ROWLEY — Manchester Essex won its fifth Intertown Twilight League championship in the last six years Saturday afternoon at Eiras Park behind a strong performance from lefty Rusty Tucker that left the Rowley Rams in the dust, 6-3.
“That’s a great team we just beat right there,” Mariners coach Bryan Lafata said of the Rams. “Every game out, we know they are always going to battle. We feel good but that is a tough team. The ITL is really starting to turn around again.”
The Rams sent Mike Sloban to the mound and the right-hander gave up a one-out single to Caulin Rogers in the top of the first inning. Nate Bertolino followed that up with the same. Brett Cahill knocked a single to first baseman Joe White, who got Bertolino at second, but Cahill made it to first to put runners at the corners. Sloban would get Mike Cain to ground out to end the threat, and send Rowley to the plate to face the left-handed Tucker.
The Rams went down in order in the bottom of the first before Tucker started the top of the second with a single of his own. Adrian Frattini moved Tucker over with a single himself. Alex Ray struck out swinging next before Ryan Marques did the same. Rory Gentile would then send the ball straight to third baseman Koby Thibault, who flipped it to second for the third out.
The song would remain the same for the Rams in the bottom of the second as they went down 1-2-3. The Mariners did the same in the top of the third.
Mike White became the Rams’ first baserunner of the day with a two-out single in the bottom of the third. White then moved to second on a single from brother Joe. But CJ Ingraham grounded out to keep things scoreless.