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(Lexington, MA) – For the first time since 2016 the Chiefs will be playing for the Intercity League Championship as they beat Lexington 3-1 Wednesday night to sweep the semi-final series.
The Chiefs put a crooked number on the scoreboard in the third inning for the second straight game. With two outs Nick Valdario started the rally with a double to left center. Juan Parra doubled to center driving in Valdario for a 1-0 lead. Para took third on a ground ball by Miles Reid as Parra rounded the bag, he saw the throw get away from Blue Sox first baseman Jake Elbeery and raced home to give the Chiefs a 2-0 lead.
With two outs and no one on in the fourth, Elbeery drove the first pitch from Chiefs starter Evan Walsh high and deep over the right field fence for his first home run of the playoffs putting the Sox on the scoreboard, at 2-1.
The Chiefs added an insurance run in the sixth. Andrew Caulfield took a one-out walk from Blue Sox reliever Braham Rosario. A balk moved Caulfield to second and after the second out a wild pitch moved Caulfield to third. With two outs Caulfield scored on another Blue Sox error to take a 3-1 lead.
Walsh tossed a complete-game three-hitter, walked none and struck out 10. He pitched five innings of 3-up, 3-down and retired the last 10 Sox batters he faced, five on strikeouts. It was his first postseason win over Lexington and improved his record to 4-2 in the playoffs. The 10 strike outs are the second most in a playoff game for Walsh. He struck out 12 Reading Bulldogs in 2019.
Both starters had 1-2-3 first innings. Lexington starter, Chris Wanat, retired the first eight Chiefs before Valdario’s double in the third. Wanat pitched five innings, gave up five hits, two runs, one earned, walked none and struck out four.
Walsh set down the first five Sox batters before Eric LeBreault doubled to left with two outs in the second. The lefty then set down the next six Sox before giving up the home run to Elbeery.
A midseason addition to the Blue Sox Elbeery hit four home runs over the summer in 11 games for Lexington. He drove in two runs in the playoffs and was second on the team with 12 RBI in the regular season.
The Chiefs last visit to the finals in 2016 was the last year of a six-year run that saw the Chiefs and Blue Sox met in the finals every season from 2011-16. The last Chiefs’ championship was in 2014 with a 3-2 series win over Lexington.
The Chiefs will face off against the defending champions Sabertooth Expos (known as Middlesex Expos in 2021-22) in this season’s 2023 title matchup. All the finals games will be played at Melrose’s Morelli Field with the schedule to be announced on Thursday.
By Bruce Hack, Lexington Director of Media Relations
Tuesday’s game two in Lexington has been postponed due to the heavy rain.
Game two will now be played on Wednesday at 8:00 PM in Lexington.
If a game three is needed it will be played at Maplewood on Thursday at 8:00 PM.
By Bruce Hack
Lexington Director of Media Relations
(Malden, MA) – With both teams scoring limited to one inning each the Chiefs put up the bigger crooked number and then held on to take game one of the best of three semi-final series with Lexington in a game played at Maplewood Park on the campus of Malden Catholic.
The Chiefs scored four runs in the third inning on five hits. Nate Witkowski started the inning with a single to center. Tyler Ferdinand’s sacrifice moved Witkowski into scoring position. A single up the middle by Nick Valdario put Chiefs on the corners with one out. Juan Parra and Miles Reid followed with RBI singles, and it was quickly 2-0. Teddy Dzuiba hit a comebacker to Lexington starter Steve Bangs who tossed to first to get Dzuiba, but Parra scored with the third run of the inning. Andrew Caulfield closed out the scoring with a line drive single to left plating Reid and it was 4-0 Chiefs. Caulfield’s’ hit was the sixth and last one of the night for the Chiefs.
Lexington got on the scoreboard in the sixth. Ernie Little began the rally with a ground-rule double down the right field line. Little went to third on a single to center by V Desai and the Sox had runners on the corners with no outs. Jake Elbeery flied out to center, but deep enough to bring home Little with the first Blue Sox run. A wild pitch allowed Desai to take second and then went to third when Julian Alvarez reached on an error again putting Blue Sox on the corners this time with one out. Bryan Acosta reached on fielders’ choice, Alvarez forced at second, on a ground ball to short, with Desai scoring the Sox second run and cutting the lead to 4-2. Chiefs starter Paul Frisoli ended the threat by inducing a infield popup off the bat of Eric LeBreault that Frisoli caught for the third out.
Frisoli, making his fourth appearance of the summer, tossed a complete game giving up five hits, only three through the first five innings. He walked none and struck out eight in earning the win. He had three 3-up, 3-down innings in the first, fifth and seventh.
Lexington starter Bangs pitched three innings, gave up six hits, four runs and walked and struck out one.
Both starters had a 1-2-3 first inning, with Bangs inducing three ground balls to Little at second.
In the second inning both starters ran into trouble.
Alvarez started the Lexington half with a sharp single to left for the first hit of the night for either team. He took second on a sacrifice bunt by Acosta. Then with one out Frisoli hit LeBreault and then Josue Feliciano to load the bases. He got out of the threat by striking out Andrew Selima and Joe Auger to strand the three Blue Sox runners.
A single by Caulfield started the bottom of the second and a walk to Ryan Noone put Chiefs on first and second with no outs. Bangs induced John Batista to hit into a 6-4-3 double play and suddenly there were two outs and Caulfield was on third. He was left there when Joe Bova went down swinging to end the peril.
Eric Lopes pitched the last three innings for Lexington. He did not allow a hit or run, but walked four, struck out three and hit a batter.
This was the 40th playoff game between the two teams since 2006. Monday night’s win was the 13th for the Chiefs. Of those 40 games, 30 of them have come in the Intercity League finals, including 26 between 2011 and 2016, as the teams met in six consecutive championship rounds.
The two teams play game two Tuesday night in Lexington with first pitch scheduled for 8:00 pm.
(Malden, MA)- The Chiefs will begin their pursuit of the 2023 ICL Championship when they host the Lexington Blue Sox starting on Monday at 8:00 PM at Maplewood.
The #2 seeded Chiefs finished the regular season at 18-7 while the #3 seeded Blue Sox ended up at 13-12.
Game two of the best of three series will be played on Tuesday at 8:00 PM at Lexington High. If a game three is required it will be played at Maplewood on Wednesday at 8:00 PM.
The #1 seeded Sabertooth Expos (20-5) will await the winner of Sunday’s play-in game between the #4 Melrose Americans (10-14) and the #5 seeded Malden Maddogs (8-17). The play-in game will start at 8:00 PM at Morelli Field.
Game one of the Expos-Americans/Maddogs series is scheduled for Monday back at Morelli at 8:00 PM.
The winners of the semi-final series will advance to the ICL’s best of five championship round.