Friday, August 7, 2009

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.