Monday, August 18, 2014

From the news, Newburyport, MA

August 18, 2014


Rowley lets Game 5, series slip away as Manchester Essex wins sixth ITL title in seven years

By Mac Cerullo
Sports Editor
---- — ROWLEY — They say that in order to be the best, you have to beat the best, and in the end the Rowley Rams couldn’t dethrone the champs.
The Manchester Essex Mariners beat the Rams 8-4 yesterday in a decisive Game 5 of the Intertown Twilight League championship series, scoring four runs in the seventh inning to win the team’s third straight title and its sixth in seven seasons.
The loss came after the Rams also dropped Game 4 of the series 2-1 on Saturday, setting up a winner-takes-all showdown after the Rams previously owned a 2-0 series lead.
Over the course of the game, Manchester Essex had two big innings where it did most of its damage, while Rowley spread its runs evenly over the course of the game. After falling behind in the seventh, the Rams got their first two runners on, but the team wasn’t able to maintain the rally and ultimately fell short.
Rowley head coach Jeff Wood said afterward that the result wasn’t what they were looking for, but both teams played hard and unfortunately the Rams couldn’t get the job done.
“Both teams battled back and forth,” he said. “We worked hard all season, but we came up one inning short.”
It seems almost fitting that the Rams and Mariners wound up playing to the final out given the battle the two teams have waged over the years. This year the two split their four regular season games and finished first and second in the standings, and over the past few seasons the teams have become very familiar with one another come playoff time.
In 2011, the Rams upset the three-time defending champions in the semifinals en route to their first championship in team history, and then a year later the Mariners avenged their loss by knocking the Rams out in the semifinals.
Last year the two met in the finals, and the Mariners came out on top again to win their fifth championship in six years. Finally, this year it looked as if the Rams were ready to topple the Mariners’ dynasty, as the team separated itself from the pack and finished the regular season with a 19-5 record and a 31/2-game lead over the Mariners for first place.
Both teams subsequently swept their first round playoff opponents, and then played out a series of grueling games in the championship series. The Rams won Games 1 and 2 by scores of 5-4 and 4-2 respectively, and then the Mariners responded by taking Games 3 and 4 by scores of 3-2 and 2-1.
Wood said after Game 2 that had a couple of plays gone differently, the Mariners easily could have been the ones up 2-0, and the same could easily be said about the three losses that followed. Despite the disappointing end to the season, Wood said he was proud of his players and that they should feel good about what they were able to accomplish this year.
“You couldn’t ask for any more. Everybody showed up and had a great year,” he said.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mariners win championship

The Mariners beat the Rams 8 to 4 in Game 5 of the ITL finals to clinch the series 3 games to 2. Manchester-Essex came back from being down 2 games to zero to clinch their 6th title in 7 years.

A failed safety squeeze kept the Mariners off the board in the top of the first. Rowley was first to strike with a run in the bottom half as Anthony Conte led off with a single, moved over on a stolen base and error then scored on a grounder to second by Tim Cashman.

Manchester-Essex had another runner caught at the plate in the top of the 3rd as the Rowley 2nd Baseman, CJ Ingraham, gunned down a Mariner at home.

In the bottom of the 3rd Rowley increase their lead to 3-0 on singles by Justin Bolla and Colin Sitarz.

Manchester-Essex finally got to the Rams starter, Tim Moore, in the top of the 4th as they pushed 4 runs across. Rory Gentile (2-4) led off with a single and was followed up with RBI hits from Peter Clark, Max Nesbit, Ian Buckley and Dylan Maki.

Rowley evened the score in their half of the 4th scoring the tying run on a wild pitch.

The game remained 4-4 until the top of the 7th. Max Nesbit the game winner a 2 out 2 RBI single just deep enough between Short Stop and Left Field. Ian Buckley added 2 more insurance runs on a single to make the score 8 to 4.

Peter Clark closed it out picking up a complete game win.

The last time a team overcame a 2 games to zero deficit in the ITL Finals it was the 1993 Manchester Mariners.

