It’s that time of year again. On October 8th (9am first pitch) and 9th (early afternoon finish) at Adams Field in Quincy we will be raising money and awareness in the fight to rid the world of ALS. See Link for further information.
Coaches vs. Cancer Classic
Also, our friends at the Commonwealth Amateur Baseball League will be running their Coaches vs. Cancer tournament as well. Our own Stoneham Sabres will be looking to defend their title from last year’s tournament while raising money that will go toward cancer research.
**A date for the 2016 Yawkey League Banquet has yet to be finalized.
Anything is possiblllllllllllle…move over Boston Celtics there is a new local franchise who can boast 17 Championship Titles. In Game 4 the Somerville Alibrandis franchise was able to win 7-4 completing the series sweep and winning the 2016 Yawkey League Championship. Somerville has been to the YBL Finals 17 times in its history and they have won every single time, 17-0.
The story starts with the Alibrandis pitching staff which was asked to keep the Al Thomas Athletics’ line-up at bay. Al Thomas proved to be the most prolific offense in the history of the Yawkey League through the regular season, but the Somerville pitching staff was equal to the task holding them to 11 runs in the 4 game series. Quality starts by Sean Sullivan, Chris Foundas, Chris Costa and Jon Morse followed by bullpen help from Brian Tanguy and Lamarre Rey was a recipe for pitching success.
Head Coach Bernie Driscoll had the Alibrandis offense in high gear throughout the series scoring a total of 37 runs in the 4 games. They were able to hit that stride of grinding out at-bats, being tough outs, working pitchers, taking the extra base, taking advantage of miscues and getting huge, clutch hits when the table was set. Bobby Barrett edged out Teddy Dziuba and Will Brennan to take the YBL Playoff MVP Award. Barrett led the high powered Alibrandis offense in hits, extra base hits, OBP, Slugging Percentage, OPS and Batting Average throughout the post-season.
Tip of the cap goes to the Al Thomas Club for a fantastic season. They have always exemplified what we want to see in a Yawkey League franchise both on and off the field. Joe O’Hara, John Kostas, Matt McDougall and the late, great Al Thomas have a ton to be proud of with their 2016 campaign. Best of luck to Coach John Kostas and his wife as they soon welcome a new addition to their family, if not already by post-time.
Congratulations to Somerville Alibrandis for coming out on top once again. This is 7 titles in a row which equals the consecutive amount set by the 2005, 2006 and 2007 Somerville rosters. If this is the final season for Head Coach Bernie Driscoll, then we wish him the very best. The Yawkey League will certainly be losing and irreplaceable piece.
The date for the 2016 Yawkey League Banquet should be announced this week or next.
Just a reminder that no 7 game series finishes at 3-0…
Chris Costa spins a gem for Somerville Alibrandis to put them one win away from a 7th consecutive Yawkey League Championship. In Game 3, Costa threw a complete game victory with 10 strikeouts against the powerful ATBC lineup. Costa seemed to always come up with a huge strikeout when ATBC put the pressure on.
Alibrandis would continue its torrid hitting building a 3-0 lead in the first three frames before tacking on 7 runs in the bottom of the 4th powered by a line drive Grand Slam by first baseman Gordie Gronkowski. Somerville would get a multi-hit night from Will Brennan and a clutch 2 RBI single from Teddy Dziuba to add the cushion they would need.
James Katsiroubas had the only multi-hit game for ATBC with the only RBI. The 2015 Yawkey League MVP is fun to watch with a smoked double to left and an RBI single by 3rd baseman Bobby Barrett who didn’t have a chance to react.
Most importantly the YBL wishes ATBC Coach/3rd Baseman/Captain John Kostas the very best of luck as he and his wife soon welcome Baby Kostas into the world, “any time now…” It’s a rare occasion where baseball takes a backseat and we all stand up and applaud.
Game 4 is set for 2pm at St. Peters on Saturday.
Last night the Yawkey League took the night off to participate in YBL HOFer Steve Buckley’s Old Time Baseball Game. Filling up the coaching staffs were Brian Carey, Mike Powers, Carl Rodriguez, James Greeley, Alex Lee and there was a good amount of Yawkey League talent filling both rosters as well. All funds raised went toward Boston vs. Bullies.
