Middlesex captures first ICL Title

Melrose – The Middlesex Expos scored four runs in the first inning and then blanked Lexington for the first six innings to win the team’s first Intercity League Championship.

2022 Expos Champions

2022 Expos Champions

Leon Paulino closed out the first inning scoring with a 2-run home run to right. The ball actually didn’t clear the fence on the fly but landed in Blue Sox right fielder Julian Alvarez’ glove only to pop out when Alvarez’ momentum carried him into the fence and jarred the ball lose and over the fence. The home was Paulinos first of the playoffs and the Expos ninth.

Ryan Cloutier singled and drove in Mike Golankiewicz with the second run and then scored on Paulinos’ home run.

Pitching was the Expos strength, and it was on display throughout the playoffs and especially in the finals. Middlesex came into game four with a 1.67 ERA during the playoffs and a 1.00 ERA vs. Lexington in the finals.

Junior Montero was the starting pitcher for Middlesex and came through with five shutout innings pitched. He gave up three hits, walked two and struck out 6, including 4 straight in the first and second innings.

Montero set down the first six Blue Sox batters before Matt Chatelle singled into right to lead off the third and break up the no hitter.

Chatelle, an incoming first year at Merrimack this fall, drove in the only Sox run in the seventh. Alex Voitik singled to begin the seventh. Eli Perez went into run for Voitik. Andrew Selima dropped in a single in left and both runners moved up an extra base on a throwing error by Middlesex shortstop Jose Paulino. Chatelle grounded out to third with Perez coming home with the lone Lexington run.

This is the second year in the Intercity League for Middlesex, who came over from the Yawkey League. The Expos have finished second in the regular season in both years. In 2021 the Expos lost to Lexington in the finals in three games.

When asked what was different about the Expos from 2021 to 2022, general manager (and 2021 manager) Branden Anderson said, “The players bought into what we were doing.” “We saw what it took to win last season (after losing to Lexington in the finals) and learned from that.”

“We stayed healthy all season,” said manager Paul Grande. “Our core group of players were back, and everyone stayed healthy.”

For the Blue Sox it was the first time losing in the finals since 2014 when the Andre Chiefs defeated them in five games. The loss snapped a six-year reign as Intercity League champions.

Blue Sox manager Rick DeAngelis said, “We offer our congratulations to Middlesex management and players.”

Both teams would like to thank their fans for all their support this season. As the 2022 has come to a close, the Intercity League thanks the fans, friends and families for all their support this season and look forward to 2023.

Written by Bruce Hack, Lexington Media Relations Director



Tuesday, August 2
#4 Melrose Americans 10, #5 Reading Bulldogs 1

(Best of three)
Wednesday, August 3
Melrose Americans 7 at Lexington Blue Sox 5
(Americans lead series 1-0)

Andre Chiefs 6 at Middlesex Expos 5
(Chiefs lead series 1-0)

Thursday, August 4
Lexington Blue Sox 10 at Melrose Americans 6
(Series Tied 1-1)

Middlesex Expos 8 at Andre Chiefs 4
(Series Tied 1-1)

Friday, August 5
Lexington Blue Sox 6, Melrose Americans 2
(Blue Sox win series, 2-1)

Middlesex Expos 3, Andre Chiefs 0
(Expos win series, 2-1)

(Best of Five)
#2 Middlesex Expos vs #1 Lexington Blue Sox
All Games at Morelli Field, Melrose at 7:45 PM
Game 1-Middlesex Expos 7, Lexington Blue Sox 0
(Expos lead series, 1-0)
Game 2-Lexington Blue Sox 3, Middlesex Expos 1(Moved to Pine Banks)
(Series tied 1-1)
Game 3-Middlesex Expos 1, Lexington Blue Sox 0
(Expos lead series, 2-1)
Game 4-Middlesex Expos 4, Lexington Blue Sox 1
(Expos win series, 3-1)