Mariners 2 Rams 1

Rory Gentile picked up the win as the Mariners force Game 5. The game is today in Rowley at 2.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Mariners 3 Rams 2, Newburyport, MA

August 15, 2014

Mariners outduel Rams

By Pat Bradley
Sports Reporter
---- — ROWLEY — After a rough outing on Saturday where he was knocked around for five runs, Manchester-Essex’ Ryan Marques was on a mission. The 26-year-old righty from Gloucester threw a complete game and kept the Rams at bay for most of the evening, eventually earning a 3-2 victory over their rivals.
“Rowley’s a really good team and you’ve got to be up for the game and ride off of it. They put up a ton of runs off me on Saturday, so I was happy with the way the game went today,” Marques said.
Even giving up an early run in the first couldn’t shake his groove.
“I stay confident out there, and if there’s a guy on base I bear down a little bit more and just work through it,” he said. “Today I was throwing three pitches for strikes, keeping it down and moving around, and I got some calls on the corner which you always like to see. It helps me set up pitches. I usually pitch to contact and let them play behind me.”
His counterpart, Mike Sloban, was equally effective, just not quite as good yesterday.
Sloban finished with 7 hits, a walk, 3 strikeouts and an error, while Marques finished with 4 hits, 8 strikeouts and a hit batsman.
“What it comes down to is that the guy we had on the mound wasn’t about to give in. He was pitching on four days’ rest, but no one was going to take the ball out of his hands today,” Rory Gentile said after the game. “He’s been the guy for a few years, he’s been a Mariner for a long time. In a big game, that’s the guy you want on the hill.”
The big blow came in the third inning for the Mariners. Caulin Rogers led off the inning reaching on an error, and Mike Cain followed with a base hit to left. Gentile, the team’s No. 3 hitter, came up with two on and no out and laid down a sacrifice bunt. Sloban couldn’t field it cleanly, though, and rushed the throw to first, sailing it down the right field line as Rogers and Cain both scored. A heads-up Gentile hustled his way over to third, sliding in safely and setting up the team’s cleanup hitter, Nate Bertolino. The big first baseman put a drive into the next pitch and sent it deep enough to center that Gentile could tag from third and score what proved to be the game-winning run.
“If we hit lazy ground balls, the teams are going to make the plays, but if you put the pressure on with guys on first and second and put a bunt down — I’m the three hitter, I still put the bunt down, and you saw what happened,” Gentile said. “You’ve got to pressure on, and that’s what we did in that inning. They’re human and make mistakes just like we do, but it’s about keep the pressure on.”
Tim Cashman’s RBI groundout scored Anthony Conte to give the Rams an early 1-0 lead. Cam D’Agostino’s infield hit drove in Rowley’s second run of the game in the fourth inning, but it was all the team’s offense could muster.
The Rams still lead the series 2-1, and return to the field Saturday at 2 p.m. for Game 4.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Game 3 Postponed

Tonight's game in Rowley is postponed due to weather.  Right now the game will be played Thursday night in Rowley, start time 5:30pm.  If there are any changes to that it will be posted here.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Rams up 2-0, Gloucester, MA

