Monday, August 12, 2013
Sports Page 2
Parrish came in and played a flawless center field with a lot of hustle and determination while six-foot first baseman Gallotta not only played solidly in right field but also contributed two singles in three at-bats.
Somerville might have been glad they didn’t see Regan, Chambers and the rest of the potent Wakefield line-up, because the kids who took the field were potent enough. Pitcher Kevin DeLeary led a nine-hit attack with a 3-for-3 day and left fielder Derrick Sheeler, who was 2-for-4 and third baseman Josiah Brown, each blasted a home run to power the attack.
On top of that, DeLeary fanned eight while walking three and scattering six hits in a six-inning, complete-game effort. The locals also committed no errors as they continued to play inspired ball in the field and made sure that Wakefield, which beat everyone on the American League side, will be the top seed when the four-team playoff round begins next week. Wakefield’s only first-round game remaining is against Malden this coming Saturday at noon and it heads into that with a 3-1 slate.
“I expected a battle,” said Manager Frank Sauca of the improved Somerville franchise, which never fell apart or gave up, even after Wakefield built a 6-1 lead it took into the bottom of the third inning.
“I was a little nervous with only nine kids. It was a last-minute thing when I got word Chambers couldn’t make it. We started with 14 players and a couple of alternates. I knew we would need them with our kids at Cooperstown. That’s why I also requested that most of our schedule to be played the first week, just like Newton was able to be scheduled the second week to offset all their kids in the Williamsport Regional. But Enzo and Tyler did a nice job, especially in their first tourney action.
“Also, Kevin (DeLeary) gave us a great pitching job and Kevin Corso did an excellent job in his first appearance behind the plate this tourney.”
The Kevin battery actually lent a humorous moment to the game as well. When Somerville star Kevin Camara stepped to the plate in the first inning his fans and teammates started chanting “Kevin, Kevin.” Wakefield kids were also chanting “Kevin, Kevin” for DeLeary’s hot start and Camara seemed bewildered as he looked to the opposite stands while hearing his name. While Camara eventually stroked two singles, DeLeary won the initial battle with a strike out to end a 1-2-3 frame and, finally, the war.
Third baseman Brown, batting lead-off for the first time, immediately made Sauca look brilliant as he blasted a homer to center for a 1-0 lead in the first.
DeLeary followed by beating out an infield hit to short but pitcher Henry Shugrue regrouped by getting the next three batters, including two on strikes.
Wakefield’s lead expanded in the top of the second. With one out Scheeler powered a homer to left for a 2-0 edge. Corso and Gallotta then hit back-to-back singles before Brown earned a walk to load the bags for DeLeary. DeLeary then pushed the lead to 4-0 with a two-run single.
Somerville spoiled the shutout in the second when Anthony Parziale and Michael Dutra walked. Parziale scored on a single by Platt. But Dutra was cut down at home on a 9-1-2 relay started by right fielder Gallotta, spoiling a potential rally.
Wakefield added its final two runs in the third. Frank Cancelliere and Parrish gave Wakefield two baserunners right away and a fly ball single by Scheeler loaded the bags. A walk is said to be as good as a hit and the adage especially held for Corso, whose base on balls forced in Cancelliere with the fifth run. With two outs, DeLeary drove in his third run for the 6-1 lead.
Somerville continued battling, improving as the game wore on. The All-Stars cut the deficit to 6-2 in the third on Camara’s run-scoring single up the middle and closed to 6-4 in the bottom of the sixth when clean-up batter Parziale blasted a two-run homer over the fence in left, moments after rifling a foul liner to right. Dutra almost followed by hustling out an infield dribbler to third but Brown’s strong throw to first baseman Dan Cataldo nipped him at the bag.
While Somerville, Charlestown and Billerica are still clawing for the final American League division playoff spot, Wakefield has the top spot sewn up. Meanwhile, Melrose and Tewksbury head into this week’s action tied atop the National League division at 3-0, but with Newton still a factor, also. Melrose has Tewksbury Wednesday and Newton Saturday, so although it has dominated the tourney thus far, their position is still not set in stone. But if Melrose finishes first it takes on the American League division’s second-place team and Wakefield faces the National’s second-place team, giving the locals an excellent chance to avenge its only loss of the tourney.
With two years left on the time table of the Medford Invitational Tournament, with the host city’s direct involvement slated to end after 20 years, many are hoping that someone can soon pick up the ball and run with it, keeping the tourney from ending.
Started in 1996 by the hard-working quartet of Medford’s Lonnie Hillson, Charlie Ciampaglia, Paul DeStefano and director Ron Giovino and adding the talent of Kevin Chin, Rick Thornton and others, the tourney has been a source of not only competitive baseball for 18 years but also family fun as it includes imaginative announcing, annual Aloha Saturday festivities and the ever-popular challengers game. But these guys can’t go on forever and that is the reason why they are stepping away. Billerica, which has hosted the tourney at Pollard Field the last two summers is discussing taking over but it would be great for all the long-term participating programs like Wakefield, Tewksbury and Melrose to work together to assure the fun won’t end at 20 years.
The Reds plated two runs in the fourth inning yesterday afternoon at Victory Field and that was the difference as Nick Ahearn held the Merchants to three hits. Ahearn went seven innings striking out four and walking two.
Ahearn outdueled Jarrod Marchesi who was the Merchants starter. Marchesi pitched six innings and Joe Barry was the catcher. No other pitching stats for Wakefield were available at presstime.
The second game at Walsh Field last night, Scott Leuders went six innings and suffered the loss. Leuders gave up four runs on three hits while walking two and striking out one.
Peter Fisher started the second game for the Wakefield Merchants. However, pitching stats for the Merchants from Game 2 were unavailable at presstime.
In the two games, the Watertown Reds combined to score five runs on 10 hits.
Sean Callahan Montague had two hits and scored one run in the two games, while Justin Knight had three hits and scored a run in the two contests. The rest of the hits were by Steve Morganelli (one hit, one RBI), Justin Forman (one hit, two runs scored), Dan Chaisson (one hit, two RBIs) Peter John (one hit, one run scored) and Kyle LaVigne (one hit, two RBIs).
Callahan-Montague and Chaisson each hit doubles, while Knight stole a base. Callahan-Montague, Forman and John each drew a walk in the two games.
Wakefield scored all four of its runs in the first inning of the game at Walsh Field. The Reds, meanwhile, made things interesting in the seventh inning as they rallied for three runs. But the Merchants hung on to force a decisive game tonight.
The batting stats for Wakefield for both contests were unavailable at presstime.
If the Merchants prevail, then they will face the top-seeded Andre Chiefs in the second round the playoffs beginning on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. at Maplewood Field.