Friday, August 28, 2009

Dale & Holley with Ralph Bates

From 2006...

Jimmy Fund Teams with a Manchester Mariner

Ralph Bates can usually be found during the summertime at Hyland Field in Manchester watching the Mariners play. Also, it is not uncommon for the Mariners' #1 fan to become their 9th player in a pinch. Ralph has been a great friend to the ITL over the years and it is no surprise to us that his goodwill has reached far beyond this small baseball league. Linked below is a great article about Ralph and his trip to the Jimmy Fund Clinic.

"WEEI-NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon inspires major gift to combat cancer"

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mariners Repeat as Champs

The Manchester/Essex Mariners beat the Townies 9-3 in game 4 of the finals. The Mariners take the series and the 2009 ITL Championship! Details to come.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mariners take series lead with bizarre win

Mariners take series lead with bizarre win

By Nick Curcuru
Staff Writer

ESSEX — Nothing is ever normal when the Manchester Mariners play the Rockport Townies according to Mariners catcher/manager Bryan Lafata.

The two teams have dueled numerous times in the past and as Lafata put it, "it's always interesting."

Yesterday's third game of the best-of-five Intertown League Baseball championship at Memorial Field in Essex was no different. The Townies looked to be in control after right fielder Brock Currier hit a two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning to give Rockport a 7-6 lead.

The Mariners, however, would get the last laugh in the bottom of the sixth inning. With one out and the bases loaded, Manchester designated hitter Rick Bettencourt hit a hard ground ball down the third base line that looked to be heading into the left field corner for extra bases. Townies third basemen Mike Bertolino made a full extension diving stab and threw home, but the throw hit base runner Nate Bertolino, who led off the inning with a walk, in the back allowing him to score and tie the score at 7-7. After a strikeout, No. 9 hitter Alex Ray came to the plate. The second basemen, who is entering his junior year in high school this fall, ended up being hit with a pitch which allowed Mike Cain to score to make it 8-7.

Cain's run ended up being the game-winner as the umpires then called the game due to darkness. Following the final play the Townies vehemently argued as they believed Ray intentionally moved his body into the ball.

It was a bizarre end to a game that featured five lead changes and three ties.

"It's always interesting when these two teams play," Lafata said. "Tonight was an another example of that. Just an unbelievable game. Both teams could have laid down several times in the game but we both kept fighting back."

With the win the Mariners take a 2-1 series lead and are just one win away from their second straight ITL championship. To top it all off Manchester will send ace Mike Gibbon to the hill in Game 4 on Saturday (2 p.m., Rockport).

Lafata, however, cautions that Rockport is always tough to beat on its home field.

"They always come to play at home," Lafata said. "That's why tonight's win was so big. We need to come with the same approach that we did tonight. No matter who is on the mound for us or how good our bats have been. Rockport will give us a fight."

The Townies started off the game like gang busters scoring three runs in the top of the first inning thanks to the first three hitters, Tom Robertson, Chris Bouchie and Brent Currier started the game with three straight hits.

Brent Currier gave the Townies a 2-0 lead when he singled up the middle, plating Robertson (single) and Bouchie (double). Four batters later Brent Currier came in to score on a bases loaded walk.

The Mariners would get on the board and take the lead with four runs of their own in the bottom of the second inning. Brett Cahill made it 3-1 when his double of the wall in right field scored Bettencourt who reached on an error. Three batters later, leadoff hitter Rory Gentile singled to left-center field, scoring Cahill to make it 3-2. The very next batter, Lafata, singled up the middle scoring Gentile and Ray who reached on a walk.

Manchester's lead would be short-lived as the Townies tied the score up in the next half inning when Mike Anderson doubled to the gap in right-center field, scoring Dan Greel who reached on a fielder's choice.

The very next inning the Townies took the lead on a bases loaded walk, only to see the Mariners answer back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth on a Joe Orlando two-RBI single to make it 6-5 Mariners.

The score stayed that way until the sixth when Brock Currier gave the Townies the lead. The left-handed hitter went with an outside pitch and ripped it over the high left field fence.

"This was just an amazing game," Lafata said. "Brock's home run was just a great piece of hitting, it takes a good piece to hit the ball out to left field here and hit it opposite field."

