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North End Starts La Festa Baseball Exchange with Win at North Adams

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Matthew Griffin struck out 12 and overcame a rough start to earn a complete game 11-5 win for the North End Dodgers in the opening game of the La Festa Baseball Exchange against North Adams at Joe Wolfe Field on Saturday.
 
Joe Brienze went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles and two runs batted in to pace the Dodgers, who overcame a 5-0 deficit after two innings.
 
The two teams will meet again on Sunday morning at 10:30 before the scene shifts to Boston in two weeks for the annual trip east for the North Adams squad.
 
The home team got off to a fast start in the opener.
 
Ethan Denette started the first with a one-out single and stole second ahead of Lucas Hamilton’s base hit. Hamilton took second on the throw on the play and scored when Ethan Sherman launched a double deep to right to make it 2-0.
 
Sherman scored one batter later when Brayden Canales singled up the middle, and coach Tito Sniezek’s team had a 3-0 lead.
 
North Adams stretched its margin in the second thanks to RBI singles from Sherman and Canales.
 
But Griffin did not allow a baserunner past second base the rest of the way and allowed just one hit over the next five innings.
 
Meanwhile, his offense gave him a pair of runs in the top of the third and five in the top of the fourth to take the lead.
 
Anthony Sapienza and Brienze each had an RBI during the winning rally.
 
The Dodgers picked up a pair of insurance runs in the fifth and two more in the top of the seventh when Richard Wells hit a two-run single.
 
Although the teams combined for a handful of errors, the game also had a number of defensive gems.
 
Catchers Brienze and Jules Feliciano each went well into Joe Wolfe’s expansive foul territory to run down fly balls for their respective teams.
 
And Feliciano had a pair of assists on a rare 2-6-2-5 double play to end the top of the seventh as North Adams caught a pair of runners attempting to pull off a delayed double steal of second and home.
 
 
VideoGeorge Canales throws out one of the first pitches to his grandson Brayden prior to the start of Saturday’s La Festa Baseball Exchange between North Adams and the North End Dodgers of Boston at Joe Wolfe Field. NA Mayor Jennifer Macksey also threw out a first pitch.
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Sacco Brothers Honored at North Adams American Legion for WWII Service

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com
Members of the Sacco family and others participate in a flag raising ceremony at the North Adams American Legion on Sunday.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – The sacrifice of the Sacco family is part of history.
 
A piece of World War II memorabilia that honors the Saccos at North Adams American Legion Post 125 has a bit of legend attached to it.
 
“While doing my research, I was not able to find the exact source of where this propeller comes from,” Post 125 Commander Mitchell Kiel said on Sunday afternoon. “Which makes my job up here today a little bit easier, because I can exaggerate how we came in possession of it.”
 
Kiel then told the tale of the propeller to the crowd gathered to honor Peter, Ralph, Samuel, Anthony, Pasquale and Joseph Sacco.
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