Saturday at Boston English in the City Baseball Championships, the Boston City League will be showcasing why it isn't all about football and basketball in Boston.
Boston International will take on Madison Park followed by Brighton facing off against South Boston in the tournament semi-finals. The winners will play at English on Monday at noon to decide the champion.
Leading off the doubleheader at 10 a.m. will be the defending city champion and North Division champion Madison Park, which has been truly unbeatable in the city this year, compiling a 12-0 record in league games following a 5-4 extra innings victory yesterday against Brighton. Madison Park, 16-5 overall, will be up against South Division champion Boston International, which has managed to steer clear of the defending champs so far this year.
“We don't know too much about Boston International,” said coach Michael Viggiano. “ We will try to do what we have done all year. (We) like hitting the long ball, we like hitting it hard. We are tearing the cover off the ball.”
Both squads will feature a pair of league all-stars, with International boasting Victor Herrera Vasque and Welly Sanchez, and Madison Park showcasing Jamill Moquete and Anyeric Castillos.
“We call Castillos 'The Beast',” said Viggiano. “He caught two games consecutively in 90 degree weather, and is hitting the ball like Ted Williams.”
The North and South's second-place teams will provide the encore at 1, when 9-9 Brighton matches up with 14-6 South Boston.
“We faced Brighton during the regular season and played one of our best games,” said Southie coach Victor Pereira, referencing a come-from-behind 5-2 win.“That's what it's gonna take to beat Brighton.”
South Boston senior captains Joshua Neely and Eric Rodriguez were both named league all-stars, as were Brighton standouts Cesarin Baez and David Marte. Shortstop Victor Baez joins his brother Cesarin to form a lethal double-play combination that has turned 15 twin-killings in 19 games.
“We front-ended our schedule with a lot of powerful teams on the outside,” said Brighton coach William Mahoney. “We're very young.”
Brighton will pitch Freddy Soto, who has “been a Godsend for us”, according to Mahoney. Southie will counter with Algenis Vargas, a junior who has been transformed from a closer into a reliable No. 2 starter.
The outcomes of both games will decide who gets a chance to be named the best the city has to offer. Last year it was Madison Park, but this year the field is wide-open.
"It was a surprise for us, that we would be playing Boston International,” said Viggiano. “Southie, Brighton, they both have good teams. We'd love to play either one. It would be a helluva game.
“And with these kids, it's no drama,” he continued. “It's just baseball. These kids eat, drink, and live baseball.”
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