ESSEX— By all intents and purposes, Manchester Essex pitcher Max Nesbit pitched well enough to win Tuesday's Cape Ann League Division 3 showdown with Georgetown Tuesday at Memorial Field. The senior right hander scattered just six hits through six innings allowing just one earned run in the process.
Unfortunately for Nesbit, four Hornets fielding errors led to four unearned runs for the Royals, the defending Division 4 North champions, who picked up a 6-1 win in the CAL opener for both teams. The win moves Georgetown to 1-0, Manchester Essex falls to 1-1.
"We just didn't play that well today," Hornets head coach Bob Garrett said. "Max pitched another good game and when you allow just six hits they shouldn't score six runs, but we made too many errors. We have been doing the little things and playing a strong mental game up until today, but we will regroup and work on our mistakes for the next game."
Georgetown's Jeff Moore picked up the win out-dueling Nesbit in the process. The junior right hander went the distance, allowing six hits and striking out seven while walking just one. Moore was not overpowering, but he allowed very few hard hit balls.
"That was vintage Jeff," Royals head coach Justin Spurr said. "He can throw it hard if he wants to and today he was hitting all of his spots and keeping them off balance. He also has good defense behind him and he wasn't afraid to use it."
While quick to credit Moore's performance, Garrett was not pleased with his teams approach at the plate.
"He pitched a great game, but we didn't put together many good at bats," Garrett said. "We didn't play good situational baseball. One inning we had runners on first and second with nobody out and we hit two straight pop ups instead of sacrificing ourselves to move the runner over. We chased too many pitches early in the count."
The Hornets came unraveled defensively in the Royals three run second inning. A fielding error and a throwing error led to Georgetown's first two runs with a third coming in off of a double steal, all three runs in the inning were unearned.
Two innings later, with Georgetown holding onto a 3-1 lead, the Royals put two more runs on the board. Colby Ingraham made it 4-1 after his RBI single plated Dan Manning, who reached on a fielding error. The next batter, CJ Ingraham, increased the lead to 5-1 when his bloop single scored Ben Noelk who singled. Colby Ingraham attempted to score on the play but was thrown out by Hornets second baseman Cory Burnham.
To add insult to injury, Ingraham was tossed out of the game for running over the catcher at home plate. The Royals outfielder was the victim of a bad rule, that states a runner must attempt to slide on a play at the plate, as there was no malicious intent in the collision.
In crunch time, with the Hornets desperately needing base runners, Moore came up big retiring ten batters in a row from the fourth to the seventh innings. Manchester Essex never got the tying run to the plate at any point in the game.
Shortstop Ryan Browner and Moore powered the Royals offense with two hits each while Noelk and catcher Dan Manning scored two runs each.
Matt Corwin led the way for Manchester Essex offensively with two hits and the lone RBI, Noah Brown had a hit and a run scored.
"There were some good things we did today and there were some bad things," Garrett said. "Our season is going to come down to how well we handle adversity. Last week against Cathedral and in the preseason we did a good job handling it and put our bad plays behind us. Today we let it snowball, it was a 'here we go again' mentality."
Georgetown 6 Manchester Essex 1
at Memorial Field, Essex
G: Co. Ingraham cf, 4-0-1, CJ Ingraham 2b 4-0-1, Browner ss 4-1-2, Pingree 3b 4-0-0, Moore p 4-0-2, Slack 1b 3-1-1, Manning c 4-2-1, Noelk lf 1-2-1, Wade rf 3-0-0. Totals 31-6-9.
ME: Browning rf 3-0-0, Corwin 3b 4-0-2, Burgess ss 4-0-0, Frattini 1b 3-0-1, Nesbit p 2-0-0, Cirone c 3-0-0, Fitzgerald cf 3-0-1, Burnham 2b 3-0-0, Brown lf 2-1-1, Carter ph 1-0-1. Totals 28-1-6.
RBI: G, Co. Ingraham, CJ Ingraham, Moore; ME, Corwin
WP, Moore; LP, Nesbit
Records: G, 1-0; ME, 1-1.