$ID/[None]0000LightBlueWhat was supposed to be a glorious Opening Day in Greater Newburyport turned into something of a washout, as Newburyport, Amesbury, Pentucket and Triton all had their season openers on Saturday postponed or relocated due to poor field conditions.
The lone team to play on Saturday was Pentucket, who faced off against Saugus at Malden Catholic High School’s Maplewood Field after both teams’ home fields were deemed unfit to play on. The Sachems wound up losing 3-1 despite a strong start by Ryan Kuchar, who allowed three runs — two unearned — on six hits over five innings, including seven strikeouts and one walk.
Kuchar also nearly broke the game open in the first, scorching a line drive down the right field line, but a sensational play by the Saugus first baseman robbed the Sachems of a sure double that head coach Tom L’Italien said would have likely scored two runners.
“We had men on first and second with no outs in the first, and Kuchar hit a rocket down the line and their first baseman laid out and caught it,” he said.
Saugus’ starter settled down afterward, pitching the full seven innings while giving up only one run on four hits with five strikeouts. Pentucket junior Pat Beaton also got into the game, pitching a perfect one-two-three inning in the sixth.
Kuchar scored the Sachems’ lone run, crossing home on an RBI hit by Bobby Barry, and Dylan Wright and DJ Englke were the only other Sachems to record a hit on the day. L’Italien said after the game that he felt his team performed well, only now they know they’ll need to be more aggressive if they’re going to be successful.
“It was a great learning experience,” L’Italien said. “We realize now that we need to play in more of an aggressive manner.”