By Benjamin Klein
After a long summer, the Somerville Alibrandis are once again the champions of the Yawkey Baseball League, the 13th time in the franchise’s history. Somerville was the best team during the regular season and had little trouble through three playoff series. The Alibrandis defeated the Malden Bulldogs four games to one in the championship series.
Going into the best-of-seven series against Malden, Somerville was coming off of big wins against the South Boston Saints in the quarterfinals and then the Stoneham Sabers in the semifinals.
Somerville took the series opener 4-2 behind a great pitching performance by Jon Morse, only allowing two earned runs over six innings of work. Somerville scored four times in the bottom half of the fourth inning to take a 4-0 lead that Morse, along with Brian Tanguy wouldn’t relinquish. Four Alibrandis batters had four hits on the day, with Mark Annese driving in two runs.
The second game of the series was a little bit of a wakeup call for Somerville. They had been cruising through the playoffs until Malden tied the series 1-1 with a 14-3 beat-down. Malden scored four runs in the first, three in the second, five in the third and another in the fourth to take an extremely large lead. The Somerville bats fell cold throughout the game and couldn’t get much going.
The Alibrandis would answer the next night, though. Tanguy took the mound and threw a complete game three-hitter to give Somerville a two games to one lead over the Bulldogs. Somerville held a 3-1 lead going into the seventh before Marc DesRoches hit a three-run bomb to give Tanguy some more insurance runs. A five-run lead would be more than enough as Somerville now only needed two more victories.
Anthony Del Prete came into Game 4 looking to push the Bulldogs up against the wall. He did just that, going into the sixth inning without allowing a hit. His no-hitter would eventually be broken up, but he still picked up the victory, in a 5-2 ballgame. Mike Maguire, Ted Dziuba and DesRoches each had two hits for Somerville.
Somerville held a 3-1 advantage in the series and was definitely in the driver’s seat, but wouldn’t allow Malden to make a comeback. Somerville took an early lead in the first, but Malden would battle back and hold a 3-1 lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning. That’s when things started to get interesting. The Alibrandis had the bases loaded when Maguire hit a bomb that just stayed in the park, but one run did come in to score. Somerville would tie the game after an RBI groundout and then a sacrifice fly by Bobby Barrett brought home Sal Mendonca to win the game and the league title.