ROWLEY — Newburyport found enough offense last night to remain undefeated in American Legion district tournament play. Methuen, meanwhile, will need to find more hits if it has desires on advancing to state.
Post 150 broke a scoreless tie in the fourth before tacking on sufficient insurance runs the following two innings for a 6-2 victory over Methuen at Eiras Field.
“They had some seeing-eye hits, and that didn’t help,” Methuen coach Dave Mosher said of Newburyport which finished with just eight hits. “I’m not saying we didn’t get the bounces. We just didn’t hit the ball well enough to win any ball game.
“We found their gloves and they made some nice plays. ... All you need is a dribbler to get through somewhere ... they did it, we didn’t.”
While Newburyport was scratching out runs, Post 122 struggled at the plate against Brett Fontaine, who allowed only two hits and no earned runs. Fontaine did walk four batters, but watched his infield turn a pair of ground-ball double plays to escape a couple jams. Methuen finally broke through with a couple of unearned runs in the seventh.
“Through six innings that was probably the best (Fontaine) pitched in three years for me,” Newburyport coach Tim Southall said of the right-hander. “He got a little tired in the last inning, but he battled hard. And his brother (third baseman Colton) was nice enough to throw the ball away to keep him from the shut out.”
While Fontaine was holding Methuen at bay, a group from Pentucket was providing all the support he needed.
Ryan Kuchar supplied the biggest hits with an RBI single in the fourth and an opposite-field two-run single in the fifth.
“I was just trying to get a hit and put my team on the board,” Kuchar said of his fourth-inning hit through the left-side hole. “I had the same approach the next time up. I was just up there trying to help my team.”