Middlesex Expos, Intercity League

Middlesex, Kirby Shut Down Lexington

Melrose – Zach Kirby pitched a complete game three hit shutout and Middlesex won 1-0, putting the Expos are now a win away from the 2022 Intercity League Championship.
Kirby did not allow a hit after the third inning and retired 11 straight Blue Sox from the third through seventh inning before a one out walk to Cam Meyer snapped the streak.
Kirby, 2-0, struck out nine with at least one in every frame. He walked two in his 104-pitch effort. This was the second time he faced Lexington this year. He started against the Blue Sox on July 11 and lost 4-0.
Mike Golankiewicz supplied all the offense the Expos would need in the first when with two outs he hit a solo home run to left. It was his second home run of the playoffs and of the finals.
It might not have been more than a solo home run if it wasn’t for a great play by Blue Sox shortstop Morgan Brown. Brown made a great stop of Kebler Peralta’s ground ball up the middle. He flipped the ball to second basemen Ernie Little to force Idelson Taveras and Little’s strong throw to Josue Feliciano arrived just before Peralta to complete the double play.
With the Expos getting at least one hit in each inning, eight in total and receiving six walks, they had many opportunities to score more runs. Thanks to the Sox defense and pitching Middlesex left 11 runners stranded, nine in scoring position.
In the second inning the Expos had runners at second and third when Michael Oliveira hit a hard ground ball to Blue Sox third baseman Cam Meyer. Meyer fielded it cleanly and throw home as Mike Stellato broke for home on contact. Sox catcher Alex Voitik took the throw from Meyer and was waiting at home plate for Stellato for the second out of the inning.
In the third the Expos loaded the bases on a walk to Taveras, double by Peralta and walk to Golankiewicz. Blue Sox starter Eric Lopes bore down and struck out the next three batters, all looking on 11 pitches.
Middlesex left runners at second and third in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings.
In the sixth, Sox relief pitcher Zander Gilmartin, in his first inning of work, stranded Expos on second and third. With one out, a single and walk put runners on first and second. After a balk call on Gilmartin moved the runners into scoring position, he struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
Lopes pitched five innings for Lexington. He gave up six hits, one run, walked four and struck out five. None of his four walks scored. Zander Gilmartin finished the game and struck out five of the 10 batters he faced.
Game four is Thursday night at Morelli with first pitch scheduled for 7:45.

From the Stat Sheet – This is the third time Kirby has faced the Blue Sox in the playoffs. In 2019, with Andre, he started and lost the second game of the semifinals, 9-6. Last season with Middlesex he started game two of the finals and lost 6-0.
Since 2006 this is only the fourth 1-0 game for Lexington in the playoffs. In the 2013 finals Andre defeated Lexington 1-0 in game four on a 1-hitter by Jared Freni. Lexington defeated Alibrandis 1-0 in the 2018 semifinals. In the 2019 semifinals Mike Geannelis pitched 6 shutout innings for the 1-0 win over Andre.
In 232 playoff games since 2006 (current through game 3 of finals) there have been 48 shutouts or 20.69% of all playoff games. Of the 48 shutouts eight have been 1-0 games.

Written by Bruce Hack, Lexington Director of Media Relations

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Lexington Blue Sox

Blue Sox Fight Back to Even the Series

Melrose – An afternoon rainstorm prompted a change in venue, but even that could not derail the Lexington Blue Sox as they defeated Middlesex 3-1 in a game played at Pine Banks Park and knot the finals series at 1-1.
The heavy rainfall made Morelli Field unplayable, so the teams arranged to play game two on the turf field at Pine Banks.
Game three will return to Morelli Wednesday night with a 7:45 first pitch.
Lexington struck quickly in the first inning. With one out Josue Feliciano lined a single to left. After an errant pickoff throw by Middlesex pitcher David Kerns, Feliciano moved to second. Julian Alvarez walked to put Sox on first and second. Cam Meyer singled to left and Feliciano rounded third and came home with the Sox first run.
For the fifth straight playoff game a Blue Sox opponent scored in the first inning. The Expos Kebler Peralta singled with one out to start the rally. After the second out cleanup hitter Dionys Quezada singled into right and Peralta went to third. A wayward throw back to first from right fielder Alvarez allowed Peralta to come home with the tying run.
Neither team could put up another run in the second and third innings, but in the fourth inning the Blue Sox broke open the tie game.
Matt Chatelle hit his second home run of the postseason as he blasted a slider over the left field fence to give Lexington a 2-1 lead. After the second out Morgan Brown bounced a ground ball up the middle and reached on a single. Ernie Little was hit by pitch putting Blue Sox on first and second. Dom Zaher followed with a single and Brown raced home to give the Blue Sox a 3-1 lead.
Robbie Cobb made his second start of the playoffs, for the Blue Sox. He improved to 2—0 pitching five strong innings. Cobb scattered five hits, allowed an unearned run, walked three and struck out two.
Setup man Borja Jones-Berasaluce pitched a scoreless sixth for Lexington. He struck out 2 of the four batters he faced. Manny Delcarmen came in the seventh to close out the game. He struck out the first two batters he faced and retired leadoff hitter Idelson Taveras on a comebacker to save the game.
David Kerns started for Middlesex and went the distance. In his 7 innings of work, he scattered 5 hits, gave up 3 earned runs, walked one and struck out four. Kerns retired six straight Blue Sox batters from the fifth through seventh.
Peralta and Quezada each had two of the Expos five hits.
Meyer was 3-for-3 for the Sox with a run and stole a base. Chatelle was 2-for-3 with a home run, run, RBI.
The game was played in an efficient one hour and 46 minutes.

