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Reading Bulldogs vs. Arlington Trojans 5/28/14 @ Endicott College
Arlington (7) – Reensterna 5-2, Cunningham 2-0, Lenane 3-2, Csaplar 4-1, Brown 4-1, Pizzaro 4-2, Cooney 3-1, Chaput 3-0, McDonald 4-0
Reading (1) – Deady 3-1, Santos 3-0, Hartwell 3-2, Taylor 3-1, Cataldo 3-0, Haser 3-0, Halsey 3-1, Lucas 2-0, O’Leary 2-0
Arlington 070 000 0 7
Reading 000 100 0 1
Doubles – Taylor
The Bulldogs were looking for a strong start to the season with their home opener against the Arlington Trojans on Wednesday but fell short in their first contest of the 2014 season at a cold and damp Endicott College.
It was the tale of a single inning that led to the Bulldogs first loss, giving up all seven Trojan runs in the top of the 2nd inning, which was more than enough support with Arlington's ace Brian Chaput on the mound.
The Bulldogs starting pitcher Sean Boyle had a quick 1st inning compiling two strikeouts, however a string of singles, walks, hit batters and fielding errors led to a forgetful 2nd inning. The Trojans managed to score 7 runs, 6 earned, and forced Boyle out of the game.
Jack Burke got the Bulldogs out of the inning with a quick groundball and held off the Trojans for the next three innings giving up just two hits, no runs, and compiling three strikeouts.
Any hopes of a Reading rally appeared remote with the hard throwing lefty Chaput on the mound. On the evening Chaput struck out 11 while not issuing a walk and scattering five hits.
The Bulldogs did manage to turn out one run in the 4th inning when Mike Taylor dropped a double into the gap in right center field plating Darren Hartwell for Reading’s lone run.
Nick Boutores came in for relief in the 6th inning and recorded two promising 1-2-3 innings to finish a strong effort from the Bulldogs bullpen.
Reading Bulldogs vs. Melrose Americans 6/3/14 @ Endicott College
Melrose (6) – Perry 3-2, Wilson 3-1, Addesa 3-0, Jennings 4-0, Galante 3-1, Smeglin 2-1, Anderson 1-0, Brown 3-0, Carney 3-0, Scifa 2-0, Totals 28-5
Reading (3) – Hartwell 3-1, Wolfsberg 3-1, Smoske 4-1, Taylor 4-1, Deady 3-1, Bouvier 3-0, Halsey 3-1, Cataldo 2-0, Haser 1-0, Santos 2-1, Totals 28-7
Melrose 050 100 0 -6
Reading 001 010 1 -3
Doubles – Taylor, Hartwell
The Bulldogs were their own worst enemy again allowing five runs on a series of free passes and errors in the decisive second inning, in a veritable replay of their opening game last week.
The runs held up the rest of the way and Reading fell to the Americans 6-3 on a crystal clear night at Endicott College.
Fireballing Bulldog original Brian O'Neil had what could be considered his prototypical inning in the first by striking out the side, while allowing two walks and throwing 26 pitches.
In the second the pattern continued with two walks and a strikeout in the first four batters but mixed in with that was a critical infield error that loaded the bases . Devin Perry followed with an rbi single and then the key blow of the game was struck by Greg Wilson.
Wilson laced a line drive to the left-center gap that bounded by the converging outfielders for a three run triple, Wilson then scampered home after a throw to the plate sailed wide for the innings second error and second unearned run.
Facing another early large deficit in a wood bat league, where runs can be at a premium, the Bulldogs started to put together a comeback with three straight hits in the third.
Darren Hartwell had a lead-off double followed by a Harrison Smoske rbi single making the score 5-1, but they stranded two runners when Mike Taylor skied out deep to centerfield.
Solid relief pitching by Nick Boutoures and Jack Burke shut out the Americans over the final four innings , giving the relief duo 9 scoreless innings to start the season however the offense could not generate much of anything the rest of the way with just three singles after the third inning.
