WWW.NRLL.ORG: 2017 Mass. State Championships

Wednesday, July 26
Thank You To The Sponsors and Supporters of the State Championships

Thank You Sign

The following companies, organizations, and individuals each helped make it possible for North Reading Little League to host the 2017 Massachusetts Little League State Championships. Thank you to all!!! We encourage you to support all our sponsors. See the program book for more information.

China Cuisine • Hood • Hub International • Flush Portable Restrooms • Massachusetts Health Connector • Sports Medicine North

 A&K Fowler Insurance • Arch Painting Inc. • Bay State Disposal • Benevento Companies • Bernardo Landscapes • BSN Sports • CJM Builders • Classified Realty Group • James & Susan Demetri • Dos Lobos, an American Taqueria and Tequila Bar • Epsilon • Farrelly Realty Group • Horseshoe Grille • Institute of Performance & Fitness • Joe Fish Seafood Restaurant and Bar • Keyes Law Office, P.C. • Law Offices of Michael F. Mahoney • The Loft • Massachusetts Little League District Administrators • Moriarty Financial Group, LLC • North Reading Diamond Club • North Reading Hornet Hall of Fame • One Stop Liquors • Pinnacle Carpentry and Contracting • Re/Max Renaissance • Red Sox Foundation • Retirement Financial Group, Inc. • Royal Air Systems, Inc. • Lou Rubino and Family • Teresa’s Restaurants & Function Facilities • Wolf & Company, P.C.

The Big Dipper • Century Bank • Cervizzi’s Martial Arts • Coviello Electric • Philip R. Dardeno CPA, MST • The Derrah Family • Duval Roofing • Grace~full Interiors • Harty Financial • Hobbs Madison • Illuminate • Independent Electric Supply • Jackson Lumber & Millwork • Kannan & Pricone • Kitty’s • LJR Engineering • North Shore Flag Football • Northeast Panels, Inc. • Rocco Insurance and Financial Group • Starlite Car Wash & Detail Center • Universal Screening • Valvoline Instant Oil Change • The Veneziano Family

Alarm Control Systems Inc. • Art of the Event • Beyond Bagels • Boston Freightliner • Chipman Handyman Services • Judy Dyment and the staff at the Northeast Metro Technical School • Scott Ellis (Electrician) • Mark Forde, Affordable Stump Grinding • Frommelt Equipment Company, Inc. • Gino Foti, All Star Fence • H.O. Zimman, Inc. • The Hornby Family • Paul Humphreys, PH Painting • House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones Jr. • Lobster Claw • Melrose Floor Covering • The Moriarty Family • Nan’s Café • Danny Oliveira, Oliveira Construction • Steve Palazzolo Sr. • Rich Puliafico, R.J. Puliafico Electrical • RAMS Athletic Complex • Rich Construction • Maureen Stevens and Marty Tilton and all the employees at North Reading Parks & Recreation • T.J. Vadala, Anthony Vadala Jr. Masonry • Viking Tree & Landscaping • Vittozzi Winery • Walmart • State Representative Donald H. Wong

Friday, July 28
The State Championships in Photos
State Finals Photo Galleries: North Reading photographer Julie O'Donnell has taken a series of photos capturing the best of the Massachusetts Little League State Finals. See her photo gallery at: 
Massachusetts Little League has also created a photo album on Dropbox. View these great shots from the weekend at:

Friday, August 11
Final Massachusetts State Finals Results
Thursday, July 27
4 p.m. — Holden 3, Milton National 1
7:30 p.m. — Gloucester 10, Melrose 5 (7 inn.)

Friday, July 28
4 p.m. — Milton National 11, Melrose 1 (4 inn.)
7 p.m. — Gloucester 7, Holden 5
Saturday, July 29
12 noon — Holden 12, Melrose 2 (4 inn.)
3 p.m. — Gloucester 11, Milton National 10 
Final Pool Play Standings
Gloucester 3-0 
Holden 2-1 
Milton National 1-2 
Melrose 0-3 
Sunday, July 30 — Championship Game
1 p.m. — Holden 13, Gloucester 9

Sunday, July 30
Holden Wins State Little League Title!!!

