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HATS OFF TO LYNN BABE RUTH 15S

By STEVE KRAUSE

Idle chatter while waiting to see how long it takes for Tom Brady to file a defamation-of-character suit, or whether he’ll just put the guns away and let his play do the talking from hereon out.

You have to hand it to the Lynn Babe Ruth program for showing a lot of integrity heading into the 15-year-old New Englandregionals next week at Fraser Field.

Host teams get automatic bids into these tournaments. That means that Lynn could have skipped the honor of playing in the district and state tournaments and concentrated on getting ready for the New Englands.

It could have. But instead, it took on all comers. And if the boys win one more game (today, 5:30 at BC High) they’ll be state champions.

That’s how they’d prefer it.

“It’s been our goal for three years to win a state title,” says manager Leon Elwell. “I’ve had these kids since they were 13, and we’ve come up short the last two years. They want to win this.”

There’s a fine line, of course, that separates staying in game condition so that you can be ready to play when the time comes, and going all-out and possibly ending up less than healthy when the big moments come.

The Golden State Warriors and the New England Patriots come to mind as recent examples of two teams that exhausted themselves in going for a regular-season record for wins and an undefeated season, respectively, but fell short of the big prize. Every time this happens, the debate over what’s more important rears its head. Should the Warriors have rested their starters for a few games late in the season so that they’d be fresh for the playoffs? Were the Patriots better off taking the pressure off themselves by losing a game during the 2007 regular season so that the weight of perfection wasn’t bearing down on them?

To me, these are silly arguments, but people make them. And with a straight face, too.

It’s pretty refreshing to see a bunch of kids who consider earning their spot preferable to coasting into it, especially since we see plenty of examples every day of people who do just enough to “get by.”

One can only hope they achieve that goal today. But even if they don’t, hats off to them for considering a state title important enough to go for it.

The District 16 LIttle League tournament wrapped up Friday night, with Swampscott coming out of the loser’s bracket to beatPeabody West.

It’s very easy to put the knock on organizations such as Little League for exposing kids who aren’t even adolescents yet to untold pressures, and, if they’re fortunate enough to live the dream of playing in the World Series in Williamsport, Penn., making celebrities out of them when they may not be ready for that.

But it’s also fascinating to watch them perform, especially the ones who can rise to the occasion and get the big hit, or make the big play. It may be unfair to have such expectations of 12-year-old kids, but, boy, it’s fun to watch at the same time.

To all the fanboys and girls out there who are convinced that Tom Brady should turn around and sue the NFL for defamation of character, keep one thing in mind: if there’s even a hint that he was complicit in whatever was done to deflate those footballs, he’s going to have to testify to it under oath. If he were to perjure himself, and facts are ever brought up to bear this out, whatever is left of his reputation will be shredded beyond repair.

It says here that his best course of action is to rest up and get ready to put a severe hurting on his opponents come October.

These people who complain about the Red Sox trading away prospects for a proven Major League pitcher just don’t get it, do they?

First of all, what is a prospect? For those old enough to remember the 1978 season, Bobby Sprowl was a prospect. Then the Red Sox put them out there and not only could he not get anyone out, he couldn’t even get the ball over the plate.

The gold standard of bad trading, or so goes conventional wisdom, was Jeff Bagwell for Larry Anderson in 1990. At the time, Anderson was a journeyman reliever who gave the Red Sox a few good games down the stretch that season. Bagwell became one of the game’s most feared sluggers with the Houston Astros.

The Red Sox, you may recall, won the American League East that season. Bagwell finally got into a World Series in 2005 — his last year in the Major Leagues. It’s not always that cut and dried.

If Drew Pomeranz can make enough of a difference that the Red Sox get into the post-season and make some noise, then it’s worth trading Anderson Espinoza and all the other unproven pitchers in the system to make that happen.

By | July 16th, 2016|News|0 Comments

Lynn Babe Ruth 13s outlast Revere

PHOTO BY JOYCE EREKSON
Lynn’s Nick Galeazzi bats during Tuesday night’s Babe Ruth game against Revere.

BY JOYCE EREKSON

SAUGUS — The Lynn Babe Ruth 13s went into Tuesday night’s final pool play game against Revere knowing they would be moving on to the state semifinals. Revere knew win or lose the season was over, but the game didn’t feel like there was little at stake.

