Sports 09-04-2018

NEAA concludes successful 2018 baseball season

By Ralph Martignetti

2018 was a summer of extreme heat and dry weather followed by a summer of non-stop rain. Neither condition is ideal to run a baseball league in but the NEAA pulled off another successful season. The 4 year old clinic headed by Carl Hall fought through some tough weather to deliver our 4 year olds a fun and memorable springtime of baseball.

The 5 year old t-ball league, under the direction of Stevie Siciliano, also delivered a springtime of fun baseball learning to our community. The 6-7 year old minor league had their season of games and smiles and with coaches Sean O’Connor running the Tin Cans, Steve Siciliano and Charlie Kim steering the Muckdogs and Brad & Brittany Fogel driving the Mudcats. The 8-9 year old junior league had a great season with Rick Martignetti teaching the Cardinals, Robert DelloRusso taming the Tigers and Greg & Amy Ellrodt leading the Indians. The junior league culminated with an All-Star game against a 9 year old team from SouthBerwick Maine. That game was a thriller with the North End walking off with a 12-11 victory to wrap up the season of play. In our 10-12 year old Major League the Cubs with coaches Joe Bova and Ryan Kenny took home the championship defeating a talented Tiger squad led by Chris Wells, Jon Larson and John Pezzuto. The Indians led by Mike Martignetti and John Pregmon also turned in a stellar season.

After the major season was over the NEAA entered a 12u team in the Boston City League and took home the championship to cap the summer in style.

There was also our first ever girls softball program. Chuck Bilikas, Janine Martignetti and Carl Hall along with other coached up a roster of 22 young ladies on the fine art of women’s softball. The girls had a great time and loved all the learning. We are hoping for even more girls next year and a chance to travel and play teams from other communities.

The NEAA old boys Dodgers Program also had a great summer. The 15u Dodgers led by Mike Martignetti and Ryan Carvalho went to the finals of the RBI league before succumbing to an undefeated Angels team by scores of 4-3 and 3-0 in the finals. Those same Dodgers also made their annual pilgrimage up to North Adams to play in the 100th game of the LaFesta Exchange. The boys made it a memorable milestone with a 6-4 9 inning victory. Joe Bova and Evan DeLillio were named co-MVPS.

The 21u Dodgers made their annual tour of Massachusetts and finally got eliminated in the final four of the Lou Tompkins All-Star baseball league. Coached by Dom DiCenso and Robert Pantaleo the Dodgers were hit with a slew of injuries but kept fighting back until eventual champions Lynnfield brought their season to an end.

Overall it was a great year of baseball. We look forward to our new fields in 2019 and more fun baseball.

NEAA participants attend Red Sox game

By Phil Orlandella

Over 60 North End Athletic Association (NEAA) players and their families recently attended a Red Sox game versus the Cleveland Indians on August 21.

“It was an awesome night with the temperatures in the low 70s and not very muggy,” Baseball Coordinator John Romano said. “Unfortunately, the Sox lost 6-3.”

Despite the loss, “The kids and their families from the NEAA had a fantastic time and enjoyed all of the atmosphere that goes with visiting historic Fenway Park,” Romano added.

This was the fourth game the NEAA brought players and families to, totaling close to 175 for the year.

“We (NEAA) are looking forward to visiting the Celtics and Bruins at TD Garden in the fall,” Romano noted.

Rain limits LaFesta Baseball Exchange to one game against North Adams

By Phil Orlandella

Weather conditions, rain, rain and more rain caused the cancellation of three of the four games of the home baseball series between the North End Dodgers and North Adams.

The first of two games at North Adams was rained out, forcing the teams to play a nine-inning game on Sunday.

A weekend series at Puopolo Park in the North End was also canceled due to what else, rain.

In order to prevent additional rainouts, the North End Athletic Association (NEAA) supported a city plan to install artificial turf on Puopolo Park.

The 100th game of the season was played at North Adams with the Dodges winning a close 6-4 game.

Aware of the significance the of the game, coaches Mike Martignetti and Ryan Carvalho put together the best 15 and under team possible, loaded the van and headed to North Adams.

Joe Bova singled in the first inning but the Dodgers were held scoreless.

Evan DeLillo took the hill for the Dodgers and appeared to be locked and loaded from the first pitch, giving up only a single. In the second and third innings he put up two more zeros.

In the fourth, the Dodgers took a 1-0 lead. Logan Jalbert singled and raced home on a double by Bova. Ian Gallagher singled home Bova for a 2-0 lead. DeLillo walked and Cam Conway singled in both runners. 4-0 Dodges.

North Adams fought back in their half of the fourth inning loading the bases but with two outs DeLillo -induced a third out round ball.

The Dodges failed to score in the fifth and North Adams broke through scoring a run in their half of the inning cutting the lead to three runs.

Coach Martignetti replaced DeLillo on the mound with Bova in the sixth. He tossed a scoreless sixth and seventh inning, striking out four of the six batters he faced.

The Dodges remained scoreless going into the eighth inning when they patted to their lead. Matt Mendoza singled, stole second and third and scored on a wild pitch giving the Dodges a 5-1 lead.

North Adams scored three times in the ending making it 5-4 with one inning to play.

The Dodges scored an insurance run in the nine with back-to-back walks to JP Giorgio and Dan Toscano. Bova singled scoring the sixth Dodger run.

Anthony Lemole took the mound in the bottom of the ninth and sat North Adams down 1, 2, 3 clinching the victory.

Rainouts did not stop the fun for the North End Dodgers

By Phil Orlandella

After an exciting 6-4 win over North Adams on the road, the North End Dodgers returned home for a weekend series at Puopolo Park as part of the North End Against Drugs Family Pride Day schedule.

Unfortunately, rain canceled both games of the La Festa Baseball Exchange baseball series.

NEAD was not going to let the rain stop them from providing a fun filled weekend for both teams.

Obviously, lunch at the Mirabella Pool concession was not possible but a call to Gary Forziati owner of Mangia, Mangia developed into a great place for the players who have lunch, chicken parm subs.

Next, the teams ventured to the movie theatre in Revere where they viewed MEG.

Following the movie, the group headed to the Nazzaro Community Center for a basketball showdown. Center’s acting Director Laurie D’Elia made the gym available on short notice. The teams packed up their gloves and cleats and put on their sneakers and played several games of round ball.

Councilor Lydia Edwards visited the gym and presented a citation to George Canales and his family from North Adams commemorating the 100th game of the exchange and their generosity and hospitality to the youth of the North End over the past 28 years.

Senator Joe Boncore and Representative Aaron Michlewitz were unable to attend but sent citations to the Canales family.

Once the rain stopped and after dinner the group from out west enjoyed the Feast of Madonna Della Cava before heading back to their hotel.

Sunday morning brought more rain so the group headed to Mangia, Mangia again, this time for breakfast. Forziarti opened the eatery on his day off and Joe Blazo with help from John Pagliuca (former owner) handled the cooking.

Several medals were presented to each player and coaches by NEAD President John Romano.

Special acknowledgment was giving to NEAA Baseball Commissioner Ralph Martignetti and his family for their hard work to ensure the youth of the North End have a great baseball program each year.

Tab “Despite the rain, the spirits of the group and the purpose of NEAD, the Family Fun Festival was not dampened, not even a little,” Romano said. “It’s All About Family and what a family we have both in the North End and way out west in North Adams.