In a Sunday afternoon slugfest for the Massachusetts Little League state title, it was Holden that finally reeled in the biggest catch.

They defeated Gloucester, 13-9, at North Reading’s Benevento Park to win their first state crown, after being stopped in the title game in both 2014 and 2015. Holden will now represent Massachusetts in the New England Regional in Bristol, Connecticut, with that winner advancing to Williamsport, Pennsylvania, for the Little League World Series.

Holden never trailed in the game, but the outcome remained in doubt until the end against a Gloucester team that had rallied to victory twice during the tournament. Holden started fast with its first three batters of the day reaching base via walk, and Eli Robbins followed with two-run single and Joe Cappabianco brought home two more runs with a double to make it 4-0.

But Gloucester answered in the bottom of the frame, getting back-to-back solo home runs from Emerson Marshall and Jared Lucido to cut the deficit to 4-2. For Lucido, whose blast cleared the bleachers and several cars parked in right field, it was his fifth home run in four games.

Holden got those two runs back – and much more – in the second inning. Sean Verrier and Cappabianco slugged two-run homers and Steven Hebert followed with a solo shot that made the score 9-2.

The hits kept coming in the bottom of the second, with Lucido again in the middle of it all – he drilled a two-run single to left as part of a rally that pulled Gloucester within 9-6. The third inning saw Holden’s Dennis Jardine line an RBI single and Gloucester put together a nifty two-out rally that produced three run that drew them within a run, 10-9, but the game settled down from there.

Gloucester would get just one more hit in the game, while Holden managed to plate a single run in the fifth before tacking on two big insurance runs in the sixth when Eli Robbins launched a two-run homer over the right field fence. Robbins finished the day with three hits and three RBI, and Jardine also had three hits for the victors.

Steven Harrison earned the win for Holden. He took over mound duties in the fourth and tossed 2.1 near-perfect innings, allowing no hits, striking out three, and walking just one. Gloucester did put two runners on base in the sixth, but  reliever Tucker MacDonald finished up the game by striking out the final two batters, leaving the potential game-tying run on deck.

Lucido and Zach Morris each had a pair of hits for Gloucester.

A crowd estimated at more than 1100, thought to be the biggest ever to watch a single game at Benevento Park since its opening in the 1950s, was on hand.


Handout: Holden-Gloucester Box Score (State Title Game)

Saturday, July 29
Gloucester Stuns Milton National To Reach State Title Game

Jared Lucido’s second home run of the game, a walk-off three-run blast, completed an improbable Gloucester comeback against Milton National Saturday afternoon at Benevento Park and propelled his team into their first-ever Massachusetts Little League State Finals championship game.

Lucido launched a 1-0 pitch far over the left-center field fence to give Gloucester the dramatic 11-10 win. They had entered the sixth inning trailing, 10-5.

Gloucester, which finished a perfect 3-0 in pool play, will now meet Holden (2-1) for the state title on Sunday afternoon (1 p.m.). The two teams squared off on Friday, with Gloucester taking a 7-5 decision.

This marks Gloucester’s first appearance in the state title game, while Holden has now advanced this far three times in the last four years. Holden was the state runner-up in both 2014 (falling to Tom Wallace Barnstable American, 7-5, in seven innings) and 2015 (falling to Newton SouthEast, 11-3). None of the four teams involved in this year’s finals has ever won the state title.

Milton National appeared on track to reach the title game until the very end. They scored twice in the first and took a 6-1 second-inning lead on Jack Finnegan’s grand slam home run just inside the right field foul pole.  

They still led, 8-4 in the bottom of the fifth, when they appeared to dodge a huge bullet. Gloucester had the makings of a big inning, loading the bases with none out, but were able to push across only one run – on a Zach Morris sacrifice fly – as third baseman Sean Feetham turned in a pair of defensive gems, including a back-handed grab and force out at third to end the inning.