Lynn won 10-8, but this one was a battle. Revere jumped out to a 5-0 lead, saw Lynn tie it up and then go ahead. Despite not having won a game in pool play, Revere made things interesting by tying the game at 6-6 and again at 8-8 in the fifth inning. Lynn would pull away for good with two runs in the bottom of the sixth.

“It was a great game,” Revere manager Richard DiMarzo said. “The kids showed up and played hard. They were in it to the last out … the kids were playing for pride today and it showed.”

Lynn will play the South No. 2 seed (to be determined) Thursday at 6 p.m. in the semifinals at World Series Park.

Lynn manager Dave Galeazzi shuffled his lineup around to give some players who had seen limited playing time some innings and they rose to the occasion.

Ray Contreras saw time at both first base and third base and was impressive. He made a terrific leaping catch on a line drive that was heading into no-man’s land down the right field line, dug a ball out of the dirt a few times and made some nice plays at third. Contreras also hit a pop up to center field in the first inning that was misplayed, allowing Lucas Fritz to score Lynn’s first run. He had a single up the middle in the second inning and in the bottom of the fourth, he ripped an RBI single to centerfield.

Revere came out on a mission in the top of the first. The first two batters reached on a walk and a single, but Lynn starting pitcher Jack Hogan fanned the three and four hitters and it looked like Lynn might escape relatively unscathed. That didn’t happen. Revere first baseman Anthony Pimental singled to center field to drive in Wil Martinez and Lucas Rincon. Hogan issued two more walks and Revere’s Dilyn Day made it hurt with a two-run single to right field that scored Pimental and Richie DiMarzo. Calvin Boudreau, who had one of the walks, scored on a wild pitch to give Revere a 5-0 lead.

Lynn started its comeback with a run in the bottom half of the inning, but it was the bottom of the second that did Revere in. Lynn batted through the order and did most of the damage with two outs. Revere got the first batter to fly out, but shortstop Jackson Nickolau ended up on third thanks to an errant throw on a dropped third strike. He scored on a grounder by Jeffrey Hill with two other runs coming in on a passed balls, one on a single by Sannel Castro. Hogan topped off the inning with a two-run single.

Revere came back to tie the game at 6-6 in the fourth inning on a single by Ryan Doucette, but Lynn proved relentless, scoring two in the bottom of the fourth to take an 8-6 lead. Contreras’ RBI single made it 7-6 and Rincon scored on a balk.

Revere had one more comeback in the tank. In the top of the fifth, Day beat out a throw to the plate on a ground ball and Martinez scored on a wild pitch to tie the game 8-8. Jared DeFillipo (who made a spectacular running catch in left field in the top of the seventh) came up with big pinch hit single to left field that scored Contreras from third for what would be the game-winner. Tobin singled and scored on an infield single for the 10-8 final.

Hogan started for Lynn and went four innings. Fritz finished up in relief and got the win. John Capozzi started for Revere with Martinez coming on in relief.

“We were very pleased to see how the kids battled back,” Galeazzi said. “We’ve been hitting the ball better the last two games. We’ve been getting a lot of line drives and hard grounders instead of pop ups.”

The state finals will be played Saturday at Boston College High.

By | July 14th, 2016|News|0 Comments

LYNN 14S ADVANCE TO STATE SEMIFINAL

BY MIKE ALONGI

DANVERS — It was a solid all-around game for the Lynn 14-year-old Babe Ruth baseball team on Tuesday as it defeated Belmont, 6-4, in an EMass North state sectional game at Twi Field. First baseman Matt Devin led the way on offense with two RBI.

“I thought we played well today,” said Lynn coach Dan Gisonno. “We did a good job on the mound, made some plays in the field and hit the ball when we needed to. They guys did a good job today.”

Also contributing offensively for Lynn were shortstop Will Hunter, third baseman Bobby Alcock, starting pitcher Brendan Lannon and extra hitter Adnan Jalal, each of whom recorded one RBI.

On the mound, Lannon pitched five innings and gave up three runs on one hit with eight walks. He was relieved by Kyle Finnegan, who pitched the final two innings and gave up one run on two hits with one walk and one strikeout.

“Brendan had a great game today and Kyle was able to come in and back him up well,” said Gisonno. “They both came out and forced the other team to make contact and we did the work behind him.”

It was a pitchers’ duel for the first three innings, with neither team able to get anything going on offense.

