Published July 8, 2021

NORTH READING — What a difference a year makes! After finishing the 2020 COVID season with just one win, the 2nd seed NRLL Major League Orioles wrapped up the 2021 campaign with a strong, undefeated march through the playoffs to become the 2021 Majors Division champions after a solid 11-7 victory over the upstart 5th seed Angels.

THE ORIOLES are North Reading Little League 2021 Majors champions after an 11-7 win over the Angels in the title game. (Courtesy Photo)

The Majors championship game featured a great back-and-forth battle including a repeat of last years’ Minors division championship matchup between Angels starter Ryan DiCarlo and Orioles starting pitcher Vincent Pagliuca. While that epic game from last summer finished in a 2-1 thriller, this one provided a little more offense.

With timely hitting from Angels starting catcher Gavin Griffith (2 hits, 3 RBI) and DiCarlo (2 hits, BB, RBI), the Angles dug themselves out of an early hole to make it an 8-7 game in the 5th inning. In the end, this deep Orioles lineup proved too much to handle as they tacked on runs in the bottom of the 5th to pad their lead and left the rest to their ace Tyler Boviard. Boviard faced the final four Angels hitters, striking them all out while only throwing 17 pitches.

The Orioles also got a solid start from Vincent Pagliuca and big hits from his brother Damien as well as Nalo Benedict and James Nelson.

The Orioles reached the championship game by defeating the top-seeded and defending champion White Sox 3-2 in the semis. Boviard didn’t allow a hit in 4-plus innings of strong relief. Hendrick Schomp went deep with a 2-run blast to power the offense.

The Orioles were driven all spring by deep pitching, experienced bats,and most importantly great team chemistry, led by seasoned 12-year old veterans Tyler Boviard, James Nelson, Ben Mahoney, Nalo Benedict, Alex Surette and Jack Connolly. Everyone on the team contributed along the way in all aspects of the game with spectacular plays in the field, great pitching performances and strong hitting.

Returning stars Brendan Nelson, Damien Pagliuca, Evan Araniz, Hendrik Schomp, Jackson Kosinski and Vincent Pagliuca hope to make it back-to-back championships next year. The Angels return many of their players and look to be a preseason favorite heading into 2022. NRLL wishes all our 12-year old’s the best of luck as they move onto bigger diamonds next season.