Milton National then extended its lead to 10-5 in the top of sixth, before Gloucester teed off in its final at-bat. Milton National starter Brendan Reardon reached his pitched count after walking the first two batters of the inning and had to be removed. Gloucester’s Daniel Hafey and Tommy Elliott followed with singles that brought home a total of three runs to make it 10-8. Following a Carson Hardwood walk to put runners at first and second, Lucido bombed his fourth home run of the tournament, and as he circled the bases, a mob of teammates awaited him at home plate.

Hafey earned the win in relief, retiring the only batter he faced in the sixth. Lucido also pitched in relief, striking out eight batters over 4.1 innings. Milton National’s Reardon went 5-plus innings, allowing just four hits and striking out seven.

Ben Waterman homered for Milton National, part of his three-hit game, and Sean Keohane, and Feetham had two hits apiece. For Gloucester, Morris hit a two-run home run in the fourth to pull his team within 6-3.

The championship game takes place Sunday at 1 p.m. at Benevento Park. The winner will advance to the New England Regionals in Bristol, Connecticut, starting Sunday, August 6. The Regionals champion then goes to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, scheduled for August 17-27.


Handout: Gloucester vs. Milton National Boxscore

Saturday, July 29
Holden Defeats Melrose, 12-2

Holden positioned itself to reach the Massachusetts Little League State Finals championship game for the third time in four years, smashing four home runs as part of a 12-2 win over Melrose Saturday afternoon at Benevento Park.

With the victory, Holden finished 2-1 in pool play and held a decisive edge in tie-breaker scenarios. Gloucester and Milton National, scheduled to play at 3 p.m., also remained alive to advance. Melrose, meanwhile, finished the tournament 0-3 and was eliminated.

Tucker McDonald launched a pair of home runs for the victors, a two-run shot in the second that put Holden up 5-0 and a three-run blast in the third that increased the team’s margin to 8-0. Travis Morgan started Holden’s home run barrage with a solo round-tripper in the second inning, and Matt Raeke ended the game with a three-run homer in the fourth that put the “mercy rule” into effect.

McDonald finished the game with three hits and six RBI, and teammate Eli Robbins pounded out three hits as well, part of Holden’s total of 12. Joe Cappabianca chipped in with two singles.

Melrose averted the shutout by putting two runs on the board in the fourth, with Brendan Zinck’s single plating Gavin Donohue and Jack Merullo’s double to the right field fence scoring Ronan Donahue. But Holden’s Steven Hebert pitched out of the jam, striking out two batters to strand Merullo at second base and keep the score 8-2.

On the mound, Sean Verrier earned the win for Holden. He threw three perfect innings, striking out all nine batters he faced. He threw just 40 pitches, 30 for strikes.

Holden reached the State Finals championship game in both 2014 (falling to Tom Wallace Barnstable American, 7-5, in seven innings) and 2015 (falling to Newton SouthEast, 11-3). None of the four teams involved in this year’s finals has ever won the state title.

The championship game takes place Sunday at 1 p.m. at Benevento Park. The winner will advance to the New England Regionals in Bristol, Connecticut, starting Sunday, August 6. The Regionals champion then goes to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, scheduled for August 17-27.


Handout: Holden-Melrose Box Score

Friday, July 28
Gloucester Overcomes Early Deficit to Defeat Holden

First-inning struggles couldn’t stop Gloucester, which bounced back quickly to score a 7-5 win over Holden Friday evening in a Massachusetts Little League State Finals game at North Reading’s Benevento Park.

Both teams entered the contest 1-0 in pool play. Earlier in the day, Milton National handled Melrose, 11-1, in a game shortened to four innings.

After Holden tallied twice in the top of the first, Gloucester answered right back and grabbed a 3-2 lead on Zach Morris’ long three-run home run. Gloucester tacked on three more runs in the second frame, with a double from Carson Harwood and a single by Emerson Marshall keying a rally that pushed their lead to 6-2.