Gentile, Orlando, Cahill and Ray powered the Mariners offense with two hits each, while Bertolino reached base four times without recording a hit (3 walks and an error). For the Townies, Bouchie and Brock Currier each had three hits.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Townies Take Game Two of Finals, Series Tied 1-1

On a muggy Monday evening at Evans Field in Rockport, the Rockport Townies defeated the Manchester/Essex Mariners by a score of 7-0. Townies ace, Brent Currier went the distance to record a complete game shutout. Currier allowed only 2 hits, walking 5 and striking out 4 for the victory. For the Mariners, Steve Stout got the nod and went 3 innings, surrendering 4 runs (4 earned) on 5 hits, striking out 2, walking six with one hits batsmen in the loss. Ryan Marques went one inning in relief, striking out 2 and walking one. Matt Hildebrand relieved Marques, going the final two frames, giving up 3 runs (all earned) on 5 hits, while striking out 2 and walking 1.

The Townies got on the board in the bottom of 1st inning when Chris Bouchie singled, Brent Currier walked, and Brock Currier reached on an error to load the bases. Dan Greel followed up with a fly ball to right center, which plated Bouchie to make it 1-0 Townies. In the 2nd inning, Brent Currier got into a little one out trouble after Bryan Lafata reached on an error and Hildebrand walked. Currier got out of the inning by inducing two pop ups. In the bottom half of the 2nd inning, the Townies scored two more runs when Mike Bertolino reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and then Tom Robertson got hit by a pitch. On the next pitch, Bertolino and Robertson took off on a double steal, putting runners at second and third with two outs. Chris Bouchie followed with a double into the woods in right field to extend the Townies lead to 3-0.

In the 4th inning, Currier ran into another jam. Mike Cain singled, stole second, which was followed by a walk to Lafata with no outs. Hildebrand laid down a sac bunt, advancing the runners to second and third and only one out. Currier though buckled down, inducing Ty Haskell to pop up to the third baseman and Whit Graham grounded out to first to end the Mariner threat. In the bottom half of the 4th inning, the Townies plated another run when Bouchie doubled to left center, followed by an intentional walk to Currier, which brought Brock Currier to the plate. After failing to advance the runners on a sac bunt, Currier lined a double into the right field woods, making it 4-0 Townies. Rockport would add three more in the 5th inning on a Brent Currier three run homer into the woods in right-center to give the Townies a 7-0 lead.

For the Mariners, Mike Cain and Jeremy Nicastro recorded one hit each, while Rory Gentile (2bbs) reached base safely twice for Manchester. For Rockport, Chris Bouchie (3-5, 2 2bs, 2rs and 2 rbis), Brent Currier (HR, 3rbis, 3bbs), and Brock Currier (2b, rbi) led offensively.

With the series even at 1-1, Game 3 will take place on Wednesday, August 12th, 5:30pm at Memorial Park in Essex. Game 4 will be on Saturday, 2pm at Evans Field in Rockport. If necessary, Game 5 will be on Sunday, 2pm in Essex.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mariners Take Game 1 of Finals

In a tightly contested affair, the Manchester/Essex Mariners took Game 1 of the ITL Finals on Sunday afternoon 5-4 over the Rockport Townies at Memorial Park in Essex. Mariners hurler, Mike Gibbon, pitched the complete game for the victory. Gibbon scattered 6 hits throughout the game, while surrending all 4 runs in the top of the 5th inning (1 earned run). In the process Gibbon also struck out 8 Townies and walked only 1. Andrew Vassallo started on the hill for the Townies and went 2 1/3 innings, surrending the 5 runs (3 earned), striking out 1, walking 1, and surrending 7 hits in the loss. Derek Osmond came in relief and kept the Townies in the game, with 3 2/3 innings of shutout baseball. Throughout Osmond's strong relief performance he gave up only 1 hit, 3 strikeouts, 1 base on balls, and a hit batsmen.

