By Jerry DiStefano
The Revere Rockies had no problem taking care of the Stoneham Sabers in the second round of the Yawkey Baseball League (YBL) playoffs; the Rockies swept the Sabers, 3-0, in a best of five series. Revere has now moved on to the YBL championship for the first time ever in the 10 year existence of the Rockies in the YBL.
“I could not be happier with our play this series,” said Revere coach A.J. Bucciarelli. He continued, “We played great team defense [and] had clutch hitting…all throughout the order all series long. It was an honor to be a part of this, and the guys really deserve to be where they are at this time, playing for an YBL championship.”
Revere may have swept Stoneham, but it was far from being easy. The Rockies received a great pitching performance in game one from starter Adam Del Rio. Del Rio went the distance, allowed only three hits, and surrendered zero runs. Despite the brilliance of Del Rio, the game was tied 0-0 going into the bottom of the seventh inning. Pete Oggeri led off the seventh inning for Revere with a single to left center. Oggeri moved to second shortly after on a pass ball, and Mike Roberts followed with a single to move Oggeri to third. Kyle Rufo was then hit by a pitch to load the bases for Bucciarelli with no outs. Bucciarelli only saw one pitch and hit a hard ground ball to the shortstop. The Saber shortstop could not handle the grounder and Oggeri scored the game winning run.
In game two, Revere took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Stoneham scored the next five runs in the game and took a 5-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth. It appeared that the Sabers were going to even the series at 1-1, but the Rockies had other plans. Revere went on to have a three-run sixth to cut the deficit to just one (5-4). Revere shut down Stoneham in the top of the seventh and tied the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the frame. The game would not be decided until the bottom of the 11. Revere received great “at bats” from Rufo and Del Rio. They both reached base, which in turn loaded the bases with two outs and set the stage for Roberts. Roberts hit a bullet off the left field fence to give Revere a 6-5, walk-off win and a 2-0 series lead.
“Game two was one of the better playoff games I have been involved in. We were down 5-1 going into our last 6 outs, but the guys didn’t give up,” said Bucciarelli.
In game three, Revere had to go on the road for the first time all series. The Rockies were able to pick up their first road victory of the playoffs (7-4). Revere got on the board in the first inning when Chris Hartery hit a solo home run to centerfield that gave Revere a 1-0 lead. Stoneham tied the game immediately in the bottom of the frame (1-1). The score was tied 2-2 going into the fifth, and that is when Revere took control. Hartery led off the inning with a single, and Tony Lafolla followed with an RBI single that scored Hartery. Nate Laliberte followed with an RBI single that scored Lafolla and gave the Rockies a 4-2 lead. Revere added three more runs in the top of the sixth on four hits, which put away Stoneham for good.
“In game three our big bats carried us, along with solid pitching, to help gain the sweep of Stoneham and a trip to the YBL championship,” said Bucciarelli.
Revere will now square off against the Somerville Alibrandis in the YBL championship. The schedule of the championship is as follows: Wednesday (August 28) Revere will travel back to St. Peter’s Field to play at 7:30 p.m., and they will play at Morelli Field on Thursday (August 29) at 7:30 p.m. If necessary, game five will be September 3, game six Sept 4, and game seven September 5.