By STEPHEN MARTELLUCCI
NORTH READING — The North Reading A’s were swept in a home doubleheader on Sunday afternoon at North Reading High School. They lost the first game to the Manchester Marlins 7-3 and the second one by a final score of 11-9. Manchester was the designated home game in game two.
With the losses, the A’s fell to 3-16-1 as they were officially eliminated from playoff contention. The Marlins, meanwhile, moved into fourth place in the North Shore Baseball League improving to 12-7.
In game two, the Marlins erupted for eight run in the bottom of the fifth inning.
“Our relievers struggled in both games,” said A’s player-manager Joe Dardeno, as the Marlins walked seven times in game two. “The game got out of hand in that fifth inning.”
Tristan Ciampa (1-4) was the losing pitcher going 4.1 innings allowing eight runs but only four of them were earned.
The A’s offense had nine hits led by North Reading resident Mike Vittozzi and Brendan Eaton who were both 2 for 4. Eaton knocked in two runs, scored twice and had two RBI while Vittozzi scored once.
Evan Dohery was 1 for 3 with a homer and he had a team-high three RBI. He also walked as he reached base twice.
In game one, the A’s were up, 3-1, heading into the top of the sixth. However, Manchester plated six runs in the top of the sixth to take control.
Jagger Iovinelli pitched well early going 4 1/3 innings allowing only one run. However, the bullpen struggled in that sixth inning.
The A’s had five hits in game one as Vittozzi was 1 for 2 with two RBI. He also was hit by a pitch.
Dardeno was 1 for 3 with a run scored.
On July 21, the A’s were edged by the visiting Northeast Tides 4-3.
The A’s trailed, 4-0, heading into the bottom of the seventh. With one out and the bases loaded, Michael Bailey smashed a three-run double down the right field line to cut the lead to one. However, the next two batterd struck out as the Tides were able to hold on.
“Despite out record, we showed a lot of fight,” said Dardeno. “The guys haven’t given up.”
Iovinelli, who pitched the first three innings and allowed only one run, took the loss to fall to 0-3.
The A’s go to Seaside Park on Thursday (July 29) to take on the Marblehead Seasiders at 5:45 p.m. On July 31, they host the Kingston Night Owls at 5 p.m.
North Reading then plays the North Shore Phillies on Aug. 2 at Breed Field in Lynn. Game time is 8 p.m.