By STEPHEN MARTELLUCCI
NORTH READING — On Monday evening, the North Reading Northeast League baseball team (ages 15-18) hammered host Wilmington 15-1 in a five-inning mercy-rule game. The win was the second in a row for the Hornets who improved to 7-4 overall and are in first place in the South Division.
“The kids played great,” said Hornets manager Marco Vittozzi, as the team scored nine times in the first inning and never looked back. “We swung the bats very well.”
North Reading had 13 hits against the Wildcats led by Frank Castrano who went a perfect 4 for 4 at the dish with two runs batted in. Jack Fischer was also perfect at the plate going 3 for 3 with two RBI.
Mike Vittozzi, who also plays for the North Reading A’s team and Nick Ciardiello were both 2 for 4 with two RBI as the Hornets had four multiple hitters.
After the big first inning, the Hornets plated one run in the second, three in the third and two more in the fifth.
Tim McCarthy was the winning pitcher going three innings as he allowed one run. Ciardiello pitched the final two innings of shutout ball.
At Lowell on July 22, the Hornets won by a final score of 9-1.
“That game was a lot closer that the final would indicate,” said Vittozzi, as the Hornets scored seven runs in the top of the seventh to break the game open.
North Reading had 12 hits in this game led by Matt Ryan who went 3 for 4 with one RBI. Castrano was 2 for 4 with one RBI and Zach Demetri had two RBI with a single and a fielder’s choice.
Ryan Baker was the winning pitcher going all seven innings. He gave up one earned run, three hits, no walks and he fanned three.
“He mixed his pitches well and pounded the strike zone,” said Vittozzi.
Baker also added an RBI single to help his own cause.
On July 20, the Hornets lost at Billerica by two runs 6-4.
Billerica, trailing 4-1, scored five times in the bottom of the fourth and were able to shut the Hornets down the rest of the game.
“They were able to put the ball in play and we had one error that inning,” recalled Vittozzi.
North Reading had eight hits led by Baker and Alex Carucci who were both 2 for 3. Jared MacDonald was 1 for 3 with a team-high two RBI.
Aldo Vittozzi and Castrano had the other two Hornets RBI.
On July 29, the Hornets wrap up the regular season as they host Dracut at North Reading High. That game will start at 6 p.m.