ROWLEY — Newburyport Legion Post 150’s Ryan Kuchar didn’t have his best stuff in yesterday’s contest with Methuen, but while bending on several occasions, he refused to break as he hung on for the 4-3 win.
Just one week removed from his second no-hitter in two months, Kuchar sought further domination on the mound. While rolling early on and fanning three of the first four batters he faced, Kuchar’s performance — and his team’s offensive prowess — began to fade.
“Ryan’s been throwing great for us all year,” said Post 150 head coach Tim Southall. “Today he started off really well for us but then started to lose it a little bit. He didn’t have quite his best stuff. He really gritted it out and bore down when we needed him to. He did a great job and my hat’s off to him — he really worked hard.”
But by that point, Post 150 had earned itself a lead large enough to withstand late-inning struggles. Tyler Chaisson scored from third on a wild pitch to notch the game’s first run in the second inning before Ralph Francesconi scored two more with a single in the third. Chaisson later contributed further offensively, scoring Colby Ingraham on an RBI single to widen Post 150’s lead to 4-0.
Kuchar finished with 12 strikeouts over seven innings, allowing one earned run, two unearned, on seven hits and earning his team the 4-3 win.
While Southall’s team had seen the plate for the final time, Methuen’s offense was just kicking into gear, scoring one time in each of the fourth, fifth and seventh innings. But with the game-tying run on second base with two outs in the seventh, Kuchar delivered his 12th strikeout to end the game in style.
“The ump was calling the outside nice,” Kuchar said. “My catcher was working outside and called a great pitch and I delivered outside to end the game. It definitely wasn’t my best stuff today, but my team had my back in the field and we came out with a “W.”