The NEAA Senior Dodgers (19 and under) are at the halfway point of their 2012 Lou Tompkins All-Star baseball season. The Dodgers currently find themselves in 2nd place. The Dodgers are paced by an incredibly deep and talented pitching staff. Team ace Greg Bilikas and his 0.86 era is ably supported by a rotation that includes former NEAA pitchers of the year Michael Martignetti and Vincent Lopriore. The bullpen is also deep and includes DJ Wilson, KG Hammond, and Ryan Colbert. Together this staff makes it very difficult for the opposition to score runs. Backing up this pitching staff is a strong defense and an explosive offense. Leading the charge on both counts is centerfielder Bobby Mello. Mello is a spectacular outfielder with a cannon of an arm who is also leading the team in hitting with his .524 batting ave and .643 on-base percentage. Flanking Mello are Ricky Martignetti in left field and Brandon Daughtrey in rightfield. This trio brings tremendous speed to the Dodger outfield and makes it difficult for an opposing flyball to land anywhere other than in one of their gloves.
The infield has also been rock solid most of the year. With the Iudiciani brothers Nick and Frank holding down 3rd and 2nd base respectively and with Lopriore playing shortstop when he doesn’t pitch and Mike Martignetti doing the same at 1stbase the Dodger infield not only takes away runs but puts them on the board as well. Mike Martignetti batting .364 and with an on-base percentage of .588 leads the Dodgers in rbis with 11, extra base hits with 6 and walks with 12. Lopriore has an on-base percentage of .400 and has scored 7 runs while typically batting in the two hole. Nick Iudiciani is batting .348 with 7 rbi and also had a walk-off single in the Dodger’s opening game victory. His brother Frank has shaken out of an early season funk and is now moving his average up every game as he begins to hit like the Frank of old. In addition to these 4 staples in the infield PK Baez has also gotten his fair share of playing time and his been clutch as always.
Running the ship for this Dodger team continues to be All-World catcher Ryan Carvalho. Carvalho calls a masterful game behind the plate and has a very high baseball IQ enabling him to sniff out plays before they happen. Offensively he sports a .405 on-base percentage and leads the team in runs score with 12 from his customary lead-off spot in the batting order. The Dodgers are very talented and very deep. All the Dodger players have key roles in helping the team be successful. Super-sub Pat O’Donnell has twice come off the bench to pinch hit in the last inning and both times got himself on base, stole 2nd and scored the winning run. It’s that type of team effort that has propelled the Dodgers to a very nice start. They are a cinch to be in the playoffs and hope to bring the championship home to the North End.
The NEAA 12u team currently playing in the Suburban Youth Baseball league is off to a 4-2 start and sits in 2nd place in the Region 1 standings. The Team, named after coaching legend Ralph DeMarco, consists of 15 players age 11 and 12 who are playing top notch baseball throughout this summer league. The Suburban team is led by the strong pitching of JC Pezzuto, Kyle Bernardini, Fred Mosley, Colman Shea and Vincent Coppola. This quality pitching staffed is backed by some very strong defense and an explosive offense.
Leading the way on offense are DJ DiCenso and Raymond Baez. DJ’s .636 batting average leads the team and Ray is not far behind at .600. Also contributing to the team’s offensive prowess is Vincent Coppola with a .545 batting average and key hits late in the game to lead the team to victory. Perhaps the biggest story regarding this team’s offense has been the power show currently being put on by Zach Taieb. With homers in 3 of the last 4 games Zach has established himself as the primary power hitter in all of the suburban league. All three of Zach’s homeruns have been big blasts that have landed well out of the ballpark and struck fear in the opposing pitchers. On defense Joe Gulla and Owen Locke have led the way. Gulla has been very steady behind the plate helping the pitching staff to shine and Owen Locke has shown tremendous glove work at first base all year.
The North End team is very deep and never was that more evident than when Evan Frechette came off the bench in the last inning of a tied game and walked, stole 2nd and 3rd base and then scored on a squeeze to give the North End a 4-3 victory. The Suburban team is poised to make another deep run in the playoffs and hopes to bring the championship trophy back home to the North End.