Reading vs. Andre Chiefs 8-16-13 at Maplewood Field (Game Three)
Reading (3)– Catado 4-1, Oringer 3-1, Talis 2-0, Taylor 3-2, Padovani 2-1, Sitarz 2-0, Levine 1-0, Wolfsberg 1-0, Crehan 3-0, Z, Conti 2-0, N. Conti 1-1 Totals 24-6
Andre Chiefs (9) Serino 3-2, Yanacopulos 2-2, Portes 4-2, Copa 3-1, Witkowski 3-1, Barbati 4-1, Andre 4-1, Mi. DiCato 3-0, Boleski 3-2 Totals 31-12
Reading 200 001 0 -3
Andre 130 050 x -9
Doubles: Portes, Andre
Home Run: Taylor
WP- Ma. DiCato LP- Church
Wrap: By Jeff Pierce Daily Times Chronicle
The Bulldogs season ended on Friday at the hands of the Andre Chiefs 9-3, in a three game semi-final series sweep. The Bulldogs entered the post season down to three starting pitchers, including veteran ace Nick Kelley, and with only two other healthy relievers it was a tall task for the Bulldogs to take on in the game every night format. But despite the air of inevitability surrounding the team's semi-final exit there was still a cloud of disappointment after the game on what could have been. " I told the guys that this game can humble you" said Matt Morrison, " we were riding high through up to the final two weeks then things turned around on us". Reading came out of the box strong for the second straight night taking a 2-0 lead in the first on Mike Taylor's two run single. But as was the case the prior game the Chiefs limited the damage in an inning that looked like it could be much more and it seemed to take a little life out of the offense. Andre cut the lead in half in their next at-bat then as they did the night before posted a demoralizing crooked number on the Bulldogs with a series of unlucky plays. A leadoff blooper landed between the mound and the second baseman who was playing deep on the speedy turf for the left handed batter. Three walks followed, two of them occurred after Kevin Church had appeared to record a strikeout but the umpire disagreed. A Juan Portes single then brought in the fourth and what turned out to be the winning run. The game was still in the balance through the middle innings but the Chief defense which was strong all series flagged several squared up baseballs to the outfield and second baseman Mike Barbati started two double plays, in a series in which he stood out both offensively and defensively. The Bulldogs had one final highlight for the season came when power hitting lefty Taylor hit a 400 ft home run to right field. For Taylor who regularly puts on a pregame batting practice power display it was his fourth home run in his two career putting him on top of the Bulldog all-time list. As the defending champion Chiefs move to their third straight league final the Bulldogs fail to get over the hump that they came so close to two years ago in the epic five game Blue Sox showdown. "The pitching and defense were lights out for three quarters of the season. But In the end those were the two areas that killed us (4-9 to end the season), it put us in too big of a hole in most all of our later season losses" noted Morrison. For Bulldog owner John Halsey it was an enjoyable summer nonetheless. "This is the best talent we have had here in the four years and the chemistry was outstanding. This is as much fun I have had in the game of baseball as an adult, yet we still have not put ourselves in the class of the elite teams yet. The organization is still driven to get to the pinnacle and we will get right back at that task in the off-season".
Reading vs. Andre Chiefs 8-14-13 at Maplewood Field (Game One)
Reading (0)– Bounopane 2-1, Oringer 2-0, Cataldo 1-0, Talis 2-0, Wolfsberg 1-0, Taylor 3-0, N. Conti 2-0, Sitarz 2-0, Bingel 2-0, Padovani 2-1, Halsey 2-0 Totals 21-2
Andre Chiefs (9) Serino 3-1, Deshler 3-1, Portes 2-0, Copa 4-2, Andre 4-3, Witkowski 3-0, Boleski 1-0, Yanacopoulos 2-0, Barbati 3-2, Leva 1-1 26-10
Reading 000 000 0 -0
Andre 104 004 x -9
Home Run: Copa
WP- Freni LP- Boutoures
Wrap: By Jeff Pierce Daily Times Chronicle
The Bulldogs went down hard 9-0 to the defending champion Andre Chiefs in the semi final series opening game at quirky Maplewood Field. The Chiefs started Jared Freni who was 10-0 on the season and has allowed just five runs all season. When the Chiefs scored an early run on a bad hop triple in the first that single run more times than not is enough runs for Freni to work with. The Chiefs Pete Copa made sure the Bulldogs would not even have a glimmer of a hope for an upset when he pounded a grand slam in the third. Meanwhile the Bulldogs leadoff hitter Tommy Bounopane had a leadoff single to start the game and he turned out to be one of only two base runners on the night for Reading. Freni ended up pitching to only one batter over the minimum while striking out twelve and not walking a batter. Freni's three game pitching line versus Reading to date is 21 innings pitched 8 hits no runs 33 strikeouts and no base on balls. The Bulldogs hope to turn things around on Thursday at Endicott College in game two.