The Rowley Rams live to fight another day.
The Rams came into Wednesday’s Game 3 of the ITL Finals trailing the best-of-five series against the Manchester Essex Mariners and needing a win to fight off elimination. Thanks to a shutout from pitcher Tim Cashman, Rowley is on the board in the ITL Finals with a 6-0 win at Memorial Field in Essex.
With Rowley’s Game 3 win, the Mariners still lead the series, 2-1. Game 4 is on Saturday at Eiras Park in Rowley (4 p.m.). If Rowley can survive on Saturday, a winner-take-all Game 5 will be played on Sunday back at Memorial Field (4 p.m.).
Cashman was the story of the game as he kept the high powered Mariners offense off the board in a complete game effort.
The right hander, and Rams’ staff ace, struck out 11, including the first six outs of the game.
The best chance for the Mariners came in the second inning when they loaded the bases with nobody out on singles from Adam Philpott and Rusty Tucker and a hit batsman. Cashman, however, fanned the next three hitters to get out of the jam.
“It starts and ends with the pitching,” Rams manager Jeff Wood Said. “Timmy has been really good for us down the line and he struck out a bunch today. We’re looking to stay strong going forward.”
Mariners’ lefty Marc Phinney was able to match Cashman’s production for most of the night as he kept Rowley off the board with five scoreless innings before the Rams rallied for four runs in the sixth and then scored two more in the seventh for the 6-0 win.
“Cashman struck out a bunch of guys and kept us off balance all day,” Mariners manager Ryan Marques said. “We did a good job pitching, it was 0-0 going into the sixth. But we kicked a few balls around and it didn’t end up working out.”
Rowley got on the board with a one-out double from Justin Bolla to deep left that scored Anthony Conte, who singled. C.J. Ingraham then came in to score on a fielding error to make it 2-0.
Two batters later, Joe White singled to plate Bolla and Cashman to give the Rams a commanding 4-0 lead.
Bolla extended that lead to 6-0 with a two-run homer in the seventh and Cashman shut the door for the win.
“The bats took a little longer than I’d like them to,” Wood said. “But we played with a lot more energy tonight than we did last week, having to play six games in seven days.”