The Mariners struck first in the 1st inning with Rory Gentile leading off the game with a "bloop" double down the rightfield line, which was followed up with an rbi single from rookie Alex Ray. In the 2nd inning the Mariners plated their second run with a Bryan Lafata single, Ian Buckley walk, followed by a successful sacrifice bunt by Whit Graham. Vassallo got the 2nd out of the inning without any harm, but on a routine ground ball for the third out an error was made and pushed the unearned run home. The Mariners tallied their other 3 runs in the bottom of the 3rd inning with back to back doubles to lead off the inning by Joe Orlando and Mike Cain. After an out, Cain stole 3rd base which drew the Rockport infield in and leaving Lafata to hit a "cue shot" single up the middle to drive Cain home. The last run of the inning, Lafata was pushed around on a groundout, error, and scored on a wild pitch. From that point on, Osmond held the Mariners bats in check for the remainder of the game.

Down 5-0 in the bottom of the 5th inning, the Townies came storming back with their 4 runs. Matt Ayer led the inning off with a double to right center that just found the crease between the right and center fielders. After a flyout, infield error and Mike Bertolino single the Townies had the bases loaded for the top of the order. Leadoff hitter Tom Robertson promptly singled to left center driving in 2 runs, which was then followed with the second out of the inning. With 2 out and men on 1st and 2nd, Brent Currier lifted a 3-1 pitch to deep right center for a wall ball single, but was able to push across both Bertolino and Robertson for the 3rd and 4th runs for the Townies. Gibbon was able to settle down for the 6th and 7th innings, recording 5 strikeouts in the last 2 innings.

For the Townies Robertson (2rbi, r), Brent Currier (2rbi), Chris Bouchie, Ayer (r, 2b), Eric Junker, and Bertolino (r) all recorded hits. Mike Anderson did score a run for the Townies as well. Leading the way for the Mariners with 2 hits each was Gentile (r, sb, 2b), Orlando (r, 2b) and Lafata (2r, 1rbi). Ray (rbi, hbp) and Cain (r, rbi, sb, 2b) recorded the other two Mariners hits

Game one was a well contested game with a tremendous crowd on hand. The crowd was treated with one of the top defensive plays in years as center fielder Rory Gentile of the Mariners robbed Brent Currier's bid of a solo home run in the top of the 4th inning, by reaching over the fence and pulling the ball back in play.

Game two will take place on Monday August 10th, 6pm at Evans Field in Rockport. Game 3 is scheduled back at Essex on Wednesday at 5:30pm, with Games 4 (Saturday) and 5 (Sunday) scheduled for 2pm starts if necessary.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Townies, Mariners sweep first round series for all-Cape-Ann final

Townies / Mariners Sweep First ROund Series for all-Cape-Ann Final
By Jason Brisbois / Cape Ann Beacon

From here on out, the Intertown Twilight League could be considered, “All Cape Ann, all the time.”

Both of Cape Ann’s entries into the oldest professional baseball league in the country swept their respective first-round series in the playoffs, setting up the best-of-five final series between the Rockport Townies and Manchester/Essex Mariners. The Mariners swept Rowley in two games, winning game one by an 8-1 score and game two by a 9-0 score, while the Townies took game two against Ipswich, winning by a 12-5 score.

“We played each other tough during the season, and I don’t expect that to change,” says Townies player/coach Jeremy Spittle. “It’s gonna be a fun series knowing both teams are gonna compete and play hard the way they know how to. I’m especially looking forward to it, because in my opinion this is the best rivalry in the ITL. It doesn’t get any better than Rockport/Manchester.”

Manchester/Essex will host game one at 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, with a 6 p.m. start time scheduled for game two in Rockport on Monday. Game three is in Essex at 5:30 p.m., with 2 p.m. start times next Saturday and Sunday for games four and five, if necessary.

Both teams have relied on balanced attacks throughout the season to pick up wins. The Townies and Mariners have been carried by good pitching, defense and hitting this summer.

“Biggest keys for us in this series are pitching, defense and timely hitting,” says Spittle. “If we do well in those three areas, then I like our chances. Manchester has the best pitching in the league and we will need to grind out at bats and make them work. We’ll also need to neutralize their hitters as well. Nothing comes easy, but we like the challenge and I know we will be fine as long as we just have fun and play the game.”

There’s also an element of familiarity with two teams so close in geography and history. The last two ITL champions were the Mariners in 2008 and the Townies in 2007.