Holden scored three times in the fourth inning to get within 6-5, the big blows being doubles by Tucker McDonald and Steven Hebert. McDonald and Sean Verrier each had two hits in the loss.

Gloucester’s Drew Macchi earned the win on the mound. He entered the game with a bases loaded, no-out jam in the first and escaped masterfully to keep his team close. He ended up pitching 5.1 solid innings, allowing three runs, six hits, and striking out five against a potent Holden lineup. Jared Lucido recorded the final two outs to earn the save.

Holden used five pitchers on the night, the most impressive of those being Verrier, who struck out three in 1.1 innings of work.

The State Finals resume Saturday with Holden (1-1) facing Melrose (0-2) at 12 noon, followed by Gloucester (2-0) battling Milton National (1-1) at 3 p.m. Also on Saturday, the Red Sox Showcase will be at Benevento Park from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.

The Massachusetts Little League state championship game will take place on Sunday at 1 p.m. with the top two teams from pool play squaring off. The winner will advance to the New England Regional Tournament in early August.

Learn more at www.nrll.org.


Handout: Gloucester-Holden Box Score

Friday, July 28
Milton National Topples Melrose, 11-1

After surrendering a home run to the first batter of the game, Milton National did the pounding, beating Melrose, 11-1, to start of Day 2 of the Massachusetts Little League State Finals at North Reading's Benevento Park.

Gavin Donohue put Melrose on the board with his drive over the center field fence, but that was the only run they would score in a game that was shortened to four innings.

Milton National scored in each of its at-bats, getting its first run when Patrick Schultz smashed a homer to lead off the bottom the first, and they took the lead for good moments later when Jack Finnegan doubled and then came around to score on a wild pitch.

Schultz and Finnegan would finish with three hits apiece, part of an 11-hit attack by the winners. They were also part of a four-run rally in the fourth that closed out the game, which also included a two run-single off the bat of Sean Feetham.

Ben Waterman earned the win for Milton National. He tossed four innings, surrendering one run, two hits, striking out six, and walking one.

Holden faces Gloucester in the late game on Friday. Melrose will play Holden at 12 noon on Saturday, while Milton National will close out pool play with a game vs. Gloucester. 

Handout: Milton National-Melrose Box Score

Friday, July 28
Day One of Championships a Rousing Success
First Pitch - 2017 State Finals
The first pitch of the 2017 MA Little League State Finals

Great games, great crowds, great atmosphere, and even the weather cooperated (well mostly). on the Day 1 of the Massachusetts Little League State Finals, making the event a huge success. And we still have three more days to go!!!!

Bob Holmes of The Patch perfectly captured the mood and energy of the day. Read his story below.


Thursday, July 27
Gloucester Overcomes Melrose in State Finals Contest

Melrose and Gloucester played a tight game that went extra innings, but Gloucester pulled out the 10-5 victory in a Massachusetts Little League State Finals contest Thursday at North Reading’s Benevento Park.

Jared Lucido homered twice and earned the win in relief for Gloucester, who rallied from a 5-3 fifth-inning deficit. Zach Merullo smacked a seventh-inning double to drive in what proved to be the game-winning run, and his team tacked on four more runs in that at-bat to pull away.

Melrose jumped out quickly with three first-inning runs, but Lucido homered in the third to pull Gloucester within 3-2. Two batters later, Max Vieira lined a round-tripper over the center field fence to tie things at 3-3.

Melrose recaptured the lead in the bottom of the frame, 5-3, on Drew Harrington’s two-run single, but Gloucester plated single runs in the fifth – on Lucido’s second dinger of the night – and in the sixth after being down to its last out.

Lucido came on to pitch in the bottom of the sixth, and would throw 1.2 innings of shutout relief, striking out all five batters he faced.

Gavin Donohue started the game for Melrose. He went four innings, surrendering three runs, five hits, striking out six, and walking one. Ronan Donohue had two hits and scored twice for Melrose.

Lucido, Vieira, and Carson Harwood each collected multiple hits for Gloucester, and the team was error-free in the field.

