Newburyport Advances to Championship Showdown with Lowell

On an unseasonably warm late September afternoon, Newburyport defeated Lynn in Game 1 and 2 to advance to the Championship against Lowell. Hundreds of fans that were present for the Music Festival looked contributing to the playoff atmosphere.

Game 1 score was 20-4, Newburyport had the bats going early and often. It was truly a team effort with every player stealing at least one base and scoring or driving in at least one run.

Newburyport Clamdiggers and Lowell Base Ball Nine

Newburyport Clamdiggers and Lowell Base Ball Nine

Game 2 score was 10-2, Lynn and Newburyport both played outstanding defense to keep the score low until the later innings.

Huzzah to Lynn for a successful season.

The Championship Game will be played on Saturday, October 4th starting at 11AM.

Lynn Advances

Mark Soltysiak

Mark Soltysiak

From last place to first-round winners: Lynn defeats Portsmouth in EBBA Quarterfinal Series

The Lynn Live Oaks – winners of exactly zero games in 2013, and four games in the 2014 regular season – beat a shorthanded but valiant Portsmouth Rockinghams team, two games to one, to advance to the 2014 Essex Base Ball Association semifinals.

In Game 1 the Lynn offense scored seven tallies in the first and, despite a couple of furious charges by Portsmouth, never relinquished the lead in a 17-11 victory.
Game 2 offered more suspense. Portsmouth built a solid lead through four innings, but Lynn staged a comeback. With the game tied, Lynn’s Mark Soltysiak, who had craftily stolen second earlier in the inning, charged home on a close play with the tie-breaking tally – but lay writhing in pain at the plate, having seriously injured his knee. Lynn fought to hold the lead Soltysiak worked so hard to gain, but fielding miscues eventually cost them the game, a 16-12 Rockinghams win.
Game 3 was nip-and-tuck all the way, with Lynn taking leads in the top halves of the innings, and Portsmouth battling back in the bottom halves. Up by three tallies in the top of the seventh (the last inning in this one-day, best-of-three playoff format), Lynn exploded for five tallies, and held Portsmouth scoreless in their half for the 20-12 win – the last hand fittingly made on a one-hopper back to Ralph Hebb, Lynn’s storied pitcher and longest-serving player.
After the game we learned that Lynn’s Mark Soltysiak fractured his tibia and will need season-ending surgery. He’s the second Lynn player this season to break a bone on the basepaths in the heat of a close contest – the latest example of the tremendous grit every Lynn player brought to the field this year. Mark will be missed on the field – but we hope in attendance – as Lynn moves on to the next round.
The entire Essex Base Ball Organization thanks the Live Oaks and the Rockinghams for three of the best-played games this year, and also thanks Brian ‘Cappy’ Sheehy and Chris ‘Monkey’ Sheehy for their excellent umpiring thereof.


champs As we head into the end of the month of September the Essex Base Ball Association is beginning its playoffs.  Below is the schedule for the next few weeks, we have adjusted some times. Saturday September 20th Ipswich Harvest Fest 10am Lowell vs. Newburyport Clamdiggers.  Followed immediately by round 1 of the playoffs between the Lynn Live Oaks vs. Portsmouth Rockinghams.  It will be the best of 3, 7 inning games. Saturday September 27th- American Music and Harvest Fest 11am Lowell BBC vs. Dirigo, 12:30 Mudville vs. Dirigo, 2pm Mudville vs. Ipswich Brewers Sunday September 28- American Music and Harvest Fest Round 2 of playoffs 11am- winner of round 1 vs. Clamdiggers best of 3, 7 inning games Saturday October 4th- Championship game Winner of round 2 vs. Lowell Nine 11am

Lowell Takes Two From Portsmouth


Today was another beautiful day on the farm. Fall is rolling in and there was a crispness to the air that puts a bounce in your step as you step out onto the field. It was great to have a few new cranks at the field today taking in vintage for the first time. It is always great to share the history of the game with new fans and pose for pictures with our stoic faces!

We were missing our catcher, Lynchy, as well as a few other players, but Doug and Mark from Lynn did a great job filling in. It was nice to have our outfield from last year play together for an entire day. All in all, it was looking like a good day for the Lowell Base Ball Nine.

That being said, the Rockinghams were not intimidated and made it known early in game 1 that they were not going to be an easy out. Daisy cutter after daisy cutter were being hit all over the field. Every single led to a stolen base. We knew they were going to steal on the first pitch, but they didn’t care. They were determined to put runs on the board. And did they ever. Most of the game was back and forth. Lowell’s sure-handed outfielders flubbed a few flies and Portsmouth’s outfielders lost several in the sun, all of which led to big innings for both clubs.

