MORE GREAT BASEBALL AT THE
2012 BRENDAN GRANT MEMORIAL BASEBALL TOURNAMENT
Eighth Annual Tournament Held
Friday and Saturday, 25 & 26 May 2012 in Belmont, Massachusetts
High caliber high school baseball was in store for the eighth annual Brendan
Grant Memorial Baseball Tournament held in
The tournament was held on May 25th and 26th
with four local high school teams battling for top honors.
The four participating teams were the varsity baseball squads from
Austin Prep, Belmont, Lynnfield and Winchester High Schools.
This year’s overall winner was Lynnfield, which snatched the crown
third time since the tournament was first held in 2005.
The festivities officially started with the singing of the national anthem
just prior to 2:15 pm, and the spectators were greeted with free drinks, hot
dogs and popcorn.
The first game of the tournament would turn-out to be
arguably the most exciting contest of the tournament, and had Winchester as
the visiting team versus Belmont in a contest that counted for both teams as
a Middlesex League game. Like last
year, Belmont needed to win at least one of the two games during the
tournament to qualify for a berth in the post season playoffs.
Senior Jonathon Redwine started on the mound for Winchester, while Belmont
started with Junior Captain Mike Richardson.
The crowd of spectators watching this game was one of the largest in
recent tournament history.
While there is no official attendance count, it was noted after the event
that over 900 hot dogs were provided during this first game, which provides
a testament to the size of the crowd in attendance.
As it turned-out, they would not be disappointed, in what would be
one of the more exciting games in tournament history.
defense and good pitching kept the game scoreless until the fifth inning
when Winchester finally scratched out two runs with a solid RBI double into
the center field gap from Senior Captain Dereck Divencenzo.
Winchester then held Belmont at bay until the home town squad had
their backs against the wall in the bottom of the seventh inning, the last
regular inning in high school baseball.
Leading-off for Belmont was pinch hitting Sophomore Brendan Shea who
nailed a double into the center field gap.
He was then followed by Junior Brian Coutts who hit a solid single
into left field. Senior Mike
Rocha brought in the first run on a sacrifice grounder to third base and
advancing the tying run to second.
Senior Captain Christian Raymond delivered the goods with a solid RBI
single to center field to tie the game.
Winchester then shut down the Belmont rally to force the game into
extra innings, now knotted-up at 2 runs apiece.
Winchester led off the eighth inning with an infield single from Sophomore
Brendan Greene. This was all
Winchester needed, as they were able to get him across the plate with good
base running and sacrifice-hits.
In the bottom of the eighth it was déjà vu all over again, with
Belmont’s lead-off batter Junior Jake Cole dropping a sharp single into
center field. Good base running
and sacrifices likewise got him across the plate and the game was again tied
at 3-all going into the ninth inning.
New pitchers came in for both teams in the ninth inning with Senior Brian
Carney for Winchester and Senior Christian Raymond for Belmont.
In the top half of the ninth Winchester loaded the bases but was
unable to score. The bottom of
the ninth started with lead-off batter Senior Mike Rocha flying deep to
center field for the first out.
Senior Christian Raymond then walked after going deep in the count with a
strong at-bat that included multiple foul balls to protect the plate.
Senior Mark Rocha then hit a sharp line drive single to left field to
post runners at first and second.
Senior John Dillon then stepped in to provide a career-memorable hit,
and roped a sharp line drive
single to left field.
His walk-away hit allowed Raymond to score from second base, and with
pandemonium on the field, it was an exciting finish for the Belmont squad,
coming from behind twice to pull out a victory.
was a critical win for Belmont, as they needed this win for post-season
play. The winning pitcher was
Belmont’s Christian Raymond, and taking the loss was Winchester’s Brian
Carney, both of whom came in for the final inning.
The second Friday game got a late start due to the extra innings of the
proceeding game, with Austin Prep the home squad and Lynnfield as visitors.
Austin Prep jumped to a quick lead with one run in the first inning,
but Lynnfield came storming back with 3 runs in the second.
Lynnfield never looked back, and ultimately pulled out an 8 to 4
victory over Austin Prep.
Lynnfield Senior Captain Dylan Costa picked up the win, with Austin Prep
Senior Tyler Finnegan taking the loss.
The highlight hit of the game was a solo homerun from Lynnfield
Senior Craig Anderson over the right center field fence, and this would be
the only long-ball out of the park in the entire tournament.
Saturday started with the consolation game at 10:00 am that had Winchester
facing-off against Austin Prep, and a flip of a coin designated Austin Prep
as the visiting team. The
starting pitchers were a battle of the Sophomores, with Mike Gianci starting
on the mound for Winchester and Drew Johnson for Austin Prep.
