NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

April 24, 2014

Midseason Review:

Mac Cerullo
Newburyport Daily News

---- — Given that most of yesterday’s games were rained out and that we’re at approximately the halfway point of the spring season, now seems like a good time to look back and see how each of the area’s teams have done so far.

Who is looking good? Who needs some work? Why does Masconomet seem to be good at everything? Lets take a look.

Baseball

1. Georgetown (4-2, 4-2 CAL)

2. Amesbury (3-4, 2-4 CAL)

3. Pentucket (2-4, 2-4 CAL)

4. Newburyport (2-4, 1-4 CAL)

5. Triton (2-5, 2-5 CAL)

It hasn’t been a banner year for baseball in the Greater Newburyport area. So far only Georgetown has a winning record, while Amesbury, Pentucket, Newburyport and Triton have all struggled in the early going.

For starters, let’s give the Royals some credit. So far their only losses have been to Lynnfield and Hamilton-Wenham, who each lead their respective divisions and are a combined 12-2 on the year. They almost beat both of them too. In the Lynnfield game, Georgetown had a chance to win on a walk-off grand slam before losing 8-5, and their game against Hamilton-Wenham went 10 innings.

Early on it looked as if Amesbury was on a similar track, but over the past week things have fallen off the rails. After starting 3-1, the Indians have now lost three in a row, including two straight shutouts, which isn’t a good place to be with a tough game at Masconomet (6-0) coming up today.

Overall, all of the local teams have plenty of talent, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see any of the four struggling squads rebound in the second half to get back over .500.

Pentucket in particular is a team I would expect to be in the state tournament when all is said and done. The Sachems have been outstanding on defense, and both Ryan Kuchar and Pat Beaton have excelled on the mound, but the problem for Pentucket all season has been putting runs on the board.

In their first five games, the Sachems scored only 5 runs and left countless runners on base. That will turn around eventually, and when their bats get going, Pentucket should start seeing their fortunes improve.

Softball

1. Pentucket (3-1, 2-1 CAL)

2. Newburyport (4-3, 3-1 CAL)

3. Amesbury (2-2, 2-0 CAL)

4. Georgetown (1-1, 0-1 CAL)

5. Triton (0-8, 0-4 CAL)

It looks to be a three-way race to the top of the local softball scene, as Pentucket, Newburyport and Amesbury have all enjoyed strong starts to the season.

The Sachems currently lead the way at 3-1, with its only loss of the season coming against a strong Masconomet team (4-1), though Newburyport and Amesbury can take credit for playing the most entertaining game of the season thus far in a 16-15 barnburner that the Clippers won on April 14.

That game featured big hits, huge comebacks and a series of rallies, capped off by Newburyport’s improbable comeback after being down by four in the seventh inning. The loss was crushing for Amesbury, who’d lose their next game to St. Mary’s of Lynn, but in the end you know the Indians will be there when the state tournament begins.

Boys Lacrosse

T1. Pentucket (4-1, 2-1 CAL)

T1. Newburyport (4-1, 2-1 CAL)

T1. Triton (4-3, 3-0 CAL)

4. Georgetown (1-7, 1-3 CAL)

Speaking of three-way races, it looks as if local lacrosse fans are going to be in for a treat this spring. Pentucket and Newburyport have both looked outstanding in their first five games, with each jumping out to a 4-1 start. Those one losses each came against the same team (Masconomet, who is 6-2 and 4-0 in league play), and this Friday the two will collide in a battle of Greater Newburyport’s top two teams.

Unless you’re of the opinion that Triton is the best team in the area, and that wouldn’t be a hard case to make either. Sure, the Vikings got off to a 0-3 start, but since then they have won four straight, outscoring their opponents 54-18 during that stretch. Triton may also have the area’s best goaltender in sophomore Nolan Smith, and the team holds a one-game lead over the Clippers and Sachems in the CAL standings.

If all three teams can maintain their level of play, it should be an exciting second half of the season.

Girls Lacrosse

1. Triton (3-2, 1-1 CAL)

2. Newburyport (2-3, 0-2 CAL)

3. Pentucket (1-4, 0-2 CAL)

4. Georgetown (0-7, 0-3 CAL)

Triton has emerged as the top team in the area through the first few weeks of the season, though the team’s recent losses to Woburn and Manchester Essex have placed the Vikings on shakier ground. Newburyport is headed in the other direction, having started the season 0-3 before winning its last two games on the road against Danvers and Haverhill, so by this time next week, the Clippers could make a big move in the standings.

First Newburyport will have to get by Pentucket, who has struggled so far but has mostly played against the top teams in the league. The Sachems’ last two losses came against Ipswich and Masconomet, who are among the best teams in the CAL and are a combined 9-3-1 on the year.

Boys Track

1. Amesbury (6-1)

2. Triton (3-3)

3. Newburyport (2-2)

4. Pentucket (1-4)

Amesbury has had an extremely impressive run this season, and with only two meets left on the schedule, the Indians have all but guaranteed themselves a place near the top of the Baker Division. The only potential hangup is that the Indians have two tough meets to close the season against Masconomet (6-0, I’m starting to notice a trend here) and Newburyport, and if they don’t win both, they run the risk of letting Ipswich — who is 4-1 and beat Amesbury earlier this year — catch them in the standings.

Individually, Newburyport probably has the most talent. Nick Carleo, Tom Graham and Alec Reduker have won nearly every event they’ve competed in, and Drew Beaupre and the Molvar brothers have had solid seasons for the Clippers as well.

Other standouts have included Liam Corkery, Cooper Carifio and Sam Coppola from Pentucket; Brandon Amello, Mark Theberge and Max Luttenbacher from Triton, and Adam Elfiki, James Stone and Riley O’Connor from Amesbury.

Girls Track

1. Pentucket (4-2)

2. Triton (3-3)

3. Amesbury (2-4-1)

4. Newburyport (1-4)

The Pentucket girls got off to a discouraging 0-2 start, but since then the Sachems have easily handled everybody in their path, taking out Amesbury 91-54 and Newburyport 101-44 in the process. The key for the Sachems has been the star power of Ali Attenasio, McKenna Kilian and Emma Marchant at the top, bolstered by an impressive amount of depth in every event.

Though Pentucket may have the best team so far, the best athlete, hands down, has been Triton senior Kerstin Darsney. The UMass Lowell commit has routinely won three or four events per meet for the Vikings and typically dominates the jumping events, sprints and hurdles. Other local standouts have included Lily Eagan and Liza Twomey from Newburyport and Marissa Randall and Amanda Martin from Amesbury.

Boys Tennis

1. Triton (6-0, 1-0 CAL)

2. Pentucket (4-1, 3-0 CAL)

3. Newburyport (1-4, 0-3 CAL)

4. Amesbury (0-5, 0-3 CAL)

Triton and Pentucket’s much anticipated showdown was rained out yesterday, but the top dogs of the local tennis scene will make up their match this morning at 10 a.m. Pentucket freshman Connor Aulson has emerged as one of the league’s top players, joining Triton first singles star Travis Mihalchick and Newburyport’s Chris Kirkpatrick, who has been widely praised by opposing coaches as one of the best around.

Girls Tennis

1. Triton (5-1, 3-0 CAL)

2. Pentucket (2-4, 1-3 CAL)

3. Newburyport (2-4, 0-3 CAL)

4. Amesbury (2-5, 0-3 CAL)

The Triton girls have run away from the pack as the top local girls tennis team so far, and on Tuesday the Vikings edged out the Sachems 3-2 in their first head-to-head meeting of the season despite missing several starters due to vacation.