NORTHBOROUGH, Mass – Saturday afternoon, the AMCATS opened their 2018 regular season schedule with a game against Fitchburg State University, a program which AMC Head Coach Dan Briand was an assistant for the last two seasons. It was a great day for baseball in New England and the revamped AMCATS were looking to start the season off on a good note. Unfortunately, the Falcons had other ideas and at the end of the day walked away with the 10-0 victory.
The AMCATS started junior pitcher Colin Pipkin (Peoria, Arizona) on the mound to begin the season. He ended the day with four earned runs allowed, two strikeouts and five walks. Behind him offensively, senior first baseman Tanner Jakola (Leominster, Mass), freshman catcher Noah Holland (Sandwich, Mass) and sophomore outfielder Phil Antonucci (Revere, Mass) were the only hitters to for the AMCATS to record hits in the game. Jakola was 1-1 in the game. He reached base twice after being hit by a pitch and singled in his third at-bat.
For Fitchburg State, The Falcons number three hitter, Sean Maki (Fitchburg, Mass) was three-for-four on the day with a double and a triple to his name. Maki drove in four of the 10 Falcon runs on the day and scored one of his own. Leadoff hitter Andrew Currie (Quincy, Mass) was two-for-three on the day and scored three times. Currie also drove in a run of his own. On the mound to start the game for FSU was junior Tommy Parsons (Peabody, Mass). Though he hit three batters and walked one, he no hit the AMCATS through four innings and struck out six batters. In relief, freshman Ryan Towle (Westfield, Mass) came in to finish the game off, putting in five innings of work, striking out six batters and allowing three hits.
Things didn't start well for the AMCATS as the Falcons scored a run in the top of the first when Maki doubled to the right-center gap scoring Currie. The AMCATS settled down after the first not allowing their guests to cross the plate, though their offense was never able to get going and pick that first run back up.
In the fifth inning, the Falcons had the bases loaded, starting pitcher Colin Pipken had been removed. Still on the hook for the three runners, Maki hit a triple in to the left-center gap to extend the Fitchburg lead to four runs.
The sixth inning saw more offense from the Falcons as they would plate five more runs. Two of which came on a wild pitch, two more came on a double down the right field line by the FSU designated hitter Noah Milliard (Leominster, Mass). The fifth came off of a Currie single.
After the sixth inning the Falcons had a 9-0 lead over the AMCATS. In the seventh they would add one more off of a Josh Macomber (Berkley, Mass) triple.
In the final two innings, 'Cats pitcher Jack Marzec (Northbridge, Mass) was able to stop the bleeding and keep Fitchburg from scoring again but, the Anna Maria offense had no answer for their visitors and would end up dropping the season opener 10-0.
Next up for the AMCATS will be a doubleheader on neutral turf against Vermont's Lyndon State in Auburndale, Florida on Saturday, March 3rd at 9 and 11:30am.