Winchester scratched out a run in the first, followed by several more in the
fifth. These would be all they
would need, as the story of the day would be a stellar pitching performance
by Winchester pitcher Mike Gianci.
Additional credit goes to the Winchester defense, with several
incredible diving plays including two at second base from Senior Captain
Dereck Divencenzo. Gianci
pitched a perfect game through almost six full innings, when, with just four
more outs to go, Austin Prep Junior Matt Dube reached base on a walk.
In the final inning, Austin Prep did get two singles from Seniors
Tyler Finnegan and Ryan Quinn to break-up the no-hitter and post a run.
The final score was Winchester four and Austin Prep one, with the
winning pitcher Winchester’s Mike Gianci, while taking the loss was Austin
Prep’s Drew Johnson.
championship game started at 1:00 pm with Lynnfield as the home team and
Belmont visiting based on a flip of a coin.
Both teams had won the tournament twice previously, with each looking
for their third championship crown.
Starting pitchers were Seniors Mark Rocha for Belmont and Stephen
Lambe for Lynnfield.
Lynnfield led jumped to a quick lead in the first and never looked back,
leading Belmont throughout the contest.
Lynnfield scored one run in the first, three in the second, two in
the fourth, and four in the sixth.
Belmont scored three runs in the fifth, and the final score at the
end of the contest was Lynnfield ten and Belmont three.
The winning pitcher was Lynnfield’s Stephen Lambe and taking the loss
was Belmont’s Mark Rocha. This
year’s MVP trophy went to Lynnfield’s Senior Captain Carmine DeCesare, their
first baseman and clean-up batter.
All four teams showed lots of talent and demonstrated plenty of excellent
baseball. With Lynnfield as the overall winner, Belmont placed in the number
two runner-up slot, followed by Winchester and then Austin Prep .
for all the details on last year's tournament contest. The standings since
the tournament first began are:
2005: (1) Lynnfield, (2) Winchester, (3) Belmont, (4) Bedford
2006: (1) Lynnfield, (2) Belmont, (3) Winchester, (4) Bedford
2007: (1) Belmont, (2) Austin Prep, (3) Winchester, (4) Lynnfield
2008: (1) Belmont, (2) Austin Prep, (3) Winchester, (4) Lynnfield
2009: (1) Winchester, (2) Lynnfield, (3) Belmont, (4) Austin Prep
2010: (1) Belmont, (2) Lynnfield, (3) Winchester, (4) Austin Prep
2011: (1) Austin Prep, (2) Belmont, (3) Lynnfield, (4) Winchester
2012: (1) Lynnfield, (2) Belmont, (3) Winchester, (4) Austin Prep
Adding to this year's excitement was a parallel whiffle ball tournament
organized for local 9 and 10 year olds participating in Belmont Little
League. A large group of youngsters participated on multiple teams that
played on an adjacent field in their own "mini" tournament.
Numerous volunteers were instrumental in putting this year's tournament
together, helping with refreshments, team support, and making sure the field
and facility were in fantastic shape so that the entire event ran smoothly.
Heartfelt thanks are extended to the following sponsors who provided
significant support or in-kind donations:
Avery, Dooley & Noone, Belmont MA
Champions Sporting Good, Belmont MA
Embassy Trophy of Waltham, Waltham MA
James J. Duffy, Inc., Charlestown MA
Northeast Industrial Tech Inc., Grindco Group, Boston MA
Premier Red Sox tickets were provided for a fundraising on-site raffle, by
Alan DerKazarian and Family and by Rick Stanton and Family.
The long list of volunteers is likewise noteworthy, and a
tip-of-the-cap goes to all the dedicated volunteers that assisted throughout
the tournament. Special thanks goes to former BHS baseball coach Pete Noone
for helping to organize the event and championing the activity behind the
scene. Additional thanks goes to Belmont Athletic Director Jim Davis,
Belmont Trainer Sarkis Asadoorian, and the Belmont School System, as well as
the dependable crew of the Belmont Grounds and Recreation Department for
keeping the field in top shape.
This year the weather cooperated with partly sunny skies and comfortable
temperatures. Solid crowds of
spectators were once again rewarded with great local baseball at the Brendan
Grant Memorial Field, one of the premier baseball fields of its type in the
region. As those who attended
will tell you, the eighth annual Brendan Grant Memorial Day Baseball
Tournament provided incredible excitement and some top quality good old
fashioned high school baseball. Our heartfelt thanks go out to all who
helped make the event a success.
We look forward to seeing you at next year’s tournament!