Published in the July 13, 2018 edition

MELROSE — The Melrose 10-year-old District All-Stars went 3-0 sweeping the Massachusetts Little League District 12 tournament. The double elimination tournament featured teams from Melrose, Medford and Somerville.

Game 1 was Sunday July 1 vs. Medford. Melrose jumped out to an early lead 3-0 lead in the first with RBI hits from Cavan O’Leary, John Recinito and Brian Capodilupo. The Melrose defense and pitching was the story of the day. Matthew Palmer threw three shutout innings, striking out six Mustangs with shutdown relief from Josh Bird, and a gallant effort behind the plate on a very hot day from Ben Dugan to lock in the 6-0 win.

Game 2 was Monday night, July 2 vs. Somerville. Despite great defensive play from Brendan Sestito, Melrose was behind most of the night and was down 3-1 heading into the bottom of the 6th inning.

THE MELROSE LITTLE LEAGUE 10-year-old District 12 champs. From left to right: Tyler Garipay, Cavan O’Leary, John Recinito, Cadel McKeon, Josh Bird, Matty Palmer, Brian Capodilupo, Ronan Sanzone, Brayden Pesce, Jack Feeney, Ian McKeon and Brendan Sestito. Not pictured: Ben Dugan and Brady Yee. (Courtesy Photo)

Jack Feeney lead off the inning with a single into right field. Feeney was lifted for a pinch runner Cadel McKeon. Next batter Brady Yee ripped a single putting McKeon at 3rd base. Ian McKeon knocked his twin brother in with a single as Cadel avoided a tag at home to tie the game and send Yee to 3rd base. Tyler Garipay worked the count at the plate making the Highlander pitcher throw extra pitches then a ball got away from the Somerville catcher and Yee scored from 3rd to win the game, 4-3.

Game 3 featured a rematch of the tournament opener: Melrose vs. Medford on Friday July 6 at Melrose’s Lewis Monk Park.

The field was slow due to earlier downpours but playable due to the combined efforts of the Medford and Melrose coaches. The Melrose offense was the storyline this time around. Brayden Pesce had a single in the 3rd inning and scored contributing to Melrose’s 12-hit, 9-RBI night to beat Medford 12-2. Ronan Sanzone squeezed the final out in deep center field to capture the district title.

The Melrose 10-year-old team will move on to the Sectional round that will be hosted by Melrose Little League July 12 – July 15 against the winners from Massachusetts Little League district’s 9, 10, 11.