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2017 Semifinals Matchups

The matchups for the semifinal round of the 2017 Yawkey League playoffs are now set. Somerville (31-1-1, 3-0) faces off against Stoneham (21-11, 3-2) while Brighton Braves (23-8-1, 3-1) takes on Al Thomas (21-11, 3-1). Both best of five series are set to begin Friday 8/18.

#1 Somerville vs #4 Stoneham
Game 1 – 8/18 at Trum, 8:00pm
Game 2 – 8/19 at Maplewood, 8:00pm
Game 3 – 8/20 at Recreation Park, 4:30pm
Game 4 – 8/21 at Peabody HS, 8:00pm
Game 5 – 8/22 at St Peters, 7:30pm

#2 Brighton Braves vs #3 Al Thomas
Game 1 – 8/18 at Rogers, 7:30pm
Game 2 – 8/19 at Rogers, 4:00 pm
Game 3 – 8/20 at Cunningham Park, 4:00pm
Game 4 – 8/21 at Ronan, 7:30 pm
Game 5 – 8/22 at Rogers, 7:30pm

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YBL Wins 2017 Eastern Mass Amateur Baseball Classic

With victories over the Park League and Cranberry League, the YBL claimed its second Eastern Mass Classic Title.

In their first game the Yawkey League defeated the Park League 5-0 in 8 innings. After seven innings the game was tied 0-0 as both teams battled through the rain. In the top of the 8th the Yawkey League would score 5 runs to defeat the Park League and move on to the championship game.

In the finals, the Yawkey League defeated the Cranberry League 4-3. The Yawkey League jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead scoring two runs in both the first and second innings.   The Cranberry League scored three runs in the fourth. The Yawkey League would hold on from there to bring home the trophy.

Congratulations to Nate Laliberte of the Revere Rockies and all of the Yawkey League All Stars for an outstanding performance.

 

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2017 EMass Classic Roster Announced

2016-emass-allstar-classic

On Saturday, July 8, 2017, the Yawkey Baseball League All Stars will be taking on their counterparts from the Boston Park, Cranberry and InterCity Leagues at Monan Park in Boston, MA. The YBL will be playing the Park League at 4:15, the winner of which moves on to the Finals to face the winner of the Cranberry and InterCity game to be played at 1pm.

Listed below are the players and coaches chosen to represent the YBL and take back the trophy. Good luck!

SPChris SandiniRevere Rockies

Pos Player Team
C Alex Joyce Brighton Braves
Marty Dunlap Al Thomas Athletics
Ted Dziuba Somerville
1B Billy Uberti Brighton Braves
Jon Argetsinger Malden Maddogs
Angelo Colucci Stoneham Sabers
2B Ryan Petrone Revere Rockies
Matt Costanza McKay Club Beacons
Andre Souffrant Charlestown Townies
SS Adam Del Rio Revere Rockies
Jose Paulino East Boston Knights
Derek Pizarro Stoneham Sabers
3B Mike Slaby South Boston Saints
Kenny Polanco East Boston Knights
Matt Levasseur Al Thomas Athletics
OF Freddi Carrera Al Thomas Athletics
Steve Lambert Al Thomas Athletics
Bobby Foote Revere Rockies
Pat Yee Savin Hill Dodgers
Juan Parra Somerville
Chris DiGiacomo Al Thomas Athletics
Skylar Beckerman East Boston Knights
SP Chris Sandini Revere Rockies
Sean Sullivan Somerville
Mike Smith Brighton Braves
Sam Cummings Stoneham Sabers
David Montiverdi Stoneham Sabers
Leighton Helleberg South End Astros
Kasey Kirby Al Thomas Athletics
RP Jon Shepard Revere Rockies
Duncan Finigan Al Thomas Athletics
Chuck Erickson Somerville
Curtis Beatrice Brighton Braves

  

Coaching Staff:

Nate Laliberte – Manager (Revere Rockies)

John Kostas – Bench Coach (Al Thomas A’s)

Ted Tracy – 1st Base Coach (Brighton Braves)

John Griffith – 3rd Base Coach (Brighton Black Sox)

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2016 YBL Championship Round Preview – (1) Al Thomas vs. (2) Somerville

AT v SA

Playoff Review

The big boppers are set to do battle in a final best-of-7 series to crown the 2016 YBL Champions.

