Baseball Roundup: Rowley Rams among top contenders near ITL season's midpoint

BRYAN EATON/Staff photoTim Cashman and the Rowley Rams have been among the top teams in the Intertown Twilight League through the first half of the season so far.

Intertown Twilight League

It’s been a competitive start to the Intertown Twilight League’s 91st season, with the Rowley Rams, Rockport Townies and defending champion Manchester Mariners all in a three-way tie for first place in the standings at 3-1 entering Tuesday night. Rowley opened its season with a combined no-hitter against the Beverly Giants and followed that up with a huge 19-0 win in the rematch, with Richie Williams and Garrett Hudson each hitting home runs in the decisive win. Rowley then split its series with the Hamilton Generals, losing the first game 4-2 on a late Hamilton home run before winning 3-0 in eight innings on Thursday thanks to a two-run double by Joe Esposito in the top of the eighth. Kyle Greenler, Williams and Jake Baressi combined for the shutout.

Rowley will now face its biggest test of the young season on Wednesday when the Rams host the Rockport Townies at 5:45 p.m. at Eiras Park. The game will also mark the halfway point of the ITL’s coronavirus-shortened regular season.

Essex County Senior Baseball

The Newburyport Post 150 senior team has been on a roll to start the season and were tied for first place in the Essex County Baseball League at 6-1 overall heading into last night’s games. Newburyport won its first five games of the season, and after a 3-0 setback against Middleton-Peabody on Sunday, the team bounced back with a 6-1 win over Methuen on Monday. Newburyport will now hit the road to face Beverly-Salem (6-2 overall) in a battle for first place on Wednesday at 6 p.m. 

Newburyport’s roster features a who’s who of local baseball standouts, with Newburyport’s Zach Fortuna (formerly of St. John’s Prep), Georgetown’s Tim Chianca and recent Triton graduate and MIT commit Tyler Godfrey among those having particularly strong summers. 

Essex County Junior Baseball

All three of the area’s Essex County Baseball League junior teams have been enjoying successful seasons so far, with Triton in first place at 6-2 while the Pentucket-area Nor’Easters (5-3) and Newburyport (5-4) in fourth and fifth place out of 10 teams respectively. Triton beat Newburyport 3-2 on Sunday and Marblehead-Swampscott 9-7 on Monday before facing Saugus last night. The Nor’Easters bounced back after a three-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over North Andover on Monday, and Newburyport rebounded from it’s Sunday loss to Triton with a decisive 10-1 win over Beverly-Salem on Monday and then a 10-5 win over Marblehead-Swampscott on Tuesday.

Newburyport will host the Nor’Easters on Wednesday at 6 p.m., and Triton will be at Methuen on Wednesday at 8 p.m.

North Shore Baseball League

Since dropping their season opener, the Rowley Nor’Easters have dominated the North Shore Baseball League, winning seven in a row to improve to 7-1 overall. Last week the Nor’Easters won four games with three shutouts, with Amesbury’s Levi Burrill throwing a no-hitter with 11 strikeouts to beat the North Reading A’s 3-0 last Monday before following that up with another shutout to beat North Reading 6-0 on Sunday. The Nor'Easters beat the Saugus Braves 10-0 on Tuesday, getting a home run from Chris Bosco to lead the way offensively.

The only team to beat the Nor’Easters has been the Northeast Tides, which have taken the league by storm in their inaugural season. The Seacoast-area club is currently 8-0 thanks in large part to former Triton star and Los Angeles Angels draft pick Richie Fecteau and Governor’s Academy standout Zack Clough, both of whom are from Newbury and have ranked among the NSBL’s top players.

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