“Both Rockport and Manchester/Essex have great traditions, and as you look up and down both rosters, you see a great mix of veterans, with some young talent on Cape Ann,” says Manchester/Essex player/coach Bryan Lafata. “Being so close and familiar with Rockport is good as it almost removes the element of surprise. The Townies know our strengths and weaknesses, as we do about them. That way it just comes down to who makes the plays on defense and who comes up with the timely hitting.”

Townies open Playoffs with Win

Townies Open Playoffs with Win
By Jason Brisbois / Cape Ann Beacon

CAPE ANN - The Townies certainly made a statement in their first game of the Intertown Twilight League’s postseason. And it was a statement that was clear and concise.

Rockport beat Ipswich 4-0 on Tuesday night to take a 1-0 lead in the best of three, first-round playoff series with the Chiefs. A win in game two on Aug. 5 would put the Townies in the ITL finals, pitting them against the winner of the Manchester/Essex vs. Rowley series.
Rockport won the game by dominating in all three phases of the game, with Brent Currier putting in an impressive performance on the mound, throwing a complete-game shutout in the tidy span of one hour and 25 minutes.
“We basically were on in all three phases,” said Rockport player/coach Jeremy Spittle. “We got good pitching with Brent, our defense was great and we had timely hits to score some runs.”
Currier was a key to the victory, according to Spittle.
“He was really efficient and worked quickly,” he said.
The defense turned two double plays and didn’t commit an error. At the plate, Tommy Robertson drove in two key runs in the fourth inning, while Matt Ayer drove in two earlier in the game with a single of his own.
“All we’re thinking about now is getting through tomorrow,” Spittle said after Tuesday’s game. “We’re hoping to close it out if we get the same thing: good defense, good pitching, and if we grind out at-bats. But Ipswich is a good team, and anything can happen.”

Ipswich Chiefs baseball squad battles Rockport in semifinals

Chiefs Baseball Squad battle Rockport in Semifinals
By Matt Chambers / Ipswich Chronicle

Ipswich -

The Ipswich Chiefs continued their run of brilliance this past week winning two more games and finishing on an impressive 13-3 run for a 14-10 final record.

The Chiefs never gave up despite a slow start, and they rebounded nicely putting them in a position to seriously contend for the championship.

With their last two wins, the Chiefs locked up the No. 3 seed in the playoffs and were facing Rockport in a best-of-three series as of Aug. 5.

Rockport had the chance to seal the deal on Aug. 5, after winning Game 1, 4-0, on Aug. 4. Should Ipswich have triumphed (check for results), there will be a deciding Game 3 on Friday in Rockport at Evans Field, starting at 5:45 p.m. If not, Rockport moves on to the finals.

With three games to go in the regular season, a playoff bid was very much in doubt for the Chiefs, who just managed to climb above .500 for the first time this season last week.

On Aug. 1, the Chiefs trotted out to take the field against the first place Manchester-Essex Mariners.

The Mariners were no match for the rolling Chiefs, as the Ipswich crew took the 4-2 win behind a strong pitching performance by Dave Doucette.

Doucette went five innings and gave up one run. As player-coach Ryan Montecalvo said, it was the team’s pitching stable that led the way for the turnaround.

“Our pitching has been incredible over this last stretch. They are the main reason we are in this position [i.e., the playoffs],” said Montecalvo.

However, Ricky Sotiropoulos has also contributed greatly to the Chiefs’ success, Sotiropoulos went 2-2 with a double and two RBIs against the Mariners. Tom Radzim also came through with a solo homerun to give the Chiefs some breathing room.

The Chiefs finished strong as Kevin Michael and Dave Shoreman came in and shut the door, keeping the win intact for Doucette.

The Chiefs put the streak on the line again on Aug. 2, facing off against the Rowley Rams for the third time in four games and they continued their recent dominance of the Rams.

The Chiefs won 7-6 in a hotly contested ballgame, as the offense caught fire once again and powered the Chiefs to victory. Starter Dave Shoreman began the game with three scoreless innings, but left the game in the forth inning after sustaining an injury.

Relievers Andy Workman, and Gregg Doucette were able to survive the Rowley rally and although they made it interesting they managed to shut the door. With the win, the Chiefs were able to clinch a playoff berth that at one time seemed to be a mere fantasy.

