IPSWICH— In Gloucester American's District 15 pool play tilt with Danvers National Monday night at Bowen Field, both teams needed someone to step up and make a play in a tight game.
That player ended up being Gloucester American's Will Moore. A reserve first baseman who came off the bench to hit in the No. 9 spot for Gloucester American, Moore made the two biggest plays of the game.
With the score knotted at 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth inning Moore laced an 0-2 pitch over the center field wall for a two run home run giving Gloucester the lead for good at 5-3. The very next half inning, with Gloucester leading 6-3, Moore helped Gloucester get out of a bases loaded nobody out jam turning an inning ending double play by tagging first base after fielding a ground ball and throwing a runner out at the plate trying to score.
"Will played the game of his life today," Gloucester American manager Chip Smith said. "His two plays were the biggest plays of the game."
The win improves Gloucester American's pool play record to 3-1 and will most likely propel them into the knockout round barring the results of Monday's late game between Danvers American and Hamilton-Wenham, a win for heavy favored Danvers American would send Gloucester into the knockout round. Danvers National falls to 0-3 and is mathematically eliminated.
If Gloucester American is to advance it will find out its opponent on Thursday night, when pool play ends and the knockout round matchups are pulled out of a hat. They will play either Friday or Saturday.
The short porch at Bowen Field in Ipswich played a big factor in Monday's contest as Gloucester hit three home runs while Danvers hit only one home run but had four other hits go off the fence, which sits only 175 feet from home plate.
"The home runs were the difference," Danvers National manager David Gotts said. "We hit the fence a bunch of times and their home runs easily cleared the fence."
Danvers got the scoring started in the top of the first inning when Jay McPherson (walk) scored on a Zach Sasso grounder to make it 1-0. Gloucester American, however, answered right back in the bottom of the first on a pair of home runs.
Gloucester pitcher Jeremy McCollum helped out his own cause with a two run shot to center field making it 2-1, he was followed by Sal Costanzo who's line shot cleared the fence in right center to make it 3-1.
Danvers clawed their way back in the game with a run in the third inning on a McPherson home run to left field and a run in the fourth when Drew Semons scored from second on a wild pitch after Gloucester neglected to cover home plate. Semons had a pair of hits in the ball game and drew praise from his manager.
Gloucester got the lead back in the fourth on Moore's two run shot and shut the door in the sixth when reliever Sal Costanzo pitched out of a bases loaded jam for the second straight inning allowing just one run and preserving the 6-4 win.
"Danvers is a scrappy team," Smith said. "But we were able to hold them off."
McCollum and Costanzo powered the Gloucester offense with two hits and a home run each, Costanzo also picked up the win in relief. Semons led the Danvers offense with two hits and two runs scored, McPherson had a hit and a pair of runs scored.
Gloucester American 6 Danvers National 4
at Bowen Field, Ipswich
D: McPherson ss 3-2-1, Colella c 3-0-1, Roberto p 2-0-1, Sasso cf 3-0-0, Quarterone rf/p 3-0-0, Vaillancourt 3-0-1, Rossitto 2b 1-0-0, Semons 2b 2-2-2, Miraglia 3b 1-0-0, Galvin 3b 2-0-1, O'Neill lf 1-0-0, Nadeau 1-0-0. Totals 25-4-7.
G: Chalmers ss 2-2-1, Horrigan 1b 3-0-1, McCollum p/3b 3-1-2, Costanzo c/p/3b 3-1-2, Matt Smith lf 0-0-0, Burke lf 2-0-0, Mondello cf 2-0-0, Leaf 3b 1-0-0, Oliver rf 2-0-0, Mark Smith 1b/c 3-0-1, Favazza rf 1-0-0, Moore 1b 1-1-1. Totals 23-6-7.
RBI: D, McPheson, Sasso; G, McCollum 3, Moore 2, Costanzo.
WP, Costanzo; LP, Roberto.
Records: D, 0-3; G, 3-1.