OLD ORCHARD BEACH—Nor’easter Alex George blasted an RBI triple – then came home himself on a single by teammate Max Salevsky – in the bottom of the third vs. the Norsemen on Tuesday night, Aug. 6.

The pair of runs put the Nor’easters out front of the Norsemen 6-2, the decisive moment en route to a 9-4 final.

“Getting on the board early,” Nor’easters head coach Tony Miner said, asked what went right for his boys. “We put the pressure on them early.”

The semifinals result bumped the No. 4 Norsemen from the Greater Northeast Collegiate Baseball League’s playoffs. The first-place Nor’easters moved on to the three-game finals series, where they matched up with the No. 2 Patriots. (The Nor’easters won in two.)

Cam Smith closed the game on the mound for the Nor’easters, as he often does. Adam Birt / American Journal

On Aug. 6, Nor’easters leadoff man Ben Nelson and No. 2 hitter Kolby Lambert – like they often do – fired up their boys’ bats in the bottom of the first. Nelson lined one single into left and Lambert grounded another in the same direction. Drew Healy then ushered Nelson home with a grounder into right; three batters later, Salevsky rounded Lambert with a double to deep center.

2-0, quick.

The Nor’easters hashed a couple more at their next opportunity. Nolan Brown walked onto base – Charlie Graffius started on the mound for the Norsemen – before teammate Will Snyder unceremoniously launched a two-run homer over the leftfield wall. 4-0.

The Norsemen got a pair back in the top of the third: Brody Ashley scored from second on a Riley Bartell shot to center and Garret Fosher scored on an Evan Balzano single down the first-base line.

The Norsemen would trail throughout the contest, however, and in the bottom of the third the Nor’easters pushed their tally into secure territory. Tim Brigham batted first in the stretch, lining a single into left. George followed him up with a long shot to right, a bit of contact that rolled all the way to the corner of the field. Brigham scored and George zoomed around to third.

Salevsky RBIed George for 6-2, then slid over to second himself on a Ben Gravel single to short. Neither Salevsky nor Gravel made it home, but the Nor’easters had inflicted enough damage for one inning anyway.

“We responded back,” Miner said. “Every time they scored a run, we scored a couple runs.”

Norseman Luke Klenda unwinds into a pitch. Adam Birt / American Journal

Ashley and Fosher scored again for the Norsemen in the top of the fifth. Both crossed home on a wild pitch during Balzano’s at-bat: Emery Dinsmore, on the mound for the Nor’easters, sent a hurl past George, his counterpart behind the plate. Ashley scored with ease from third. George rushed to gather the ball up near the backstop, then whirled around to whip it back to Dinsmore, charging forward to cover home. But George’s throw got past Dinsmore in turn, and Fosher scored too – all the way from second.

“Emery went out and he got in some trouble in that one inning,” Miner said. “But he’s a good pitcher. He’s been, I think, the best pitcher in the League all year.”

That’s where the Norsemen’s bats and baserunners ceased generating runs. The Nor’easters, meanwhile, continued to score. Lambert grounded in the bottom of the sixth, reaching base safely on a high throw by the opposition shortstop, Will Barnard. Lambert advanced to second on Healey contact and came home on another George hit, a single into center.

Finally, Nelson and Lambert scored in the bottom of the eighth. Nelson grounded toward third – maybe he should’ve been out, maybe not: His ball bounced over Norseman Patrick Sawyer’s glove and into left, and he arrived safely at first. He hopped to second when Lambert arced a single into shallow center.

Kolby Lambert rounds third for the Nor’easters. Adam Birt / American Journal

Both Nelson and Lambert advanced 90 further feet when Healey grounded to second and the Norseman there – Ryan Young – erred in scooping up the ball. Nelson and Lambert then scored on a two-RBI Brigham shot into left, wrapping up the evening’s offense.

“We made a few mistakes in the field that cost us some four or five runs, some mental lapses,” Miner said. “But we overcame those, and it’s a testament to what the team is.

The Greater Northeast Collegiate Baseball League is an affordable, high-quality developmental option for college players from around New England (and beyond). The League, which kicked off in 2017, is on the web at www.gncbl.com, and on Twitter and Instagram both at @GNCBLBaseball. It’s also easily searchable on Facebook.

Nor’easters
Tim Brigham–Cape Elizabeth/Suffolk
Nolan Brown–Gorham/Husson
Emery Dinsmore–Waldo/Colby
Alex George–Hollis, New Hampshire/Southern New Hampshire University
Ben Gravel–Rochester, New Hampshire/St. Joseph’s
Drew Healey–Rochester, New Hampshire/St. Joe’s
Kolby Lambert–Naples/University of Southern Maine
Ben Nelson–Gorham/Merrimack
Max Salevsky–Hollis/Plymouth State
Will Snyder–Portland/Skidmore

Norsemen
Brody Ashley–Strafford, New Hampshire/Wheaton
Evan Balzano–Saco/Wake Tech Community College
Will Barnard–Portland/USM
Riley Bartell–Portland/University of Maine Farmington
Garrett Fosher–Stratham, New Hampshire/Curry
Charlie Graffius–Portland/Colby-Sawyer
Luke Klenda-Yarmouth/St. Joe’s
Patrick Sawyer–Saco/Nichols
Ryan Young–Stratham, New Hampshire/Williams

Norseman Will Barnard scoops up a ball at short. Adam Birt / American Journal

Nor’easter Nolan Brown fouls off a ball. Adam Birt / American Journal

Drew Healey crouches at second, waiting on an incoming ball for the Nor’easters. Adam Birt / American Journal

Nor’easters standout shortstop Ben Nelson whips a ball from second towards first, trying for a double-play. Adam Birt / American Journal


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