On Aug. 3, the Chiefs faced off against the Rowley Rams once again, but the last game of the regular season was somewhat of a disappointment.

The Chiefs lost 9-2 in the season finale, but the loss did not hurt the team in the overall standings. They used the game as an opportunity to rest their key players. They escaped without any injuries and that was the biggest bonus of the game. The Chiefs will enter the playoffs rested and healthy, two big components to post-season success.

Kevin Smolla started the last game of the season for the Chiefs and he was knocked around a bit in his four innings of work. Gregg Doucette relieved Smolla and finished off the game.

With the win, Rowley was able to grab the final playoff spot and the Chiefs may face off against the Rams again for the championship.

Regardless of what happened on Aug. 5, Montecalvo was thrilled with the outcome of the season, considering the Chiefs were 1-7 at one point early on.

“These last 16 games have been incredible,” said Montecalvo “Our pitchers really stepped up, especially with so many games in such a short time period.”

The Chiefs are looking to go from worst to first in the span of just one season. They could only hope that the playoffs go as well as those last 16 games.

Playoffs: Game 1

The Rockport Townies defeated the Ipswich Chiefs in Game 1 of the Intertown Twilight League semifinals on Aug. 4 by a score of 4-0. Brent Currier went the distance, striking out two, while scattering four hits and allowing two walks. Currier also was the recipient of two double plays. Rockport scored one run in the third and three in the fourth on some timely hitting. Kevin Michael pitched well in defeat for the Chiefs.

Generals Just Miss ITL Playoffs

"Generals Just Miss ITL Playoffs"
By Dom Nicastro / HW Chronicle

Hamilton -

Hamilton’s Inter-town League baseball team did everything it had to do on its end in order to gain a spot in the playoffs. But some other teams did not cooperate.
Despite winning five of its last six games to close out the regular season, the local nine fell short of a playoff berth by one point and ends their season at 13-11. The Generals had made the ITL finals for two years straight, losing each series.
But now, it’s first-place Manchester-Essex facing fourth-seeded Rowley, and the 2 vs. 3 matchup between Rockport and Ipswich, respectively, in the ITL semis.
Hamilton won three win-or-no-playoffs games during the final week.
In its most recent game, Hamilton stayed alive with an 8-6 win over the first-place Mariners of Manchester Essex.
Mike Drinkwater picked up the win going six-plus innings with seven strikeouts and three walks. Connor Sullivan entered in the seventh to record the save.
Reggie Maidment (two-run single), Jered Stewart (solo homer) and Bryan Vitale (solo homer) excelled at the plate for the Generals, according to player/manager Tom Jones, who had an RBI single.
Judd Funchion added an RBI hit, and Mark Provost a sacrifice fly for the Generals.
Earlier, the Generals walked off with a win over Beverly when Provost singled to left to score Jim Maloney.
Jon Jackson returned to the mound for the Generals just in time for the do-or-die game for Hamilton. Jackson pitched seven strong innings, recording 10 strikeouts while allowing seven hits and two walks.
Luke Painchaud picked up the win with one inning of scoreless relief.
Stewart added another solo HR, and Jones produced a sacrifice fly for an early lead.
Maloney’s two-run homer helped set up the dramatic win in the extra inning.
Jeff Jensen’s complete-game, two-hit shutout of the Topsfield Tories was another huge Generals victory 5-0.
Maloney led the way for the Generals offense with three hits, including two triples, two RBI and two runs.
Tim O’Leary, Maidment and Funchion also contributed on offense.
Stewart takes derby crown
Stewart kept his home run prowess going where it counts most, at the ITL’s annual home run derby. Stewart beat out John Boyle of the Beverly Giants in the final round.
Bryan Lafata, Jered Stewart, John Boyle, Nate Bertolino, and Derek Scialdone all made it out of the first round.
Boyle erupted for six homers in round 2, giving him eight total after the two rounds and moving him into the finals.
Stewart, Bertolino, and Scialdone would all tie forcing a five-swing playoff.
Stewart was the only player to connect moving him into the final round.
In the finals Stewart was able to put up three more HR. Boyle knocked out two more.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Rockport takes Game Two, Advances to ITL Finals

