Mass Envelope did just about everything it could last night to lose the opening game of the Park League championship baseball series.
It walked 12 Conley batters. It committed four errors. It threw infield ground balls into left field.
Mass Envelope, the defending Park League champion, should have lost. It didn’t.
Third baseman Steve Di Benedetto bashed a three-run homer over the center- field fence in the bottom of the sixth inning and Mass Envelope sneaked out of Dorchester’s Casey Field with an 11-10 win. It had trailed by as many as six runs and was down, 10-6, before the five-run sixth.
“It’s just been that type of year,” said Di Benedetto, who played at Mass Bay Community College and was in the Detroit Tigers organization for two years. “We’ve gone through some fielding lapses and our pitchers have put a lot of people on base, but we always seem to pick it up in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.”
Conley designated hitter Mark Hayward hit a two-run home run to help Conley to a 4-0 first-inning lead. It scored a run in the second and three more in the fourth without getting a hit. Conley had runners on first and second with none out in the fourth when Mass Envelope pitcher Jack Munroe picked up a sacrifice-bunt try and tossed it over the third baseman’s head and down the left-field foul line. Conley led, 8-2, after four innings.
“I really still thought we’d win,” Di Benedetto said. “It’s usually a high-scoring game when we play them. We tied them, 15-15, earlier this year. We were up, 14-4, and they came back. I thought it was going to be another one of those.”
Mass Envelope scored four runs in the fifth on doubles by left fielder Chuck Mountan and first baseman Joe Glynn. Mountan hit another double in the sixth to drive in two runs and Mountan was on second and Dave De Donata on first when Di Benedetto came to bat.
Conley then brought in its third pitcher and first lefthander, John Sorich, to face the righthanded-hitting Di Benedetto.
“I thought the move then would have been to bring that righthander (John Dalton),” Mass Envelope manager Mark McHugh said. “But I guess they wanted to save him and start him tomorrow night.”
But it was Sorich who came in instead. Di Benedetto hit his third pitch into somebody’s front yard.
“I faced him two weeks ago and I hit him fairly well,” Di Benedetto said. “His pitch is the fastball. I looked for it, I saw it, I liked, I hit it well.”
Game two of the best-of-seven series is tonight at 7 at Fallon Field.
Copyright © 1983 Boston Globe, all rights reserved. Written by Jerry Zgoda.