Cap off 23-1 season with a sweep of the Nationals in the best-of-three final
WAKEFIELD — It all started back on a snowy March Saturday afternoon during Senior Little League Baseball tryouts. The seeds were planted for another successful run at capturing the Wakefield Senior Little League Baseball championship.
The coaches, Rick Norton and Michael Maloney, were scouting and forming a plan to repeat as champs. The culmination of lots of hard work, lots of networking the parents and lots of practices were paid in full on Friday night at Walsh Field.
The Yankees completed a storybook 23-1 season, as they dispatched the Nationals, 14-3, to be crowned back-to-back Senior Little League League Baseball Town Series Champions.
Bobby Pearl spun a beauty of a game, allowing only six hits and three runs while getting a boat load of offensive production from the top of the Yankees’ order. Brendan Coughlin led the way with four hits (two doubles). Carmen Sorrentino (three hits), Brett Maloney (two hits), Max Marchino (three hits) and Pearl (three hits), along with Coughlin, combined for 15 of the Yankee 18 hits.
Brian Tartarini led the Nats with two hits in the losing effort.
The regular season champs were ready from the first pitch by Nationals’ starter Kevin Deleary. Singles by Sorrentino, Marchino, Pearl and Coughlin with a walk sandwiched in to Maloney led to three early runs. Third baseman Mike Lucey knocked in two more with a double to left field. John Stanfield batted in the sixth run of the first inning with his infield single scoring Lucey.
The Yanks added two more runs in the top of the second inning when Coughlin blasted a deep double to left scoring Marchino and Pearl who had earlier got hits.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Yanks widened their lead to 13-0. Six straight base hits by Sorrentino, Maloney, Marchino, Pearl, Coughlin and rookie Timmy Coggswell made their path to the title a little easier.
The Nationals broke through against Pearl in the bottom of the fourth inning. Tyler Pugsley doubled to the gap in right-center field. Alex Johnson reached on an infield error and Tartarini plated Pugsley and Johnson with his long single to left field Deleary then ripped a ball up the middle to knock in Tartarini to close the gap to 13-3. Pearl settled down and got the next two batters to squash an even bigger uprising.
The Yanks finished off their scoring in the top of the sixth. Sorrentino and Maloney singled and, after a force out at second base, Coughlin capped his great hitting night by launching a screaming line drive to right field to score Sorrentino and make it 14-3.
The Yankees closer, Stanfield came in for the last inning to shut the door on the Nationals and like Keith Foulke in the 2004 World Series, with two outs, he got a little roller back to the mound and flipped it to first base to end the game and start the celebration on the mound.
Manager Norton had this to say about the Nationals, “They deserve a lot of credit, they gave us a tough series and are a very good team.”
He also went to say, “I want the boys to always remember these last two championships, cause they don’t come around too often. This is a special team with special players and I will always be proud of them.”
Norton finished by dedicating the season to Bill and Kim Smith.
Published in the June 29, 2015 edition