News and Announcements
Former Melrose American Chris Sharpe was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 14th round of the 2017 Major League draft Wednesday.
Sharpe, who was the Intercity League Rookie of the Year in 2015 while playing third base for the Americans, was drafted as a center fielder out of the University of Lowell. He starred for the River Hawks in 2017, leading the team with an average of .338. He also homered 7 times while driving in 28 runs.
Sunday night at Endicott College, the Americans improved to 2-0 with a 2-0 victory over the Reading Bulldogs. Rained out twice since opening day, it was the Americans first game in 10 days and they took advantage of the layoff.
A well rested Chris Mitchell, who beat Lexington opening night, took the ball again for the Americans and proceeded to throw his second consecutive, complete game shutout. He allowed six hits, with seven strikeouts and didn't walk a batter. In 14 innings covering two games, Mitchell has not allowed a run, has surrendered only 10 hits, has not issued a single walk and has struck out eleven.
The Americans got both of their runs in the fourth. With one out left fielder Isaiah Berg walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. Center fielder Mike Goddu reached second on an error by shortstop with Berg holding at third. The Bulldogs paid for the miscue when third baseman Matt Hosman drove Berg home with a ground out to shortstop. On the play Goddu took third. From there he scored the second and final run when designated hitter Mike LaRovere lined a clutch two-out single to left.
The LaRovere single was one of only three hits, all singles, that the Americans mustered in the game. Shortstop Will Shackelford and catcher John Jennings had the other two.
Monday, the Americans will try to improve to 3-0 when they travel to Maplewood Park In Malden for an 8:15 game against the Andre Chiefs. Veteran right hander Shawn Smeglin, who fashioned a 2.97 ERA in 35.1 innings for the Americans in 2016, will be on the mound for the Americans.
The Americans opened the 2017 season Friday night with a 3-0 win over the Lexington Blue Sox in Lexington. Chris Mitchell, pitching his first Intercity League game, tossed a 4 hit, complete game shutout for the Americans while striking out 4 and walking none.
On the offensive side, the Americans had just 5 hits but they were timely. Catcher John Jennings tripled to right in the 4th to drive in shortstop Will Shackelford, who had walked, with the game's first run. First baseman Dave Center followed with a single to right to drive in Jennings. In the seventh, the Americans got their 3rd run when, with one out, center fielder Dan Cacciola dropped down a bunt single, stole second and scored on left fielder Nick Herzog's single to center. Right fielder Mike Goddu singled in the 4th for the Americans 5th hit.
The Americans return to action Monday night at 7:30 when they host the Wakefield Merchants in their home opener at Morelli Field in Melrose. Shawn Smeglin will be on the mound for the Americans.
The Somerville Royals visited Morelli Field Sunday and quickly put a damper on the Americans' home opener festivities, scoring four first inning runs on the way to a 7-2 win. The Americans, who with ten errors had played shoddy defense in their first three games, made but one physical error against Somerville but a mental error resulted in the first inning deficit.
The Royals loaded the bases with one out off Melrose starter Christian Rosati (0-1). When 3B Isaiah Berg dropped a popup called out on the infield fly rule, the runner at third took off for home and was caught in a rundown while the runner on second moved up a base. The rundown resulted in two men standing on third, but catcher Anthony Licciardello failed to tag either. The runner who had moved up from second, realizing that nobody had been tagged out, ran back safely to second as Licciardello inexplicably held the ball. Instead of the inning ending scoreless, the bases remained loaded with two outs. Rosati then uncorked a wild pitch scoring the first run. That was followed by a three-run homer off the bat of Adam Johnson that put the Americans in a four run hole.
Rosati got Somerville in order in the second and third but ran into trouble in the fifth, surrendering a run on three hits before departing for Zeke Berg with two outs in the inning. Berg got the final batter to end the threat and worked a scoreless fifth leaving the score at 5-0.
The Americans, who managed just three singles while striking out five times through four innings against Somerville starter Ryan Covelle and fared no better against Chuck Gibson in the fifth, finally got on the scoreboard and closed the gap to 5-2 in the sixth when they scored two runs, thanks in great part to five walks issued by Royals' pitcher Paul Pollanco.
The momentum swung back in the Royals' favor when Berg ran into trouble in the sixth, getting touched for a pair of unearned runs on three hits that made the final score 7-2. Mike Peters was summoned from the bullpen to get the inning's last out before pitching a perfect seventh.
Dan Cacciola, Kevin Kelley, Tom Petry and Isaiah Berg had the Americans' hits, all singles. Harrison Engstrom's sacrifice fly and Kelley's bases loaded walk in the sixth drove in the Melrose runs.
With a record of 2-2 through four games, the Americans are hitting .192 with just 20 hits, all but one of those hits a single. Leading the way at .333 are Cacciola (4-12) and Kelley (3-9) at .333. The team has also struck out 34 times in those four games. A combination that leads to few scoring chances and even fewer runs.
They will again try to get the bats going Monday night when they travel to Maplewood Field in Malden to take on the Andre Chiefs at 8:15. Kyle Autilio will be on the mound for the Americans.
The Americans improved to 2-1 with a hard-earned 4-3 win at Summer St. Field in Arlington Friday night. Down 3-2 entering the sixth, the Americans scored a run in each of the final two innings to secure the comeback victory.
Arlington took a 1-0 lead in the second when they scored an unearned run off Melrose starter Shawn Smeglin. Melrose answered in the top of the third with two runs to take the lead. With one out Dan Cacciola and Kevin Kelley set the table with back to back singles to put runners at the corners. Both scored when Austin Masel crushed a towering triple to right center field. The Trojans tied the game at 2-2 with an error aided unearned run in the home half of the inning and took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth, again with the help of an error.
Bobby Tramondozzi (1-0) relieved Smeglin with runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the fourth and got the third out on a grounder to short and threw shutout ball the rest of the way, earning the win when the Americans pushed the final two runs across.
Leading off the sixth, Masel singled to right. He took second on a wild pitch and stole third. With two out, he scored on a clutch Tom Petry single to left that tied the game at 3-3. In the seventh the Americans scored the winning run when Cacciola walked with one out, stole second and scored on another clutch single, this time off the bat of Kelley. Tramondozzi got the Arlington side in order in the seventh to end it.
The Americans will host the Somerville Royals on Sunday at 4:00 when they play their 2016 home opener at Morelli Field. Christian Rosati will be on the mound when the Americans seek their third win.