The Townies defeated the Chiefs in Ipswich tonight by a score of 12-5. Rockport was carried by Brent Currier, who went 4 for 5 with 2hrs and 7 rbis, including a 7th inning grand slam to cap off his night. The Townies also got key contributons from Tom Robertson (3 for 5, 2 rs, rbi), Chris Bouchie (3 for 5, 2 rs), Matt Ayer (hr, 2 rbis) and Jeremy Spittle (2 for 4, rs). Greg Kistner got the start for Rockport, but was chased in the 3rd inning, after allowing 5 runs on six hits. Ty Watkins came on to pitch 4 1/3 innings of steady relief to earn the victory, striking out six, while allowing only 2 hits.

For Ipswich, Dylan Durning (1 for 2, HR) Ryan Montecalvo (2 for 3, 2 rs), and Dave Shoreman (2 for 4, rs) paced them offensively. Chris Lane got the loss for the Chiefs as he was chased out of the game in the 3rd inning after allowing 7 runs. Eaton came on in relief, allowing 5 more runs.

Rockport takes the series 2 games to none. Rockport will visit Essex on Sunday afternoon to face Manchester in Game One of the 2009 ITL Finals. First pitch at 2pm.

Mariners Take Game 1: 8-1

Details coming....

Rockport 4 Ipswich 0

The Rockport Townies defeated the Ipswich Chiefs in Game 1 of the ITL Semifinals last night by a score of 4-0. Brent Currier went the distance, striking out two, while scattering four hits and allowing 2bb's, while striking out two. Currier also was the recepient of two double plays. Rockport scored 1 in the third and 3 in the fourth on some timely hitting. Kevin Michael pitched well in defeat for the Chiefs.

Rockport visits the Reservation in Ipswich tonight for Game Two. First pitch at 5:30pm.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Townies 12 Tories 5

The Rockport Townies concluded the regular season last night in Topsfield with a 12-5 victory. The Townie offense was paced by Brent Currier (2-5, 2b, 3rbi), Tom Robertson (3-5, 2b, 3rbi), Mike Bertolino (3-3, 3rs, 3rbis) and Eric Juncker (3-5, rbi). Andy Vassallo went six innings for the win, striking out 8 while allowing 1 run on 3 hits.

Rockport finishes the season at 15-7-2, which keeps them in 2nd place. Topsfield finishes at 4-20.

The Townies face off against the Ipswich Chiefs tonight at Evans Field in Rockport for Game One of the ITL Semifinals. First pitch has been moved to 6pm.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Generals Win Again, Playoff Hopes Still Alive

Needing a win to stay alive the Generals got a huge pitching performance from Jeff Jensen. Jensen pitched a complete game shutout of the Topsfield Tories, allowing only 2 hits on the day. Riordon also pitched a complete game for the Tories but was on the wrong end of the 5-0 score.

Maloney led the way for the Generals offense with 3 hits, 2 triples, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored. In the second inning the Generals got 1 run on an O'Leary RBI single. In the 3rd, Maloney would get his first triple scoring Maidment from first. Funchion would follow with an RBI single giving the Generals the 3-0 lead.

In the fifth, Maloney would deliver the second triple. Maidment would have had to score from first again but luckily he was pulled for a pinch runner just before the hit. Good thing, as he probably wouldn't have made it! Maloney would also score on the play as the relay throw got away from the cut off man.

The win moves the Generals into the 4th spot of the playoffs which makes tonight's Ipswich / Rowley game very important. Regardless of the outcome, the Generals finished the regular season strong, going 5-1 over the last 6 games, and did everything in their power to make the playoffs. But for now they must wait. An Ipswich win clinches the 4th spot for the Generals, a Rowley win knocks them out. A tie forces a 1 game playoff between the Rams and Generals.