August 11, 2014

Rowley takes control of ITL finals with weekend sweep

By Nick Curcuru
Sports Editor
---- — ESSEX — The Manchester Essex Mariner’s reign as Intertown Twilight Baseball League champions is in serious jeopardy thanks to the play of the Rowley Rams over the weekend.
Rowley opened the series on Saturday with a tight 5-4 win over the two-time defending champion Mariners at Eiras Park, and on Sunday it took control of the finals with another close win, 4-2 at Memorial Field in Essex.
The Rams have played themselves into a great position as they can clinch the ITL championship at home on Wednesday (5:30 p.m.). If the Mariners stay alive Game 4 will be played on Saturday back in Essex (2 p.m.), and if necessary a decisive Game 5 will be played on Sunday back in Rowley (2 p.m.).
Rowley was powered by pitcher Tim Moore, who picked up the win allowing two runs over six innings, and an outstanding defensive effort to come away with the decisive win.
“We stress pitching and defense,” Rowley manager Jeff Wood said. “Timmy was very effective today, he pitched out of a few jams and made a few big pitches. And I thought our defense was great. Plus we battled at the plate and made the most of our opportunities. It was a well played baseball game.”
“Rowley did a better job taking advantage of their opportunities,” Mariners player Ryan Marques said. “And they played better defense. We battled and hung in there but (Rowley) got the job done.”
The Mariners were the victim of a tough break in the bottom of the fourth inning that just may have played a factor in the outcome of the game.
Trailing 3-1 with the bases loaded and nobody out, Moore was able to pick up a huge 3-6-4 double play for the first two outs of the frame. But after a walk loaded the bases, Sam Schaut ripped a line drive single up the middle that scored Paul Crehan to cut the lead to 3-2.
But the play was far from over as Bart Margiotta rounded third base with what was surely going to be the tying run as the ball got past the Rams centerfielder and stumbled on his way to the plate. Margiotta injured his knee on the play, he was taken from the field by stretcher and transported to Beverly Hospital, and was tagged out and Cory Burnham, who was also charging hard to third base and may have scored, was forced to stop at third.
“That was just bad luck and hopefully Bart is alright,” Marques said. “We caught a bad break because we didn’t convert the opportunity, but Rowley did a better job in that area regardless.”
The Rams would go on to score an insurance run in the seventh on a John Mical RBI single, and Tim Cashman closed the door in the seventh for the win.
Margiotta put the Mariners ahead 1-0 in the second with a solo shot to left but the Rams answered right back with three runs of their own in the top of the third.
Anthony Conte’s double to the gap in left center off of Mariners starter Rory Gentile, who also had a solid outing allowing just four hits, tied the score at 1-1. CJ Ingraham followed with an RBI single and Cashman a sacrifice fly to put Rowley ahead for good 3-1.
After the game, Wood was quick to praise the lower third of his batting order, which scored a pair of runs, drove in a run and started the decisive third inning rally.
“The bottom of the order really came through for us,” Wood said. “We put together some solid at bats and Gentile pitched well. Whenever you’re getting productive at bats from the bottom of the batting order, you’re in good shape.”
Although the Rams are up 2-0, both teams know that the series is far from over.
“It’s tough that we didn’t take care of business this weekend but we have to put it behind us and focus on Wednesday,” Marques said. “We have a lot of experienced players on this team so we aren’t worried or nervous but we know we are in a hole against a good team.”
“(The Mariners) have a ton of experience over there, and sometimes the last one is the toughest one to get,” Wood said. “Of course we are happy to be up 2-0 against this team but we know we still have work to do.”

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Rams -5, Mariners -4

Rowley won game one saturday, Joe White picked up the win with Cashman getting the save. Marques took the loss.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Manchester - 10, Beverly - 2

Peter Clark allowed 2 runs (1 earned) over 5 innings for the win at Balch Park Tuesday night.  Beverly took an early 1 to 0 lead in the first inning but the fourth inning saw Manchester plate 6 runs on 5 hits, 3 walks, and 2 errors.  Beverly answered with 1 run in the bottom of the 5th to cut the lead to four, but Manchester struck right back for 4 runs in the 6th.

The Mariner offense was led by Crehan (2 for 3, 2RBI, 2R), Nesbit (2 for 3, RBI, 2R), and Cain (2 for 4, R).  Beverly's Paul Drinkwater was 2 for 4 with 2 doubles and scored both Giant runs.  Luke McDonald went 2 for 3.  Josh Levesque took the loss.

