The East Boston Knights are hitting their stride in both leagues (YBL & RRBL) and just in time. Both squads are playing their best ball of the year as the playoff season looms around the corner. The YBL Knights go 3 – 0 on the week headlined by beating the Revere Rockies and stopping the Brighton Braves 9 game win streak. “We are playing smart baseball in all aspects of the game. Pitching defense and hitting. It’s all coming together at the same time.” Said the Manager Eric Bellavia. More importantly for us all 25 guys are going in the same direction. We have good baseball players that love to play the game and love to play together and I believe that’s a winning recipe” The Knights have won 14 of their last 17 and have 6 games remaining in the regular season. They are holding onto the division lead over their rivals the South Boston Saints and are 3 points ahead of the Al Thomas A’s for the 3 seed overall.
The RRBL team has surged themselves. After starting the season 3 – 3 the Knights have now won 8 of their last nine enroute to tying the Beverly Indians for first place at 11-4. “This is how we have operated the last 2 seasons playing well down the stretch in preparation for the playoffs and hopefully we can sustain this and carry it into the playoffs.” Said Manager Tim Antonellis. The RRBL Knights have 6 games left as they remain tied with the Indians and face off against them one more time this season.
YBL Game recaps
EAST BOSTON, MA…..The Knights hosted the Revere Rockies at East Boston Stadium sending Sean Perkins to the bump to face off against Adam Del Rio. Both pitchers pitched well thru the first 3 frames before the offense caught up. Leading 1 – 0 in the 4th inning the Knights plated 4 runs capped by a mammoth triple by Ben McBride, who got throw out at the plate to end the inning trying to stretch the triple into a homerun, to take a 5 – 0 lead. The Rockies would not go away scoring 4 runs of their own in the top of the 5th. Perkins struggled loading the bases and giving way to fire baller Shawn Carlson. Carlson walked in 2 runs but quickly settled down retiring the next 3 batters to get out of a bases loaded jam with no outs to preserve the 1 run lead. Corey Laliberte came on in the 7th and retired the top of the Rockies order 1-2-3 for the save. Knights win 5 – 4.
WALTHAM, MA…The Knight traveled to Brandeis University to face the Boston Dodgers in game one of a day night double header. Sean Hannon was the story for the Knights going 5 strong innings only allowing 1 run (unearned) on 3 hits keeping the Dodgers bats off balance all game.
The Knights struck right away against Kyle Breidenstine collecting 2 runs on 4 hits in the first inning. The Dodgers cut the lead in the 4th scoring an unearned run to make the score 2 – 1. The Knights would add insurance in the 5th on a Brad Tardugno RBI single, his second on the day.
Kenny Luongo would pitch a perfect 6th to hold the lead for closer Corey Laliberte who pitch a 1-2-3, 7th inning for his 3rd save. Knights win 3 -1.
WALTHAM, MA….After beating the Dodgers the Knights faced the red hot Brighton Braves for the first time this season. The Braves brought in a 9 game winning streak with them into Brandeis looking to extend the winning streak to 10. Taking the bump for the Knights was Steve Hueston. The Braves countered with Pete Lankarge.
The Braves would strike first plating a run in the first to jump out to a quick 1 – 0 lead. The Knights countered scoring 2 in the bottom of the frame to take a 2 – 1 lead. The Knights added another in the 4th on a long triple by Ace DiNapoli to make it 3 – 1. The Braves clawed back in the game in the fifth taking advantage of a Steve Hueston throwing error scoring 4 runs capped by a scorching double to right centerfield by Ted Tracey to take a 5 – 3 lead.
The Knights answer the bell in the bottom of the inning scoring 4 runs of their own on 6 consecutive hits to retake the lead 7 – 5. The pesky Braves got it to within one run in the 6th but the Knights got some insurance in the bottom of the frame taking a 9 – 6 lead. Closer Cory Laliberte went 1-2-3 in the 7th for his 2nd save on the day. The Knights end the Braves streak at 9 on a very exciting game.
RRBL game recaps
Waltham, MA – After a two game sweep in early June, the Red Dogs travel to Waltham to take on the surging Knights in a Sunday afternoon divisional matchup. Due to traffic from the north shore, Sean Perkins (1IP, BB, 0H) would get the start. Perkins faced only four batters allowing one walk before being lifted for the scheduled starter Justin Wojcik (6IP; W, 3H, 3BB, 0ER).
The Knights saw base runners in every inning pushing across their first run in the third inning. Jose Polanco (1-4; R, SB) singled to left with two outs and stole second base followed by a Geoff Harris (1-4; RBI). The Knights break out inning would be in the fourth when Clemente Parra (1-2; 2R, BB) would lead off the inning with a hit to center followed by a line drive to right by the catcher John Scull (1-1; 2B, R). Newcomer Johan Villalona (1-2; 2B, R, 2RBI) would follow up with a moonshot to center scoring 2 runs. Pedro Peres (1-2; 2B, RBI) would replicate the fear with another double scoring Parra.
Between the lines Wojcik held the Red Dogs to three hits without giving up an earned run. The first Red Dog to cross the plate wasn’t until the fourth inning after a Parra error allowed the runner on second to score. From there Wojcik would cruise to the seventh inning allowing only one more hit. Wojcik would help himself out in the fifth inning by roping a two-out single to right field scoring Parra and Brian Maynard (1-3; R, SB)
The Knights won by a final score of 6 to 2 improving to 11-4 on the year leaving them in a tie for the best record in the league. The division rival Indians have played two more games splitting them, one win and one loss. The Knights take on the Spirits in a twin-bill next Sunday, August 4th.