The NEAA entrant into the Suburban Youth Baseball League got off to a strong start with a rousing 4-3 victory over Braintree America.
The team of 11-12 year old All Stars sponsored by the family of Ralph DeMarco rallied and scored two runs in the bottom of the 6th inning to walk off with the win. The North End started ace J.C. Pezzuto and he was up to the challenge throwing 3 no-hit innings and shutting out last year’s finals runner up. Pezzuto mowed down the Braintree team with an array of blazing fastballs and diving change-ups. Unfortunately for Team Ralph DeMarco the Braintree pitcher was also up to the task shutting out the North End team thru the first 3 innings as well. In the top of the 4th the Braintree America team broke through with three runs benefiting from 3 walks and a two run single. Colman Shea came on to snuff out the rally.
The North End answered in the bottom of the 4th when Ray Baez singled, Jase Cherchi reached on a fielder’s choice and DJ DiCenso drove them both home with his 2nd hit of the game. After 4 innings it was 3-2 Braintree. Shea set down Braintree 1-2-3 in the 5th with two strikeouts but the North End team failed to score in their half of the 5th despite back-to-back singles from Shea and Pezzuto. Shea took care of Braintree in the top of the 6th and the game went to the bottom of the last inning with the North End trailing by one run. With one out Ray Baez reached on an error by the Braintree 2nd basemen. Ray stole 2nd base and then Jase walked giving the North End 1st and 2nd with one out. Up stepped DJ DiCenso who was two for two and had driven in the North End runs. The Braintree pitcher was obviously being careful with DJ and he walked to load the bases. With bases loaded and one out Vincent Coppola had a chance to be the hero. Vince took full advantage as he hit a hot smash to 2nd base. The Braintree 2nd basemen bobbled the ball and tried to outrace Vince to the 1st base bag. Although he beat Vince to the bag for the 2nd out of the inning Ray scored from 3rd to tie and game and Jase running hard the whole way scored from 2nd to give the North End a walk off 4-3 victory.
Coach Dom DiCenso was very pleased with the boys efforts saying, “We made some mistakes early but we battled back and never quit and were rewarded with a hard fought victory.”
More on NEAA at www.NEAABaseball.org.