Catch up on the NEAA (21 and under) Dodgers and their run in this year’s playoffs:
NEAA 21U Dodgers Finish 14-4; 2nd Seed in the Playoffs
The NEAA 21U Dodgers wrapped up their regular season with a 15-0 thrashing of Waltham and secured the 2nd seed for the upcoming playoffs. The Dodgers have been rock solid all year and their dominant pitching and air tight defense has recently been augmented by some tremendous hitting. Leading that charge has been the red-hot Mike Martignetti. Martignetti closed the regular season on a 13 for 19 tear with 5 walks sprinkled in. Also catching fire late in the season has been Vin Lopriore and Nick Iudiciani. They have joined Danny Marks and Joe Tansino who have been consistently ripping the ball all season. The Dodgers will need four victories in the playoffs if they are to secure their 2nd title in the last four years. Their road to the title won’t be easy as they meet up with a Framingham team in the first round that handed the Dodgers 2 of their 4 regular season losses. Vin Lopriore did not pitch in either of those games and he figures to get the ball to open the playoffs for the blue and white.
Lopriore Throws No-Hitter as Dodgers Crush Framingham 13-0
The NEAA 21U Dodgers opened up the playoffs in tremendous fashion by pounding Framingham 13-0 and avenging two regular season losses. The Dodgers were still smarting from dropping two to Framingham and they came out focused and hungry. Nobody was more focused than Vin Lopriore. Lopriore blazed his way to a no hitter while striking out 9 and allowing only one walk. With his dominant fastball, 12 to 6 curveball and deadfish change-up Vin had the Framingham hitters baffled all night. To back Vin’s tremendous pitching the Dodgers exploded for 13 runs on 20 hits. Leading the charge with 3 hits each were Danny Marks, Rob Pagliuca, Mike Martignetti and Vin Lopriore. Those top 4 in the Dodgers batting order combined to go 12 for 16 with 7 runs scored 6 rbi. Also chipping in with two hits each were Nicky Iudiciani, Evan Reynolds and Joe Tansino. The Dodgers put on a clinic of how baseball should be played and will advance to the quarter-finals where they will play a very tough Stoneham team. Ryan Colbert gets the ball in game two.
Dodgers Walk Off on Stoneham 6-5; Advance to Semi-Finals
In an absolutely thrilling game the NEAA 21U Dodgers rallied to score three times in the bottom of the 7th inning and stun Stoneham 6-5 advancing to the semi-finals. Ryan Colbert got the ball for the Dodgers and pitched out of a first inning jam to send the Dodgers batting in the bottom of the first in a scoreless game. With one out Rob Pagliuca reached on an error by the Stoneham shortstop. Next up Mike Martignetti pounded a ball in the gap at Pine Banks field in Melrose that one hopped out of the park for a ground ruled double. Two pitches later the ball got by the catcher and Pagliuca scored giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Neither team scored in the 2nd inning but Stoneham put up 4 runs in the 3rd inning on three walks a double and a triple to take a 4-1 lead. The Dodgers answered in the bottom of the 3rd as Danny Marks reached on an error and Rob Pagliuca singled him over to third. Mike Martignetti then drove in Marks and Nicky Iudiciani drove in Pagliuca making it a 4-3 game end of 3. In the 4th Mike Barry took a Colbert fastball out of the park and it was 5-3 Stoneham. The Dodgers had chances but it remained 5-3 until the bottom of the 7th. Danny Marks led off with a single for his 2nd hit of the game. Rob Pagliuca ripped a single to left field and it was two on with no outs and the Dodgers were in business. Mike Martignetti then hit a line drive that got over the head of the left fielder scoring Marks to make it 5-4 and putting Dodgers on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. The Stoneham team decided to intentionally walk Vin Lopriore bringing up Iudiciani with the bases loaded and no outs. Iudiciani singled to tie the game at five and bring up Joe Tansino. With the infield pulled in Tansino bounced one up the middle for the game winning hit and The Dodgers celebrated wildly on the field. Next up is a semi-final date with longtime rival the Malden Giants. The teams split their regular season games and this one promises to be great theater.
Dodgers Let One Slip Away; Drop a 4-2 Decision to Malden
The NEAA 21U Dodgers were eliminated from the playoffs in the semi-finals dropping a heartbreaking 4-2 decision to the Malden Giants. With a match-up of Vin Lopriore vs Jovan Henriquez this game promised to be a low scoring, high intensity battle. The game did not disappoint. The Dodgers struck first in the bottom of the first as Rob Pagliuca singled, stole second and was driven home on a single by Vin Lopriore giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Malden answer quickly when Mederano singled, went to third on a single by Hector Castillo and scored the tying run on an errant pick-off throw. The Dodgers took the lead back in the bottom of the third when Jack Ditomassi walked, went to second on a wild pitch and came home on a clutch two out double by Mike Martignetti to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead after three innings. That was the way the game went until the 7th inning. Both Vin and Jovan found their rhythm and were putting up zeros for innings 4,5 and 6. The Dodgers took the field in the top of the 7th three outs from getting back to the finals. After the Dodgers got two quick outs they were one out away from victory. Malden leadoff hitter Ricky Mendez worked a walk with two outs to keep Malden’s hopes alive. Malden’s #2 hitter Censullo then hit a grounder to short that the Dodger’s shortstop couldn’t handle putting two on with two out for the powerful Malden three hitter Jonathan Vilmont. On a 1-2 pitch Vilmont got hold of a change up and knocked it clear over the 340 foot marker giving Malden an improbable 4-2 victory and cutting the Dodger’s season tragically short.
The Dodger’s were extremely disappointed but can take solace in another outstanding season and representing the North End with class both on and off the field.
“We will reload and we will be back next year” said coach Ralph Martignetti. The Dodgers lose 4 longtime staples as they will be too old next year for 21U. Gone will be Ryan Carvalho, Bobby Mello, Pat O’Donnell and longtime Dodger captain Mike Martignetti. They will be missed.