Published in the July 13, 2017 edition
By STEPHEN MARTELLUCCI
NORTH READING – The North Reading 12-year old Williamsport Tournament Little League All-Stars were officially eliminated from the District 13’s on Monday night as they were edged, 6-5, by Stoneham at Benevento Park.
With the loss, North Reading finished third in Pool B at 3-2 (only the top two teams in both pools advance).
“It was a tough game,” admitted North Reading manager Rich Doucette. “They battled tough and we couldn’t close them out.”
The locals were in great shape leading, 5-0, in the middle of the fourth but Stoneham scored four in the fourth and two more in the sixth as they won the game with one out in the bottom of the sixth (Stoneham won the coin toss and that is why they batted last).
Nick Doucette homer in the first as North Reading had three homers. Justin Bailey had a solo homer in the fourth while Andrew Daley had a two-run shot also in the fourth.
Doucette was 2 for 4 at the dish as he also had an RBI single in the top of the third. He was also the losing pitcher in relief going the final 1 1/3 innings to end the tournament at 1-1 on the hill.
Stoneham was first in Pool B at 4-1 with the win.
At Rotary Park in Wilmington last Saturday, North Reading won, 4-3. Sam Morelli was the hero in this one with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the sixth with one out (North Reading won the coin toss and batted last).
Doucette was the winning pitcher in relief going two innings and no allowing a run. Craig Rubino was the starter and went three frames allowing three runs. He gave up five hits, no walks and fanned three.
“Craig pitched well,” said Doucette. “He kept us in the game.”
The offense had eight hits led by Bailey and Ryan McCullough who went 2 for 4. Bailey had a two-run homer in the fourth while McCullough had a solo homer also in the fourth.
On July 6th, North Reading blanked host Woburn, 3-0, at Weafer Park. Bailey was the winning pitcher going five innings. He gave up four hits, one walk and struck out eight.
“He threw a lot of first-pitch strikes,” pointed out Doucette. “He did a great job of hitting his spots.”
Rubino then retired the side in the sixth to record the save.
Morelli had a homer to left-center and has second RBI came on a fielder’s choice. The other run came on a wild pitch.
North Reading had six hits overall.