Gloucester returns to the field Friday at 7 pm, facing Holden, which won its first game, 3-1, over Milton National earlier on Thursday. Malden plays Milton National at 4 pm.


Handout: Melrose-Gloucester Boxscore

Thursday, July 27
Holden Wins First Game of State Finals

Both teams were strong on the mound Thursday, but Holden defeated Milton National, 3-1, Thursday afternoon in the first game of the 2017 Massachusetts Little League finals at North Reading’s Benevento Park.

Game 2 of the finals takes place at 7:30 pm when Melrose faces off against Gloucester.

Tucker McDonald earned the win for Holden. He threw 1.1 innings of relief, giving up zero runs, two hits, striking put two, and walking none. Patrick Schultz took the hard-luck loss for Milton National. He tossed four innings, giving up two runs, three hits, and striking out two.

Two big blasts decided the outcome. Joey Conrad hit a solo homer run to center in the second inning and Sean Verrier slammed a two-run shot over the batter’s eye in the fifth inning to give Holden a 3-0 lead.

Milton National had nine hits in the game. Sean Keohane, Patrick Schultz, and Liam McLoughlin each collected multiple hits in the setback.

They made things interesting in the bottom of the sixth, scoring once on a Cam Ford RBI single and loading the bases with two outs before PJ O’Rourke pitched out of the jam to earn the save.

Eli Robbins started the game for Holden. He tossed two innings, surrendering zero runs, two hits, striking out four, and walking one.

Holden will play Friday at 7 pm against Gloucester. Milton National meets Melrose Friday at 4 pm.


Handout: Holden-Milton National Boxscore

Friday, July 7
Updated Results for 2017 Massachusetts State Tournament

As the top 12-year-old teams in Massachusetts continue to make their way to Benevento Park for the State Championships, follow along at this link to see the latest results:


Tuesday, July 25
Umpire Celebration Part of State Finals Closing Ceremonies

Thank You Sign

As part of the Closing Ceremonies to the 2017 Massachusetts Little League State Finals on Sunday, July 30, there will be an on-field celebration honoring the 10 members of the Massachusetts umpires fraternity who have worked the Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.


The 10 men will be invited out onto the field to celebrate this occasion, with one member of the group asked to throw out the eremonial first pitch prior to the Championship Game


This group of ten is about to grow with the appointment of Mr. Ricci Hall from Massachusetts District 5.


The Little League Baseball World Series Umpires from Massachusetts:

1988: Ron Soloman

1989: Rich Cowdell

1992: Jack Leary

1993: Ray Burton

1999: Mike Martini

2002: John Caron

2005: Don Singleton

2008: Dale Prentiss

2011: Rich Pothier

2014: Kevin Henderson

Tuesday, July 25
State Tournament Parking Info
Please observe these parking guidelines to make attending the 2017 Massachusetts Little League State Finals easier on you and to help us avoid congestion around the Benevento Complex.
Handout: Parking Info

Tuesday, July 25
State Tournament Program

North Reading Little League produced a 36-page program for the 2017 Massachusetts Little League State Finals. You can view the program by clicking on the link below, or by going to the Printable Schedules/Handouts page of our main page.

Handout: State Tournament Program

Sunday, July 23
It's Game Time! State Finals Start Thursday...
2017 Gloucester Baseball
Gloucester is one of the four teams competing in the State Finals.

North Reading's Benevento Park (251 Central Street) will host the 2017 Massachusetts Little League State Finals on July 27-30. The four top teams in the state will compete to determine who will advance to the New England Regionals and move one step closer to the Little League World Series. Admission to all games is free. The tournament schedule has now been set:

Thursday, July 27
3:30 p.m. — Holden vs. Milton National
6:30 p.m. — Opening Ceremonies
(Tim Wakefield throwing out opening pitch)
7:30 p.m. — Melrose vs. Gloucester

Friday, July 28
4 p.m. — Milton National vs. Melrose
7 p.m. — Holden vs. Gloucester

