Published June 27, 2019
By STEPHEN MARTELLUCCI
NORTH READING — Joe Dardeno is back for his seventh season as the player-manager of the North Reading A’s baseball team this summer. It is his 14th year overall with the team.
He is one of five players from North Reading. The four other players are Matt DiVecchia (first and third base), Ben Harrow (utility), Marco Vittozzi (second base), and Rich Giannattasio (right field).
At 33, Giannattasio is the oldest player on the roster.
Last season, the A’s finished in last place in the North Shore Baseball League as they finished at 5-18-1, missing the playoffs for the second year in a row.
The team returns 21 of the 30 players that were on the roster last season.
Last Sunday evening the A’s lost to host Beverly, 9-3, at Cooney Field. With that loss, North Reading’s record fell to 1-7 in the league.
“We have not had a full team with the high school season running a little longer than normal,” said Dardeno. “We have also had some scheduling issues with the rain so far.
The A’s opened the season back on May 27 and have already had two games postponed due to rain.
The lone win came on June 3 as they defeated the North Shore Storm, 11-7, at Phillips Park in Swampscott.
Dardeno had a huge night going 3 for 5 with two doubles and four runs batted in.
Mike Bailey also had a great game as he homered and walked three times finishing with three RBI’s.
Cecillo Guante was the winning pitcher.
After eight games, Robert Lagasse is the team’s leading hitter at .385.
“He bats second or third for us and he has made good contact this season,” said Dardeno.
Anthony Capuano, a sixth-year player, is hitting .286 with a team-high five walks.
“He is the best defensive center fielder I have ever played with,” stated Dardeno, about the team’s lead-off hitter.
Although, the team has struggled out of the gate, Dardeno feels they can turn it around.
“Our goal is to make the playoffs even if it is the eight slot,” said Dardeno. “We usually play better as the season goes along.”
The A’s will play three games in three days starting on Thursday night as they visit the North Shore Phillies at Breed Field in Lynn at 8 p.m.
North Reading will then host the Saugus Wings at 6 p.m. at North Reading High. Those two teams will then meet again in Saugus on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. at World Series Park.
On July 1, the A’s host Peabody at 6 p.m. and then they play Peabody again the next night at Twi-Field with that game starting at 7:45 pm.
Admission to all home games at North Reading High is free.