Friday, July 22, 2011

Generals 5 Tories 4

It was not pretty, but the Hamilton Generals scratched out a win in a must-win game against the Topsfield Tories on a 98 degree Thursday night at Patton Park. Hamilton plated two unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth to retake the lead and Matt Greeke (7IP, 4H, 4R, 3ER, 3BB, 7K) retired the Tories in order in the top of the 7th to preserve the win. Matt Rogers pitched a fine game for Topsfield going six innings and yielding only three earned runs, but was charged with the loss.

Hamilton got on the board first in the third inning when Jim Maloney (2-for-2, 2BB, 2R, SB) led off with a single to left-center and advanced to third on a ground-rule double to left by Bryan Vitale (2-for-4, 2R). Two batters later rookie utilityman Devin Keller (2-for-4, RBI) continued his hot hitting with a single to center to give the Generals a 1-0 lead. Mark Ruggiero (1-for-3, 2RBI) followed with a sacrifice fly to right to plate a second run. Hamilton attempted to add another run later in the inning, but Topsfield centerfielder Andrew Dyer (2-for-4, RBI, SB) gunned down a runner at the plate for the final out.

Topsfield finally got to Greeke in the fifth when they touched him up for four runs. Heath led off the inning with a walk and advanced to third on a booming single to right by Max Travers that just missed leaving the park. Dyer grounded to first bringing in a run and Rogers then reached on an error. That set the table for Zack Lampkin who took Greeke deep to left for a three-run job giving Topsfield a 4-2 lead heading into the late innings.

Tim O'Leary led off the bottom of the fifth with an infield single and scored two batters later on a double down the leftfield line by Ruggiero that missed clearing the fence by inches. Up next, Justin Tilley stroked a single to left and Ruggiero was waved home only to be cut down at the plate on a perfect throw from Doug Hittinger, keeping the Generals down by a run.

With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Maloney drew a walk putting the tying run on base. Vitale followed with a groudball into the hole at shortstop and the attempt at a force at second was thrown away into rightfield. Maloney came all the way around to score on the play, tying the game, while Vitale hustled to third. O'Leary followed with a groundball that was booted, scoring Vitale, and giving the Generals the 5-4 lead that would be the final score.

The two teams matchup against on Friday night at Proctor School in Topsfield.