Newburyport Clippers Baseball '13

Wells, Whittier advance to Division 3 North finals

LYNN - Whittier starting pitcher Andrew Wells got into more than a few difficult situations against Newburyport yesterday.
The Clippers loaded the bases against Wells with one out or fewer in three different innings. They put the leadoff hitter on against the Wildcats ace in six different innings.
But Wells got outs when he needed them the most.
The Whittier ace pitched a complete game and allowed just two runs, one earned, on seven hits and three walks (one intentional) while striking out five.
Whittier won 6-2 over Newburyport to advance to the Division 3 North title game against St. Mary's on Saturday at LeLacheur Park in Lowell.
"There's a reason why he's the player he is," Whittier catcher Anthony Licciardello said about Wells. "He's a great competitor. He doesn't like to get beat. And he just gets the job down every time he's on the mound."
Whittier coach Joe Boland added about Wells: "That's just the type of kid he is. ... He was actually a freshmen when we went to Lowell. He played on that team. He was the starting third baseman. So he and (Nate) Frongillo and Licciardello have all been with us (since then). They didn't want to finish it until we got back to Lowell. Let's hope we have some luck in Lowell."
Licciardello calls all of Wells' pitches. He and Wells mixed up the fastball, curveball and slider well.
"We were trying to mix it up because we knew Newburyport can hit the fastball, but they were having a little trouble hitting the offspeed stuff," Licciardello said.
Wells has a lot of movement even on his fastball because he throws a two-seamer, a pitch that runs to the arm-side of the pitcher.
"I've been getting through them (tough innings) all year," Wells said. "You've just got to keep battling because if you give up, you're teams going to let up. As a senior, you've got to lead it."
Newburyport had a 1-0 edge after a half inning, but Whittier scored three times in the bottom of the first inning.
"We've been having great, timely hitting all season," Wells said. "And that's what it's been in the postseason. We've been trying to stay aggressive, take bases when we can, jump on the fastball."
Whittier's Ralph Francesconi stroked a big two-run double in the first inning.
"The other pitcher was good," Francesconi said about Newburyport starter Connor MacRae. "He had a little bit of control problems but he started to find his groove."

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