By Jim Sullivan
---- — Coming off a 6-0 shutout of Haverhill Saturday, the Newburyport Nor’Easters (5-3) took on Swampscott/Marblehead (3-3) last night and showed not only that they are coming around, but that they can come back from an early deficit.
Newburyport beat Swampscott/Marbelhead 4-3 at Eiras Park.
“It’s two good wins against two very good teams,” said Nor’Easters coach Tim Southall. “We’ve got a lot of baseball games left, but it’s a building block.”
Corey McNamara took the mound for the Nor’Easters, and the right-hander give up a one-out walk to Casey Stead, who stole second before being sent home on a double to centerfield from Sean O’Brien. Al Wallach reached on a single that sent O’Brien to third, but Wallach would be gunned down trying to steal second to end the threat.
O’Brien walked to the hill for Post 57/32 in the bottom of the frame and gave up a two-out single to Rico Fecteau, who stole second then moved to third on an error at shortstop that saw Colt Fontaine at first. But O’Brien was able to get Fontaine’s older brother, Brett, to ground out to send things into the second inning.
Corey Carmody had a one-out single to start the second frame, then stole second base and moved to third on a groundout from Trey Blackmer. But McNamara got Kyle Waters to ground out to send his boys back to the plate, where O’Brien would take care of business again, only hitting Tyler Chaisson with a pitch.
McNamara had his first 1-2-3 inning of the night in the top of the third before O’Brien hit Fecteau with a pitch in the bottom of the frame. Fecteau stole second then made it to third on a single from Colt Fontaine. Fecteau scored the Nor’Easters’ first run of the night on a single from Brett Fontaine before brother Colt crossed the plate on a single from Mac Short.
McNamara went 1-2-3 in the top of the fourth as O’Brien struggled with his location in the bottom of the frame, but would work out of a runner in scoring position situation.
Waters reached first with one away in the top of the fifth inning on an error at third then moved to second when Mike Lan was hit by a pitch. Wallach reached first on an overthrow that saw Waters crossing the plate for the tying run. A sacrifice fly to left field from Stead plated Lan to give Swampscott the lead again.
The Nor’Easters had to wait until the bottom of the sixth inning to regain the lead, starting when Colby Ingraham hit a one-out double to deep center field, followed by a single from Creamer that moved Ingraham to third. Ingraham came in on a sacrifice fly from Zack Rice, and Creamer slid into home for the go-ahead run on a single from Fecteau.
“We always have a tough game against these guys,” Swampscott manager Tim Cassidy said of the Nor’Easters. “It’s always tough to play them. They’re well-coached, they pitch well. They’re just good. They’re a very good team. When we have all our guys here, we’re equally good. We’re missing a couple of guys tonight.”
“It was a nice comeback win,” said Southall. “There were a couple of key plays in the game. A fly ball to get the runner in and Creamer had a big slide. I think our problem earlier was a lack of focus. We’re starting to dial it in a little bit and we’re doing the little things. It was a great win.”
Southall credited pitcher Joe Levasseur, who shut out the Hillies Saturday, for setting the tone for last night’s win.
“Corey did a good job,” Southall said of McNamara. “He threw the ball well. He located well. He had the one bad inning, but he was able to settle it down and offensively, we’re hitting the ball. Tonight we had a lot of balls up the middle and a lot of balls the other way.”