Drop 8-1 Middlesex Senior Babe Ruth League contest

Published in the July 26, 2016 edition.


WAKEFIELD — The Middlesex Senior Babe Ruth League playoffs begin on Saturday for the Wakefield Townies. However last night at Walsh Field, a depleted Wakefield squad hardly looked like a playoff team as it dropped an 8-1 contest to the Arlington Cardinals.

The Senior Townies are now 9-7 on the season and have clinched a playoff berth. Wakefield is trying to finish with as good as record as possible in the Junior Division of the league. The Townies should be the second or third seeded team headed into the playoffs.

But last night at Walsh Field, the Townies started the game with nine players and a 10th arrived in the third inning. Also with many players out for various reasons, Wakefield wasn’t at full strength against Arlington.

As a result, the Townies were outhit 17-8 and fell behind in the top of the second inning. Despite getting a run back in the home half of the frame, the Cardinals added a single run in the third inning and tacked on three more in the fifth and one more in the sixth to give themselves some breathing room.

Matt Smith pitched for the first time in a couple of years for Wakefield. Smith hurled three innings giving up four runs (three earned) on six hits while walking three, striking out two and hitting a batter.

Kevin DeLeary pitched the fourth inning giving up a hit.

Matt Doherty hurled the final three frames for the Townies giving up four runs (three earned) on 10 hits while striking out four and walking one.

At the plate, Dave Holman and DeLeary led the way with two hits each. Holman also drove in the Townies’ lone run.

Brett Maloney, Kevin Murray, Max Marchino and Robert Shaw each had a hit as well.

Arlington right-hander Anthony Santosuosso kept the Townies bats in check over the first six innings to earn the victory. Santosuosso gave up one run on five hits while striking out four and walking three batters. He also threw a wild pitch.

Keith Doyon pitched the seventh inning giving up three hits and striking out a batter to finish the game.

The Cardinals had a walk by Scott McKenzie and a base hit to right field by Paul Settapani with two outs in the top of the first inning. But a ground ball to third ended the inning.

Arlington wasn’t to be denied in the second inning as it plated three runs.

Tom O’Roarke was hit by a pitch with one out and stole second base. Doyon reached on an infield hit to third base and Jack Grandon walked to load the bases. Santosuosso helped his own cause with a base hit to center field to drive in both O’Roarke and Doyon. When the ball was misplayed in center field, Grandon scored as well.

Wakefield scored its lone run in the home half of the second inning. Jacob Barressi and Smith both walked with no outs. After a pop up to second base, Holman singled to left field to score Barressi.

The Cardinals upped their lead to 4-1 in the third inning. McKenzie and Settapani both singled to begin the frame. After a sacrifice bunt by Tim Smith to advance the runners, Mike Green walked to load the bases. O’Roarke singled to shallow right field as McKenzie scored.

Arlington a had chance for more runs in the third but Wakefield got a force out at home plate for the second out and a fly ball to right field ended the inning.

The Cardinals opened up a 7-1 advantage with three more runs in the fifth inning.

Settapani tripled to right field and scored on a base hit by Smith. After a strikeout, O’Roarke reached safely on an infield hit that Doherty got a piece of the ball on. Doyon then singled to left field to score Smith. Doyon was picked off first base before Grandon reached on infield hit to second base as O’Roarke crossed the plate.

Arlington plated its final run in the top of the sixth inning with a little help by the Wakefield defense as an error proved costly. Dan Lordan singled to right field. The Townies had a pickoff attempt at first base and Lordan was caught in a rundown. However an errant throw by the first baseman resulted in Lordan advancing to third base. A ground out to shortstop by Neil Connelly brought him in.

McKenzie tripled, but was caught in a rundown between third base and home. Settapani and Smith also singled but Doherty got a strikeout to minimize the damage.

Wakefield went quietly in the first and third innings. In the fourth, Murray reached on a catcher’s inference call. The Cardinals, however, turned an inning ending 4-6-3 double play.

The Townies had two out singles in the fifth by Shaw and DeLeary, but a pop up to the catcher ended the frame. In the sixth, Maloney and Murray both singled, but base running hurt Wakefield’s cause. Maloney was thrown out trying to steal third and Murray, after moving up to second on a wild pitch, was picked off for the final out.

Wakefield had one last opportunity in the last of the seventh. With one out, Marchino singled to right field and Holman laced a base hit to center field. After a strikeout, DeLeary singled to left field to load the bases. But a ground ball to third base ended the contest.

The loss snapped a three-game win streak by the Townies. The Townies blasted the Malden Bambinos by a 9-1 score on Friday, July 15 at Walsh Field. Wakefield defeated Lexington/Bedford by a 13-8 score on Wednesday, July 20 at Lexington High School and then edged the Arlington Pond Rats by a 4-3 score on Sunday night at Summer Street Field.

The Townies take on Cambridge tonight at 7:30 p.m. at St. Peter’s Field and then face the Cardinals again on Wednesday night at 5:30 p.m. at Spy Pond. Wakefield wraps up the regular season on Friday night at 5:45 p.m. when it hosts Belmont at Walsh Field.

Manager Gus Dettorre is hoping the Townies will have a full complement of players by Saturday when the playoffs begin at Ferullo Field in Woburn if not sooner for the final regular season contests.