The drought ended in the top of the fourth. After a leadoff single by Alcock and a double by Aubrey Connors, runners stood on second and third with no outs. Next up was Devin, who ripped a screaming line drive into right field. Although he was thrown out on a great play by the rightfielder, the run came across the plate to make it 1-0. Next up was Lannon, who smacked an RBI single to left field after two unsuccessful suicide squeeze attempts to put the score at 2-0.

Belmont responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the fourth when starting pitcher Tim Minicozzi hit an RBI single.

But it was the top of the fifth that put Lynn over the edge. Rightfielder Aidan Calnan was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and then stole second to get into scoring position. Next up was Jalal, who lined an RBI single. Two batters later, Hunter stepped in and hit an RBI double into the gap in right-centerfield to make it 4-1. Alcock followed that up with an RBI single before Devin notched his second RBI of the game to make it 6-1.

Belmont tried to scrape together some more runs over the last two innings. In the bottom of the fifth, Belmont grabbed a run on an error and another on a balk to cut the deficit in half.

With the score 6-3 in the bottom of the sixth, Belmont tried to get another rally going. It moved runners to second and third with one out and got an RBI groundout from Jack McHugh to make it 6-4. Belmont was then able to get the tying run to the plate with two out, but a groundout ended the rally.

With the win, Lynn moves on to the state semifinals to face the No. 1 seed in the South pool in Plymouth on Thursday afternoon.

“I hear they’re pretty good down there in the South bracket, all of the teams coming out of there are good,” Gisonno said. “I’m sure we’ll have our work cut out for us, but we’re pretty good too and we’re going to give them all they can handle. So we’re excited.”

By | July 14th, 2016|News|0 Comments

LYNN BABE RUTH TEAMS JUST KEEP ON WINNING

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Dayshon Anderson follows through on the swing that resulted in a grand-slam homer during Saturday’s 15-year-old Babe Ruth game against Chelmsford

BY STEVE KRAUSE

CHELMSFORD — Lynn 15-year-old Babe Ruth manager Leon Elwell couldn’t have said it any better.

“I know they’re only 15,” Elwell said, “but this win (Saturday) was almost professional, the way we came out and took care of business.”

It was certainly efficient. And clinical. The 15s wasted no time against Chelmsford Saturday at Volunteer Field, parlaying two five-run innings into a 10-0 4½-inning win over the hosts of the state north tournament.

Lynn is back in action today (5) against Medford.

In the top of the first, pitcher David Barnard blew away the first three Chelmsford hitters on strikes (he’d go on to whiff six in three innings). And then, in the bottom of the inning, after Dan Lilja scored on Christian Burt’s single, Barnard and AJ Luciano got on base via a walk and a hit-by-pitch respectively before Dayshon Anderson unloaded a grand slam over the left-field fence.

“Ever since this post-season started,” Elwell said, “I don’t think there’s been a game where we haven’t scored right away.

“It helped today that David came out throwing strikes, attacking the zone, and then Dayshon gets us started right away.”

After Barnard gave up a leadoff single to Conor Quinn in the second, he retired the next six hitters he faced, three via strikeout.

Lynn wasn’t done scoring runs. Aedan Leydon singled and scored on Barnard’s double, Burt walked, went to third on Barnard’s double and scored on a groundout by Luciano, and both Barnard and Anderson, who had walked, were driven in on a hot gounder by Anthony Nickolakakis that got by the third baseman. The 10th run came in by way of a fielder’s-choice grounder by Brett Bucklin.

“It was a clean game,” said Elwell. “We didn’t make any errors, everybody played, everybody hit. They’re a good bunch of kids and they’ve worked hard.”

The entire north part of the tournament is in Chelmsford. After the pool-play phase ends, the top two teams in both the North and South will play for the title at BC High in Dorchester.

14-year-olds

Lynn 7, Danvers 2

At Twi Field, Danvers, Will Hunter pitched complete game, scattering seven hits, striking out five, and walking one.

Hunter helped himself at bat reaching base four times, with single, double, walk and a hit-by-pitch.

Lynn’s big inning was a four-run fourth, with Bob Alcott singling home two runs.

Kyle Finnegan reached three times on a single, double and a walk Dan Gisonno scored two runs.

13-year-olds

Lynn 8, Arlington 6

Lynn 5, Peabody 3 (8 innings)

At World Series Park in Saugus, Lynn beat Arlington 8-6 Saturday and got some payback against Peabody, which won in 19 innings in the districts, with a 5-3 eight-inning victory Sunday.

