By Nick Curcuru
---- — GLOUCESTER-- Veteran teams do not break when things are not going its way.
Trailing Swampscott 4-0 thanks to mostly self-inflicted wounds through the first inning and a half, the Gloucester baseball team showed its veteran mettle.
The Fishermen handled themselves like a team that had come from behind on many occasions. They did not panic and they did not press. Instead the Fishermen quickly erased the deficit and added to it as the game went on en route to a 10-6 win in their home opener at Nate Ross Field.
The win moves Gloucester to a perfect 3-0 on the season, more importantly 3-0 in Northeastern Conference Division 2 play, Swampscott falls to 1-4.
“This team doesn’t panic and doesn’t quit,” Gloucester head coach Joe Orlando said. “They were very comfortable today even though they were down early and I thought they settled in and had a pretty good game. It’s good to be 3-0, especially in conference.”
Things couldn’t have started much worse for the Fishermen as untimely errors, walks and base running mistakes led to a 4-0 Big Blue lead after just an inning and a half. But Gloucester erased that deficit in the bottom of the second inning plating six runs and sending 12 batters to the plate.
Senior co-captain Mike Muniz got Gloucester on the board when he came in to score on a Devon Murray grounder to second after reaching on a walk. After a walk and a Big Blue error junior Peter Clark drove in two more runs with a single to cut the lead to 4-3. Senior Alex Webb’s double off the right field wall tied the score at 4-4 and Jordan Pallazola followed with what turned out to be the game’s decisive hit, a single to center driving in both Clark and Webb to make it 6-4.
In the span of one half inning Gloucester was able to erase all of its mistakes from the previous two innings and take the lead for good.
“We pretty much spotted them those four runs but we got them all back,” Orlando said. “It was a tough start but you could see that nobody was worried. We knew we would get our bats going eventually.”
From there Gloucester was in control. Starting pitcher Lenny Taormina settled in to allow just two more hits the rest of the way while retiring eight straight hitters from the second to the fourth inning. He picked up the win going five allowing just two earned runs.
Taormina also got help from his defense as Gloucester made just one error of the game’s final five innings and even turned in a few defensive gems. The play of the game on the defensive end came from sophomore second baseman Devon Murray, who robbed Brendan McDonald of a base hit with a diving stop in the hole between first and second base in the third inning.
The Fishermen would add three more runs in the fourth inning on a Sean Gillon RBI ground-out and a two RBI single from Drew Shairs. Gloucester would add a last run in the fifth on a perfectly executed double steal.
While Gloucester was in complete control over the final five and a half innings of play, Swampscott was anything but. In addition to their bats being quieted with three hits in the final five innings, the Big Blue was also sloppy on defense as five errors led to five unearned Gloucester runs.
Clark and Pallazola led the Gloucester offense with two hits and two RBI each, Webb and Curtis Quinn each reached base three times and combined to score five runs.
Trevor Massey led the Big Blue offense with a pair of hits including a two RBI single in the second inning.
With the win Gloucester now turns its attention to Bishop Fenwick, which visits Nate Ross Field on Friday morning (11:00 a.m.). At 3-0 Orlando and the Fishermen are looking to keep it rolling.
“I like the way we’re playing right now,” Orlando said. “There’s definitely some things that we need to work on but we’re 3-0 and we’ve made the plays when we need to make them.”
agateHed:Gloucester 10 Swampscott 6
agateText:at Nate Ross Field, Gloucester
agateText:S: Serino lf 4-1-1, Massey ss 3-1-2, January c 3-0-0, Lan rf/p 4-0-0, Carmody 1-2-0, Collier 3b 4-0-1, Moretti 2b 4-0-1, McDonald 1b 3-1-1, Burkett dh 3-1-0. Totals 29-6-6.
G: Vizena lf/1b 3-0-0, Clark 3b/p 4-1-2, Webb ss 3-3-1, Pallazola c 3-1-2, Muniz 1b/3b/p 3-1-1, Quinn rf 1-2-1, Harris lf 1-0-0, Murray 2b 3-0-0, Gillon ph 1-0-0, Shairs dh 3-1-1, Horgan cf 4-1-1. Totals 29-10-9.
agate_MLB_linescore9:Swampscott 130 010 1| 6
Gloucester 060 310 x| 10
agateText:RBI: S, Massey 2, Moretti, McDonald; G, Clark 2, Pallazola 2, Shairs 2, Webb, Murray, Gillon.
WP, Taormina; LP, Zuchera.