With the regular season winding down, and baseball games being scheduled in close proximity to each other because of makeup games, pitching depth is a huge factor to a team's success. On Friday at Nate Ross Field, Gloucester showed off its pitching depth.
Freshman lefty Brett Moore made his first career varsity start in Gloucester's Northeastern Conference finale against Winthrop, and he turned in a complete game effort to earn his first win, 8-2.
With the win, Gloucester moves to 14-3, 12-2 in the NEC, winning the conference by three games.
"We threw Brett into the fire today and he did what he needed to do," Gloucester head coach Rory Gentile said. "He didn't know he was pitching until he got to the field and to come out and pitch a complete game like that is impressive. He pitched to contact and he competed. It was a good way to close out the conference schedule."
Moore scattered six hits, struck out six and walked two in seven innings. Winthrop's runs were not even driven is as they came on a wild pitch in the third inning and a balk in the sixth. More importantly, he helped Gloucester's tired arms get some rest.
"We didn't want to go to (Jake) MacKillop out of the bullpen today, we wanted to get him some rest and Brett helped us do that," Gentile said. "Now we have some arms ready to go for two more games in the next two days."
Gloucester got on the board in the first inning when Marcus Montagnino came home on a Daylon Lark grounder on the infield, but Winthrop tied it up in the third on a wild pitch.
The tie game, however, last only two pitches as Marcus Montagnino led off the bottom of the third with a double and was driven in when Matt Montagnino's reached on an error after the throw to first on his sacrifice bunt attempt missed the mark.
The Fishermen, who grabbed the lead for good, went on to score two more times in the inning on RBI singles from Lark and Zach Abbott to take a 4-1 lead after three.
A Matt Montagnino grounder plated Jack Costanzo in the fourth, A bases loaded walk and a Marcus Montagnino sacrifice fly extended the lead to 7-1 after five, and an Abbott sacrifice fly made it 8-2 in the sixth after Winthrop cut into the lead in the top of the frame.
The Fishermen had 12 hits on the afternoon. E.J. Field had three hits, Ben Oliver, Jake MacKillop and Abbott had two each.
"This was one of our best hitting performances of the year," Gentile said. "The approach was good all around and it really wasn't a good day to hit with the wind blowing in hard."
Gloucester has three games remaining in the regular season and has a home-and-home series with Melrose on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's game will be at Nate Ross Field (4 p.m.) and the Fishermen hit the road on Sunday (4 p.m.).
Gloucester 8, Winthrop 2
at Nate Ross Field, Gloucester
Winthrop 001 001 0| 2
Gloucester 103 121 x| 8
W: Gillis, P, 4-0-2; DiCicco, 1B, 4-1-1; Applebee, CF, 4-0-1; Skoczylas, SS, 1-1-0; Hubert, LF, 3-0-1; S. Albert, DH, 3-0-0; M. Albert, C, 2-0-0; Buccini, RF, 3-0-1; Conway, 3B, 2-0-0; Natareno, PH, 1-0-0. Totals, 27-2-6.
G: Mar. Montagnino, CF, 2-2-1; Mat. Montagnino, 2B, 4-1-0; Oliver, 3B, 3-1-2; Lark, LF, 4-1-1; Abbott, DH, 3-1-2; Field, C, 3-1-3; MacKillop, 1B, 4-0-2; Taormina, RF, 2-0-0; Smith, RF, 2-0-0; Costanzo, SS, 2-1-1. Totals, 29-8-12.
RBI: W, none; G, Lark 2, Abbott 2, Mar. Montagnino, Mat. Montagnino, Costanzo.
WP, Moore; LP, Gillis.
Records: W, 3-14; G, 14-3.