rowley 0.714
Mark Provost Hamilton 0.667
Ben Hathaway Topsfield 0.600
Pat Doyle Beverly 0.500
Nick Adams Beverly 0.500
Mike Cain Man/Essex 0.455

Player Team WIN LOSS IP K ERA*
Mike Gibbon Man/Essex 1 0 7 8 0.00
Joe Katin Rowley 1 0 7 3 0.00
Matt Wile Rowley 1 0 6 2 0.00
Jack Brancaleone Man/Essex 1 0 6.3 5 1.11
Lou McGrath Rockport 1 1 9 7 2.33
Evan Bunker Topsfield 2 0 10.3 8 2.72

Manchester - 12, Beverly - 6

M/E Mariners 12 – Beverly Giants 6

On Sunday night the Mariners beat the Giants by a score of 12 to 6 in Essex, though it was Beverly’s home game. Mike Gibbon picked up his second win of the season going 5 innings giving up 1 run while striking out 6, walking 1 and allowing only 3 hits. Matt Hildebrand and Ryan Marques pitched one inning a piece in relief and surrendered the other 5 runs to the Giants. Rocky Pisa took the loss on the hill for the Giants going 3 1/3 and giving up 3 earned runs. Luke Deschamps, Tom Carr, Joe Gill and Chris Freni all pitched in relief with Carr and Freni both pitching shutout innings.

Leading the Mariners on Sunday was Kyle Hildebrand 3-4, and collecting 2 hits each were Rory Gentile, Nate Bertolino, and Ian Buckley. Joe Orlando hit a 3 run homer to expand the Mariners lead to 8-1 in the top of the 4th inning. Mike Cain scored 3 runs in the game for the Mariners. At the plate for the Giants the 1 & 2 hitters in the order did most of the damage as Bill Boccuzzi went 2-4 with a couple of runs scored, and Jeff Barricelli went 2-4 with a home run, double and 3 rbi.

The Mariners who improve to 5-0 on the young season prepare for a two game series vs. the Topsfield Tories (Tues in Essex, Friday in Topsfield; 5:45pm both nights). The Beverly Giants drop to 1-3 heading into a week full of action (Tues @ Rowley-5:45pm, Friday @ Rockport-7pm and Sunday June 14th hosting Hamilton at 5pm).

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Topsfield edge Ipswich 4-3

The Chief's had a great pitching effort from Kevin Michael making his first start of the season.

The Chiefs bats were only able to muster 6 hits against Evan Bunker who worked 6 1/3 innings for the Torries. The Chief's offense was led by Brian Dowley making his first start of the season at third and went 2-3 at the plate.

The Chief's started out in the 2nd inning with 2 runs in two hits. Radzim led off the inning with a walk, and then advanced to third on a Kevin Michael double down the left field line. Brian Dowley had a SAC fly to center to score Radzim. Matt Lane would drive in Michael on a fielder's choice.

There wouldn't be any more scoring until the bottom frame of the 4th, when Lobdelo would reach on an error at third. He would later score on a Ben Hathaway double . Driscoll would then reach on a base hit to right, and would then score on a Travers triple to left, leaving the game tied at 2.

The Torries would tack on two more in the bottom of the 5th, with a Lobdelo base hit scoring Lampkin and Hathaway who reached on a double and single respectfully. The Chief's would make it interesting in the top half of the 7th. Matt Lane was second up in the inning, and had a base hit to right, Sotiropoulos would reach on a walk, and would score on a fielders choice by Andy Knox. The bases would be loaded again with 2 outs in the top of the 7th, but the Chief's bats were unable to tie the game and suffered their third loss of the year.

The Chief's are home Monday to face off against Hamilton-Wenham, and the Torries travel to Essex on Tuesday. All games start as always at 5:45.

Friday, June 5, 2009

JRP Home Run Derby Tomorrow

This event is open to all and may be of interest to ITL members, check it out.

"H-W Residents pay tribute to the late John Ryan Pike with 2nd Annual Home Run Derby"
By Dom Nicastro

Registration / More Details

Rams over Generals Again. 8-7

A night after a serious pitcher's duel, offense was the key in this round 2 match-up. Dave Leavitt picked up the win in relief and Mike Drinkwater suffered the loss as both starting pitchers did not figure in the decision last night at Patton Park. The game was called after 6 due to darkness with the Rams on top 8-7.

The Rams got 1 in the first inning, but the Generals got two in the bottom half on back-to-back HR's by Provost and Stewart. The Rams regained the lead in the 3rd by scoring 5 runs. Thibeault delivered a RBI double, and scored another on the back end of a double play. Jean got a bases loaded walk, and Johnson got an RBI single after a key error that extended the inning for the Rams. The Rams led 6-2 after 3 innings.

