UPDATED 10:20 AM: Americans-Chiefs Play-In Tonight at Maplewood 8:00 PM, Other Seeds Set

1. Lexington Blue Sox
2. Wakefield Merchants
3. Watertown Reds
4. Alibrandis
5. Reading Bulldogs
6. Melrose Americans/Andre Chiefs (Winner of Wednesday’s Play-In Game)

The Lexington Blue Sox, Wakefield Merchants, Watertown Reds, Alibrandis and the Reading Bulldogs have all secured playoff berths with Lexington and Wakefield earning first round byes.

The Melrose Americans and Andre Chiefs, who both finished the regular season at 13-15 and split their season series 2-2, will meet in a one game play-in tonight (Wednesday) at 8:00 PM at Maplewood Park on the campus of Malden Catholic. The Chiefs won a coin toss on Monday that determined the home team.

The winner of the Americans-Chiefs game will become the #6 seed and move on to play the #3 seeded Watertown Reds at Victory Field in game one of a best of three series on Thursday night at 7:30 PM. Game two of that series will be played on Sunday at a time and location TBA.

The Alibrandis-Reading series will also begin on Thursday night at Morelli Field at 8:00 PM, with Alibrandis being the home team. Alibrandis took the #4 seed by virtue of their 10-1 win over Reading on Monday night. Game two of this series will be played on Friday at 8:00 PM at Morelli Field.

The ICL’s best of five semi-final series are expected to begin early next week with Lexington and Wakefield hosting the opening games.

In the final regular season game that was played on Tuesday night, the Malden Maddogs held off a late rally and edged the Reading Bulldogs 10-9.

Reds Edge Chiefs, Alibrandis-Bulldogs Tie, Royals Sweep Maddogs

The Watertown Reds scored an unearned run in bottom of the sixth inning and went on to edge the Andre Chiefs 4-3 at Victory Field. Nate Esplin (1-0) got the win in relief and Tim Dunphy (2-2) took the loss after Chiefs’ starter Evan Walsh worked into the fifth, striking out seven. Justin Forman had two hits and scored the winning run for the Reds.

The Reading Bulldogs and Alibrandis fought to a nine inning 4-4 tie at Morton Field. Reading got a homer and two RBI’s from Zac Tallis and a double and a couple of RBI’s from Joey Hodapp. Chuck Erickson hit his first homer of the year for Alibrandis.

The Somerville Royals took both ends of a doubleheader, 5-2 and 10-9, from the Malden Maddogs at Trum Field. Rob Caggiano had three hits and three RBI’s in the opener as Soren Hanson (2-2) struck out nine to pick up the win. Nick Valdario led the way in the nightcap with a homer, three hits, and three RBI’s.

Americans, Bulldogs & Blue Sox Take Friday Night Wins

Dave Center had a triple and four RBI’s to lead the Americans to a 17-3 win over the Malden Maddogs in Melrose on Friday night. Kyle Cortese drove in three runs and Chris Hopkins had a double and three hits for the Americans. Mike Peters (2-1) chalked up with win, pitching two innings in relief of starter Jamie Weiss.

Mike Taylor homered and Chris Bosco and Johnny Hayes had two hits each to lead the Reading Bulldogs to a 7-2 win over the Somerville Royals at Trum Field. Jack Theriault (3-1) struck out nine in 6.2 innings to grab the win. Nick Vadario, Adam Johnson and Rob Caggiano each had two hits for the Royals, who outhit the Bulldogs 10-7 but saw their pitching issue nine walks in the game. Joey Hodapp added a double and Shane Nowak had two RBI’s for the Bulldogs.

In Lexington, the Blue Sox used the long ball to conclude their regular season with a nine game winning streak when they edged Alibrandis 5-4. Cam Meyer hit his first career homer, a two-run shot, that tied the score in the fourth inning. Justin Silvestro hit his second of the season to give Lexington a 5-2 lead in the fifth. Mike Maguire, Teddy Dziuba, and David Lightbody each drove in runs for Alibrandis. Tony Annino (4-0) earned his fourth win, pitching four innings, giving up four hits, and striking out four, while Nick Godfroy picked up the save.

Merchants Clinch Playoff Bye, Alibrandis Win Slugfest, 13-12

The Wakefield Merchants clinched second place and a first round playoff bye with a 2-0 win over the Americans on Thursday night in Melrose. Mike Andrews (4-1) got his fourth win of the year with a complete game five-hitter, striking out one. Dillon Koster and Joe Barry drove in the runs and Brendan Barry had three hits for the Merchants. Malcolm Nachmanoff had two of the Americans’ hits. Chris Mitchell (3-3) pitched well but took the loss.