Tonight we stay at the same venue, St. Peter’s Field in Cambridge (if the game is rained out, it will be moved to the turf at Maplewood), but we are back to working hard to crown a 2016 Yawkey League Champion. This is Game 3 with #2 seed Somerville Alibrandis holding a 2-0 lead over the #1 seeded Al Thomas Athletics. We know there will be offensive heroes tonight as these two potent line-ups have no fear of a field with 320′ dimensions all the way around, we just don’t know who they will be. That said, let’s get to the wings.
Both teams have depth on the mound, so there are plenty of fresh arms available, especially with the two built-in off days this week. ATBC will start Bobby Freeman who may be their hottest hand. Freeman is already 2-0 this postseason after a fantastic 6-1 record during the regular season. A true “ball-in-play” guy, he will rely on the very capable ATBC defense.
Alibrandis will counter with Chris Costa who had a breakout year for the Red Army this year leaving the bullpen behind for a spot in the starting rotation. After starting the year 4-0, he has lost his last 2 decisions overall. Is that the jump start that ATBC needs to get themselves going in this series?
The alumni for both teams are excited, the venue is perfect and this is the match-up that we have been waiting for all season. Pack a cooler, call Armando’s Pizza 617-354-8275 and get down to St. Peters Field at 7:30pm to catch the best amateur baseball action you’ll find anywhere. For those of you watching remotely, Matt Grimes and I will be playing the part of Kenny Blankenship and Vic Romano via the Yawkey League Facebook page. Buckle up, this is the YBL Championship Series, Game 3!!!
The debate has gone on for decades…some players treat a playoff game like it’s just a regular season game (see Tom Brady’s nap before SuperBowl XXXVI), other folks say the playoffs are a different animal altogether (see Michael Phelps’ Face in Rio). Somerville Alibrandis seems to have hit that extra playoff gear that they have been known to show in August almost every year. On the strength of 8 extra base hits, including 6 doubles and homers by 2015 YBL Playoff MVP Billy Karalis and Will Brennan (both pictured above), the Red Army took a 2-0 series lead. Every Alibrandi starter recorded a hit including multi-hit games from Mike Maguire, Ted Dziuba, Bobby Barrett, Karalis, Brennan, Jimmy Ricoy and Mark Addesa.
The aging Alibrandis pitching staff can’t completely shut down an Al Thomas offense that scored the most regular season runs of any team in YBL History, but the Red offense is certainly taking the pressure off so far this series. ATBC had multi-hit games from Freddi Carrera, Tom Trull and Mike Hicks as their offense is never out of any game.
Alibrandis takes its 2-0 series lead to St. Peter’s Field in Cambridge for Game 3 on Friday night at 7:30pm. The bandbox of a field should allow these offenses to trade punches once again as no lead is safe. Each pitching staff will be challenged to hit every spot all night long to stay away from big innings.
If there is one team that can swing big and get back in the series, the 2016 Athletics is that team. Can they get swinging while cooling down the Somerville bats? Can Bernie put together a solid line-up without Littman and Ricoy in Cambridge? Will Chris Costa, Jon Morse and Lamarre Rey ever see the mound? Stay tuned tomorrow…
Tonight we pause Yawkey action to honor our commitment to YBL HOFer Steve Buckley in support of his Old Time Baseball Game. This year’s game will feature several Yawkey baseballers and will raise funds for Boston vs Bullies (http://www.bostonvsbullies.org/) to help keep bullying out of our schools. I hope to see as many YBL guys there as is possible. St. Peter’s Field in Cambridge, 7pm start.
After a one night hiatus the YBL returns to Adams Field in Quincy at 7:30 tonight for Game 2 of the YBL Championship Series. Somerville Alibrandis is off to a 1-0 series lead as the Al Thomas Club looks to even things up. We won’t go into too much detail about two of the deepest and most powerful offenses that this League has ever seen, so let’s go right to the guys getting the ball.
The visitors will go with YBL Veteran Chris Foundas in this one. Foundy went 4-1 with a sub-3.00 ERA this regular season and is coming off a CG win in his only 2016 postseason start. His strikeouts are down and his base runners allowed are up, but he has been in big games before.
The home team will counter with Pat Bresnehan after a 6-0 regular season in the YBL, while already 1-0 in the playoffs. 2016 marked Bresnehan’s return to the YBL after a stellar college career at Arizona State University and a professional career that spanned 2006-2012 with both Independent ball and Pittsburgh Pirates organization. Expect ATBC to have a fully rested arsenal in the bullpen after a night off as well.
Best of luck to both teams!!! O/U 11.0.