There is a resurgence going on in the East Boston Little League.
Following on the success of the state finalist East Boston junior team earlier this summer, the league’s 9-10-year-old All-Star team swept through the cities of Boston and Chelsea with a 7-0 record to claim the championship in the annual District 9 Jimmy Fund Tournament.
Ten-year-old right-hander Frankie Serpa fired a one-hitter and Antonio Gerardi and Billy Henderson provided key base hits to lead East Boston to a 2-0 victory over Savin Hill last Thursday night at Ryan Field in Charlestown.
Gerardi reached on a bunt single and came around to score on some heads-up baserunning. Henderson blasted a single up the middle to bring home Anthony Nastari with an insurance run.
First baseman Arthur Macedo made a tremendous play in the last inning when he snared a line drive that was heading to right field for an extra base hit.
Serpa was the ace of an excellent Eastie staff that also included pitchers Chris Tejeda, Euddy Brito, Nicolo Sulo, Anthony Nastari and Billy Henderson.
Against Savin Hill, Serpa displayed a good fastball, stayed ahead in the count, and finished with 10 strikeouts.
“We have Frankie on our Major League A’s team and to watch him pitch the last two years, it’s just unbelievable to see his progress and the pitching mechanics he has, he’s just flawless – once he gets into the groove there’s no stopping that kid,” said East Boston manager Thomas Henderson Jr.
Nasja Taylor, the only girl on the East Boston roster, had an outstanding tournament at the plate. She delivered Eastie’s first hit in the title game against Savin Hill.
“It was a back-and-forth pitcher’s duel and Nasja got the first hit of the game,” said Henderson.
Many of the players on the Eastie team have been competing together in intra-city tournaments for the past three years. The team was a finalist in last year’s Jimmy Fund Tournament.
Henderson saw improvement in his players’ baseball skills each day and a superb overall attitude. Eastie steamrolled Chelsea in the opening game and the confidence grew from there.
“Right in front of the eyes, they just became an unbelievable force in baseball,” said Henderson.
Coaches Joey Serpa, Vinnie Guarino, and Joe Ruggiero assisted Henderson on the staff. The players listened to their coaches who taught them that fundamentals, teamwork, and sportsmanship are essential ingredients to winning baseball games.
“These kids are respectful and loyal and just a great group,” said Henderson. “Everything you tell them, everything you teach them, they’re like a sponge.”
Henderson said he’s also proud of all the coaches in East Boston Little League.
“It’s a good bunch of dedicated coaches,” said Henderson. “It’s a group of guys who care about the kids and teach them the fundamentals of baseball.”
The East Boston 12-year-old team also defeated Savin Hill to win the Jimmy Fund Tournament.