Sunday, August 21, 2016

Mariners ITL Champions

The Manchester-Essex Mariners beat the Rowley Rams last night 3 to 2 in game 4 of the Intertown Twilight League Finals. With the victory the Mariners clinch their 5th consecutive ITL championship and 8th title in 9 years.

The Mariners scored in the first inning after John Wilcox hit a double and Mike Cain brought him in on a single. Rowley answered back in the 3rd on a Mariner infield miscue that evened the score at 1.

Caulin Rogers reached to lead off the 5th inning after an error by the Rowley 2nd baseman. Wilcox walked and then Rory Gentile's sacrifice bunt put runners on 2nd & 3rd with 1 out. Up stepped Cain, with the infield in Cain sent a 0-1 fastball to right field that plated both runners.

In the 6th the Rams pulled within 1 run on a Justin Bolla RBI fielder's choice.

In the bottom of the 7th Dimitri Hunt lead off with a laser one hopper down the first base line but Cain made a tremendous diving stop and was able to beat Hunt to first for the out. Rusty Tucker then retired the last 2 Rams to clinch the Series win. Tucker finished with 9 strikeouts and 1 earned run on 4 hits. It was Tucker's second win in the Series.

Bolla had a big series for the Rams, reaching base 8 out of 13 times, with 2 homer runs and 5 runs batted in.

The Mariners finish the 2016 season with a record of 25-5.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Mariners 7 Rams 4

Manchester-Essex took a 2 to 1 series lead with a 7 to 4 win last night against Rowley.

Rory Gentile struck out 8 guys over 6 plus innings, allowing just 3 earned runs to earn the victory for the Mariners. Max Nesbit lead the offense going 3 for 4 and Rusty Tucker hit a solo home run.

Justin Bolla and Joe Esposito both had home runs for Rowley.

Monday, August 15, 2016

From the news...

ROWLEY — Joe Esposito had his entire team out of breath.

His teammates were panting, but also smiling after celebrating Esposito’s walk-off shot up the middle that allowed the Rowley Rams to take a 5-4 win over the Manchester Essex Mariners in game two of the ITL finals on Sunday night at Eiras Park.

The hit tied the series at 1-1 after the Mariner’s 7-3 win on Saturday.

“Just had to get something done,” said Esposito. “That’s it.”

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, the Rams had already pushed across a run to make the score 4-3, then loaded the bases for Esposito.

His grounder skipped by second base, allowing two runs to score and sending the Rams’ bench into a frenzy.

“It felt pretty good,” said Esposito. “The guy was just throwing fastballs. I was seeing it pretty nice.”

His coach, Jeff Wood, was winded when he addressed the late-game heroics.

“Joe Esposito coming up and getting that big, big hit to end the game, you won’t find anybody that works harder than Joe,” said Wood.

The majority of the game, though, seemed as if it was the Mariner’s to win.

The four-time defending ITL champs put runners on in each of the first five innings, scoring first in the second frame, when Paul Crehan singled to lead off the inning and was later driven in by a single from Max Nesbit.

Rams starter Joe White was replaced shortly after by John Rusolillo. White worked one and two-thirds innings and had a strikeout.

The Mariners then tacked on more in the fourth thanks to RBI singles from John Wilcox and Noah Aiello to make it 3-0, then added another one in the fifth off an error to make it 4-1 at the time.

Ryan Marques was solid on the mound for the Mariners, starting the game and working five innings, yielding just two runs on seven hits while striking out one.

But the Rams chipped away.

“We were there the whole game getting guys on base,” said Esposito. “Just a matter of coming through. Not necessarily getting the job done early, leaving guys on base. But later on, when we needed it, we started getting guys on base and we were scoring.”

They got on the board in the fourth when Esposito — who had three RBIs in the game — grounded out, scoring Justin Bolla who had reached on an error earlier in the inning.

Bolla then had a RBI of his own in the fifth, singling in Curtis Putnam who also had two hits in the game.

Heading into the seventh, the Rams were in striking distance thanks to Rusolillo’s effort on the mound. The righty worked four and a third, allowing the two runs, but turned in 1-2-3 innings in the sixth and seventh, keeping his team in the game.

“He didn’t throw that many (pitches),” said Wood. “He had a lot of first-pitch pop-ups and stuff like that. He worked. He just kept throwing strikes and forced them to do something.”

Colby Ingraham had a single in the seventh to score Anthony Conte, then Bolla, Tim Cashman and Dimitri Hunt reached to set up Esposito.

The two teams meet again in game three of the series at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Memorial Field in Essex.

“We saw their best pitcher (Rusty Tucker) (Saturday),” said Esposito. “If we face him again, we’ll be ready... We’re here for a reason. We’re here to stay.”

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Rams - 4, Townies - 1

Brad Whitman went 5 innings giving up 1 run, John Russolillo pitched 2 scoreless in relief. Tim Cashman drove in 3. Rowley completes the sweep and moves on to the finals to face Manchester/Essex starting Saturday in Essex.