Chiefs slip by Rams 7-6

The Chiefs locked up a play-off spot last night with a win over the Rams 7-6. Ipswich stayed hot with the bats and plated the first 5 runs of the game over 4 innings against Rowley's starter Katin. Dave Shoreman pitched the first three scoreless innnings for the Chiefs but had to leave in the fourth when he aggravated a recent hamstring strain. He was relieved by Andy Workman who pitched well for the next 2 and 2/3 innings. The Rams however, were able to get one back in the fourth and four more in the 6th (2 earned). Greg Doucette relieved Workman with two outs and two on in the sixth and came up with a huge strike out to end the inning and the threat. The Rams were not done yet and after a scoreless top of the seventh, Rowley was able to plate one more in the bottom of the inning when Ralph Renzulli (2-4, 2B, 2 RBIs) drove in a man from second. Doucette was able to close the door on the next batter and induced a weak grounder to the mound to end the game and send the Chiefs to the playoffs.

The Chiefs offense was paced by Sotiopoulos, Montecalvo, Radzim and Dawley who all had two hits each. Shoreman hit his 8th home run of the year in the third inning as well. The Chiefs finish tonight at home with the final game of the series and the ITL season against Rowley. The Rams need the win to secure a playoffs spot, while an Ipswich win will send Hamilton-Wenham into the fourth spot.

Stewart Takes Derby Crown

Jered Stewart of the Hamilton Generals took home the 4th Annual ITL HR Derby title. Stewart was able to beat out John Boyle of the Beverly Giants in the Final Round.

Bryan Lafata, Jered Stewart, John Boyle, Nate Bertolino, and Derek Scialdone all made it out of the first round. Scialdone was the round 1 leader with 3 HR. The wind certainly played a factor in the HR totals this year. In round two, Boyle errupted for 6 HR, giving him 8 total after the two rounds and moving him into the finals. Stewart, Bertolino, and Scaildone would all tie forcing a 5 swing playoff. Stewart was the only player to connect moving him into the final round.

In the Finals Stewart was able to put up 3 more HR. Boyle knocked two more, but came up short. Stewart is your 2009 ITL HR Derby Champ.

Judd Funchion won for Best Hat

Generals Walk-Off Winners over Beverly

Jon Jackson returned to the mound for the Generals just in time as they need to win out for a chance at the playoffs. Jackson pitched 7 strong innings, recording 10 K's, 7 hits, 2 BB. Luke Painchaud picked up the win with one inning of scoreless relief. Rocky Pisa started for Beverly and ultimately took the loss in relief.

The Giants took a 1-0 in the first with a Barricelli RBI single. In the bottom of the second, the Generals tied the game on a Stewart lead off solo HR and then took the lead on a Jones sac-fly. Beverly bounced back right away with 3 more in the third taking a 4-2 lead. Scialdone delivered an RBI single which was followed by a Boyle 2-run HR.

Maloney tied the game once again with a 2-run HR of his own in the bottom of the fifth inning. Boyle would then enter the game for the Giants and pitch 2 scoreless innings of relief sending the game into extra innings. In the bottom of 8th Pisa would enter the game again. With one out, Maloney would single. Funchion followed with an HBP. Provost would then get a single to left scoring Maloney and ending the game.

The Generals needed the win to stay alive in the playoff picture. They face Topsfield Sunday night in another must win situation. The game marks the end of the season for Beverly.

Ipswich over Manchester-Essex 4-2

Ipswich moved one step closer to securing a playoff berth on Saturday morning with a win over ME. Dave Doucette took the mound and came up big with 5 strong innings surrendering only one earned run. The chiefs offense was once again led by Ricky Sotiropoulos (2-2 2B, 2 BB) with Ant Hernadez chipping in a couple hits as well (2-4 2B). Tom Radzim came up with a big solo home run in the sixth to give the Chiefs some breathing room. Kevin Michael pitched the sixth and was able to escape unharmed after a quick pick off move to second with two men and two outs to end the Mariners threat. Dave Shoreman closed the game out with a scoreless seventh.

The Mariners sent several pitchers to the mound throught the contest. Dasilva, Stout, and Cain all threw a few innings and were able to keep the Chiefs hot bats relatively quiet scattering 8 hits over 7 innings . Buckley had two hits for the Mariners. After the four games between the two teams, the season series ended in a split.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Today At Patton Park...

10:45am Ipswich vs. Manchester/Essex

1pm Beverly vs. Hamilton

3pm ITL Home Run Derby

Hamilton @ Topsfield 5:45pm
Ipswich vs. Rowley

Rockport vs. Topsfield (in Rockport)
Rowley vs. Ipswich

(times and details updated as soon as I get them)