With the score tied 3-3 heading into the top of the eighth Sunday, Jack Hogan singled and pinch-runner Sennell Castro stole second. Jeffrey Hill got a base hit, with Castro stopping at third. However, the cutoff throw went all the way to the plate, allowing Castro to take second.

Lucas Fritz knocked them both in with a double to right-center.

Aiden Dow pitched the final three innings to get the win, which left fielder Sean Anderson saved by laying out to catch a looping fly ball, and then doubling a runner off third base for the final two outs.

Luke Mannion pitched the first five innings.

Saturday, Lynn scored five runs in the bottom of the first, the big hit coming on Nick Galeazzi’s bases-loaded double that scored three runs.

However, by the fifth inning, Arlington had tied the game. But in the bottom of the fifth, Andrew Luciano knocked in two runs with a single, and Derian Arias’ base hit drove home an insurance run in the sixth.

Luciano pitched the first four innings, with Hogan, and Mannion, who got the win, finishing up.

By | July 12th, 2016|News|0 Comments

BUSY WEEK OF BABE RUTH AHEAD

By STEVE KRAUSE

Teams from Lynn, Peabody and Saugus will be very busy over the next week as Babe Ruth state tournaments in three different age groups begin.

This year, Babe Ruth has structured the tournaments differently. Rather than have teams from north and south of Boston competing at one site, which made traveling through Boston at rush hour necessary for one side of the city or the other, there are North and South tournaments this year. There will be a pool-play format for the 13s, 14s and 15s, with playoffs involving the first- and second-place teams from each region at the new baseball field that BC High and UMass Boston share.

The North 13s tournament is at World Series Park in Saugus while the 14s are at Twi Field in Danvers. The 15s are in Volunteer Field in Chelmsford.

Lynn and Peabody will compete in all three age groups, by virtue of either winning their district tournaments or finishing as runners-up. Saugus will join Lynn and Peabody in the 13-year-old tournament as the host team.

State champions will proceed to the New England Regionals, which, this year for the 15s, will be held at Fraser Field in Lynn.

Games involving Peabody begin tonight for the 15s and 14s, while Saugus plays Arlington at 5:30 in the 13-year-old tournament at World Series Park. The Peabody 15s face Medford tonight at 5 p.m. in Chelmsford while the 14s will play Arlington in Danvers.

By | July 6th, 2016|News|0 Comments

League softball to begin this spring

Softball season is knocking at the door and with it comes the debut of a new league for 13-16 year-old girls.

Registration is still being accepted for the new Lynn Junior/Senior Little League softball program that will be run out of Wyoma Little League but will be open to girls from throughout the city as well as those who live in neighboring Lynnfield. The new league will provide a place to play for girls who in the past would have moved up to Babe Ruth softball after aging out of Little League.

Greater Lynn Babe Ruth, faced with declining softball numbers in recent years, decided to end its softball program after Wyoma expressed interest in starting up a junior/senior division that would be open to all the girls in the city plus those from Lynnfield. The Babe Ruth program was run in-house at Breed’s Grace Rogato Field for many years, but a steadily declining number of Babe Ruth softball programs in the state meant the league did not have the option of interleague play when its numbers dropped.

Wyoma Little League president Tony Luciano said he’s hoping to have enough players to field three teams. The Lynn teams (which will include players from Lynnfield) will play against teams from Saugus, Swampscott, Marblehead, Peabody, Salem, Woburn and Wakefield. The overall division should have 15 teams, Luciano said.

The new arrangement does not apply to the younger girls who will continue to play for either Wyoma or the combined East Lynn/West Lynn/Pine Hill programs, depending on where they live. Luciano said the Little Leagues in the city have been great about providing contact information for the girls who graduated from their programs last year. Luciano said most of the girls have indicated they plan to play in the new league. He said Greater Lynn Babe Ruth has also reached out to the girls it had in its program last year, but the response has somewhat slower.

“The challenge is getting the word out about signups,” Luciano said, adding he’s hopeful that now that people are starting to turn their attention toward baseball and softball, the registration will pick up.

Tryouts for the new league (to determine how the teams will be split up) are being held this Saturday at Lynn Tech from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Registration will be accepted at that time or between 9 a.m. and noon that day at Tech.. More information can be found on Wyoma’s Facebook page (just search Wyoma Little League) or on its website at wyomalittleleague.com. Those interested can also email (wyomalittleleague@hotmail.com).

