Win and tie against Wakefield Merchants to get into postseason
Published in the August 5, 2016 edition
MELROSE — The Melrose Americans clinched an Intercity playoff berth with a win and a tie against the Wakefield Merchants this past week. The Americans tied the Merchants, 2-2, on Tuesday, Aug. 2 at Morelli Field after edging Wakefield by a 4-3 score on Wednesday, July 28 at Walsh Field.
The Americans game against the Somerville Royals, which was scheduled for Sunday, July 31 at Morelli Field, was postponed due to rain. No makeup date has been announced.
The Americans, meanwhile, increased their record to 10-14-2 on the season after 26 games and clinched a playoff berth with the draw.
vs. Wakefield Merchants, Aug. 2
The Merchants took a 2-0 lead in the top of the sixth inning but the Americans plated single runs in the sixth and seventh to tie the game at 2-2. After a scoreless eighth and ninth inning, the contest ended in the 2-2 tie giving each team a point.
For the Americans, Shawn Smeglin started the game and pitched five and two-thirds giving up two runs on five hits while walking four and striking out three. The right-hander threw two wild pitches and hit a batter as well.
Brendan McDonough went the final three and one-third innings giving up four hits while striking out a batter.
Dave Center had three hits to lead the Americans while Tom Petry had the other hit.
Petry and Isaiah Berg scored the two runs and RBIs went to Nick Herzog and Mike Addesa.
Herzog, Petry, Christian Rosati, Addesa, Zeke Berg, Isaiah Berg and Dan Cacciola drew the seven walks surrendered by Merchants pitching.
Wakefield Merchant right-hander Joe Westerman pitched eight innings giving up two runs on four hits while striking out eight and walking six.
Drew Johnson hurled one frame striking out two batters and walking one. He also hit a batter.
The Merchants outhit the Americans, 9-4, but only plated the two runs as they missed an opportunity to do even more damage on the scoreboard.
Scott Searles led the way with three hits including a double. Mark Poli had two hits including a home run.
Mike Sorrentino also had two hits, while Chris Butler and James Ramsey both had one hit.
Nick Napoli and Poli scored the two runs while Poli knocked in both runs.
Ramsey walked twice while Dave Ellegood and John Davison both drew one free pass.
vs. Wakefield Merchants, July 28
The Melrose Americans continued to make their push for an Intercity League playoff berth as they edged the Wakefield Merchants in another close game, this time by a 4-3 score on Wednesday, July 28 at Walsh Field.
The Americans plated single runs in the first, second and third innings to open up a 3-0 lead. Wakefield got one back in the fourth before Melrose tallied its final run in the top of the sixth inning. The Merchants rallied for two runs in the home half of the sixth to cut the lead to one run but that was as close as they got.
Rosati (3-3) hurled seven innings giving up three runs on nine hits while striking out six batters and walking no one to lead the Americans to the victory.
The Melrose Americans had eight hits with John Jennings, Herzog and Center all having two hits. Addesa and Cacciola both had one hit. Center had the lone extra base hit for the Americans with a double.
Austin Masel, Petry, Herzog and Center scored the four Melrose runs. Jennings, Addesa, Herzog and Center had the four RBIs.
Petry walked twice, while Masel, Addesa, Herzog, Kevin Kelley and Mike Eqitto each drew one free pass. Masel and Cacciola each stole a base as well.
Veteran right-hander Darren Bisso (0-1) pitched the first two innings and took the loss for Wakefield. Bisso gave up two runs on four hits while walking three and striking out one.
John Russolillo hurled five innings giving up two runs on four hits while walking four batters. He also hit three batters.
The Merchants outhit the Americans, 9-8, but Melrose was ahead where it counted the most on the scoreboard.
Jake O’Rourke led the way offensively for Wakefield with three hits while Joe Barry had two hits including a double. Louis Tarantino, Searles, Sorrentino and Butler all had one hit for the Merchants.
O’Rourke scored two runs, while Butler was the other Wakefield player to cross the plate. Butler, Poli and Barry drove in the three runs.
Melrose had one regular season game on the schedule with a road game on Thursday, Aug. 4 at 8:15 p.m. against the Somerville Royals at Trum Field (post deadline). The Intercity League playoffs are scheduled to begin on Monday, Aug. 8 with the two best of three quarterfinal series. The Americans will be playing a yet to be determined opponent as of press time.