Burlington 12U Ripken Team Advances to Finals
Play begins at 5:30 today at Simonds Park
It’s been an exciting week at Simonds Park as the Burlington Baseball & Softball Association has played host to the 12U Ripken Eastern Mass State Tournament. Thirteen games have been played among the eight qualifiers and just two remain. The home town team from Burlington has won their first three games and moves on to face Weymouth in the finals tonight, Friday July 7th at 5:30 PM.
Burlington started off their tournament with a win 6-3 win over Somerset, followed by a strong 6-2 over Marblehead. Weymouth started their tournament with wins over Winchester (9-4) and Bedford 3-1. The semi-final on Tuesday was a much anticipated match-up between the two unbeaten teams, with a trip to the finals on the line. Matty Sicari started on the mound for Burlington, pitching around an error and striking out three. Burlington then scratched a run across in the bottom of first when Matty scored from 3rd on a passed ball.
After Weymouth left two runners on base in the top of the 2nd, Burlington worked deep into the count in the bottom half to draw a HBP and three consecutive walks and take a 2- 0 lead. That’s when Colin Gallagher stepped to the plate and launched a grand slam, bringing the crowd at Simonds Park to their feet as Burlington took a commanding 6-0 at the end of the 2nd.
Sicari kept Weymouth off the board until the 4th inning when he allowed a solo home run to Byrne. Not to worry as Burlington bounced back quickly in the bottom of the inning. After a walk by Matty Disarcina, and a single by Gallagher, Sicari followed with a 2 RBI double to put Burlington up 8-1.
Sicari would labor a bit in the 5th inning, but pitched a great game, going 4 1/3 innings and giving up just 1 run on 2 hits and 3 walks while striking out 8. Nick Castellano came in as relief with two runners on and one out in the 5th, striking out both batters he faced and earning another roar from the Simonds Park faithful.
Weymouth threatened a bit in the 6th, but a great diving catch by Mikey Kelly limited the damage to just two runs, while Castellano nailed down the 8-3 victory for Burlington. It was a great team effort with contributions up and down the lineup and in the field.
Weymouth went on to defeat Dedham on Thursday night with a close 3-2 win, to earn a spot in the finals against Burlington. Burlington comes into the Friday game well rested with high hopes of bringing home the state championship. Please come out and support the team as they battle Weymouth again at Simonds Park tonight at 5:30pm. Wear your red and make some noise for our boys!
In other Tournament news
The 8U Ripken team begins their state tournament run with pool play down in Freetown/Lakeville. They open with a double header on Saturday, followed by another game on Sunday. The 11Us have been playing hard, too, and you can expect a full update on their progress soon!