By Tim Lima
---- — BYFIELD – While Pentucket’s Ryan Kuchar was terrific on the mound, Triton’s Adam Chatterton was better. In what will be a candidate for the Cape Ann League’s game of the year in baseball, Triton earned a quick 2-0 win.
“It was a great atmosphere,” said Triton (7-8) head coach Ryan McCarthy. “It was two competitive teams playing against each other; two rivals. It was two good pitchers on the mound today.”
While Pentucket’s (9-6) Kuchar began the game in stellar fashion by striking out the first four batters he faced and took a perfect game into the fourth, it was his final inning that proved costly.
After allowing a leadoff double to begin the bottom of the sixth inning, Triton’s Billy Mical dropped a bunt and safely reached base while moving the runner to third. Michael Talbot then scored the game’s first run with an RBI single. Minutes later, Mical scored on Nick Desrocher’s sacrifice and the Vikings had a 2-0 lead.
Kuchar would finish the game allowing two runs on four hits while striking out eight.
Pentucket kept Triton from getting any more runs after that – DJ Englke notably robbed Triton of a home run by making a leaping catch over the centerfield wall – but two runs would be all the Vikings needed, as Chatterton was lights-out on the mound, allowing just three hits over seven innings pitched while striking out four.
“I cant say enough about how poised our pitcher was today,” McCarthy said. “He has been like that all year for us. I am thankful that we got him some help at the end with some key at bats in key situations to get the job done.”
While his four-seem fastball on the outside of the plate worked well for him, Triton’s junior pitcher likely benefited most from rest.
“I felt great today,” Chatterton said. “I was coming off of a week rest. Everything went well and my pitches were moving. This was my only shutout so far, so it was definitely the best outing of the year for me.”
While pitching excelled for both teams, it was Pentucket’s tentative approach at inopportune times, as well as frustration offensively, that became the story.
“I thought the story of the game was they were aggressive when they needed to be, while we were tentative at the wrong times,” said Pentucket head coach Tom L’Italien. “The team that plays best on that particular day puts itself in the best situation to be successful, and I think Triton played better than us today.
“We need to do a better job at putting our bats away. I felt we carried some at bats with us into the field and the next at bat. You cant do that against a great pitcher. You can’t focus on your last at bat, you need to focus on your next one.”
While the loss is certainly frustrating for a team only allowing four hits, the win is crucial for a Triton team still holding on to postseason aspirations. With five games remaining, the Vikings need wins in three to qualify. Pentucket, on the other hand, is just one win shy with five games left.
It’s a feat the Sachems can accomplish with a win this afternoon against Newburyport.
“The good thing is that we are right back on the saddle playing Newburyport (today) in what should be a battle,” L’Italien said. “We are looking forward to it, I’m sure they’re looking forward to it, and we are looking to play a much better game.”