This Week in the North End Athletic Association Baseball

NEAA 21U Dodgers Open Season With a Victory

The NEAA 21U Dodgers opened their Lou Tompkins All-Star Baseball season with a stirring 2-1 victory over the South End Astros. The Dodgers opened their season with ace Vincent Lopriore on the mound. He faced off against Astro ace Rivera. The two were dominant throughout the game. Lopriore went 5 strong innings striking out 11 and walking none. He let up two infield singles and one unearned run in his time on the mound. Despite that performance the Dodgers were trailing 1-0 when they batted in the bottom of the 7th inning. In the 7th Jack Ditomassi reached on an error to begin the inning. He was singled to 2nd by Danny Marks setting up the Dodgers with 1st and 2ndand nobody out. Angel Colon then executed a perfect sacrifice bunt and the Dodgers were in business with 2nd and 3rd and one out. Vincent Coppola tied the game at 1 with a sacrifice fly to left field. Lopriore then had the chance to be a hero and he won it for the Dodgers with a two out single to left scoring Marks and giving the Dodgers a 2-1 victory. Rivera was a tough luck loser going 6 2/3rd innings and allowing only 6 hits. Until the 7thinning the Dodgers offense came from Mike Martignetti who was 2 for 3 with 2 singles and Brett McAllister who was 2 for 3 with 2 singles. Brian Burke relived Lopriore to start the 6th inning and held the Astros scoreless while striking out 4 to help set the stage for the Dodger comeback.

Indians Sweep Cardinals; Advance to Finals

In an offense-heavy battle on a gorgeous baseball night at Langone Field, the Indians were able to edge the Cardinals in Game 2 of their playoff series to punch their ticket to the Finals.  With timely hitting, patience at the plate leading to walks, and smartly taking advantage of a few Indians’ defensive miscues, the Cards plated 11 runs, scoring in every inning except the second.  Their pitching was anchored by Nico LaColla, who threw 3 innings, striking out 6 and giving up just 4 hits.  The Indians jumped to an early lead with 7 runs in each of the first 2 innings, but then were held to only 7 runs over the next 4 innings.  Indian starter Charlie Griffin added 9 strikeouts in 3 innings to his season total.  The 21 – 10 final score doesn’t accurately reflect the closeness of this slugfest given the Cardinals proven ability to score runs in bunches.  Even when they were down to their last out in the bottom of the sixth, the Cards scored a run and had the bases loaded, threatening another signature comeback.  This one time, though, they fell short, and the Indians were relieved to have escaped with their playoff lives to advance on to the Finals.

Indians Take Game 1

The Indians hung on for the ride against the never-say-die Cardinals in Game 1 of their playoff series.  Under cloudy skies threatening rain all evening, and with tall ships in the Harbor looking on, the Indians were stymied in the first inning by the oppressive pitching of starter Nico LaColla, getting just a single run.  They then opened up what some thought to be an insurmountable lead over the next 2 innings with an additional 10 runs.  This behind strong outings from Indians pitchers Charlie Griffin and Liam Riley who combined for 8 strikeouts over the first 4 innings holding the dangerous Cards hitters to only 2 runs through 4.  But solid relief pitching from Cardinal pitchers Eamon Vraibel and Francesca Ribino, who faced only 10 batters over 2 innings and gave up no runs, changed the tone of the game. This defensive Cardinals buzzsaw was joined by an awakening of the Cards’ bats in the last 3 innings, much to the delight of the capacity crowd.  After being behind 11-0 when the bottom of the 4th began, the Cards got 2 in the 4th, added 3 in the top of the 5th and then loaded the bases with no outs to begin the top of the 6th before Charlie Griffin was brought in in relief. Two strikeouts and a walk and run later, the Cardinals had pulled within 5 runs with Colm Vraibel stepping to the plate with the bases loaded and 2 outs.  He electrified the crowd by smashing his second homerun of the game, this one a Grand Slam, that sailed over the left center fence.  Following the Slam, the next two batters drew walks to put the tying run in scoring position.  Relief finally came for the Indians when Charlie recorded his 3rd strikeout of the inning to get the save.  Game 2 promises to be a sequel not to be missed!