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By Bruce Hack
Lexington,. MA – Blue Sox starter Robbie Cobb made his first start for Lexington a memorable one as he pitched Lexington into the finals with a 7-1 win over the Chiefs Sunday night.
Cobb, a former Nichols College pitcher, set down the first six Chiefs on 13 pitches. He retired 11 of the first 13 batters he faced through the fourth. In the third and fourth innings he was helped out by his defense. Lexington center fielder Dom Zaher, brought the third inning to a close with a Sports Center Top Ten Plays worthy catch. Zaher raced to his right and after a long run made a diving catch. In the fourth Zaher again flashed the leather making a running catch coming in for the first out of the inning. With one out and Nick Valdario on first Brendan Jones ended the fourth by turning a double play.
Meanwhile the Lexington offense finally got into high gear after two games. In the first two games of the series the Blue Sox had scored eight runs on eight hits. Tonight they scored seven runs on 13 hits, all singles.
For the third straight game the Blue Sox scored in the first inning and quickly took a 1-0 lead. With one out Gage Gaunt reached second on a throwing error. Luke Hall delivered a single up the middle and Gaunt easily scored the first run.
Lexington added two more runs in the third. Alex Voitik and Dahiandy Johnson each had two-out RBI singles that drove in Josue Feliciano (fielder’s choice) and Gaunt (single).
The Chiefs scored their lone run in the fifth. Adam Johnson singled and went to second on a throwing error. After taking third on an infield out Johnson scored on Joe Bova’s ground out to first. Kyle DeRoma walked and that brought an end to Cobb’s night. Borja Jones-Berasaluce came in and finished the inning with a strikeout.
In getting his first playoff win, Cobb pitched 4.2 innings, giving up 2 hits, an unearned run, walked two and struck out two.
Adding two runs in the fifth and sixth innings the Blue Sox took a 7-1 lead going into the seventh.
Lexington closer Manny Delcarmen pitched the seventh and quickly brought the game to an end as he struck out the side.
Chiefs starter Tim Dunphy, in his second start of the playoffs, pitched 5+ innings giving up 11 hits, 6 runs, 3 earned, walked one and struck out one.
Johnson drove in three runs for Lexington on run-producing singles in the third and fifth innings. At the top of the order Feliciano and Gaunt each scored two runs with Gaunt adding an RBI. Voitik and Zaher each scored and drove in a run. All nine Lexington starters had at least one hit, with four of them, Johnson, Alex Krylov, Jones and Zaher each getting two.
Lexington will be making its 14th consecutive appearance in the finals. All of the games will be played at Melrose’s Morelli Field with 7:45 start times. The action can all be watched on You Tube at Beyond Sight Sports.
First game of the Championship Round is Tuesday, August 17.
By Bruce Hack
Malden, MA– Ryan Noone raced around third toward home plate and a 6-5 win for the Chiefs Friday night at Maplewood (Malden Catholic) to knot the semifinal series with the Lexington Blue Sox at 1-1.
Game three will be Sunday night in Lexington at 8:00 PM.
Lead off hitter Miles Reid started the rally by reaching on a throwing error. Tommy Leone sacrificed Reid to second placing the tying run in scoring position. Noone went the other way and slapped a base hit to left to drive in Reid to even the game at 5-5. An Andrew Caulfield single, his third hit of the game, moved Noone into scoring position and setting up the winning play.
There were only three innings in which runs were scored as the teams scored in the first, fifth and seventh innings. Each time Lexington scored the Chiefs answered.
The Blue Sox scored in the top of first. Gage Gaunt reached on a fielder’s choice. After the second out he went to third on a single by Julian Alvarez. Alex Voitik’s single to left brought home Gaunt for a 1-0 lead.
Reid started off the bottom of the first with a single. He moved to second on a walk to Nate Witkowski. Following the first out, Caulfield singled and Reid scored on a throwing error.
In the fifth inning the teams exchanged three run home runs. Alvarez gave Lexington a 4-1 lead with a two-out three run blast that scored Josue Feliciano and Luke Hall. Caulfield answered with his own two-out three run home run which knotted the score at 4-4. Reid and Noone were aboard and scored ahead of Caulfield.
Lexington took the lead for the third time in the top of seventh. Gaunt doubled to left with one out to start the rally. Hall bounced what appeared to be a routine ground out only to see the throw sail over the first baseman and allow Gaunt to score for a 5-4 lead.
Jonathan Richard (1-0) started for the Chiefs and went the distance, the fourth complete game for the Chiefs in the playoffs. He gave up only four hits, but walked six of which only one scored, and struck out seven in his 124 pitch outing.
The cleanup hitters for each team showed why that occupy that spot in the batting order. The Blue Sox Alvarez had two hits, walked twice and three RBI on his home run. The Chiefs Caulfield had his own three-run home run and added two singles. Reid set the table for the Chiefs reaching base three times and scoring each time. Noone had two hits, scored twice and drove in a run.
Pat McGowan started for Lexington and pitched 5.1 innings giving up five hits, four runs, three earned, walked three and struck out. Borja Jones-Berasaluce came in in the sixth and recorded the last two outs. Manny Delcarmen entered the game in the seventh and suffered his first loss in a Blue Sox uniform.