Manchester advances to the Finals with the victory.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Mariners 10 Giants 0, Salem, MA

August 5, 2014

Beverly blanked by Manchester in postseason opener

By Nick Curcuru
Staff Writer
---- — ESSEX — The Manchester Essex Mariners are now just one win away from their third straight trip to the Intertown Twilight Baseball League finals, while Beverly is one loss away from elimination.
The second seeded Mariners took care of business against No. 3 Beverly on Monday in the first game of their best-of-three series with a 10-0 shutout win at Memorial Field.
The Mariners can earn a trip to the finals with a win tonight in Game 2 of the series on the road (5:30 p.m.). The winner of the series will move on to the finals to square off with the first place Rowley Rams or No. 4 Ipswich. The Rams took a 1-0 lead in their series on Sunday and had a chance to wrap things up in Monday’s late game.
“You have to come ready to play in this league or you’ll lose and we came to play tonight,” Mariners pitcher Ryan Marques said. “We weren’t playing good baseball at the end of the regular season but tonight we kept them off the scoreboard and got hits up and down the lineup.”
The Mariners were firing on all cylinders on Monday, which led to the lopsided result. Marques turned in a strong performance on the mound allowing two hits over six innings with his defense flawless behind him, while Mike Cain pitched a scoreless seventh to finish the contest. Offensively, the Mariners scored in each of the first three innings and never looked back.
Nate Bertolino made it 1-0 Mariners in the bottom of the first inning when he doubled in Rory Gentile, who singled.
The Giants did not help themselves in the second inning as a walk, a balk and an error loaded up the bases. The miscues led to two more Mariners runs on a sacrifice fly from Mike Cain, that was just a few feet away from being a grand slam, scoring Bob Whynott and a Bertolino RBI single scored Ray to make it 3-0 through two.
The Mariners plated two more runs in the third on a Giants error and a Ray RBI single to make it 5-0.
But it was the fifth inning where the Mariners really broke the game open, plating five more runs to essentially finish off the Giants chances of a comeback. Ray and Peter Clark each had RBI hits in the frame while the Mariners scored two more runs on wild pitches and another on a fielding error to cap the scoring at 10-0.
Ray and Bertolino powered the Mariners offense with a pair of hits and a pair of RBIs each, while Paul Crehan and Gentile each scored a pair of runs. Conor Walsh led the way for Beverly with two of hits team’s three hits.
“It was a good effort from the entire lineup,” Marques said. “We got on base, kept them off base and played really well in the field. We got on them early and we didn’t let up. We have to take care of business (tonight) to win the series. (Beverly) is a good team, especially at the plate, so we will need to bring a strong effort again.”
The Mariners will send Clark to the hill tonight with hopes of clinching a spot in the finals.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Rowley - 3, Ipswich - 0

Justin Bolla broke a scoreless tie with a 3 run homer to left in the top of the 6th, Mike Sloban went the distance for the shutout win. Doucette pitched well in a complete game loss. Rowley advances to the finals.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Rowley -5, Ipswich -0

Joe White got the complete game shutout  and Kevin Michael went the distance for the Chiefs as Rowley took game 1. Game 2 tomorrow in Ipswich 530 start.

2014 Standings

2014 ITL Playoffs

  • (4) Ipswich Vs. (1) Rowley
  • (3) Beverly Vs. (2) M/E

2014 ITL Standings

  • Rowley 19-5 (38)
  • Man./Essex 15-8* (29)
  • Beverly 11-11-2 (24)
  • Ipswich 10-11-3 (23)
  • Hamilton 10-12-2 (22)
  • Topsfield 5-12-4 (14)
  • Rockport 5-16-1* (10)

Tops 2 Rock 0

Complete game shutout from Ben Panunzio recording 8 Ks. The Tories got a big RBI double from Brooks McArthur in the 6th to get the win.

Playoffs Set

#1 Rowley vs #4 Ipswich
Sunday at Rowley
Monday at Ipswich
Wednesday at Rowley (if necessary)

#2 Manchester/Essex vs #3 Beverly
Monday at Essex
Tuesday at Beverly
Thursday at Essex (if necessary)

* All games at 5:30PM

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Ipswich over Rowley Friday

With the win Ipswich edges Hamilton out for the final playoff spot by 1 point.