Little League Report
NEAA Dodgers Post 14-4 Record
The NEAA 21U Dodgers wrapped up their regular season with a 15-0 thrashing of Waltham and secured the 2nd seed for the 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 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 joined Danny Marks and Joe Tansino who have been consistently ripping the ball all season.
The Dodgers needed four victories in the playoffs to secure their 2nd title in the last four years. Their road to the title wasn’t easy as they were eliminated in the playoffs.
Lopriore Hurls Playoff No-Hitter
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. He 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. Backing 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. The 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.
North End/North Adams 25th Anniversary Baseball Series
The 25th Annual La Festa Exchange took place over the last two weekends. The NEAA Dodgers 15u team travelled to North Adams Massachusetts to take on the North Adams 15u All-Stars for a two game series.
The following weekend North Adams travelled to the North End and two games were played at Puopolo Park during North End Pride Sunday.
The four games were battles with each team having great pitching, solid defense and timely hitting. North Adams got the better of the Dodgers when they were on their home turf. After the two game set a MVP from each team was selected. The North End MVP was Kyle Bernardini who went 5 for 7 at the plate and also threw 5 innings in game two while letting up only 2 earned runs.
Evan Reynolds also had a big weekend in North Adams crushing the ball and making fine plays behind the plate.
Coaches Ricky Martignetti and Dom DiCenso did a great job of keeping their team focused in the 90 degree heat and ensuring that good sportsmanship was the rule of the weekend.
The second weekend was played at Puopolo Park and once again there was two great games.
In game one, North Adams pushed across two runs in the 7th to pick up a 3-1 victory. JC Pezzuto threw three strong innings for the North End and Nico Alex and DJ Dicenso had big hits.
In game two, Colman Shea went the distance throwing 7 sparkling innings and picking off the tying run at third base to end the game and give the North End a 5-4 victory.
Nico Alex, Vincent Coppola, Richard Pagliuca and DJ Dicenso all had big hits to help the North End get their 5 runs. Jake Valeri made a couple of fine catches in left field to snuff out North Adams rallies and Kyle Bernardini was rock solid at 3rd all game.
Once again the coaching staff was at the top of their game helping to give the Dodgers the best chance at a victory.
The 26th year of the La Festa Exchange will take place in 2016 at the end of July and the beginning of August.
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.
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 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.
NEAA Dodgers defeat Japanese team 4-1
The NEAA Dodgers team of 13-15 year old boys faced a team of elite Japanese youth in the Boston Red Sox Foundation’s Annual Japan-Boston Baseball Exchange.
The day began at Puopolo Park with a baseball clinic conducted by members of the Boston Parks League for both teams.
The clinic was followed by the annual Japan-North End Game, coached this year by Ricky Martignetti and Frank Iudiciani, with the following players on the North End Dodgers Team: Kyle Bernardini, DJ DiCenso, Jake Valeri, Francis Shea, Teto Santaniello, Jack Flynn, Colman Shea, Evan Reynolds, Evan Frechette, Richard Pagliuca and Nick Shea.
This series is now in it’s 7th year and the Japan team is known for perennially “manufacturing” their runs from stealing bases, bunting, etc.
However, having played Japan many times, the Dodgers were ready for this.
Catcher Jake Valeri threw out a couple of Japan players attempting to steal third base, and forced a rundown between third and home, in which a Japan player was tagged out. These were rally killing plays for the Japan team that limited their offense to one run scored.
In the meantime, the Dodgers took a page from the Japan book and stole and bunted their way to four runs.
The Dodgers pitching did the rest as Richard Pagliucca, Teto Santaniello, and Kyle Bernardini refused to let Japan rally. The Dodgers won the game by a score of 4 to 1, with the game-winning run scored by Richard Pagliucca on a Kyle Bernardini hit.
Following the game, the entire Japanese boys team (and Dodgers players) took their annual plunge in the Mirabella Pool. The Japanese boys played several other Boston area teams during their visit, but the Mirabella Pool “dip” is an event that is exclusive to the Japan-North End game!
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. 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. Martignetti drove in Marks and Nicky Iudiciani drove in Pagliuca making it a 4-3.
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.
Marks led off with a single for his 2nd hit of the game. Pagliuca ripped a single to left field and it was two on with no outs and the Dodgers were in business. Martignetti 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.
2015 NEAA soccer registration
By John Romano
It is time to think Soccer. The North End Athletic Association (NEAA) has been working on a new soccer format for 2015 and hopes it will make the experience a little better. We are still keeping the same age format, 4 & 5 year olds, 6 to 8 year olds and 9 to 12 year olds. It is a 10 week commitment on Saturdays starting September 12th. We have 3 age groups: Ages: 4/5,(9:15am) 6 to 8, (10:30am) and 9 to 12 (11:45am). We are going to play on the big field at Puopolo Park. We will use the side near the basketball court.
This year Jason Boucher, Juan Gali and David Serpa will be organizing and running the program with me. We will be expanding to 10 weeks, with the first week being only practice, giving out uniforms and getting to know the coaches.
We have put together a format where all teams in all age groups will have a series of drills. Each of the remaining 9 weeks will practice. Then we will have game time like we have been doing the past years. We will increase the game time after a few weeks but drills will continue.
We will still keep the same informal, fun and enjoyable atmosphere that you all have enjoyed over the last several years – that will not change. We are all about the kids having fun but want to add a little structure to help them learn a little more about the game.
There will be 4 teams in the 4/5 year old division, 6 teams in the 6 to 8 year old division and 4 teams in the 9 to 12 year old division. All teams are boys and girls.
Registration fee has increased to $45. If this presents a hardship to any one, please let me know directly. The NEAA will never deny a child from playing due to an inability to pay.
Registration will open on August 14th at neaabaseball.org, just click on soccer registration. You will get a return e-mail saying we received your registration and where to mail payment. If you do not get this return e-mail then your registration did not take so please try it again.
The first two weeks of registration will be restricted to North End Residents, returning soccer players from last year and any siblings of those returning players! On September 1st, if we have room, we will open it up to others. We will be limiting the number of players per team to 12.
We are in need of a couple coaches and assistant coaches in each age group, if you are interested in coaching please contact me directly. Your child will be assigned to your team.
We are looking forward to a great season and expect it to be a lot of fun.