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Malden, MA – What a difference a day makes!
In a game that was the opposite of the first game’s pitcher’s duel, Lexington outslugged the Chiefs for the 9-6 win and a sweep of their semifinal series at Pine Banks Park Thursday night and advance to the finals.
Ross Curley’s grand slam in the top of third gave the Blue Sox the lead for good at 5-2. The first Blue Sox run in the inning came after a walk to Taylor Ferguson and a single by John Puttress put runners on the corners with no outs. Aaron Barbosa followed with a single up the middle that scored Ferguson and it was 2-1. Kyle Adie reached on a fielder’s choice and the bases were loaded for Curley. He quickly cleared them with a drive that went well over the leftfield fence.
On Wednesday, a lone run won the game. In game two that number was eclipsed in the bottom of the second when the Chiefs finally put a crooked number on the scoreboard.
With one out Matt Maloney walked and was followed by singles by Nick Leva and Mike Burgoyne to load the bases. Tony Serino singled for his second of three hits on the night, and was 1-0 Chiefs. Mike Gedman walked with the bases loaded to force in a run for a 2-0 lead.
Though the Chiefs’ Zach Kirby lasted until the sixth, neither starting pitcher was as good as in the first game.
After his teammates gave him a 5-2 lead, Lexington starter Junior Pena could not shut down the Chiefs who cut the lead to 5-3. The Chiefs also suffered a loss in the inning. Maloney, who hit a line drive into center for what appeared to be a single, and that drove in Nate Witkowski (double). Unfortunately Maloney had collapsed at home plate and was eventually tagged out by Sox catcher Puttress. Maloney left the game with a knee injury.
Sox reliever Jake Vesling had come in in the third and struck out Leva to end the threat. He started the fourth by getting Mike Burgoyne on a fly ball to right. The next five Chiefs batters reached base on three singles and two walks to close to within 7-6. Ben Waldrip’s RBI single brought in the first run and Kyle Dembrowski closed out the scoring for Andre with a two-run single.
Bill Christopher entered the game for Lexington after Dembrowski’s single and got a strikeout and ground out to end the fourth. He retired the Chiefs in the fifth, despite giving up two walks and was the first Sox pitcher to not give up a run.
Borja Jones-Berasaluce had a 1-2-3 sixth with two strikeouts and Lexington was three outs from a sweep.
Lexington closer Manny Delcarmen entered the game in the seventh and gave up a two-out single to Burgoyne before getting Serino looking for the final out and the Blue Sox were on the way to the championship round.
Curley was 4-for-4 with three runs and four RBI to lead Lexington. Richie Burgos added a two-run single in the fourth. Number nine hitter Puttress had two hits and scored twice.
Serino had three hits and scored and drove in a run and Waldrip scored and drove in a run for the Chiefs.
Lexington awaits the winner of the Alibrandis – Wakefield series which Wakefield knotted at 1-1 with a 2-1 win in 12 innings Thursday night. The third and final game will be at Victory Field Friday night starting at 7:30.
The finals will for the held at Melrose’s Morelli Field for the sixth consecutive season.
Thanks to Bruce Hack, Lexington Director of Media Relations
Lexington, MA- An Aaron Barbosa infield single was the difference when the Blue Sox edged the Chiefs, despite another stellar effort from Tim Dunphy, 1-0 in game one of their best of three series on Wednesday night in Lexington.
The Chiefs had a couple of large opportunities to take this one. They were stymied by the Blue Sox pitching duo of first Mike Geannelis, and then Manny Delcarmen, leaving the bases loaded in the second inning and two more runners in scoring position in the seventh.
The game featured an outstanding duel between Geannelis and Dunphy, and a giveth then taketh away performance by Delcarmen in the top of the seventh. Geannelis got the win, Delcarmen the save, and Dunphy obviously deserved a better fate.