From the Stat Sheet – This was the fifth time Lexington has played a playoff game at Pine Banks. The previous four were against Andre and the Sox had split those games. This was the third finals game Lexington has played at Pine Banks and it first win. The Blue Sox are now 3-2 at Pine Banks in postseason games.
Matt Chatelle is the fifth Blue Sox player to hit two homeruns in the postseason since 2006.
Middlesex is now 2-2 in game two of a playoff series and 0-2 in game two of the finals.

Written by Bruce Hack, Lexington Director of Media Relations

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Tuesday’s Game 2 Moved to Pine Banks at 7:45 PM Due to Wet Grounds at Morelli

(Melrose, MA) Tuesday’s game two of the ICL Championship Series has been moved to Pine Banks on the Melrose/Malden line starting at 7:45 PM.

The decision was made after this afternoon’s thunderstorm left Morelli Field unplayable.

Pine Banks is located at 1087 Main St, Malden MA 02148.

Middlesex Expos, Intercity League

Middlesex Blanks Lexington to Win Game One of Finals

Melrose – The Middlesex Expos took a 1-0 lead in the Intercity League Finals with a 7-0 win over defending champion Lexington.
In a rematch of last year’s finals in which the Expos were swept by the Blue Sox, the same will not this season.
The Expos scored all they would need in the first inning when they scored four quick runs and Lexington was down 4-0 before it came to bat. The first five Expos batters reached base by hit or walk with Leon Paulino singling to center for two RBI for a 3-0 lead. The final run scored on a double play for the first two outs of the inning.
Roland Mendez was making his first postseason start for Middlesex and made the decision look good. He pitched five shutout innings with 10 strikeouts. He struck out six straight Sox batters from the third through fifth innings. From the last out in the second inning through the second out in the fifth Mendez struck out eight of ten Sox hitters. Mendez walked one, and scattered six hits, stranding five Sox baserunners. He left Sox runners on second and third in the first. A runner on third in the second and third innings and in the fifth a runner on second. Of the nine baserunners left on by Lexington, six of them were in scoring position.
Jose Paulino (second inning) and Mike Golankiewicz (fifth inning) each hit solo home runs for Middlesex stretching the lead to 6-0 nothing.
Lexington had its chances but could not come up with a big hit when it was needed. After two outs in the first Julian Alvarez single and Andrew Selima followed with a double that one-hopped off the fence putting runners at second and third., but they were left there.
In the second the Sox had runners at the corners with one out when Matt Chatelle (single) was picked off first on a strong throw by catcher Dionys Quezada.
The Blue Sox were only retired in order one time in the fourth inning, all on strikeouts.
Game two is Tuesday night at Morelli with first pitch set for 7:45 pm.

From the Stat Sheet – This is the Expos second year in the league. They have finished in second place both seasons and have reached the finals in both seasons. These finals are the fourth playoff series for Middlesex. In each of the first three series, two semifinals and one final’s,
the Expos lost the first game of the series, in both semifinals they came back and won. In the 2021 finals they were swept by Lexington. Middlesex is now 5-5 in the playoffs.

The 7-0 loss was the eighth postseason shutout inflicted on the Sox. It was the first shutout loss for the Sox since August 26, 2014 vs. Andre in the finals in the first year the finals were held at Morelli. The Sox had gone 44 straight playoff games without being shutout. The 7-0 loss was the biggest playoff loss the Sox have suffered since 2006. The previous mark was 6-0 accomplished twice by the Andre Chiefs in 2014 and 2009.

Written by Bruce Hack, Lexington Media Relations Director

Historical and Statistical research provided by Sportstats.

