Sponsored by the North End Athletic Association (NEAA) the three Dodgers traveling Baseball teams put together a solid 2011 season.
Each team played well enough to make the playoffs in the RBI Baseball League sponsored by the Red Sox.
Ralph Martignetti who coordinated the Dodgers Baseball Program and coached as well said, ” The baseball program was a success this season. The teams were highly competitive and never gave up at anytime during the regular season and the playoffs.”
Martignetti thanked the sponsors, parents, fans, coaches and players for an outstanding baseball season.
The RBI League has three divisions, Freshmen (13-14), Juniors (15-16) and Seniors (17-18).
Under the leadership of coaches Chuck Bilikas and Alfredo Vilar the Freshmen Dodgers posted a 4-6 regular season slipping into the playoffs as the fifth seed.
The team beat the Dorchester Twins handily 13-5 in the first round but lost a 11-10 game to the West Roxbury Nationals in the second round.
The Freshmen team will lose star players Mike Rausseo, Jack Ditomassi, Pearse Martin, Jake French and Navide Aminpour as they move up to the Junior team in 2012.
However, the team’s future looks promising with returning players Robert Pagliuca, Aaron Cronin and Eli Swab who are joined by upcoming players Thomas Marchi, Tim Martin, Paul Szulc and JC Pezzuto all 12 year olds who played some games with the Freshmen team.
Coached by Representative Aaron Michlewitz and Matthew Imbergamo the Junior Dodgers posted a 6-3 regular season record also made the playoffs as the third seed. They were eliminated in the first playoff round two games to none.
The Juniors played well all season lead by Vincent Lopriore’s outstanding pitching and tremendous all round game.
Nick Iudiciani’s powerful bat and the complete play of Anthony Finocchiaro and Justin Amoroso were key reasons for the 2011 successful season.
Nine of the team’s thirteen players will graduate to the Senior team next season but the return of Iudiciani and upcoming players Anthony Coppola and James Ditomassi the Juniors should be competitive in 2012.
The Senior Dodgers, under the directions of coaches Ralph Martignetti, Chuck Bilikas, Randy Foley and Frank Iudiciani led the team to an impressive 8-0 regular season out scoring their opponents 101-18.
The North End team won five of those games playing only five innings under the mercy-rule, entering the playoffs as the number one seed.
In the semi-finals the Senior Dodgers beat the Mission Hill Pirates 4-0 and 11-1.
The Dodgers met their arch-rivals the Jamaica Plain Angels in the finals. They took game one 7-2 and lost the second game 9-5 setting the stage for the third and final game for the championship.
Dodgers ace pitcher Greg Bilikas (7-0) with a perfect game outing earlier in the season complying seventeen strike outs got the start for game three.
The North End team scored two runs in the 2nd, one run in the 3rd and two more in the 4th for a 5-1 lead entering the 5th inning.
The Angels hung a two spot in the 5th cutting the Dodgers lead to 5-3.
It stayed 5-3 until the final inning when the Angels batters found some holes through the infield and the Dodgers made some uncharacteristic defensive miscues handing their opponents an 8-5 lead.
The never-say-die Dodgers rallied and cut the lead to 8-7 with the bases loaded and two outs. The next Dodger batter crushed a fastball long and deep to centerfield but the speedy Angels outfielder ran it down at the 350 foot marker, that would have been the game winning hit and a championship for the North End.
“The boys played tremendous baseball all season and kept battling throughout the playoffs,” Martignetti said. “Losing several key players to summer vacation made a big difference.”
The Dodgers will lose three key players next season Greg Bilikas, PK Baez and Ricky Martignetti.