Following a rapidly played first inning, the Chiefs mounted a major two out threat in the top of the second. After singles by rookie Matt Maloney and Andrew Caulfield, Geannelis hit Nick Leva with a pitch to load the bases. The threat went by the boards when Geannelis got Mike Burgoyne to pop up to end the inning.
There was nothing doing for either side over the next few innings until the Blue Sox scored the game’s only run in the bottom of the fifth. Dunphy got Kyle Adie to ground to Ben Waldrip for the first out, before catcher Mitch Schroeder lined a single to right and Morgan Brown reached on a single into the shortstop hole. Dom Zaher then grounded out to Maloney at second, moving the runners up to second and third with two away. The game winner came when the rapid Barbosa hit a chopper to short and just beat Nate Witkowski’s throw to first, on a banger, as Schroeder crossed the plate. Dunphy then promptly got Ross Curley to pop out to end the inning to keep it a one run game.
The Chiefs went in order against Geannelis in the top of the sixth and Dunphy set Lexington down in succession in the bottom of the inning.
Delcarmen, the former Red Sox righty and present Lexington closer, came on for Geannelis to begin the seventh and Kyle Dembrowski and Andrew Caulfield greeted him with back to back singles. Evan Reynolds then pinch ran for Dembrowski. With Maloney taking the first pitch on a sacrifice bunt attempt, Schroedrer looked to have Reynolds picked off second. Reynolds took off for third and beat the throw with Caulfield moving up to second. With Chiefs in business big time and having the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position and nobody out, Delcarmen showed his back class and struck out Maloney, pinch-hitter Michael Nestor, and then Burgoyne in order to end the game.
Geannelis went six innings, gave up three hits and struck out five. Dunphy gave up six hits, three of the infield variety, and struck out one. There were no walks in the game.
Chiefs Chatter…. Game two of the series will be played on Thursday night at Pine Banks on the Malden/Melrose line at 7:45 PM…..MLB should take note: the game only took 1 hour and 18 minutes to complete…..The respective sides was retired in order in five of the thirteen half innings that were played…..The Blue Sox left four on base while the Chiefs left six stranded, four of those in scoring position…. Alibrandis shutout Wakefield 9-0 in game one of the other semi-final series……
Lexington, MA- The Chiefs will open their best of three semi-final series against the Blue Sox tonight at Lexington High at 7:45 PM.
The game will be broadcast live by Local Sports Productions. Click on https://www.localsportsproductions.com/live/
The Chiefs and Blue Sox have met in the ICL Championship Round seven times in the past ten years. Game two will be played on Thursday at Pine Banks located on the Malden/Melrose line at 7:45 PM. A potential game three would be back in Lexington on Friday at 7:45 PM.
Manager Steve Gambale (pictured) is expected to give veteran lefty Tim Dunphy the starting nod in game one.
The Chiefs got to the semifinal round by sweeping the Reading Bulldogs. The Blue Sox won the regular season pennant and received a first round bye.
The winner of the Chiefs-Blue Sox series will move on to meet either Wakefield or Alibrandis in the best of five championship round.
All games in the championship series will be played at Morelli Field in Melrose.
Malden, MA- Evan Walsh fired a complete game three-hitter, striking out a dozen, when the Chiefs beat the Reading Bulldogs 6-1 on Monday night at Maplewood. With the win, the Chiefs sweep their first round series 2-0 and will now move on to meet the Lexington Blue Sox in the semifinal round beginning on Wednesday night in Lexington.
The Chiefs grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third. R.J. Libby started things by drawing a walk off Reading starter Anthony Sapienza and Tony Serino followed and reached on an infield error. Ben Waldrip then gave the Chiefs a 1-0 lead when he doubled into the right-centerfield gap, scoring Libby and sending Serino to third. Sapienza struck out Mike Gedman for the first out before Steve Passatempo and Nate Witkowski drew back to back walks forcing home Serino for the second run of the inning. Sapienza escaped further damage when he got Kyle Dembrowski to bounce into 1-2-3 doubleplay.