Saturday, July 29
12 noon — Holden vs. Melrose
1 p.m. - 4 p.m. — Red Sox Showcase
3 p.m. — Milton National vs. Gloucester

Sunday, July 30
12:30 p.m. — Closing Ceremonies 
1 p.m. — Championship Game 
Note on Parking: Parking at Benevento Park is extremely limited. Fans are encouraged to car pool. On Thursday, when crowds are expected to be the largest, there will be parking and bus transportation from Hillivew Country Club's overflow lot (across the street from 149 North Street). There is absolutely no parking permitted on Central Street, but attendants will direct cars to available locations near the field. 

Monday, July 17


Massachusetts State Finals Take Place Next Week at Benevento Park

Playing in the Little League World Series is the dream of every youngster who puts on a baseball cap and glove, and winning the Massachusetts State Tournament is another step toward that dream coming true.

North Reading’s Benevento Park will host the 2017 State Finals on July 27-30, bringing together the top four teams in the Commonwealth. They’ll be vying for the right to advance to the New England Regional Tournament in Bristol, Conn., to face the champions from Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The regional winner will then represent New England in the Little League World Series, scheduled for Aug. 17-27 in South Williamsport, Pa.

In preparation for the State Finals, North Reading Little League has performed a host of renovations to the Benevento Complex, including new lights, new dugouts, field improvements, a 20’ x 40’ pavilion, and an expanded snack shack. The goal is not only for NRLL to be able to put its best foot forward next week, but that the improvements will benefit the program and the town’s youth ball players for many years to come.

“We’re on target and ready to go,” said North Reading Little League president Eddie Madden, who keyed North Reading’s successful bid to host the Finals and has overseen the preparations for the past 18 months. “The new lights were completed last week and they alone make a huge difference, but they’re just one of many projects we’ve undertaken.”

The games begin next Thursday, July 27, at 3:30 p.m. when the champions from Section 1 and Section 2 meet. Opening ceremonies take place after that game, starting at 6:30 p.m., and the nightcap features Section 3 vs. Section 4 at 7:30 p.m. Pool play continues Friday, July 28 (4 p.m. and 7 p.m.), and Saturday, July 29 (12 noon and 3 p.m.), with the championship game on Sunday, July 30 (1 p.m.). Admission is free.

In addition to the games, the Red Sox Showcase will be on display at Benevento Park on July 29. The Showcase is a transportable Fenway Park featuring an interactive baseball program so that kids and families can experience baseball like the pros. The centerpiece is a 15-foot panel truck with interactive games and activities, allowing fans to test their baseball skills, all under the backdrop of a replica Green Monster scoreboard. The truck also includes a batting cage, a Red Sox virtual reality experience, pitching accuracy stations, “Steal 2nd Base” challenge, a Green Monster selfie station, and a Giant Jenga.

While the Showcase will be fun for the fans, the players will be focused on the games – and the dream of reaching the Little League World Series. A total of 16 teams – eight from the United States and eight International – will compete in this year’s World Series. In addition to New England, the U.S. teams will come from the following regions: Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, and West. The International field comprises Asia-Pacific/Middle East, Australia, Canada, Caribbean, Europe/Africa, Japan, Latin America, and Mexico.

Overall, 10 Massachusetts teams have participated in the Little League World Series, most recently Peabody Western in 2009. Other Massachusetts teams to win the New England Regional include Jesse Burkett (Worcester) in 2002, Saugus American in 2003, and Walpole American in 2007.

At the World Series, attendance is normally well over 20,000, with crowds of 30,000 or more for the championship game. Millions more see the games on the ESPN Family of Networks and ABC. There is never any admission charge to attend a Little League Baseball World Series game and all team expenses – from food to travel to lodging – are covered.

Little League was founded in 1938 by Carl E. Stotz and play began the following season. In 1947, Stotz and the first local Little League Board of Directors brought together all Little League programs (there were just 17) and called it the National Little League Tournament. The champion was the Maynard Midget League of Williamsport, who defeated the Lock Haven All-Stars, 16-7. 