The teams will meet for game three Sunday night. This is the seventh time in 10 playoff series between the two rivals that the series has gone the distance. The previous six were all in the finals (best of 5) from 2011 to 2016.
By Bruce Hack
Lexington, MA- Ryan O’Rourke executed a perfect bunt as John Fritz raced across home plate with the go-ahead run to give Lexington a 3-2 lead and send the Blue Sox on to a game one victory in their semifinal series against the Andre Chiefs.
Game two is scheduled for tonight (Friday) with a 7:45 PM start at Maplewood (Malden Catholic).
The bottom of the sixth started with a single by Alex Voitik, who was pinch-run for by Fritz. Fritz stole second and Dahiandy Johnson walked. Will Potdevin sacrificed to move both runners into scoring position and set up the game-winning scenario.
The game was a typical Chiefs – Blue Sox playoff game. Close, back-and-forth with good pitching, defense and timely hitting.
Lexington scored in the bottom of the first. Josue Feliciano began the inning with a single to center. Feliciano was forced at second and Alex Krylov reaching on a fielders choice. Krylov stole second and Luke Hall walked. Krylov and Hall stole second and third putting two runners into scoring position. Voitik grounded out to second with Krylov scoring.
The Chiefs answered in the top of second. With one out Kyle DeRoma walked, moved to second on a wild pitch and reached third on a fielders choice. From there he scored on a sacrifice fly by Nick Valdario for a 1-1 game.
Lexington retook the lead in the bottom of the second. The Sox loaded the bases on a walk to Potdevin, single by O’Rourke, who pitches and hits for the Blue Sox, and a walk to Brendan Jones. Feliciano reached on a fielders choice with Potdevin scoring for a 2-1 lead.
For the third straight inning a team scored has the Chiefs tied the game in the top of the third. Nate Witkowski reached on a fielding error. He moved to second on a single by Ryan Noone. After two strikeouts, Adam Johnson singled to drive in Witkowski and tie the game at 2-2.
Both starters, the Chiefs Cal Carroll and Lexington’s O’Rourke settled down after the third. Carroll retired nine of 11 Sox batters, five on strikeouts, from the third through fifth innings. O’Rourke got out of a first and third with one out threat in the first by striking out Andrew Caulfield and Graham Smith. From the fourth through sixth innings he set down eight
straight and nine of the last 10 batters he faced.
With the Sox up 3-2 Manny Delcarmen came in to pitch the seventh and set down the Chiefs on six pitches. He combined with O’Rourke to retire 12 of the last 13 Chiefs batters.
O’Rourke finished with eight strikeouts and earned his first postseason win with the Blue Sox.
Johnson and Noone each had two hits for the Chiefs.
To watch the Lexington-Andre series go to Beyond Sight Sports on You Tube and find the game. You can watch game one or watch game two live.
By Bruce Hack
Lexington, MA – The Andre Chiefs advanced to the ICL semifinals with a 13-1 win over Alibrandis Wednesday night at Lexington High School.
The fifth seeded Chiefs defeated sixth seed Reading Tuesday night 6-1 and then beat the fourth seeded Alibrandis. The Chiefs will next take on top seeded Lexington Thursday night in Lexington at 8:00 P.M.
Andre put the game away with a six run second inning. Nate Witkowski singled with the bases loaded to drive in the first two runs of the frame. After a walk and hit batter, Alibrandis starter Jared Brooks was replaced on the mound by Anthony Delprete. The Chiefs added three more runs on a sacrifice fly by Nick Valdario and RBI singles by Adam Johnson and Joe Bova.
Evan Walsh (pictured left) was the beneficiary of the Chiefs offense. The southpaw was 0-5 in the regular season put together his best outing of 2021. He gave up three hits, walked three and struck out six. Though he only had one 1-2-3 inning, Walsh stranded six runners and only allowed two base runners in one inning. The victory was the second postseason career win for Walsh.
Gordie Gronkowski supplied the lone Alibrandis run with a long home run to left in the sixth inning. It was his first postseason home run in the Intercity League.
Valdario was 4-for-4 with 2 RBI and a run scored for the Chiefs. Johnson drove in 3 runs on two singles and an infield out. Witkowski had 3 hits, 2 RBI and Bova had 2 RBI. Miles Reid and Ryan Noone each scored 3 runs. Reid and Noone each had one hit, while Reid had two walks and stole home on the back end of a double steal. Noone reached base on a hit by pitch and an error.
Kyle Halloran had two hits for Alibrandis.
The 13 runs was the most the Chiefs scored since they scored 15 in a 16-15 loss to Lexington on August 23, 2015. On August 12, 2015 the Chiefs defeated Arlington 13-1. For Alibrandis the 13 runs is the most they have allowed in an ICL postseason game since joining the league in 2018. This was the quickest exit for Alibrandis in the playoffs. In 2018 they lost to Lexington in the semifinals. In 2019 they lost to Lexington in the finals. Alibrandis is now 7-9 in three postseasons in the ICL.