The East Boston Knights have yet to find their groove this season, but they’ll face Revere in a rubber match on July 6 that promises to have all the fireworks expected of a City Line battle.
In their second “rebuilding” year, the Knights (5-9-0) currently hold the third worst record in the 10-team Yawkey League. However, the patience has yielded fruit, General Manager Eric Bellavia said, and when East Boston faces the Revere Rockies this Friday, the young team will continue build on its recently found identity.
“The record really isn’t showing it,” Bellavia said. “Our pitching’s pretty solid. Our defense is solid. I just wish that the bats would get going. We hit well, but we just haven’t been able to get that really big hit with timely innings with runners in scoring positions.”
What the game cannot show is the franchise’s plan for the future. Bellavia said he now has a better sense of which lineup will work for his team and the players the team wants to retain and build around.
Among them are the new third baseman Grofi Cruz, who’s had MLB experience with the Cleveland Indians, and Xavier Feliz. The team is certainly with veteran presence as well: Jose Paulino, Mike Oliveria and Kenny Luongo are among those who have stuck with the team through the thick and thin, Bellavia said.
“The machine is a sum of its parts, so if everybody does their job, this thing can run like a machine, but when you put new players together, whether they’re good players or bench players, you have to play together a little bit to find out who you are. That’s what we’re banking on.”
The Knights have faced Revere once this season on June 11, when Revere beat East Boston, 9-2, but the game remained close until the end, when a Knights’ error led to a six-run final inning for the Rockies.
“Revere, to me—they’re probably the favorites to win everything along with the Brighton Braves,” Bellavia said. “Any team can beat any other team in the Yawkey League. That’s what makes it such a great, competitive league. Even the bottom teams that are having a hard time, you don’t just show up and win [against them]. You’ve got to play a game, and it’s very difficult to win a baseball game.”
Revere’s 12-4-1 record places them on top of the Carl Yastrzemski Division and the second overall in the Yawkey League. The Rockies lead the league in several offensive categories, including hits (182), RBIs (121) and batting average (.353).
In order to win, Bellavia said his focus is to be patient at bat.
“We just have to disciplined at the plate. We can make any mistakes defensive, and we definitely can’t give them extra outs,” he said.