By Bruce Hack, ICL correspondent
The Boston Park League All-Stars won its first ever EMABC game with a 2-1 victory over the host Intercity League in the opening game of the 2019 Eastern Mass Amateur Baseball Classic.
On a beautiful day for baseball, one that would have Ernie Banks happy, the Park League won its first ever game in the eighth year of the Classic and did so in historic fashion. The Park League lost the championship game 5-4 to the Yawkey League later in the day.
The opening game was scoreless through the first four and a half innings until the ICL scored a run in the bottom of the fifth.
Teddy Dziuba (Alibrandis) started off the rally with a walk. Wakefield’s Jon Luders went into run for Dziuba. A single by Bobby Losanno (Wakefield) put runners on first and second with no outs. Until Dzuibas’ walk, Park League pitchers had retired 11 straight ICL batters from the first through fourth innings.
Andrew Caulfield (Chiefs) popped up a bunt attempt for the first out. Lexington’s Josue Feliciano reached on a fielder’s choice, but shortstop Jhonny Felix (Boston Padres) errant throw allowed Luders to score for a 1-0 lead.
The Park League responded in the top of the sixth. Maynel Fuentes (Boston Padres) and Jose Toledano (Palmer Club) reached on singles off of the Merchants’ James McNamara to begin the inning. After a fly out, Joe Stackhouse (Mass Envelope) reached on a bunt single that hugged the third base line and just stayed fair, to load the bases. Jorge Geronimo (Boston Padres) hit a slow roller towards McNamara, who scooped the ball and threw home in one motion, but his throw was late and Fuentes slid home to tie the game at 1-1. Tim Noone (TJO Sports) hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring home Toledano with the go-ahead run for a 2-1 lead.
Nick Cordapatri (Palmer Club) and Bobby Tramondozzi ((ADSL), and also the closer the UMass-Boston, a NCAA Division 3 World Series team, set down the ICL in the final two innings. Lexington’s Ross Curley doubled with one out in the sixth, but was stranded at third. Tramondozzi pitched a 1-2-3 7th for the save and the Park League had its first win.
The game was the lowest scoring game in Classic history and had the fewest runs scored by a winning team. The previous lowest score was a pair of four run games. A 4-0 win by the Cranberry League over the Yawkey League in the 2014 championship game. The other four run game was a 3-1 Cranberry victory over the Yawkies in a 2016 first round game played at Morelli Field in Melrose. In three games the winning team had scored three runs. The previous mentioned Cranberry League win. Also a pair of 3-2 wins. The first in 2013 by the Cranberry League over the Park League and the second an ICL victory over the Yawkey League in 2018.
Despite giving up the only ICL run, Garrett Siegell (Boston Athletics) earned the win for the Park League. The Merchants McNamara took the loss for the ICL.
The Park League pitchers held the ICL to two hits. Losanno’s single in the fifth and Curley’s double in the sixth. The two hits is the fewest by a team, breaking the previous low of four hits by the Yawkey League in a 2016 game against the Cranberry League.
In the second game of the day the Yawkey scored six runs in the sixth and seventh innings to win 7-4 over the Cranberry League.
The Yawkey’s took advantage of wild pitching from the Cranberries as they walked five and hit three Yawkey batters in the final two innings. Liam Moreno (Brighton Braves) doubled to score Colin Rooney (Al Thomas A’s) and give the Yawkey League the 5-4 lead. Raul Martinez (East Boston Knights) earned the win with two solid innings of work. He struck out five, including the last four Cranberry batters he faced.
Plymouth Brewer Mitch Lundholm drove in two runs, the first and third, for the Cranberry League and scored the fourth run.
The Yawkey League was powered to the championship in a 5-4 win over the Park League as Liam Moreno hit a Classic-game record two home runs and drove in all five runs, also a record, to give the Yawkey League its third EMABC title. Moreno hit a three-run shot to center in the second for a 3-1 Yawkey lead. He added a two-run blast to left center in the sixth for a 5-1 lead. His two-run home run was big as the Park League rallied for three runs in the seventh only to fall short.
Jhonny Felix singled to start off the seventh. After two Park League batters reach on errors, Kyle Boudrais (ADSL) drove in both runners with a single to center to cut the lead to 5-4. Garrett Siegell (Boston Athletics) pinch ran for Boudrais, but was stranded at first as Eric Mah flied out to Moreno in center for the last out of the day and securing the championship for the Yawkey League.
Moreno was named MVP of the tournament for his record –setting day.