 Aided by the publicity from that first tournament, a rush of excitement suddenly surrounded Little League, both across the country and even pouring over our national borders. By 1950, the first international Little Leagues had been established at either end of the Panama Canal and in Canada, prompting the National Tournament to be renamed the Little League Baseball World Series.

Before the 20th century was complete, the brainchild of Stotz had grown to include nearly 7,500 leagues in more than 100 countries with nearly three million children playing Little League Baseball or Little League Softball.

To serve the public interest, Little League has added several divisions of play through the years. Teenage baseball divisions (Intermediate 50/70, Junior, Senior, and Big League) and Challenger Division for physically and developmentally challenged children have extended the program’s outreach even further. There are now seven Little League World Series tournaments played every year.


Tuesday, July 18
Congratulations to the District Champions

2017 Leominster American
Leominster American won the District 3 championship.

The following 16 teams won District titles and have moved one step closer to participating in the Massachusetts Little League State Finals on July 27-30 at Benevento Park. Congratulations to all the teams and good luck in the Sectional Championships:

2017 District Champions
District 1:
 Pittsfield National
District 2: Westfield American
District 3: Leominster American
District 4: Holden
District 5: Grafton
District 6: Taunton East
District 7: Middleboro
District 8: Milton National
District 9: Allston-Brighton
District 10: Wellesley North
District 11: Walpole American
District 12: Melrose
District 13: Reading
District 14: North Andover National
District 15: Gloucester
District 16: Peabody

Thursday, July 13
Red Sox Showcase Part of State Championships at Benevento
Wally the Green Monster

Reprinted from the North Reading Patch

By Bob Holmes, Patch Staff

Great baseball isn't the only thing coming to North Reading for the Little League state finals on Saturday, July 29. 

Back again for the 2017 season, The Red Sox Showcase will be hitting the road this summer bringing a free Fenway Park and Red Sox baseball experience to fans throughout New England. And from 3-6 p.m. on July 29, the Showcase will be at Benevento Complex on Central Street in North Reading for the Massachusetts Little League state finals. (The state finals take place July 27-30 at Benevento. Admission to the games and the Red Sox Showcase is free of charge.)

The Red Sox Showcase is a transportable Fenway Park featuring an interactive baseball program that will let kids and families get into the game, and experience baseball like the pros. The centerpiece of the Showcase is a customized 15-foot panel truck that transforms into a massive Red Sox experience with interactive games and activities, allowing fans to test their baseball skills, all under the backdrop of a replica Green Monster scoreboard, Fenway Park’s iconic left field wall. The truck includes a batting cage, the Red Sox virtual reality experience, pitching accuracy stations, steal 2nd base challenge, Green Monster selfie station and a Giant Jenga.

The Red Sox Showcase, powered by T-Mobile is a part of the Red Sox Calling All Kids initiative, which aims to provide greater access to Red Sox games, enhance kids experiences at Fenway Park, and celebrate and strengthen the game of baseball in the community.

The Red Sox Showcase will be touring New England all summer long featuring fun games and challenges that bring Fenway Park to your local community! A special truck opens to feauture pitching accuracy stations, a Green Monster selfie station, Giant Jenga and the Red Sox Virtual Reality. 

Monday, July 10
State Championship Tournament Schedule Set

Preparations continue for the 2017 State Little League Championships, which will bring Massachusetts’ top four 12-year-old baseball teams to North Reading’s Benevento Park to determine who will take the next step toward the Little League World Series. The seven-game tournament will be held July 27-30, and admission is free to all games.

The Tournament schedule has been set. On Thursday, July 27, games will be played at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The Opening Ceremonies are set for 6:30 p.m. that night and will include former Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield and Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster.

Games on Friday, July 28, will be played at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., and the games on Saturday, July 29, are scheduled for 12 noon and 3 p.m. The championship game will be held Sunday, July 30, at 1 p.m.