With Wiz also out today, Jeremiah was named starting hurler. He did a great job mixing speeds and throwing a mean moon ball. But in the sixth inning the Rockinghams capitalized on our poor fielding and kept pounding away putting up 6 runs to take the lead. At the end of seven, it was 13-10 and they were looking to give us our first loss of the season.

Though the middle of the lineup struggled for a few innings, the Lowell bats came alive with a two out ralley in the 8th, and some timely hitting in the 9th to push 6 more runs across that iron plate. Our defense held and we were able to stay undefeated for one more game with a 16-13 victory.

Between games Cappy somehow came up with fried chicken and Hello Kitty Fruit Snacks. Well, if you have been keeping up with our season, you may remember that fruit snacks, especially the Hello Kitty brand really lift the spirits of the Nine. As many of us woofed down the fruit snacks, Portsmouth got their fill of fried chicken. Now that was either a very gentlemanly gesture, or a shrewd competitive move. It is tough to know because Cappy is always smiling, but anyone who knows him knows that he will do almost anything to win. Now I am not saying that he put anything in that chicken, but I will say this, we won the second game 19-4 and the Rockinghams never really seemed into it.

If only there had been some Ipswitch Ale to wash it down with…

Thanks to all who came out. Make sure to come out to the farm the next few weeks as we wrap up the season, and begin post season play.

Don’t forget or most important game of the year October 18, the second annual Jan’s Pitch for Breat Cancer and the Arts.

Hip Hip – Huzzah!

Lynn and Newburyport split and Lowell stays undefeated

Lynn and Newburyport Split

Defense, pitching, and playing through injury were the themes of the first two games at the farm on Sunday, August 24th.

Game 1 was won by the Live Oaks 7-4. The Oaks got an emotional lift from the return of George Birmbas, who broke his wrist earlier this year while helping Lynn get its first win. Hurler Ralph Hebb threw an absolute gem holding the Clamdiggers to their lowest run tally all season. He also made a spectacular defensive play towards the end of the game preventing a Clamdigger rally. On a line drive hit on line back to the mound, Ralph slid to the left and caught the ball between his elbow and armpit.

Game 2 was payback for the Clamdiggers, winning 8-5. The player of the game was Clamdigger John Curley. In the 6th inning John made a routine fly ball catch in left but his finger got caught bending the wrong way. Instead of sitting out with a curved finger, he iced up on the bench and made two more plays the next inning. He also stepped up to the plate late in the game and hit a daisy cutter through the outfield. Also playing through injury was Mark Scapicchio (eye), Doug George (ankle), George Birmbas (wrist), Matt Larrabee (thumb), and Dan Kent (hand).

Huzzah to both teams for well played contests and playing through late season in injuries

In game three in a back and forth affair the Lowell Base Ball Nine were able to hold off the Portsmouth Rockinghams to win 12-9. Game four was a long match in which Lowell won easily 24-14.

Essex gets its revenge 147 years later

The Essex Base Ball Club and Portsmouth Rockinghams took to Leary Field in Portsmouth NH to rekindle a rivalry that dates back 147 years. A large crowd was on hand to witness the games that were sponsored by the Portsmouth Athenaeum. The two clubs were also honored to have retired police chief Lou Ferland on hand to serve as umpire and keep both the batters and hurlers on their toes with striker and pitcher warnings. The games started off neck and neck but Essex was able to prevail in both matches. Here are the descriptions of the games from the professional scribes of the Union Leader and Fosters Daily Democrat

The Essex Base Ball Association returns to Spencer Peirce Little Farm Sunday August 24th in quadruple header beginning at 10am. Game 1 and 2 will feature the Newburyport Clamdiggers vs. Lynn Live Oaks and Games 3 and 4 will see the Lowell Nine take on the Portsmouth Rockinghams

Essex BBC vs. Rockinghams rematch 147 years in the making

ports posters

When the Essex Base Ball Club and the Portsmouth Rockinghams take to the field this Saturday at 12pm at Leary Field they will be recreating a game that took place July 4th 1867. On that date the highly touted Portsmouth Rockinghams traveled to Newburyport to take on the upstart Essex Base Ball Club. In a shortened 5 inning game the Rockinghams scored a decisive 52-10 victory over the Essex boys. Will history repeat itself this Saturday, come on down and find out.
Rockingham's vs. Essex Game Ball

Essex vs. Portsmouth Rockinghams July 4th 1867 #1

Essex vs. Portsmouth Rockinghams July 4th 1867 #1

Essex vs. Portsmouth Rockinghams July 4th 1867 #2

Essex vs. Portsmouth Rockinghams July 4th 1867 #2