Alibrandis utilized two big innings, picking up five runs in the first then adding six runs in the sixth, to go on and beat the Reading Bulldogs 13-12 at Maplewood. The Bulldogs scored in every inning but still came up a run shy. Mike Maguire (3-4, 2 RBI’s), Teddy Dziuba and Bobby Barrett led the way at the plate for Alibrndis as Sean Sullivan (1-1-1) picked up his first ICL win in relief. Joey Hodapp had three hits and Tyler Cedeno three RBI’s for the Bulldogs.

Americans, Alibrandis, Merchants & Bulldogs Win on Wednesday

John Jennings had three RBi’s to back the pitching of Shawn Smeglin (3-2) when the Americans beat the Malden Maddogs 10-1 at Morelli Field. Will Shackelford added two hits and a couple of RBI’s and Charlie Huegi scored three runs for the Americans.

At Maplewood, Brian Tanguy (3-1) allowed just one hit in five innings, and along with three relievers, allowed just one baserunner in the game, when Alibrandis whacked the Andre Chiefs 8-0. Mark Adessa had a three run homer and five RBI’s for Alibrandis.

In Wakefield, Joseph Maguire (6-2) out-dueled Paul Covelle, tossing a six hit shutout, when the Merchants edged the Somerville Royals 1-0. Mike Mangonian’s single in the fourth inning drove home Joe Barry with game’s only run. Covelle (2-3) allowed only two hits and struck out nine in the tough luck loss.

Ben Gottesman (3-0) fired a complete game six-hitter and struck out six to lead the Reading Bulldogs to a 4-1 win over the Reds in Watertown. Chris Bosco with three hits, and Shane Nowak and Tyler Cedeno with two hits each, led the Bulldogs offense.

Blue Sox Clinch, Merchants & Maddogs Win

The Lexington Blue Sox clinched the regular season pennant and a first round bye with a 4-3 win over the Watertown Reds at Bentley University. (see separate story by Bruce Hack).

The Wakefield Merchants got a three run homer from Ryan Collins and five solid innings from Domenic Nardone (2-3) to beat the Andre Chiefs 8-2 at Pine Banks. Chris Butler had three hits, including a triple, and Bobby Losanno and Joe Barry each had two hits for the Merchants. Jared Freni (3-3) took the loss.

Derek Bauer drove in the winning run when the Malden Maddogs walked off with a 4-3 win over the Reading Bulldogs at Maplewood. Bauer had two hits and drove in all four of the Maddogs’ runs. Nick Berger (1-0) got the win. Dan Baker had a couple of the Bulldogs’ six hits. Mike Rainone (0-1) took the loss in relief of Alex Mandrus.

Lexington Blue Sox

Lexington edges Watertown on Tuesday

Waltham – Richie Burgos singled in Josue Feliciano (double) in the top of the seventh to give Lexington a 4-3 lead and Manny Delcarmen pitched a 1-2-3 bottom of the seventh to give the Blue Sox the win over Watertown in a game played at Bentley University.
In a game between the top two teams in the Intercity League, it gave the fans all they could want in a baseball game, as the teams played a tight, hard-fought, well-played game that displayed the best the ICL has to offer.
The Reds got on the scoreboard quickly scoring in the bottom of the first. Kyle LaVigne started the rally with an infield single. He went to third on Mike Samko’s single to right, which placed Reds at the corners with no outs. Will Brennan grounded into a 6-3 double play that scored LaVigne.
Lexington came back in the third scoring twice to take a 2-1 lead. Richie Burgos singled in Gray Goolsby (walk) with the first run. Burgos stole second and then came around to score on two wild pitches by Reds starter Nate Beck.
The Blue Sox took a 3-1 lead in the fifth when Burgos again singled to drive in Goolsby, who had walked for the second time.
Watertown tied the game in the sixth as Brennan snapped a streak of eight straight outs by Reds hitters with a single. After the first out, Jake Miller doubled to center to put runners on second and third. Justin Forman followed with a single to center to bring in both runs and it was 3-3.
CJ McKinnit, 2-0, earned the win pitching an inning in relief. He gave up two runs, three hits and did not walk or strikeout a batter.
Pitching the seventh Reds reliever Dan Haverty took the loss giving up a run on two hits with no walks or strikeouts.
Neither started was around for the decision, but both pitched well and in and out of trouble.
Reds starter, Nate Beck, left Blue Sox runners stranded in the first, second and third innings (one3 each) and then two more in the fifth. His only 1-2-3 inning was his last the sixth. In six innings of work he gave up four hits, walked five and struck out four.
Lexington starter Drew Brzozowski, gave up five hits, one run, a walk and a strikeout. He faced runners at first and third with no outs in the first and only allowed the one run on a double play. In the second the Reds loaded the bases with one out and two outfield fly balls later Brzozowski was out of the jam. He finished his five inning stint by setting down the final eight Reds batters he faced.
The win clinched first place for Lexington and gives the Blue Sox a first round bye and home field advantage through out the playoffs.
Watertown is in second, but only a point ahead of Wakefield, 32-31. Each team has two games remaining.