For twenty consecutive years, the North End Athletic Association (NEAA) has taken a 13-15 year old baseball team to compete in a double-header against their counter parts from North Adams.
In August, as part of the North End Against Drugs (NEAD) annual North End Family Pride Day, North Adams travels to Boston to play a double-header with the NEAA Dodgers.
This year’s LaFesta Baseball Exchange took place on June 26 at the beautiful Joe Wolfe Stadium the home of the North Adams FisherCats.
"Wolfe Stadium provides an unbelievable venue for these games to take place, " Dodgers Coach Ralph Martignetti said.
Even before the games took place, the North End players, coaches and families are treated to fun activities and a cookout during the two day event.
"It’s a great way to break the ice from our regular league schedule and for all of us to meet new friends," Martignetti said.
The Dodgers took the first game 9-5 but lost the second game 8-3.
Starting pitcher Vince LoPriore hurled a complete game, mixing his fastball with an array of breaking pitches keeping the North Adams team off balance throughout the game. LoPriore also walked 4 times and crossed the plate 3 times.
Tournament MVP Nick Iudiciani chipped in with 3 hits, a walk, was hit by a pitch and scored 3 runs.
Harrison Kay added 3 hits and the team defense was solid all game led by Jack Ditomassi with 5 assists and a couple of great outfield catches, one by James Ditomassi and the other by Jake French.
Catcher Justin Amoroso was rock solid behind the plate and made a diving catch on a foul pop up.
Game two went to North Adams 8-3 as the Dodgers gave up 5 first inning runs and never recovered.
Once again, Nick Iudiciani dominated the Dodgers offense banging out 3 more hits going 6-6 for the series.
Indiciani was named the baseball exchange MVP and was presented the first Bobby DeCristoforo trophy for his outstanding play during the double-header which attracted many home team fans.
"The team had its biggest cheering section ever and the fans who made the three hour trip were really into the games," said Coach Martignetti.