Friday, December 15, 2017
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  • Malden High graduates 446 at Macdonald Stadium

    Friday, June 09, 2017 00:00
  • Residents in favor of RCN coming to city

    Friday, August 25, 2017 08:53
  • Sergio Cornelio unanimously appointed City Clerk

    Saturday, August 05, 2017 09:22
  • DeRuosi’s Report Card

    Friday, August 04, 2017 10:24
  • Help choose the next Malden Reads 2018 book selection!

    Friday, June 09, 2017 00:00

Champions stave off elimination in NSBL playoffs







The Peabody Champions demonstrated major fortitude with a convincing 10-0 win Monday evening in Game 3 of their North Shore Baseball League (NSBL) semifinal series against the top-seeded Swampscott Sox at Swampscott Middle School Field.

The night before, the fourth-seeded Champions suffered a discouraging blow when Swampscott slugger Elvis Rodriguez hammered a seventh-inning, walk-off grand slam to give the Sox a 7-4 victory and a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five matchup. What added to the frustration for Peabody was that it had rallied with three runs in the top half of the seventh to pull ahead, 4-3, on a two-run single by Chad Martin and Derek Lyons’ run-scoring double.

With the fourth contest set for Wednesday at Twi Field in Danvers (after press deadline), Swampscott, 10-1 winners in Game 1, held a 2-1 series lead heading into Wednesday’s action. The Champions advanced by defeating the North Shore Phillies, 2 games to 1, in the opening playoff round while Swampscott knocked off Marblehead in round one.

It was do-or-die for Peabody on Monday and lefty starter David Hoar rose to the occasion, shutting out the hard-hitting Sox through five innings with seven strikeouts. Meanwhile, the Champions got big nights offensively from David Ruggiero (4-for-4, home run, 2 RBIs) and Martin (3 hits, 2-run homer, 5 RBIs). The game was called when the Champions tallied four times in the top of the sixth to take a 10-run cushion.

Martin’s base hit gave Peabody a 1-0 lead in the first inning; RBI singles by Ruggiero and Jon Cahill made it 3-0 in the second; and Ruggiero’s solo round-tripper followed by Martin’s blast with a runner on base in the fourth gave Peabody a commanding 6-0 lead it would not relinquish.

In Sunday’s loss, the Champions were down, 3-1, heading into seventh. Their lone run up to that point came off a solo homer by Lyons in the second. Peabody starter Brian Marshall pitched well through 4 1/3 innings before giving up two runs in the fifth and falling behind 3-1. Swampscott loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the seventh. Peabody managed to get the first out before Rodriguez went yard for the win.

In other action, the sixth-seeded North Shore Storm, who play their games at Peabody High School’s Bezemes Diamond, were eliminated in the first round by losing twice in a row to the third-seeded Beverly Recs last week. Beverly edged the Storm, 4-3, in the first game, and the Recs jumped ahead, 4-0, early in Game 2. North Shore battled back to climb within 4-3, but Beverly outscored the Storm, 3-1, the rest of the way to earn a 7-4 win and advance to the semifinal round.

Beverly trailed the second-seeded Kingston Night Owls, 2-1, in its semifinal series entering Wednesday’s action. The semifinal winners will face off in a best-of-seven series for the league title.

By Greg Phipps

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