MELROSE — After a year off due to the pandemic, the Melrose Little League’s All-Stars kicked off the season with some thrilling victories. All three Melrose teams competing in summer All-Star play, the 12-year old Williamsport All-Stars, as well as the 11 and 10-year old All-Star teams, qualified for Sectional play the weekend of July 14-17th.
Williamsport 12-Year Old All-Stars
Melrose 11, Somerville 0
July 7 at Lewis Monk Field
Melrose got their first win of District play defeating Somerville in four innings in an 11-0 slaughter. Thomas Santoriello pitched three strong innings with four strike-outs, allowing only two hits and three walks. Nate Geer closed it out in the 4th, walking the first batter then striking out the next three to end it with ease.
Melrose earned 11 runs on nine hits in three at bats. Robert Pino and Brody MacMaster had multiple hit games, as did Thomas Santoriello with two singles to help his own cause. MacMaster, Pino, and Geer all had RBI’s. Jay Dennison drove in 2 key runs with a timely opposite field single. Jack Ludlow smoked a double to center field and ended up at 3rd base with heads up base running. Brian Fogarty scored on Ludlow’s hit after earning a walk.
The Melrose infield put in a strong performance with Anthony Kiatos and Justin Santoriello splitting time at third base, Mike Martin directing at shortstop, and Pino and Liam O’Brien holding down second base. Nicholas Picariello and Ludlow also split time at first base. Chris Repici anchored the infield behind the plate.
Melrose 11, Malden 3
July 10 at Sacramone Park – Everett
Chris Repici started on the hill and Malden doubled and singled in their half of the first to take an early 1-0 lead. In the top of the second inning, Melrose answered with two runs. Nicholas Picariello laced a triple to the right center gap scoring Jay Dennison, who also continued to put the bat on the ball. Justin Santoriello followed with an RBI, scoring Picariello on a hard ground out.
Repici settled in after that and displayed good communication with Nate Geer behind the plate to keep Malden off balance the rest of the way. Repici scattered four hits, allowed one walk, and retired 10 Malden batters by way of the strikeout. Michael Martin would relieve to finish the final two outs with 2 K’s of his own on 11 pitches.
In the fourth inning, Thomas Santoriello and Jack Ludlow would single and score on a Brody MacMaster three run bomb out of Sacramone Park. Anthony Kiatos and Martin split the game at third base and Kiatos made a great play on a hard hit ball in the first inning. Thomas and Justin Santoriello switched off in left field as Liam O’Brien started and platooned with Jack Ludlow at first base. Robert Pino singled safely as Brian Fogarty and Kiatos continued to battle at the plate driving up pitch counts.
One Melrose miscue gave Malden two runs in the 5th making it 6-3, but the top of the sixth inning Melrose nailed this door shut. Picariello led off with another extra base hit, Thomas Santoriello singled, then Ludlow hit a laser that just missed leaving the yard. Still no outs, Martin singled to drive in Ludlow. MacMaster would score the 5th of the inning as Pino, Geer and Repici would be retired consecutively to send Malden to their last chance to put up 8 runs…to no avail.
10-Year Old District All-Stars
The Melrose Little League 10 -year old district team went on to sweep Somerville to win the Massachusetts District 12 Championship.
Melrose 14, Somerville 3
July 7 at Conant Field
The Melrose offense got out to an early lead in the first of a three playoff, as Christian Fogarty fought his way around the bases and stole home to draw first blood. Cooper Anderson slapped a single and Calvin Hoag knocked in two runs followed by Mason McLean’s RBI to give Melrose an early lead.
Melrose’s starting pitcher, Charlie Recinito threw three shutout innings, striking out six Somerville all stars. Reid Sterling was steady behind the plate holding the Somerville baserunners in place.
The Melrose offense went back to work in the third inning. Parker Sarata and Ben O’Donoghue had RBI hits to extend the lead to 8 -0. Somerville tacked on a run in the fourth inning before the game was delayed by a lightning storm. The hour delay did not slow down the Melrose bats, Adam Rasner had a hit and scored a run followed by Connor Barrington blasting a ball to the warning track scoring several runs.
Chase Cameron closed the game for Melrose, locking down the 14-3 game one victory.
Melrose 4, Somerville 2
July 8 at Conant
Declan Flaherty was Melrose’s game two starter and he set the tone of the game by retiring the first three Somerville hitters. Melrose jumped to an early lead as Bryce Phillips knocked in a run in the home half of the first inning.
Melrose’s defense worked some magic in the second inning as first baseman Rocco Motroni turned a double play to end the second inning.
Melrose clung to a 4-2 lead in the middle of the fourth inning when the skies opened up and rain poured down. The game having reached the official point was called a completed game and a victory for Melrose.
As District 12 Champions, the 10 year old team will move on to the Massachusetts Section 3 round to be played in Newton on July 14-17th. Melrose will compete with the District 9 Dorchester, District 10 Parkway and District 11 Needham Nationals for a chance to play in the state finals.