By STEPHEN MARTELLUCCI
NATICK — The Middleton-Peabody American Legion baseball team, which featured seven players from Lynnfield on the roster, played in the American Legion State Champions Cup game on Aug. 11 at Mahan Field in Natick against Franklin.
Middleton-Peabody needed to beat Franklin twice to win the title since Franklin was unbeaten while Middleton-Peabody had one loss in the eight-team double-elimination tournament.
Franklin, who beat Middleton-Peabody on Aug. 8 11-7, won the title by defeating them again with a final score of 5-0.
“They are a good hitting team and their pitcher was very crafty,” said Middleton-Peabody manager Russ Steeves “We were only able to get three hits overall.”
With that loss, Middleton-Peabody finished 3-2 in the tournament.
Overall, they went 14-5.
In the semifinal game on Aug 10, also at Mahan Field, they edged Greenfield 2-1.
Pat Hosman, who just graduated from St. John’s Prep, was the winning pitcher giving up only one run as he had a complete-game effort.
Middleton-Peabody scored their two runs in the bottom of the sixth while Greenfield got their run in the top of the seventh before Hosman shut the door.
“Pat did a great job of changing speeds,” stated Steeves.
Steeves was proud of the way his team played this summer.
“We were missing (Lynnfield players) Joe Gizmunt, and Pat D’Amico because of injuries,” pointed out Steeves, who just finished his second year as manager. “Having them would have really helped us but to go as far as we did without them was a real big accomplishment.”
Steeves pointed out that all seven players from Lynnfield are eligible to come back for the team next summer and that they all plan to return.
“The five we had, that played, all made a big impact,” he said.
Middleton-Peabody came in first place in District 8 finishing at 11-3 overall for 22 points.
The Beverly team that started the season earlier due to the length of the high school season for some teams, qualified for the American Legion National Tournament so they left District 8 early.
“They were already 4-0 when we just started our season so they were in first place when the cut-off date for the national tournament came,” explained Steeves. “We actually beat them.”
The five Lynnfield players on the team this summer were Luke Martinho (center fielder), Nick Razzaboni (infielder), Henry Caulfield (infielder) and the Balian twins, Trent (pitcher) and Evan (catcher).