Championship games on tap this weekend at Benevento

Published June 13, 2019

NORTH READING — For the first time, North Reading Little League is offering a summer baseball program for youngsters ages 5-7.

Jimmy Fund Sandlot Ball will start Saturday, July 13, and take place every Saturday through August 10 at Benevento Park. These 90-minute clinics will begin at 9 a.m., and include instruction and drills followed by a “coach pitch” game. There will be two divisions based on age.

NRLL is providing shirts and caps to all players. The cost is $50 and registration is now open on the website. Coaches are needed as well and can volunteer when signing up their child.

This program is in addition to the Jimmy Fund League that NRLL offers for players ages 8-12. The Jimmy Fund season includes 10-12 games against nearby towns and runs from early July through early August, with most games on weeknights. There are three divisions: ages 8/9, 9/10, and 11/12. The cost to play is $110 and includes a donation to the Jimmy Fund. Registration is open at

“We’ve heard from parents and coaches that there was a real interest in having a summer program for our younger players who can’t play in the Jimmy Fund League,” said NRLL President Eddie Madden. “We’re excited to host these weekly clinics, which will provide a positive learning environment that will allow kids to keep developing their skills and also let them have fun playing in a game each week.”

THE NORTH READING Little League Challenger Team celebrated the end of its 2019 spring season on Sunday, June 9, with a big event at Benevento Park. Members of the New England Storm Junior Olympic Softball Club were on hand to volunteer their time, and after the game helped pass out Richie’s Slush and trophies to all the players. A total of 22 players from North Reading and four surrounding towns participated in the NRLL Challenger Division, which offers adaptive baseball for youngsters ages 4-18 with special needs. North Reading Little League began its Challenger program in 2014. (Courtesy Photo)

NRLL Championship Weekend

NRLL Championship Weekend takes place Friday through Sunday (June 14-16) at Benevento Park.

The action starts Friday with Field Day at 5 p.m. for all players in the Tee Ball, Instructional, and Farm divisions, followed at 7 p.m. by the Farm League Championship Game between the Cardinals and Cubs.

On Saturday at 10 a.m., the Majors and Minors championship games will be held. In Majors, the Diamondbacks and A’s square off on Field 1. The Diamondbacks are 3-0 in the double-elimination tournament after eliminating the Royals, 11-8, on Monday night. The A’s, meanwhile, have bounced back to win three straight games after dropping their playoff opener, most recently knocking out the White Sox, 2-1, on Monday. The A’s will need to defeat the Diamondbacks twice on Saturday to take the title.

The Minors title game is on Field 2 and will be a winner-take-all affair between the victors of Tuesday’s games between the Iron Birds-Scrappers and the River Bandits-Thunder.

Capping the weekend is the seventh annual NRLL/Tim Chaloux 12-Year-Old Appreciation Game on Sunday. Two dozen of the league’s 12-year-olds are expected to attend the Father’s Day contest that serves as a “thank you” from NRLL to those players completing their Small Diamond careers.