GEORGETOWN — Things smelled like fall but felt like summer in Georgetown Saturday afternoon with leaves burning in yards, the sun popping on the baseball diamond. Clippers' pitcher Tom Morris seemed to mimic the day, starting off hot, cooling in the middle, then warming up again for the finish, sending the Royals home for some spring cleaning to the tune of 11-3.
"I didn't have the greatest game control-wise, but we still ground out the outs," said Morris. "We should tighten things up and have a good season."
Even before Morris took the mound, the Clippers were off to a royal start as Tyler Stotz crushed a double to left-center. Next up, Kyle LeBlanc sent Stotz home with another double. Joe Clancy scored LeBlanc with a single then was plated himself by Kyle McElroy.
Georgetown waited until the third inning to score when a Mike Ruh double-plated Andy Sinkweicz. Things started to go south for Morris in the fifth inning when he allowed Sinkweicz to crush a two-run homer to center field. But the damage was done as the Clippers were already sitting on seven runs and would tack on four more for good measure. Morris recovered in the sixth and Clancy would take the mound to close things out in the seventh.
"This was more of a solid win," said Clippers coach Bill Pettingell. "But it wasn't comfortable, though, because our pitcher struggled a little bit and I give credit to Georgetown for that, because they're like a mirror team of us. At the plate, they work the count, they work the count. They're tough to strike out. They make the pitchers throw a lot of pitches. I give credit to them. We kept things interesting, but we made some strides."
Georgetown coach Mark Rowe credited Newburyport for forcing his team into having an off-day.
"All the credit to Newburyport, Tommy Morris did a nice job on the mound," said Royals coach Mark Rowe. "That's a very, very good hitting team. I knew they'd hit the ball and I knew they'd score some runs. But we certainly aided their cause. We should be a better defensive team than that and we are."
Newburyport has scored nine or more runs in each of its last four games, logging 9, 9, 14 and 11 runs, in succession.
"We're still making some mental errors on the bases and we still kicked the ball around a little bit in the field," continued Pettingell. "We have some talent, but I think some of the kids need a little bit more confidence. Top to bottom we're hitting the ball well."