“We still have some work to do, but we’re excited for the tournament and we’ll be ready,” said North Reading Little League president Eddie Madden. “I’ve been so impressed by how the community has come together – our volunteers, local businesses, the great people at Parks & Rec and Town Hall, and so many others – to see that this is a success.

“When all is said and done, we want this to be remembered as the best State Championship ever held.”

Massachusetts Little League is divided into 16 districts, which each crowning a champion that then plays in one of the four sectional tournaments. These sectional champions then compete for the state title.

While North Reading has hosted numerous District and Sectional tournaments in recent years (including the 2015 12-year-old Sectional Championships), this is the first time it has hosted the State Championships. The state champion will advance to the New England Regional in Bristol, Conn., with that winner earning one of eight U.S. bids to the Little League World Series, scheduled for Aug. 17-27 in Williamsport, Pa.

In addition to the games at Benevento Park, there will be several activities for fans and an opportunity to see the Red Sox World Series trophies from 2004, 2007, and 2013 on display.

Tuesday, March 29
North Reading Selected to Host 2017 State Championship

Eddie Madden and John Berardi

North Reading Little League has long been recognized as having one of the best youth baseball programs in the state. Now the state’s best will be coming to North Reading.

Last week, the Massachusetts Little League District Administrators announced that North Reading has been selected to host the 2017 State Championships. The week-long tournament will bring together the state’s four best 12-year-old all-star teams, with the victor going on to represent the Commonwealth in the New England Championships in Bristol, Ct. That winner then advances to Williamsport, Pa., to compete in the popular Little League World Series.

“This is a testament to the strength of our program and the dedication of our Board of Directors,” said NRLL president Eddie Madden. “This was a competitive selection process – multiple Little League programs across the state were vying to win the right to host this prestigious event. It’s the first time in almost four decades that a league from District 13 has been selected to host the state championship.

“There will be numerous corporate sponsors represented during the tournament,” Madden added. “And it will be an excellent opportunity for the area business community.”

The championships will take place at Benevento Memorial Fields in mid-to-late July of next year, with the actual dates dependent on the Williamsport schedule. Beverly and Lynn Wyoma have hosted the last two state tournaments, and Westwood will be the site for the 2016 championships.

Prior to making their decision, state administrators toured Benevento and were impressed by the quality of its fields and its amenities, as well as other planned facility improvements.

“We are very excited to have the 2017 Little League State Championship hosted in District 13,” said District Administrator and Massachusetts Little League Board member John Berardi. “North Reading is only the third league in our District to be selected as the Tournament host, joining Wakefield (1978) and Woburn (1952-57).

“Along with their facilities, one of the main elements supporting their bid are their League volunteers. North Reading Little League continues to have a very strong core group who have shown their ability to host by taking on our Sectional and Jimmy Fund tournaments for several years,” Berardi added. “The State Finals are a challenge for any host, but I am fully confident that North Reading will make the 2017 event a success.”

Madden is eager for that challenge.

“We are looking forward to working with our partners in the Parks and Recreation Department to make sure that Benevento continues to be the premier Little League complex in the area,” he said. “And we’ll also be working with a wide variety of the town’s departments to ensure that all of our fans and players are safe and able to enjoy the festivities for the entire week. We’ve already begun planning for the tournament and are working on a number of improvements and initiatives.”

Massachusetts Little League is divided into 16 districts, which each crowning a champion that then plays in one of the four sectional tournaments. Sectional champions then compete for the state title. North Reading has hosted numerous District and Sectional tournaments in recent years, including last year’s 12-year-old Sectional Championships.

“We have a rich baseball tradition here in North Reading and being awarded this tournament means that this tradition is being recognized across the entire state,” said Madden.

More immediately, North Reading Little League is preparing for the 2016 season. More than 400 boys and girls, ages 4-16, have already signed up to play this spring, with registration ongoing. Opening Day is set for Saturday, April 9, at Benevento Fields.

For more information on North Reading Little League, the state championships, and to sign up to play this spring, visit www.nrll.org.

Subscribe to this site