SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

May 2, 2013

On Baseball: McIsaac, Peabody topple Danvers in 11-inning classic

(Continued)

“The way Pat throws, he’s such a power pitcher (that) he changes the game. You can’t simulate that,” said Bettencourt, who watched his ace punch out two straight after Arocho and Connors each singled in the eighth.

Arocho threw seven innings and fanned five. Peabody’s Maynard Wheeler singled but was caught stealing third in the fifth, and George Tsonis singled but was caught at second in the sixth. The Tanners left a runner in scoring position in the seventh, and couldn’t score on Danvers reliever Ryan Kelleher with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth.

Peabody only stole two bags and was caught three times as Danvers and catcher Joe Olszak seemed to get the better of that matchup, “We made them make the plays and, to their credit, they made them,” said Bettencourt.

“(Joe Olszak) helped us get out of some jams. He’s helped us immensely and been a big plus,” added Day. “Kelleher pitched well. He gave us a good effort and really just missed the one pitch, the 0-2 to McIsaac.”

Kelleher only allowed two hits and struck out five over four innings, and he sent Danvers to the plate with the chance to win three times. The Falcons best chance was probably in the 10th, when Couto singled and was sacrificed over. Peabody intentionally walked Arocho and pitched to arguably Danvers’ best hitter, Connors. McIsaac retired him and fanned Dustin to escape.

“That was two resilient teams out there. Neither team wanted to give an inch,” said Bettencourt.

For 11 innings two of the top teams in the state went toe-to-toe. It was intense, and the fact that neither team lost focus or made errors was a credit to all four pitchers — Ruotolo, McIsaac, Arocho and Kelleher — and to the meticulously prepared coaches, Day and Bettencourt.

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