DANVERS — Heading into the 2014 season, Gloucester first year manager Bryan Lafata labeled Danvers as the cream of the crop in the Northeastern Conference Small; the measuring stick for teams with conference title aspirations.
The Fishermen got their first crack at the perennial NEC power yesterday at Twi Field, and came away knowing they can be a factor in this race, too.
Peter Clark picked up his second complete game in as many starts allowing one unearned run over seven innings to out-duel Danvers’ Raf Tylus in a 2-1 Fishermen win.
“It was a good, early season game,” Lafata said. “Pete is just a horse. He wants the ball in big games and today he took it, threw strikes and kept us in the game the whole way. You can’t ask much more from him as our No. 3 hitter and top of the rotation pitcher.”
The game did have the early season feel that Lafata mentioned — both the Fishermen (4-1) and Falcons (5-2) were sloppy at times. All three runs in the contest were unearned and Gloucester hit into a pair of double-plays and left 10 men on base.
In the fourth and fifth innings the Fishermen had five hits and six base-runners but could not come away with a run. Some of it was due to mental errors, some of it was due to Tylus’ clutch pitching as he kept the Falcons in the game when things could have gotten ugly.
Danvers, on the other hand, put the tying run on base three times in the final four innings, including the tying run on third base with one out in the final frame, but Clark was able to induce a fly-out to shallow center and a strike out looking to finish the game off.
“We didn’t play as clean as we can,” Danvers head coach Roger Day said. “There were a couple of plays that we didn’t make that we have to make and we didn’t make any big plays. Gloucester swings it better than us so we have to find more ways to score.”