The Generals stormed back in the fourth, tying the game. Provost delivered an RBI double which was then followed by a 3-Run HR by Jered Steward, his second of the day, to tie the game at 6. The Generals took the lead in the bottom of the fifth on a RBI walk from Justin Tilley with the bases loaded. White gave the lead back to the Rams with a 2 out 2-RBI single off Drinkwater in the top half of the 6th. The Generals failed to score in the bottom half and the game was called as the Rams were threatening in the top of the seventh due to darkness. The game officially ends 8-7 Rams. The two teams battled to the end in consecutive games making each exciting and with the Rams earning the sweep.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Manchester - 6, Beverly - 3

Manchester beat Beverly by the score of 6 to 3 behind the pitching of Stout and Marques. Stout earned the victory allowing 3 runs (1 earned) over 4 innings. Marques got the save with 2 scoreless innings of relief, while striking out 4. Offensively, Bettencourt went 2 for 3 with a run scored.

For Beverly, John Boyle allowed 1 run over 2 innings. Jay Trowt was charged with the loss after giving up 5 runs (2 earned) over 3 innings. Chris Freni led the offense going 3 for 3 with a run scored.

The game was called due to darkness after 5 1/2 innings.

Rowley Nips Generals 3-2

In a great pitcher's duel, the Rowley Rams defeated the Generals by the score of 3-2. The game only took 1 hour and 15 minutes as both starting pitchers were on fire. Matt Wile pitched 6 innings allowing only 1 run, 4 hits, and 1 BB on his way to recording the win. Judd Funchion was just as impressive going 6 complete, allowing 5 hits, 3 runs, 1 BB but picked up the loss. Warden picked up the save in relief.

In one of the fastest games on record, through 5 complete innings the game saw a total of zero runs, 3 hits, and only 3 base runners. The Generals got on the board first in the top of the sixth inning. O'Leary started things off with an infield single. A fielder's choice and a BB later, Provost delivered an RBI single that plated Maidment with the game's first run.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Rams struck back with 3 runs. Mariani keyed the attack with a 2-run double, which was followed by a Berry RBI single. In the top of the seventh the Generals put together a rally. O'Leary delivered an RBI double scoring Tilley from first. With the tying run in scoring position and two outs, Judd Funchion put together a great at bat. A full count Funchion drilled a line drive down the left field line that just landed foul. Warden was able to settle down and paint the corner with a strike 3 call to end the game, earning the save. A great game ended with the Rams winning 3-2.

ITL In the News....

"ITL Generals Return to Field"
by Dom Nicastro

Hamilton - Hamilton’s Intertown Twilight League baseball team will return all of the players who made a championship run possible last summer. The only problem will be getting them all together on the diamond at once.

Tom Jones, the Generals’ players/manager, will have his hands full this summer juggling the lineup because of his players’ busy work schedules.

Hamilton has two full-time EMT/firefighters and a soon-to-be graduate of the Boston Police academy.

“These key players may have to miss some time on the field due to their day-time jobs so the rest of the roster will have to step up in their absence,” Jones said. “We do have a deep enough team to keep a steady ship, but it just makes everything a bit more difficult, and everyone needs to focus just a little bit more with a constantly changing lineup from day to day.”

Hamilton’s formula worked just fine last year.

The Generals made their second straight trip to the ITL finals, falling in the best-of-five series to Manchester/Essex, 3-0. The Generals flirted with first place all season, made their second straight trip to the finals after a more than 10-year absence and had a special field dedication ceremony that drew more than 100 fans to honor Richie Vitale.

Hamilton had no problem getting players to show last year, Jones said.

Jim Maloney, the league’s regular-season Most Valuable Player, led the team with a .448 average, followed by Mark Provost at .373. Jones (.333), Mark Potter (.318) and Jered Stewart (.318) rounded out the top five. The pitching staff was well rounded — Judd Funchion (four wins), Mike Drinkwater (three), Jeff Jensen (three), Jon Jackson (three), Luke Painchaud (three) accounted for most of the team’s victories.

Funchion and Jackson had playoff wins over first-place Ipswich. The Generals were seeded fourth. Jackson led the team in earned-run average (3.29) followed by Painchaud (3.92).

Brian Vitale, Stewart, Maloney and Jackson each made the 2008 ITL all-star squad for Hamilton.

“We have a very deep team,” Jones said. “Only being able to play nine at a time makes my job real tough as everyone is capable at playing at a high level and contributing to the team’s success. The core team is back again, and we have made a few additions in the offseason. Our pitching staff is extremely solid and has a lot of experience.”

Funchion and Jensen are the league’s most experienced pitchers. Jackson, who played college ball at Wheaton, Drinkwater, currently on the Endicott College roster, and ITL rookie Connor Sullivan, who plays at Colby College, joins them. Painchaud is recovering from an arm injury; he was stellar in his rookie campaign last season, Jones said.

