By Matt Williams
---- — BEVERLY — Last night’s District 15 Williamsport tournament game between Danvers American and Manchester Essex was shaping up like it would come down to the last at-bat.
Unfortunately for last night’s fans, it’ll happen a day later than expected.
Heavy rain caused the contest to be suspended in the second inning with Manchester leading, 1-0, thanks to a solo homer by Luke Leavitt. Danvers American had loaded the bases in the top of the second but couldn’t score against M-E’s top pitcher, Harry Painter.
Manchester was batting in the bottom of the second when the rain began, and after about 30 minutes it was decided that the game would be resumed tonight at 7:30 (after the Beverly-Hamilton-Wenham ‘winner’s bracket’ game at 5:30).
Danvers American’s Jon Weimert threw 28 pitches and the only hit he allowed was Leavitt’s homer. He fanned two, walked one and also hit a batter while Painter (41 pitches) struck out three and allowed two hits.
Weimert had Danvers’ first hit, a single in the second, while Matt Taylor also singled and Kevin Foley drew a walk.
The winner of tomorrow’s continuation will face Amesbury in an elimination game tomorrow by virtue of Amesbury’s 8-1 win over Middleton in the early game yesterday at Harry Ball Field.
Shane O’Leary struck out nine over 5 1/3 innings before reaching the pitch count maximum and helped himself with four RBI, including a bases loaded triple that broke the game open in the fourth.
Middleton finishes up the summer with a 2-3 record; they advanced to the second round with a 2-1 mark in pool play, lost to Beverly over the weekend then fell yesterday.
Harrison Brickett scored Middleton’s run in the bottom of the sixth after he drew a walk. Nick Cafarelli was hit by a pitch and Dylan Christianson followed with a single to load the bases and David Sacco earned an RBI on a fielder’s choice. Amesbury’s relief pitcher got out of the trouble, however, and retired the side to end the game.
Cafarelli started on the mound for Middleton and scattered four hits with a strikeout. Amesbury led 1-0 after three and Middleton got the first two outs of the fourth before three straight walks set up O’Leary’s knock that made it 5-0. Michael Duest came on to pitch the final 2 1/3 innings for Middleton, throwing a perfect fifth before Amesbury added three in the sixth.
Christianson made two nice defensive stabs at third base and Patrick Costigan also had a single for Middleton. Brendan Driscoll and Jack Aldrich also reached base.