Cassaro sparks East Boston to District 12 Jimmy Fund Tournament title
By Cary Shuman
The East Boston Little League 12-year-old All-Star team rallied to beat Everett, 7-4, and capture the District 12 Jimmy Fund Tournament championship for the second year in a row Saturday at Conant Park in Melrose.
Trailing 4-1 in the top of the sixth, Eastie scored six runs to take a 7-4 lead. Sammy Santiago (two hits, RBI) led off the rally with a single off the fence. After a pair of walks, CJ Cassaro struck a clutch two-run double to give Eastie its first lead of the game.
Cassaro, son of East Boston manager Chuckie Cassaro, was also a star on the mound, striking out 15 batters and allowing two hits in 5 1/3 innings. The performance concluded a brilliant tournament in which the talented right-hander compiled a 6-0 record and hit four home runs.
Cassaro also pitched for the EBLL playoff champion Nationals team. He was 7-0 in the regular season and 2-0 in the playoffs.
Jimmy Williams belted two home runs in the tournament. Ten-year-old Yonaxi Alcantara, one of the best players in that age division in the city, had a three-run home run in a win over Malden.
Miguel Pimentel and Robert Gilbride also excelled for Eastie.
Chris Quintin played very well at catcher in the tournament. “Chris calls the game really well, he’s an excelkent defensive catcher and a great kid,” said manager Chuckie Cassaro.
East Boston finished the tournament with a 9-2 record against teams from Medford, Malden, and Everett. Eastie routed Medford in the semifinals.
Cassaro said he was proud of his players for being dedicated to baseball and raising funds for the Jimmy Fund to help fight cancer in children.
“It’s been a really hot summer and these kids went out and practiced a lot and stayed dedicated,” said Chucky Cassaro. “The bigger picture is they helped raise money for the Jimmy Fund.”
LITTLE LEAGUE NOTEBOOK
Jimmy Williams is the son of former East Boston baseball star Jimmy Williams, who served as a coach of the Jimmy Fund team. East Bostonians will recall that Jimmy Williams was a superb player whose cannon arm and all-around skills drew the attention of Major League scouts. Coach Jimmy Williams had terrific support from his father, who would never miss a game. It’s great to see Jimmy Williams coaching baseball and passing on his knowledge of the game to young players.
CJ Cassaro, who wrapped up a sensational Little League career, also plays AAU baseball for Team Boston, based in North Reading. Cassaro hit 23 home runs during the in-house season and Jimmy Fund Tournament.
Five members of the Jimmy Fund team – CJ Cassaro, Sammy Santiago, Robert Gilbride, Joe Ferullo, and Jeffrey Cuello – were also players on Chuckie Cassaro’s Nationals team. “I’ve been coaching these five players since they were 9 years old, so it’s a pretty good sendoff,” said Cassaro.
East Boston Little League will celebrate its season at three banquets at Spinelli’s. The Minor League Banquet will be Thursday, Sept. 8, followed by the Major League Banquet on Thursday, Sept. 15, and the Senior League Banquet on Thursday, Sept. 22.
Banquet tickets will be sold at the Burger King in Orients Heights on Friday, Aug. 19, from 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 25, from 6 to 8 p.m., and Friday, Aug. 26, from 6 to 8 p.m.
East Boston All-Star team wins Mayor’s Cup
By John LaPlaca
Just a few short weeks ago, these 10-year-old little league all-stars from East Boston were hardly taken seriously enough to compete in the Mayor’s Cup Baseball Tournament. Their entry into the series came at the last minute, when one of the parents insisted they sign up… But that was a few weeks ago.
Today they are celebrating victory!
Their Cinderella story became real when East Boston defeated the highly touted Parkway team, 4-3, to capture the entire Mayor’s Cup challenge. In fact, they finished the season as the only undefeated team in the city, winning most of their other games in overwhelming numbers:
- Savin Hill, 12-2
- Parkway II, 12-2
- South Boston, 9-7
- North End, 9-2
- Parkway, 4-3
Led by manager Jason DaSilva and coaches Eldon Thomas, Nick Salerno, and Nick and Mike Mosca, the boys made it look easy. Through regular and mandatory practice these caring East Boston parents/ coaches were able to keep these All-Star players as sharp as they were during their regular season. And the hard work paid off.
Behind the dazzling pitching of Jason DaSilva Jr, John Quinton, Jaden Marshall and Yonaxi Alcantara came some powerful and consistent hitting by players like Sal Vigliotta, Chris Testa, and Nick Mustacchio Jr. whose amazing performances were often complemented by the aggressive base running of Johanix Amparo.
“I have never seen a more dedicated and enthused group of young baseball players”, said Nick Mustacchio and his wife Lisa, who together, hosted a backyard barbecue and pool party for the boys at their home. “It was a real pleasure attending their games. These kids and their coaches deserve recognition for their time and proud representation of East Boston”.
Parents all agree.
The defensive, near perfect infield held together by catchers Ryan Thomas and Chase Whiteknact and quick shortstop plays by Ruben DeLeon was without flaw. Outfield cooperation by Stephen Smith and others left onlookers stunned.
The team went on to participate and compete in the recent Jimmy Fund Tournament, but was eliminated in a narrow defeat, ending a very spine-tingling summer.