In one corner, wearing green, grey and yellow, are this year’s number one seed and owner of the YBL record setting offense Al Thomas Baseball Club Athletics. In the first round they took care of the Black Sox in 3 straight, while the Braves slogged their way through a grueling set with the Sabers. Having a few extra days to rest up, it was assumed that AT would be ready to take it to the Braves who wouldn’t even get a single day off before stepping in the cage with the green machine. But it was the Braves who came out swinging, and jumped out to a 2-0 series lead powered by Alex Joyce and his 6-for-8, 6 run / 6 rbi performance. The Athletics pitching settled down and held Los Bravos in check enough to allow the offense to do what it does best, which is score runs. The A’s outscored the Braves 20-8 over the last 3 games, led by James Katsiroubas (7-for-10 with 5 runs) and 2016 YBL rbi king Matt Rodriguez (7 rbi).

In the other corner, wearing the traditional red and white (with camo), the Somerville Alibrandis are the 6-time defending league champions, and winners of 15 of the last 17 YBL titles. The Red Army took a shot on the chin in game 1 of the first round from East Boston, but 3 games and 35 runs later they had their feet up and were patiently waiting for Revere to outlast the Saints in 5 games. Somerville would go on to sweep the Rockies in 3 straight, but not without any theatrics as they had to come from behind in each win after facing deficits of 1-0, 8-3 and 5-1. In game 1, it was Juan Parra’s 6th inning “inside-the-fenceless-park” grand slam that helped the rejuvenated Chris Foundas get his 16th career postseason win. In game 2, Jimmy Ricoy and Bobby Barrett provided the offense as each went yard with 3 rbi. And game 3 was a team effort with Anthony Del Prete getting the win, and 6 different players scoring runs in the 7-5 clincher.

Projected Matchups

Game 1 – Sean Sullivan (1-0, 5 IP, 2.80 ERA, 2 K’s) vs. Kasey Kirby (0-1, 4 IP, 10.50 ERA, 4 K’s)

Game 2 – Chris Costa (0-1, 6.1 IP, 8.84 ERA, 9 K’s) vs. Dan Gaughan (1-0, 10 IP, 0.70 ERA, 10 K’s)

Game 3 – Chris Foundas (1-0, 8 IP, 0.88 ERA, 5 K’s) vs. Pat Bresnehan (1-0, 0 IP, 1.08 ERA, 13 K’s)

Game 4 – Jon Morse (2-0, 13 IP, 3.23 ERA, 15 K’s) vs. Bobby Freeman (2-0, 0 IP, 4.90 ERA, 2 K’s)

** matchups subject to change

Players to Watch

Both squads are filthy with power up and down the lineups.

With all due respect to Lambert, Trull, Kostas and Rodriguez, the juggernaut that is the Athletics offense is led by 2015 league MVP James Katsiroubas and potential 2016 league MVP Freddi Carrera. A 1-2 punch at the top of the order, the “Ambiguously Grey Duo” sets the tone by looking to rattle opposing pitchers straight out of the gates.

In the Red dugout, look for Barrett, Parra, Lightbody, Littman, Ricoy and Brennan to fill the stat sheets. But Somerville has their own tag-team at the top of the lineup in Mike Maguire and Teddy Dziuba. Sure they share Lunchables, but they know how to win, and frankly have grown quite accustomed to it over the past 6 years.

Keys to the Series

These teams met 3 times in the regular season, with the top-seeded Athletics taking 2 out of the 3 games. This series will be decided by Alibrandi pitching vs. Alhletics hitting. With tenured vets Morse, Foundas, Sullivan, Del Prete and Brian Tanguy, plus young bucks Costa and Lamarre Rey, Somerville has the decided edge on the pitching front. They will have their work cut out for them as the Athletics have averaged over 8.5 runs per game in the regular season, and over 7 per in the playoffs. Carrera, Katsiroubas, Lambert, Trull, Rodriguez, DeGiacomo, Kostas…..a lineup that has no quit and gives the A’s the edge on offense.

Will the ATBC bullpen keep Somerville from scoring late runs in bunches? Will the Somerville rotation turn back the clock and become shutdown pitchers again? Will Coach Kostas’ wife give birth before, during or after the series? Will you dare take the under in any individual game? Will there be any walk-offs? The next week and a half promises to be the most exciting that the Yawkey League has seen in a long time. Everybody has a game plan until he gets hit in the mouth, so put your mouth guard in and enjoy the ride.  See you at the field!!!

Series Prediction

…this series goes 7.