"ITL Inspiration"

Cerebral palsy hasn't prevented Jason Sudol from carving out spot on Rowley Rams
By Connor Whooley staff writer
On an afternoon in early July, both Rowley Rams coach Jeff Wood and local Rowley resident Jason Sudol headed down to Eiras Park for baseball, unaware that the other would be there.
Neither knew that their paths would cross, and that the subsequent meeting would produce an opportunity 18 years in the making.

Wood had gone down to drag the field before his team’s game that night, and noticed a kid throwing pitches into the ‘L’ screen in front of home plate.  “He throws a pitch into the screen and he runs down and picks it up, and he runs down to the mound to throw another pitch and he runs down,” said Wood. “I’m standing here and I’m looking and I’m going, ‘Who is this kid?’ I watched him for 10 minutes and he never stopped.”

Wood said he noticed that Sudol, who hasn’t played competitively since he was 12, was limping when he ran, but the coach then went about his regular duties of dragging the field.
“He came over to me and asked me if he needed to move and I said, ‘No, you’re fine. I want you to keep doing what you’re doing,’ said Wood.  And when his players arrived, and the Rams needed the field, the young man went out to the batting cage and started throwing in there.

“I stopped and I talked to him here at the cage,” said Wood. “I said, ‘You really love baseball, don’t you?’ And he goes, ‘I do, and I have cerebral palsy and I need to keep my legs strong and this is what I do to work out my legs.’”

Sudol has been coming to Eiras for the past two or three years to exercise his shoulders and legs, which are affected by his cerebral palsy. He’s 30 years old, and said he’ll go down to workout there or throw with his brother, but he’s never missed a season of pitching.
“I’d just been going over there in the batting cage to throw as much as I can,” said Sudol. “I’m trying to do the best I can to work myself up. I’ve always been pitching.”

Wood said he then gave Sudol four game balls so that he didn’t have to chase every pitch in the 90 degree heat.  “He was very gracious and confident and spoke to me and he’s an impressive kid,” said Wood. A student of the game  A week later, Sudol was there again, throwing in the cage. That’s when Rams players like Anthony Conte began to notice. The second time he saw Sudol working on his game, Wood went over again to talk to the big baseball fan.

Wood asked him when the last time he had played baseball was, and Sudol responded that he hadn’t played on a team since he was 12.  “I said, ‘No kidding. You’re a Rowley kid?’ And he said he was from Rowley, so I went to my truck and I got him a shirt and a hat and I said, ‘Get yourself a pair of baseball pants and you can be on the team if you want,’” said Wood.

The first game, Wood said Sudol was late, showing up in the first inning, but when he arrived on the bench, the team immediately jumped up to welcome him.  The Rams won that game 3-2 and after, Wood said he asked Sudol about the game and the player’s response was, “Great pitching, good defense.”  As a true baseball man himself, Wood found no flaw in the analysis.
“He knows what he’s looking at,” said Wood. “He’s awesome.”  And since then, Sudol has been to every game for the Rams, in uniform, sitting in the dugout with the rest of the players.

Both Conte and Wood commented on Sudol’s baseball knowledge, saying he can discuss what is going on in the game, as well as MLB players and statistics.
“He helps out on the bench as much as he can,” said Conte. “He does everything he’s asked to do. He knows the game better than most. It’s been great having him. He’s a great baseball mind to have around here. He’s a good teammate. Picks everybody up.”

After games, the Rams will stick around the field and chat and Wood said Sudol sticks around to talk baseball with the team.  “It’s awesome,” said Sudol. “The male camaraderie. Everyone’s got good vibes. Everyone’s cheering each other on.” His teammates have welcomed him and Wood said Sudol will stretch and throw with the rest of the guys before the game, becoming part of the fabric of the team.

“It’s easy to think about what we’ve done for him to pull him onto our team, but the real story is what he’s done for us to have him here,” said Wood. “Just to see his commitment to it, and see him here all the time, lineup, shake hands with the other team. He’s a very important part of the team right now.”
Getting in on the action Until recently, Sudol said his main duty was cheering for his teammates and putting out good vibes, but that he expected to get some game action soon.

That action came earlier this week, as Sudol got the ball to start the game for the Rams against Ipswich.  “We didn’t tell him until he got to the park,” said Wood a few days after the game. “He was a little bit surprised. I would say nervous.”  Sudol had always been throwing from in front of the mound, but Wood said it wasn’t a deterrent.  “I asked him if he was OK to go from the rubber and he said, ‘Yup, I can go from the rubber,’ said the coach.

With some high gas, Sudol then struck out the batter, and when Wood came to take him out of the game after, he was sent off by all eight position players. “Not just the infielders but the outfielders as well and the whole bench was lined up to meet him when he came off,” said Wood. “He talked about the at-bat all night long, just how he couldn’t believe he got the guy out. It was cool to see.”
A week before the outing, Sudol had said his best pitch was his two-seam fastball and that he also had a cutter and a fastball in his arsenal while also developing a change-up.

