Publishes July 7, 2021

WAKEFIELD — The Wakefield Senior League Yankees baseball team had an incredible run this season that almost ended in a title. The Yankees played in a 13-16-year-old league called Middlesex Big Diamond. The team had almost all 13 and 14-year-olds and faced teams with a number of 15 and 16-year-olds, including junior varsity and varsity baseball players. There were 13 teams in the league, including three other Wakefield teams.

THE WAKEFIELD Senior League Yankees made it to the championship game of the Middlesex Big Diamond League. The Yanks went 8-3 in the regular season and won two playoff games, including a 7-6 walk-off win over Lynnfield in the semifinals. (Courtesy Photo)

During the regular season, the Yankees went 8-3 and ended up as the fourth seed, one spot away from a first-round bye. Their first playoff game was a 16-0 victory.

Next, the Yankees played a skilled All-Star team from Lynnfield with a few older players of very high quality. Many of the Yankees players ended up saying that this was the most exciting game they ever played.

The Yankees were up the whole game as star player, Phillip D’Alleva, pitched and showed everyone his impressive pickoff move to second base.

In the top of the 7th, though, D’Alleva ran out of pitches and Lynnfield scored three runs to go up 6-4. Lynnfield was threatening to score more, but the Yankees got out of the inning earlier than expected with a double play when new pitcher Charles Gagne caught two Lynnfield players trying for a double steal and ended up getting them both out at third base in an exciting rundown play that also included catcher Collin Ala, third baseman Marc Gagne and left fielder Luke Greif.

The bottom of the 7th was the Yankees’ last hope. Marc Gagne hit a triple to deep right field to start the inning, then scored on a passed ball to make it 6-5. Sean O’Rourke walked and Ala got a single. O’Rourke and Ala advanced to second and third base on a passed ball, then Hudson Little was up with no outs. Little battled off a few pitches and worked a full count – then he smacked a line drive in-between first and second base, driving home O’Rourke to tie the game.

Head coach Mike Labieniec also waved Ala home. It was a close play but Ala was safe and the Yankees won the game. It was an amazing moment, and all of the players went crazy.

“Coaches were proud of the kids’ play,” said Labieniec. “Everyone put the ball into play and contributed. We collaborated and came together, allowing for a well-earned team win.”

The win meant the Yankees advanced to the championship game. In this final game, they played a Stoneham team with several varsity baseball players and a majority of junior varsity players. The Yankees kept it close for three innings, until Stoneham pulled away and won the championship. The effort was there for the Yankees the whole season, and they never gave up even in the hardest times. The rest of the players who contributed all season in the field and at the plate were Charlie Lemieux, Trevor Veilleux, Nicolo Labieniec, Adam Levy and Gianni Viscio. Special thanks to coaches Labieniec, O’Rourke, Lemieux, Little and D’Alleva. It was a season to remember and a great accomplishment to make the finals as one of the youngest teams in the league.