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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