Published in the August 6, 2015 edition


NORTH READING — In game two of the first round of the North Shore Baseball League playoffs on Monday night at North Reading High School, the North Reading A’s beat the North Shore Phillies, 8-3, to even the best-of-three series at 1–1.

Anthony Lupi was the winning pitcher going all seven innings to improve to 3–3. He gave up three runs, nine hits, no walks and he struck out five.

“He was fantastic,” stated A’s player-manager Joe Dardeno. “He threw a lot of strikes, and even though he is only 19, he wasn’t afraid of their older players.”

The A’s offense had nine hits overall led by Anthony Capuano who was a perfect 2 for 2 with two walks and three runs scored. Capuano leads the team in average at .400.

Dardeno and Kevin Rooney both went 2 for 4 at the dish with two RBI each as the A’s had three multiple hitters.

Jon McQuarrie had an inside-the-park homer in the second inning that was a two-run homer.

“That homer gave us a real spark,” said Dardeno.

The eighth–seeded A’s, who were making their first playoff appearance in four years, scored twice in the first and second innings. They scored single runs in the third and fourth innings and two more in the bottom of the sixth.

The Phillies, who are the top seed, scored all three of their runs in the top of the seventh before Lupi closed the door.

In game one on Sunday afternoon, the Phillies won, 11–0, at Breed Park in Lynn in a five-inning mercy rule game.

“(Sean) Buckland is a tough lefty and he kept us off-balance,” admitted Dardeno, about the Phillies pitcher.

Buckland, who improved to 6–1 on the hill, gave up only three hits.

Bob Berry (1–2) was the losing pitcher for the A’s going three innings. He gave up seven runs, six of them were earned.

Game three was on Aug. 4 back at Breed Park (results not available at press time)

The winner of this series will face the winner of the Peabody- Beverly series and the semifinal round will start on Aug. 6. That will also be a best–of–three series.