(Malden, MA) – The Chiefs came all the way back from a two games to none deficit to beat the Sabertooth Expos 12-3 and take the 2023 Intercity League Championship in five games on Friday night at Maplewood.
The Expos jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead off starter Josh Desai in the bottom of the first inning courtesy of a two-run homer off the bat of Dionys Quezada.
The Chiefs used the long ball to take the lead for good in the top of the second. A leadoff John Baptista solo shot to left-center cut the Expos lead in half to 2-1. Following a Nate Witkowski single and a walk to Nick Valdario, Juan Parra launched a Dan Metzdorf offering over the centerfield fence for three-run homer and a Chiefs a 4-2 lead.
Desai set the Expos down in the bottom of the second and the Chiefs put up another four spot in the top of the third to open the lead to 8-2. Andrew Caulfield led things off with a single and John Baptista reached on an infield error. Joe Bova then singled up the middle, scoring Caulfield, to make it a 5-2 game. Tyler Ferdinand’s single scored Baptista jumping the lead to 6-2. Valdario followed with a line drive to right, that was scored a triple, plating both Bova and Ferdinand making it 8-2. Valdario was thrown out at the plate trying to stretch it to four bases.
The Chiefs added a run in the top of the fourth on a Teddy Dziuba RBI single. They picked up a couple of more runs off reliever Bladamir Ramirez in the fifth on a Parra sacrifice fly and a bases loaded hit batsman to Dzuiba.
Desai was cruising and retired 12 of the 13 batters he faced through the bottom of the sixth.
The Chiefs picked up their final run in the top of the seventh before veteran lefty Jonathan Richard spelled Desai in the bottom of the inning, giving up a run, but sealing the win.
Desai went six full innings to get the win. He allowed four hits and struck out three.
For the Chiefs it was the 20th overall championship in franchise history dating back to the first in 1961. The team won five consecutive titles in the Suburban Twi-League as the Hosmer Chiefs from 1961-1965 before winning their first ICL crown in 1968. Since then, the Chiefs have won 15 ICL championships, 8 as the Hosmer Chiefs through 1980 and seven more as the Andre Chiefs from 1990-2023.