Hamilton opened Sunday with an 11-5 loss to Rockport at Evans Field in Rockport.

Lou McGrath, who returned after a few years in retirement, went three-plus innings on the mound for Rockport, and was followed by Cory Emerson and Brent Currier.

Jones had a hit and two RBI for Hamilton.

Rockport and Hamilton meet in a rematch Thursday night at Patton Park.

“The league as a whole is extremely competitive and has seen somewhat of a resurgence of talent in recent years,” Jones said. “All seven teams should be close in competing for the four playoff positions.”

"Intertown Baseball League: Rowley Blanks Beverly"
by Staff Reporters

Mariners Hold On To Defeat Townies 3-2

The Mariners held off a 7th inning rally by the Townies on Tuesday night in Essex to win 3-2. With a 3-0 Mariners lead heading into the 7th, the Townies plated 2 runs and had the tying and go ahead runs on base. The win puts the Mariners at 3-0 on the young season, while the Townies drop to 1-3.

ITL veteran lefty, Lou McGrath, kept the Townies in the game with 6 strong innings on the mound. McGrath scattered 6 hits, with 5 strikeouts and 3 walks. 2 of the 3 runs scored were earned runs on solo home runs by Rory Gentile and Nate Bertolino of the Mariners. Picking up the victory for the Mariners was Jack Brancaleone, who pitched 6 1/3 innings of 5 hit baseball, giving up 2 runs (1 earned), and also striking out 5 and walking 3. Matt Hildebrand, making his ITL debut, picked up the save by pitching the final 2/3 of an inning with no hits.

Hitting safely for the Mariners was Gentile (solo hr, bb), Bertolino (solo hr, bb), Kyle Hildebrand (rbi double), Mike Cain (2b), Ty Haskell, and Bryan Lafata. Mike Bertolino led the Townies with a 2 for 2 day at the plate with double, bb, and run scored. Other Townies contributing hits were Tom Robertson (1 run), Mike Anderson (rbi), and Brent Currier (bb).

The Mariners host Beverly tonight (Wed 6/3) and Sunday 6/7 at Essex (Sunday's game is Beverly's home game in Essex), and Rockport has a 2 game series with undefeated Rowley (Sun 6/7 in Rockport and Wed 6/10 at Eiras Park in Rowley).

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tories over Chiefs 9-7

The Topsfield Tories defeated the Ipswich Chiefs, Monday evening in Ipswich by a final score of 9-7. It was a back and forth game that saw 4 lead changes throughout. After putting up 4 runs early, Topsfield had the lead which quickly disappeared as the Chiefs came back to lead 5-4. Evan Bunker got the W in relief, allowing only 2 runs on 3 hits in his 4 innings of work. Bunker was supported by 14 hits from the Tories led by Andrew Dyer, (3 for 4, 3 RUNS, 2 RBI and 2 SB) and Zack Lamkin (2 for 4, 1 RUN, 2RBI, 1SB). Topsfield put up 3 in the sixth to break a 6-6 tie. Ipswich threatened in the bottom of the sixth scoring one and leaving them loaded. The game was called after 6 due to darkness. Dave Shoreman had 2 HR and Montecalvo was 3 for 3 in the loss. The two teams will meet again Friday at Proctor for the Topsfield home opener.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Mariners Top Townies

In a rematch of a 2008 playoff semi-final series the Manchester-Essex Mariners defeated the Rockport Townies 4-0 on Sunday night at Evans Field. Mike Gibbon led the way for the Mariners on the mound picking up the victory with the complete game shutout effort. Gibbon scattered 4 hits, while striking out 8 and only walking 1. Rockport pitchers Cory Emerson and Andrew Vassallo combined to hold the Mariners to only 4 hits, but 11 walks and 2 errors came back to haunt the Townies as the Mariners scored 3 runs in the 5th inning and 1 more in the 6th inning.

The 4 lone hits for the Mariners were from Mike Cain (rbi,r, 2b, bb), Whit Graham, Ian Buckley (rbi, bb), and Bryan Lafata (bb, r, 2sb). Leadoff hitter, Rory Gentile paced the Mariners with 4 bases on balls and scored 2 of the Mariners 4 runs. 3 of the 4 Townies hits were doubles from Brent Currier, Dan Greel, and Eric Junker. Chris Bouchie had the other hit for the Townies and also recorded a stolen base.

The Mariners go to 2-0 on the young season, while the Townies drop to 1-2. The two teams meet again on Tuesday night (6/2) at 5:45 at Memorial Park in Essex. Following that the Mariners host Beverly on Wed 6/3 and Sunday 6/7 at Essex (Sunday's game is Beverly's home game in Essex), and Rockport has a 2 game series with undefeated Rowley (Sun 6/7 in Rockport and Wed 6/10 at Eiras Park in Rowley).