Luciano said he’s also still trying to get parents of players from outside Wyoma Little League to get involved in running the new league.

By | March 15th, 2016|News|0 Comments

Babe Ruth 14s softball wins two in regional play

KINGSTON — The Lynn Babe Ruth 14-year-old softball all-stars played two games Friday in the first day of pool play at the New England Regionals and the only thing the two games had in common was the fact Lynn won both.

In the first game against the Attack from Dover, N.H., Lynn pounded out 16 hits and put 13 runs on the board in the first inning en route to a 27-7 win. The game only went four innings.

Game 2 was a different story. Lynn faced the Lamprey Lightning, also out of New Hampshire, and although Lynn won 6-1, it was a battle. Lamprey Lightning pitcher Mikayla Makepeace had Lynn stymied for the first four innings. She struck out 10 through four innings and scattered three hits that didn’t come back to haunt her.

Lynn finally started to get to her in the top of the fifth inning when Alaina Gridley walked, Ashley Wojewodzic singled and pitcher Johnna Lee Calder walked. Gridley scored on Wojewodzic’s single, Wojewodzic came home on a wild pitch and Calder scored on a groundout by Shannon Magner.

When Lynn started making noise again in the top of the sixth, Makepeace departed and reliever Cassidy O’Dwyer stepped in. O’Dwyer was throwing hard, but Lynn seemed to be hitting its stride. Wojewodzic, who went 3-for-3, knocked in two runs on a single and Calder plated one more on a ground ball to second. Earlier in that inning, Ally Dunnigan had walked and Madison Angelli, on a heads-up play, reached on a dropped third strike to put a few ducks on the pond for Wojewodzic and Calder.

Lamprey River, which draws players from five New Hampshire towns, including Raymond and Epping, scored its only run in the second on a walk and RBI single.

The story for Lynn in the second game was Calder. The soon-to-be eighth-grader went the distance, striking out 12 and allowing only four hits and walking three.

“She’s a good little pitcher,” Lynn manager Paul DeJoie said. “She’s young. She’s only 13 and in the eighth grade. She’s got three pitches that work and she’s working on a fourth and fifth. Today her changeup was devastating.”

In the first game of the day, Lynn came out swinging. After a strikeout to start the game, No. 2 hitter Michelle Scuzzarella singled and then showed off some speed by capitalizing on two errors on the play to reach third. She ended up scoring on a passed ball.

Things went from bad to worse for Dover that inning. With two outs, Lynn managed to put another 12 runs on the board. Dunnigan, who was pitching, helped the cause with a two-run home run that inning and the second time through the order, Magner (home run, double, 3 RBI) cracked a two-run home run over the centerfielder’s head.

Lynn put up three runs in the second inning and 11 in the third to put the game away.

Emma DeJoie finished with three hits and two runs scored; other contributors included Scuzzarella (2 hits, 2 runs, 2 RBI); Courtney Braswell (4 hits, 3 runs, RBI); Jessica DeJoie (hit, 4 runs); Dunnigan (home run, 2 RBI); Gridley (single, triple, 3 RBI); Tiana Evelyn (2 walks, 2 runs) and Lindsey Tobin (2 hits, run).

Lynn has one more pool game remaining. Four teams will advance to a double elimination round.

By | January 20th, 2016|News|0 Comments

Congrats, Jim Beliveau and G.L.B.R.

September 22, 2014
By Journal Staff

Congratulations to the Greater Lynn Babe Ruth organization and its president, Jim Beliveau, on an outstanding 2014 season.

The awards banquet, held Sunday at the Nahant Country Club (NCC), was a first-class event with Pete Dawson, a coach in the GLBR organization and a manager at the NCC, rolling out the red carpet for the players and their families.

We appreciate the many hours that Beliveau and his board of directors put in voluntarily to provide Lynn 13-16-year-old baseball and softball players with a safe, well-organized, and competitive environment in which to advance their skills.

This year was a particularly successful one on the field as the three All-Star baseball teams garnered District championships while the 14-under softball All-Star team captured the New England title.

We also want to thank longtime league official Jeff Earp for being such a terrific goodwill ambassador for Greater Lynn Babe Ruth. Jeff keeps us well informed of the leagues’ many accomplishments and we appreciate his public relations work and the personable, upbeat manner in which he promotes the organization.

We look forward to many more successful seasons and enjoyable awards banquets.

By | January 20th, 2016|News|0 Comments