He watches the Red Sox every day, but said his favorite pitcher is Dodgers star Clayton Kershaw, who is, in Sudol’s words, “filthy nasty.”  In his outing, Sudol was “filthy nasty” as well.
“You’ve got a 30-year-old guy who hasn’t been able to get onto a baseball field in uniform for 18 years and he loves the game and that was great,” said Wood. “It’s something that I’ll remember for as long as I live.”

The coach said his team started 3-5, before going 14-1-1 to finish 17-6-1 in second place in the ITL, but none of that compares to what Sudol did.  He added that Sudol is welcome on the team for as long as he pleases and that next season, he’ll continue to try to find opportunities for the pitcher.
“He’s a baseball guy and we’re going to help him out,” said Wood.  The Rams finished the regular season earning the No. 2 seed in the playoffs where they’ll face Rockport on Monday at Eiras Field, before heading to Evans Field for the second game of the best-of-three series. And, like he has been for the majority of the season, Sudol will be there, cheering on his teammates.

 “I love baseball,” said Sudol. “I’ll watch it. I’ll play it. I’ll cheer people on. It’s something to do. It’s really fun. I love the game.”


The first round series between the Mariners and the Tories concluded Monday night with a 7 to 1 victory for Manchester-Essex.

The Mariners were lead by Max Nesbit (3-4) and Caulin Rogers (2-3).

Nesbit, Rory Gentile (2 RBI), Cole Josselyn, Noah Aiello and Sam Schautt all hit in runs.

Manchester-Essex shortstop Cole Josselyn was flawless on the night recording 10 assists.

Topsfield was lead by Luis Barnes (2-3) and Zack Lampkin.

The Topsfield Tories finished off a successful season, making the playoffs for the first time in over 15 years.

Mariners 7 Tories 1

The Mariners won 7-1 over Topsfield Monday night in Topsfield, completing the sweep. Manchester-Essex advances to the finals where they await the winner of the Rowley-Rockport series. Game 1 of the finals will take place Saturday in Essex

Monday, August 8, 2016

Rowley - 6, Rockport -1

Joe White gave up 1 hit in 6 innings surviving 8 walks and a hit batsman to get the win. Jeff Moore pitched the 7th. The series resumes tomorrow night in Rockport.

Mariners 8 Tories 1

Manchester-Essex takes game 1, 8 to 1. Rusty Tucker picked up the win. Rory Gentile & Mike Cain both had 3 hits. Cole Josselyn and John Wilcox each had 2 RBIs.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Topsfield 4 Rockport 2

Topsfield beats Rockport 4-2 and clinches the final playoff spot

Mariners 7 Generals 3

Manchester-Essex wrapped up the regular season last night with a 7 to 3 win over Hamilton.

Marc Phinney picked up his first ITL victory with 3 scoreless innings of relief.

Bob Whynott closed the game out with a perfect 7th.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

ITL Home Run Derby

The 2016 ITL Home Run Derby is set for this Saturday, August 6th.  The festivities are meant to kick off the 2016 ITL Postseason and will begin at 1pm at Patton Park in Hamilton.  All ITL players are encouraged to participate.  Entry fee is $20 / player.

Keep in mind, there could be a play-in-game that day should the final standings warrant one.  Good luck the rest of the way!  See you Saturday for the Derby!

Topsfield 6 Beverly 5

Topsfield beats Beverly 6-5 Wednesday night

Mariners 7 Generals 2

Manchester-Essex defeated Hamilton last night 7 to 2 in Essex. Rory Gentile (3-4, RBI) and Mike Cain (3-4, 2 RBI) lead the Mariner offense.

For the Generals, Huggett was 3 for 4.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Beverly - 5, Ipswich - 4

  • The Beverly Giants outlasted Ipswich Chiefs on Sunday after four lead changes, squeaking out a 5-4 win at Cooney Field.
  • The Beverly Giants finally managed to grab the lead after a strong seventh inning. A hit by pitch scored Luke McDonald and gave the Beverly Giants the lead for good.
  • McDonald put himself in scoring position with two extra-base hits for the Beverly Giants. He doubled in the fifth and seventh innings.
  • Dan Cashman kept contact to a minimum, striking out eight Ipswich Chiefs batters. Cashman allowed three earned runs on four hits and two walks over seven innings.
  • Pat Curran ended up on the wrong side of the pitching decision, charged with the loss. He lasted just one inning, walked two, struck out one, and allowed one run.
  • The top of the first saw Ipswich Chiefs take an early lead, 2-0. Nate Frongillo started the rally for Ipswich Chiefs with a single. A few plays later, John Panaro stole home. The scoreboard lit up again for Ipswich Chiefs when Frongillo scored on an RBI single by Ahmad Ateyat.