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2016 Playoff Preview – Semifinals – (2) Somerville vs. (5) Revere

SA v RR

First Round Review

While Somerville wrapped up their 3-1 series win over Eastie on Friday, they had to wait for the Braves’ Mike Smith to complete the second leg of his 11 inning complete game win over the Sabers to determine the semifinal matchups. That win sends the Braves at the Athletics, and sets up the Red Army to face off against against the Purple People Eaters. The last time these teams met in the playoffs was the 2013 Championship, a 4-1 series win for Somerville.

Back to 2016……in Round 1, Somerville allowed the Knights to take the first game and raise some eyebrows, but the Alibrandi bats took over the rest of the way, outscoring EB 35-11 over the last 3 games, a shellacking reminiscent of last year’s championship round aside from that EPIC 3rd game. Keeping the mojo flowing after a proficient regular season and a recent injury to one of his tootsies, 2016 YBL batting champ Bobby Barrett showed no signs of weakness as he went 6-for-10 with 5 rbi in 3 games (wins) against the Knights. Normally paced by vets Mike Maguire, Teddy Dziuba and playoff juggernaut Billy Karalis, the Alibrandis have some young bucks on the scene this postseason. Rookie 2b Zach Littman, rookie rf/3b Jimmy Ricoy and 2nd-year 3b Will Brennan provided some giggity as they combined to go 18-for-35 with 7 extra base hits and 16 rbi.

The Rockies had a bigger fight on their hands with the always resilient Saints pushing Revere to 5 games. The teams traded wins all the way through, and after a stellar outing from Stravoravdis (I can actually type that without looking it up now) and his 1-hit shutout in Game 2, Southie was in position to take control in a tight Game 3. But the Rockies received a vintage outing from Chris Sandini who tossed a complete game win allowing only 1 unearned run. That gave the Rockies 2 chances to close the door, where Adam Del Rio did the honors with a complete game of his own in game 5. Aside from Del Rio and his bookend wins in the series, the Purple got some resurgence from Chris Hartery who was 4-for-7 with 3 rbi in 3 games. With a late-season croquet injury to perennial slugger Bobby Foote, manager Nate Laliberte was forced to call his own number as he saw 16 ABs in 5 games after getting 36 all season. And Birdy didn’t disappoint, batting .438 with 5 rbi.

Probable Matchups

Game 1 – Chris Foundas (0-0, 1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0 K’s) vs. Chris Sandini (1-0, 7 IP, 0.00 ERA, 6 K’s)

Game 2 – Chris Costa (0-1, 6.1 IP, 8.84 ERA, 9 K’s) vs. John Young (0-1, 5 IP, 4.20 ERA, 3 K’s)

Game 3 – Jon Morse (1-0, 7 IP, 3.00 ERA, 10 K’s) vs. *Chris Santosuosso (0-0, 0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0 K’s)

* just a guess

Players to Watch

Game 2 (probable) starter Chris Costa and his breakout 1.46 regular season era will try to rebound from a tough outing in the first round. Speedy Juan Parra was kept in check in the first set, if he’s getting on base with any regularity out of the 9-hole its sure to be trouble. And the Rockies can’t afford to groove a fastball to David Lightbody, owner of the most violent swing in the league. One mistake can open the floodgates.

Andrew Billig has been the caterpillar drive for Revere all season, stealthily reaching base with a .464 obp. A pure contact lefty a la Ichiro, Drew has proven crucial as Revere needed him to fill the chasm left in the outfield with the injury to Alex Wong. Whether he’s setting the table near the top of the order or keeping innings alive towards the bottom, Billig will have to get on base and give the big bats of Hartery, Santosuosso and Tony Iafolla (and Iafolla’s 2 hr in the first round) some extra licks. Also keep an eye on Del Rio at the plate, a career .316 hitter in the YBL who struggled in Round 1. You don’t want to be on the receiving end when the Donkey starts kicking.

Wild Cards

Somerville got through the first set essentially without stud wing Chris Foundas. After all, its common baseball knowledge that getting married will add .50 – 1.00 onto your era and suck the life out of your fastball. But Foundy will be strapping on the feed bag in Game 1, where a dominant performance will go a long way towards setting the tone of the series and another finals berth for the Red.

For the Rockies, their wild card will be their pitching staff. Already down Wong and rookie sensation Pat Shore, barring a week-long monsoon they won’t get more than 1 game out of Del Rio this round which will put the brunt of the workload on Sandini, John Young and Alex Torres. Ian Titcomb and Morgan Gardner should get most of the bullpen work, so short outings from the starters could be very problematic.

