The Andre Chiefs ended the five-year reign of the Lexington Blue Sox and in the process put to rest a franchise-long 15-year drought with a 3-0 victory in Game 5 of the Intercity League championship series at Lexington High Sunday.
Malden's Jared Freni stifled the Blue Sox bats in a complete game effort for the Chiefs, striking out five batters and yielding only six hits and a walk.
“They became the dominant teams of the 2000s,’’ said Chiefs' manager Chuck Andre on Lexington's run of eight titles since the turn of the century.
“It was like what we were in the ’90s, so it was great to get this one over a team like that.’’
The Medford-based Chiefs, who had lost to Lexington in the finals twice in the previous three seasons, won the first two games of the series.
Lexington battled back to take Games 3 and 4, shutting down the Chiefs’ offense to force the decisive fifth game.
In the clincher, former Minnesota Twins farmhand Juan Portes (Malden) drove in Hal Landers with a first inning double for a 1-0 lead. The Chiefs tacked on two insurance runs in the top of the sixth.
Portes delivered an RBI and two doubles and Mike Baillargeon (Worcester) had a double and an RBI to lead the Chiefs offense, with Jeff Bercume driving in the other run.
Freni tossed 14 innings of shutout ball during the finals, going 2-0 while striking out 17 and scattering 10 hits and four walks.
“After winning so many titles in the past, and to go a long time without winning one, you really appreciate them,’’ said Andre. “It was a fantastic season and this [title] is a good one.’’
It was the 18th championship for the Chiefs franchise, dating back to their days in the Suburban Twi-League during the 1960s.
Craig Forde can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.