The Chiefs lead doubled in the bottom of the fourth. Andrew Caulfield worked a one out walk and Libby singled to center. Serino then grounded out to Liam Merlin, forcing Libby out at second and moving Caulfield to third. An error, a Waldrip single, followed by a Gedman double, jumped the margin to 4-0.
Walsh continued his wizardry as the Bulldogs remained hitless over the first five innings.
The Chiefs loaded the bases with one out against reliever Jack Theriault in the bottom of the fifth but couldn’t add to their lead. Dembrowski reached on an error, Nick Leva singled, and Caulfield was issued a four pitch walk. The lead stayed a 4-0 when Theriault caught Libby looking and then got Serino on an inning ending grounder to Merlin at second.
The Bulldogs finally broke into the hit column when Zac Talis led off the top of the sixth with a double to left-center. Walsh stranded Talis when he got Chris Bosco to lineout to Gedman in right, and then struck out both Kyle Hawes and Mike Taylor in succession to end the inning.
The Chiefs picked up a couple of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth against Gabe Van Emon, Reading’s third pitcher of the game. Waldrip drilled his second double of the night and advanced to third on a one out wild pitch. Passatempo then walked to put runners on the corners before Witkowski singled to right scoring Waldrip. The Chiefs final run came when Leva drilled a single to right that plated Passatempo making it a 6-0 lead.
Reading averted the shutout in the top of the seventh. Mike Debenedetto led off with a double. Walsh K’d Merlin and Donovan before Darren Hartwell beat out an infield chopper to Waldrip at first. When Debeneedetto made a wide turn at third, Waldrip’s throw sailed past Gino DeSimone allowing him to score the unearned run. Passatempo then made a nice stop of a Tyler Cedeno grounder, and from his knees, threw him out at first to end the series.
Chiefs Chatter….. Wednesday’s game one in Lexington will start at 7:45….Walsh improved to an overall 3-1 against Reading this summer. The lefty has struck out 54 Bulldogs and allowed just 16 hits against them in 26.0 innings…..The #3 Wakefield Merchants won game two of their series 4-1 over the Malden Merchants. They will now move on to meet #2 Alibrandis in the ICL’s other semifinal. Game one of that series is scheduled for Wednesday at 7:30 PM at Victory Field….
Reading, MA- The Chiefs knocked off the Bulldogs 6-3 in game one of their best of three first round series on Sunday afternoon at Morton Field.
Zach Kirby went the route on the mound as the Chiefs handed him a 2-0 first inning that he never relinquished.
R.J. Libby and Tony Serino got things underway when they both singled off Reading starter Jack Wallace. Wallace then got Ben Waldrip to bounce into a 4-6-3 doubleplay with Libby moving to third. Mike Gedman drew a walk, and when catcher Chris Bosco’s attempt to pick Libby off third sailed into leftfield, the Chiefs had a 1-0 lead. Kyle Dembrowski’s single to right then scored Gedman to give the Chiefs a 2-0 jumpstart.
The lead went to 5-0 in the top of the third on walks to Libby and Gedman, errors of the bats of Waldrip and Dembrowski, a fielders’ choice from Serino, and an infield grounder RBI from Andrew Caulfield.
The Bulldogs capitalized on some Kirby wildness and closed to 5-2 in the bottom of the fourth. A Tyler Cedeno single and walks to Zac Talis, Kyle Hawes, Mike Taylor and Liam Merlin accounted for the runs.
Waldrip got a run right back for the Chiefs when he led off the fifth with a solo homer to right making it 6-2.
The Bulldogs added the game’s final run in the bottom of the inning when Cedeno’s double scored Darren Hartwell who had walked.
Kirby allowed five hits, walked six, and struck out 11.
Chiefs Chatter….. Game two of the series will be played at Maplweood on Monday night at 8:00 PM. If a game three is needed it will be played at Morelli Field in Melrose on Tuesday at 7:45 PM…… In the ICL’s other first round series, the Wakefield Merchants took game one from the Malden Maddogs 3-1 at Walsh Field….