(written, shot, edited and narrated for Somerville Patch)
The Medford Maddogs and Somerville Alibrandis of the Yawkey Baseball League entered Tuesday’s game at Trum Field heading in two different directions. The Maddogs had won their last six; the Alibrandis (named for sponsor Alibrandi’s Barber Shop) had lost their previous two. The differences showed almost immediately.
The Maddogs scored nine runs in the top of the first off Alibrandis starter Chris Warren, and Medford starter Tyler Middleton limited Somerville to two unearned runs in six innings, beating the Alibrandis, 10-2.
Warren struggled out of the gate, allowing two singles and two walks – one with the bases loaded – before recording an out. He finally got Medford first baseman Buddy Hanley to fly out to right, still deep enough to score leadoff hitter Peter Byron (4-5, RBI) to make it 2-0.
Warren reloaded the bases after a strikeout, then second baseman Josh Rodriguez hit a grounder to the right of Somerville shortstop David Scioli.
Medford third baseman Matt Mahoney beat the throw to second, and a run scored to make it 3-0.
A hit batter and Byron’s second hit of the inning made it 5-0 Medford with the bases still loaded, then right fielder Greg Wilson (3-5, 3 RBI, SB) crushed a pitch to center field to clear the bases.
A double by Matt Delaney (2-4, 2 RBI, BB) to right scored Wilson to make it 9-0 Medford, who sent 13 hitters to the plate in the first inning.
“They’re good hitters, “said Medford manager David Hanley. “When the top of our lineup hits like that, and we roll it over, and we get them up four, five times in a game, we score some runs.”
Staked to a nine-run lead, Middleton retired the first three Alibrandis in order, and did not allow a hit until Somerville’s eighth batter, when in the second inning third basemen Yondo Nyadjroh doubled to the gap in right-center to score two before being thrown out trying for third.
“I went down two strikes, so I shortened up,” Nyadjroh said. “I just wanted to get the ball into play, just keep the inning going. … He threw a fastball right down the middle, I just went with it, went the other way.”
According to manager Hanley, Tyler said after “it was a fastball supposed to be a foot off the plate, and it tailed back in.”
Because Nyadjroh’s double came after catcher Chad Conner reached on an error, neither run was earned.
Middleton limited the Alibrandis to single base runners in three of his final four innings. Somerville’s last scoring chance against him came in the fourth, when Nyadjroh again came to the plate with two men on and two outs. This time, Middleton won the battle, striking Nyadjroh out on three pitches.
Middleton went six innings, giving up just the two unearned runs on three hits, two walks, seven strikeouts and two hit batters. His manager said it was Middleton’s 10th win in a row.
The Maddogs added a run in the fifth, when Delaney doubled off reliever Dick Dumas (3 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, BB, SO). The Alibrandis put two men on in the bottom of the seventh off reliever Talal Saleh, but Scioli (0-4) grounded out to end the game.
Nyadjroh and Somerville manager Cam Lynch attributed the loss to a lack of batting practice due to another game at Trum beforehand and a lack of rhythm from six off-days followed by two straight games. Sometimes, though, nothing can be done.
“You don’t get nine runs in one inning,” Lynch said. “It just fell out of the sky. … Nothing you can do.”