Series Prediction

These teams met twice in the regular season, with Somerville winning both games. Both teams have had at least a couple days off to rest and get oh so kinda fresh. If Revere can get to Foundas early in Game 1, they can put a strain on the Alibrandi bullpen which has little depth aside from Anthony Del Prete and All Star closer Brian Tanguy. On the flip side, the Rockies will have to limit big innings from the Red Army, because no team rides the momentum like they do.

Somerville rolls into yet another Championship Series, defeating Revere  3-1 in the second round.

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2016 Playoff Preview – Semifinals – (1) Al Thomas vs. (6) Brighton Braves

AT v BB

First Round Summary

11 innings pitched.  10 strikeouts.  ZERO earned runs.

Wow.

While the top-seeded A’s were resting up for round two following a 3 games to none sweep of the Brighton Black Sox, the Braves were fighting for their playoff lives in a do-or-die Game 5 matchup that took over 24 hours to complete.  Handing the ball off to the reigning YBL Pitcher of the Year Mike Smith, already on short rest following his Game 1 complete game shutout of the Stoneham Sabres, Smitty turned in an effort for the ages.  Tossing 9 brilliant innings at Rec Park on Sunday night, Smith wouldn’t turn over the ball a day later when play resumed after being halted due to darkness, and tossed 2 more shutout innings to tally his second playoff win of the series, propelling the Braves to the Yawkey League Semi-Finals.

The Braves received some clutch hitting from slugging first basemen Billy Uberti, who swatted a team-high 5 RBI’s in the opening round. Alex Lee notched a team-best 6 hits and continued his torrid pace on the base paths. After leading the league with 22 stolen bases in the regular season, Alex swiped 5 more against the Stals in Round 1.

Waiting for the Cinderella squad is the league’s top franchise in 2016, the Al Thomas Athletics. Up 5-0 in the bottom of the 6th inning in game 1 of the series, the upstart Brighton Black Sox looked to shock the 28-4 Athletics and take the early series lead, but the ATBC bats battled back for a 6-5 walkoff win, and never looked back from there.  Bill Clang turned in the pitching performance of the series in Game 2, scattering 4 hits in 6 shutout innings to help his A’s take down Brighton.  Timely hits from James Katsiroubas and John Kostas gave Al Thomas a leg up before emptying the tank in an 18-6 series clinching drubbing on Thursday night (Freddi Carrera had 3 hits and 4 RBI’s).

Al Thomas swept the regular season series against the Braves 3-0, outscoring the boys from Brighton by a combined score of 32-5.

Probable Matchups

Game 1: Pat Bresnehan (3.1 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 0 ER, 4 K’s) vs. James Greeley (4.1 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 3 ER, 1 K)

Game 2: Bill Clang (6 IP, 4 H,1 BB, 0 ER, 6 K’s) vs. Sam K. Smith (4.1 IP, 6 H, 0 BB, 3 ER, 4 K’s)

Game 3: Bobby Freeman (5 IP, 8 H, 1 BB, 3 ER, 1 K) vs. Mike Smith (18 IP, 10 H, 1 BB, 0 ER, 22 K’s)

Players to Watch

While Freddi, Katsy and Lambert have been the heart of the Al Thomas order for the last few years, it was the contributions of Trull, Rodriguez and Kostas that rounded out an already stout lineup, making the 2016 A’s a force to be reckoned with.  Those three went 16 for 30 with 8 runs scored and 8 RBI in the first round, proving that you can’t catch a breather once you get passed “Murderer’s Row” this year.

The Braves have a core of their own, anchored by Billy Uberti’s career 1.089 OPS in the postseason.  Cambridge’s own Ari Glantz shook off an unlikely down year to crank a team-high 3 extra-base hits and 5 runs scored last series.  Expect Ari to continue pounding out hits in a series that will likely have plenty of them.

Series Prediction

Al Thomas’ arms are rested and fresh.  Their hitters didn’t skip a beat entering the playoffs coming off of their record-setting regular season campaign. We all know what Smitty is capable of, but can the other Braves arms keep the series close before his name gets called once again? The ability of Greels, Lanky, Arms and K-Smith to silence ATBC’s bats and steal a few wins from Al Thomas will be the deciding factor in this series.

If Brighton can keep the train rolling in Game 1 tonight, they just might be able to pull off the upset.  If they can’t keep the ATBC bats at bay, expect a quick series with Al Thomas punching their ticket to their second YBL final in 3 years.

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