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Lexington Blue Sox

Lexington Wins, Advances to Finals

Lexington – The headline is very familiar to Blue Sox fans.
The Blue Sox defeated Melrose 6-2 to take the semifinal series 2-1 and advanced to the Intercity League finals for the 15th consecutive season.
For the second straight game it was the second and fourth innings that the Blue Sox offense put up crooked numbers.
Alex Voitik opened the second with a walk. Consecutive ground ball outs to second moved him to third with two outs. Ernie Little kept the inning alive as he beat out a ground ball to short for a hit and RBI as Voitik scored to cut the Melrose led to 2-1. Dom Zaher walked and he and Little scored on Josue Feliciano’s two-run double to left and the Blue Sox had the lead for good at 3-2.
In the fourth Matt Chatelle started the inning with a line single to center. After an out, Little bunted and Melrose pitcher Mike Peters fielded the ball and his throw sailed into right field allowing Chatelle to go to third and Little to second. Zaher grounds out to short to bring home Chatelle for a 4-2 lead. Feliciano comes through again swinging at the first pitch and singles to center scoring Little. Melrose changes pitchers and brings in game one starter Bobby Tramondozzi. He hits Julian Alvarez and walks Andrew Selima to load the bases with two outs. Cam Meyer is hit with the first pitch and Feliciano comes home with the sixth run and a 6-2 lead.
Eric Lopes started for Lexington getting the win. He pitched five strong innings. He gave up two runs in the first as the first four Melrose batters reached base. He then set down the next eight Americans batters, the longest such streak for the Sox in the series. Gianni Zarilli doubles to lead off the fourth and is stranded at third. Pat Costigan has his second of three hits in the fifth but is left on base as Lopes retired six of the last seven batters he faced and 14 of the last 16.
The Americans started off quickly as Costigan (single), John Jennings (walk), Cory Bright, single and RBI and Zarilli, triple and RBI, started off the first. Costigan was picked off first by Lopes for the first out or the Americans could have done more damage.
Zarilli was 2-for-3 with a triple and double, RBI after going 1-for-7 in the first two games of the series. Costigan with three hits had his third straight multi hit game of the post season. Game three was the first time he did score for Melrose.
Ryan Joyce started for Melrose and took the loss. He pitched 1.2 innings, giving up three hits, three runs and walked four.
Feliciano went 2-for-4, with 3 RBI, a double and a run.
Ryan O’Rourke (6th) and Manny Delcarmen (7th) closed out the game for Lexington. O’Rourke walked one and struck out one in his inning of work. Delcarmen gave up two hits but did not allow a run.

This was the second time since 2006 that these two teams met in the semifinals. Lexington swept in 2009 outscoring the Americans 29-3 in three games (the semis were a best of five series). Though the Sox won this year it was a little different. It was not a sweep and the Sox outscored Melrose 21-15. The Americans out hit Lexington 33 to 26.

For the eighth straight season the ICL Finals will be held at Morelli Field in Melrose. First game is scheduled for Monday August 8 with first pitch at 7:45 pm. It will be a rematch of the 2021 finals as Middlesex won its game three 3-0 over Andre to advance. Last season Lexington swept the Expos though game three was played at Victory Field in Watertown due to rain in Melrose.

Written by Bruce Hack, Lexington Media Relations Director

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Middlesex Expos, Intercity League

Expos Advance to Championship Series with 3-0 Win

(MELROSE, MA) – The Middlesex Expos beat the Andre Chiefs 3-0 in the deciding game three of the Intercity League semifinals on Friday night at Morelli Field. The Expos will now move on to play the Lexington Blue Sox, who beat the Melrose Americans 6-2 for the ICL crown starting on Monday at 7:45 PM at Morelli.

Expos starter Matt Josselyn went the distance with a complete game shutout, striking out nine.

It was a hard-fought contest between the two clubs as the score was 0-0 entering the bottom of the fourth. That is when the Expos belted two home runs, a solo shot from Ryan Stellato, and a two run opposite field homer from Idelson Tavares, accounting for all the scoring.

Chiefs’ starter Evan Walsh kept the visitors in the contest with five innings of work allowing seven hits and striking out four. Paul Frisoli spun a scoreless 1-2-3 sixth with two strikeouts. Offensively, the team saw both leadoff hitter Juan Parra and Tyler Ferdinand each collect two base hits as the team left nine runners on base in the contest.

It will be the second straight year the Expos and Blue Sox will meet in the ICL Championship Series.

