By Mike Stoller
A few milestones highlighted another four-win week for the first-place Somerville Alibrandis baseball team, which improved its record to 22-3 in the Yawkey League. Also included in the squad’s record is a 3-0 loss to the second place Stoneham Sabers.
Mike Maguire picked up career hit No. 300, Marc DesRoches racked up career strikeout No. 500, and pitcher Brian Tanguy posted his eighth save to break the Alibrandis all-time single season record.
Alibrandis won a pair of thrilling 2-1 games against the South End Astros and West Roxbury Nationals. In his one inning of work, DesRoches got the win against the visiting Astros, striking out two in the eighth frame to seal the extra-inning win.
DesRoches notched his 500th career strikeout against the first batter of the inning. His overall effort kept a 1-1 game in check until the bottom of the eighth, when Alibrandis won it on a single by Steve Rogers. Logan Gillis started the rally with a hit and a stolen base.
The play of the game was made by Maguire who ranged way out of his territory in centerfield to grab a sinking line drive that saved at least a run in the sixth.
A super pitching matchup between Alibrandis’ Anthony Del Prete and South End’s Milciades Santana was on display for the first seven innings. Del Prete allowed his only run in the third, after Alibrandis took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second.
Offensively, Gillis and Rogers each went 2-for-4 and Justin Crisafulli had two hits in three tries.
The night before against host West-Roxbury proved just as thrilling for Alibrandis in a dandy of a pitching duel between Somerville’s Chris Foundas and W-R’s Anthony Berroa. Foundas went the distance. He gave up three hits and three walks, while striking out 12 and raising his record to 6-0 on the season. Berroa also pitched the entire game, allowing eight hits.
“Both teams brought it,” Alibrandis assistant coach Cam Lynch said. “It was a great game.”
DesRoches drove in the first run for Alibrandis as Ted Dziuba, who doubled, came around in the top of the first.
Then, with the game tied at 1-1 in the fourth, Crisafulli delivered a long home run to deep center for what turned out to be the winning run.
“We had a couple of playoff atmosphere games where we had to grind it out,” Lynch said. “South End and West Roxbury could be playoff teams and are [difficult to contend with]. “It’s good we grinded it out to pick up two wins. That will help us down the line.”
Alibrandis began the week with a strong 8-0 win over the visiting Malden Bulldogs. John Morse pitched a solid game, improving his season ledger to 6-1. Morse went four innings, allowed no runs on five hits, walked none and struck out five.
Tanguy closed it with three innings of terrific relief, securing his single season team record of eight saves. Tanguy didn’t allow a hit or a walk. He struck out two.
Mike Cunningham went 2-for-4 with a two-run double. Crisafulli also drove in two with a single, while going 1-for-3. Maguire went 2-for-3 with an RBI. DesRoches had two hits in four at-bats. Defensively, Gillis shined at second base.
After the pair of 2-1 victories, Alibrandis got the bats going again in a solid 8-2 over the visiting Savin Hill Hornets.
Dziuba (2-for-4) hit one of the longest ever home runs at Trum as the ball sailed forever to deep right. Dziuba finished the night 2-for-4 with four RBIs.
Cunninham went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, including a run-scoring triple. Crisafulli had two hits in three tries with an RBI and stolen base.
“Our hitting improved dramatically from June,” Lynch said. “We played five games this week. When you play consistent baseball, it’s a lot easier to be consistent and get comfortable in the box and see the ball…
“It was a good week of offense,” he added. “In each game, we had a number of hits.”
Meanwhile, the pitching remained dominant. Sean Sullivan tossed six strong innings. He allowed two hits, while striking out 10 and walking three. Matt Lounsbury finished it, giving up a hit. He struck out one and walked one.
“Our pitching ERA dropped to 1.08,” Lynch said, noting it was already a remarkable 1.31 going into the week.
Alibrandis was scheduled to play three games this week. The Somerville team was scheduled to visit Savin Hill on Tuesday and the McKay Club Beacons on Thursday, before it returns to Trum for another big game with West Roxbury on Friday.