Jan’s Pitch 2019

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Come join the excitement of our final event of the season while helping raise money for cancer research and other local non-profits! On Saturday, October 5th, 2019, all four vintage base ball teams from the Essex Base Ball Organization will battle for the 2019 league championship during the 7th Annual Jan’s Pitch for Breast Cancer and the Arts. Taking place at the beautiful Spencer-Pierce Little farm in Newbury, MA, only one team will take home the coveted championship “jug” after this fierce three-game play-off. If you’ve never experienced the thrill of watching base ball played the way it was in 1864 – no gloves, bare-handed and full of gritty athleticism – then this is the event to attend!

Jan’s Pitch for Breast Cancer and the Arts celebrates Jan Sheehy – a dedicated art teacher and mother of Essex Base Ball Organization players Brian and Chris Sheehy – who tragically lost her battle with breast cancer in April of 2013. Over the past six years, Jan’s Pitch has raised close to $22,000 for cancer research and educational programs at local schools. This year we will also be accepting donations of art supplies that we will be donating to Boston Children’s Museum

The fall event is fun for families and people of all ages! In addition to the triple-header event, spectators can participate in an exciting 50/50 raffle, those age 21+ can enjoy freshly-kegged beer from the vintage Ipswich Ale Brewery tapmobile, and kids will love visiting the farm’s friendly sheep, goats, chickens, and horses.

Event schedule: Games Start at 11am

Tickets will be available on the 5th for $5 or you can donate art supplies

Questions? Contact Brian Sheehy, President of the Essex Base Ball Organization (email: historyball@yahoo.com, phone: 978-790-5707)

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The Portsmouth Rockinghams repeat as The Ipswich Ale – Harvest Fest Champions

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The 2019 Ipswich Ale Harvest Festival Tournament got underway as the remnants of hurricane Dorian departed. As the sun came out so did the crowd who settled in to watch three great ball games with all four league teams competing on this day.

Game 1 – The Newburyport Clamdiggers got off to an early lead against Portsmouth, however the Rockinghams stayed close throughout game as both teams traded runs nearly each inning until the Portsmouth bats came alive in the top of the 9th to take the lead and win 11-8 while securing a spot in the championship game.

Game 2 – The Lynn Live Oaks jumped out strong in the early innings with 7 runs against the Lowell Nine and as the game went on it appeared that Lynn had victory safely in hand. However the defending league champions would not go down that easily and had an 8th inning rally of their own and scored 4 to tie the game 9-9 heading into the 9th. Lynn’s large contingent of vintage base-ball veterans helped keep the team calm as they were able to plate a go ahead run in the top of the 9th on the heels of a long opposite field triple by their captain Jed Millet. Lynn’s defense held Lowell scoreless in the bottom of the 9th to secure their spot in the championship game with a 10-9 victory.

Game 3 – In the cup championship the Portsmouth Rockinghams began their defense of their 2018 title with an early statement against Lynn as they jumped out to an 8-2 lead after 3 innings. Well placed hits and aggressive base running characterized the Rockingham’s offense this afternoon while solid defense and pitching held Lynn to only 2 runs through 7 innings. Portsmouth scored 2 more runs in the top of the 8th to take a 10-2 lead however Lynn’s power hitters came alive in the bottom frame and began to rally by driving in a fast 3 runs and cutting the lead to 10-5. Before Portsmouth and their loyal cranks could get too nervous their young shortstop, Cam “Shaggy” Champey, ended the rally with an unassisted double play by catching a sharp line drive then forcing out a Lynn runner at 2nd base who was advancing. Portsmouth tacked on an insurance run in the top of the ninth to go ahead 11-5 as their strong defense took over in the bottom of the ninth to secure the win and remain Harvest Festival Cup Champions for the second year in a row. The game ball was awarded to Shaggy for his 8th inning performance which also included a fly ball out made earlier in the inning. The Rockinghams saluted their friends from the Lynn Live Oaks for a well fought game and hoisted the cup for well-deserved round of Ipswich Ale.

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The entire Essex Base-Ball Organization wants to thank the Ipswich Ale Brewery, the Spencer-Pierce-Little Farm and Historic New England for putting on this great event each year. This event has become one of the premier events in the nation for vintage base-ball players and their fans. Please join us at the farm on Sept 28th for the American Music and Harvest Festival and finally on October 5th for our annual Jan’s Pitch for Breast Cancer and the Arts league championship tournament.

Clamdiggers Take Two

It was a hot day at the farm this past weekend. The temperature was well into the 90’s and the bats of the Newburyport Clamdiggers and Portsmouth Rockinghams were on fire as well. A big thank you to our fans for sticking it out for two well played games, and a big thank you to Ipswich Ale for keeping everyone hydrated!
Game 1 – Newburyport 14, Portsmouth 8
Although Portsmouth hit multiple homeruns in a late inning rally, Newburyport was able to weather the storm with unbelievable defense led by Julie “Hustle” Hynes. She made an acrobatic diving catch in center field on a ball that bounced 20 feet in front of her and appeared uncatchable.
Game 2 – Newburyport 21, Portsmouth 10
Mikey “Ace” Kent was the star on offense and on the mound. He hit a grandslam into the cornfield in right while keeping Porstmouth’s homerun ball at bay. John “Specs” Curley starred on defense throwing out a runner at 2nd on an attempted steal and making numerous foul tip catches.

July 13th Off/ July 14th On

Unfortunately we have to cancel the scheduled games between the Newburyport Clamdiggers and Lynn Live Oaks scheduled for Saturday July 13th, but the games Sunday July 14th are still on so join us at 12pm at Spencer Peirce Little Farm in Newbury and see the Lowell Nine take on the Rockinghams of Portsmouth

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Two Day Four Games

On Saturday the Newburyport Clamdiggers and the Portsmouth Rockinghams played at Spencer Peirce Little Farm in Newbury

Game 1: Newburyport 11 Portsmouth 10
It was a beautiful day at the farm and the fans were greeted with two well played games. Game 1 was a back and forth affair. Portsmouth scored 4 in the top of the ninth to tie the game. In the bottom of the ninth Newburyport walked off with the win. With two outs and no-one on base Mikey “Ace” Kent doubled. Then Drew “Captain Clam” singled to right to win the game.
Game 2: Newburyport 11 Portsmouth 6
Newburyport got the lead early and held the Rockinghams bats in check with stellar defense from rookie Ted “Backstop” Blair behind the plate and Dan “Minuteman” Kent at short stop. Pat “Boom Boom” Wadland lead the offense with his highlight cornfield blast.
On Sunday the Lowell Nine and Lynn Live Oaks traveled to Strong Field in Tewksbury, MA. On a beautiful day Lowell was able to hold on for a win over Lynn in Game 1.  In Game 2 Lynn charged off to a lead over Lowell and never looked back. We would like to thank the people for Tewksbury for hosting the games.