Lexington Blue Sox

Lexington Powers its Way to Win, Knots the Series

Melrose – Lexington used a six-run second inning to power its way to a 10-6 win over Melrose Thursday night at Morelli Field.
The victory evened the best of three semifinal series at 1-1. Game three is Friday night in Lexington with first pitch at 8:00 pm.
The first five Blue Sox batters in the second inning reached base via hit or walk with Matt Chatelle closing out the sequence with a three-run home to center, his first in a Blue Sox uniform. Andrew Selima started the rally with a double to right. Cam Meyer, who homered in game one, doubled down the leftfield line and the game was tied at 1-1. Mike Khoury walked, Alex Voitik singled to score Meyer and Chatelle went deep. Americans’ starter Ronnie Luke recorded two outs, but Dom Zaher drove one well over the fence in left for a solo home run and a 6-1 lead. It was Zaher’s third career postseason home run, all which have been hit at Morelli Field.
Lexington starter Robbie Cobb (1-0) benefited from the offensive outbreak. He gave up a first inning run on singles by Pat Costigan, John Jennings and with two outs Aidan Barry who drove in Costigan. Cobb stranded runners in the second and third innings before getting a 1-2-3 inning in the fourth. The fourth was part of six straight Melrose batters set down by Cobb before the Americans final broke through in the fifth.
With one out, Costigan (his second hit) singled, Jennings singled, Bright singled to score Costigan. Jennings scored on a wild pitch and Gianni Zarilli hit a sacrifice fly to right to make it 10-4. Barry’s double ended the night for Cobb. Sean Mahan came in and gave up a single to Scott Searles that scored Barry and it was 10-5.
Cobb pitched 4.2 innings, giving up 9 hits, 5 runs, no walks and three strikeouts. It was the second straight year he pitched in an elimination game for Lexington. He pitched in game three against Andre in last season’s semifinal series and went 4.2 innings, giving up 2 hits, an unearned run and struck out two.
Zaher lead the Blue Sox 11-hit attack by going 4-for-4 with 2 runs, 3 RBI, a double, and home run. He doubled in his only at bat in game one and now has five straight hits in two games.
Lexington added four more runs in the fourth to take a 10-1 lead. The Sox loaded the bases on a walk to Voitik, a single by Jesse McCullough and Ernie Little getting hit by a pitch. With two outs and Zaher at the plate the Blue Sox scored two runs on a ball that didn’t leave the infield. With the runners in motion Zaher hits a one-hop ground ball to short. Zarilli corrals it and throws to second for the third out. Because the runners were in motion with the pitch, Voitik scored easily from third, McCullough scores from second and Little ends up on third as he was past the bag when Melrose made the attempt for the force out. Zaher scores the 10th and final run on an error.
Following Cobb on the hill for Lexington was Sean Mahan, Borja Jones-Berasaluce and Manny Delcarmen. The trio combined to pitch 2.1 innings, giving up one hit, an unearned run, walked and struck out one batter.
Melrose starter Ronnie Luke (0-1) pitched 2 innings giving up 6 hits, 6 runs, walked and struck out one. Christian Loescher and Nick Colucci pitched the final five innings giving up 5 hits, 4 runs, walked 2 and struck out 6.

From the Stat Sheet – The teams combined for 22 hits and 16 runs a night after knocking out 25 hits and scoring 12 runs in game one. The two home runs by Lexington give them 20 home runs in 24 playoff games at Morelli.

Written by Bruce Hack, Lexington Media Relations Director

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Middlesex Expos logo

Expos Knot Series with Chiefs 8-4, Deciding Game Friday at Morelli, 8:00 PM

(Malden, MA) The Middlesex Expos tied their series with the Andre Chiefs with a 8-4 win in game two of the 2022 Intercity League Semifinals at Maplewood Park. The Expos plated seven runs in the sixth inning to force the deciding game three Friday night at Morelli Field starting at 8:00 PM.

Expos starter Zach Kirby earned the win with six innings of work, allowing four runs while striking out eight. Dan Shaw worked out of trouble in the seventh, stranding runners at second and third to end the game. Dionys Quezada and Idelson Tavares each hit home runs to lead the Middlesex offense.

Chiefs’ starter Josh Desai limited the Expos offense to just one run over the first five innings while striking out six. However, the bullpen surrendered seven runs (one earned) over the final two innings.

John Batista was the offensive star for the Chiefs as he belted a pair of two-run home runs.

Friday’s deciding game three will be broadcast live on Local Sports Production YouTube channel at http://youtube.com/c/LocalSportsProductions. Sam Feeley will be calling the play by play.