By Mike Stoller
Leading the Ted Williams Division by two-and-a-half games in the Yawkey Baseball League, the Somerville Alibrandis team is playing in a way that ol’ Teddy Ballgame would himself admire.
Not that this is anything new for Alibrandis, a dynasty, which has won three straight league championships and 13 of the last 20 since the team has been sponsored by Alibrandi’s Barber Shop, headed by Tony Alibrandi, in 1994.
“It’s another great start,” Alibrandis assistant coach Cam Lynch said, after Alibrandis defeated division foe Medford, 3-2, in eight innings, Sunday night at Medford’s Playstead Park, improving its record to 9-1. “We’re the best team in the league, and we bring the best guys in every season.”
After several rainouts, Alibrandis and the Maddogs of Medford (2-6-1) played their version of Sunday Night Baseball, and it was an extra-inning doozy.
Alibrandis struck first in the first inning on a two-out homer by Ted Dziuba, who pulled the ball over the right field fence for a 1-0 lead.
Dziuba also drew three walks on the night and scored three runs, including the game-winner, when third baseman Mark DesRoches took a pass with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the eighth.
With Dziuba on first to start the eighth, Bob Barrett reached on an error, and Justin Crisafulli walked to load the bases for DesRoches.
Alibrandis held onto the one-run lead as closer Brian Tanguy picked up his fifth save of the campaign in the bottom half.
Tanguy was one of four hurlers for Alibrandis. Sean Sullivan started and pitched four efficient innings. Jon Morse took over in the fifth. In the sixth, Morse gave way to newcomer Andrew Aizenstad, who got the win, tossing two strong innings in his debut with the team.
The quartet was locked in a pitcher’s duel with Medford’s Jon Klein, who allowed only six hits on the night.
Crisafulli put Alibrandis ahead, 2-1, in the fourth with a sacrifice fly, scoring Dziuba. Mike Cunningham punched a key single, getting Dziuba to third.
The Maddogs had tied the game at 1-1 in bottom of the third, as Jed Drake stole a couple of bases and scored on an error. They evened it again in the fourth when Jay Sablone singled in Buddy Hanley, who had doubled.
Alibrandis was missing a few of its starters, including standout second baseman Steve Rogers, because of personal commitments. Barrett, who usually plays left field, filled in for Rogers, who was attending his graduation at Trinity College.
Alibrandis also got some terrific defense form Dziuba, Cunningham, Mark Odessa, and Charlie Lapaglia.
“It was a good game,” Lynch said. “Every game that’s close is good. It’s hard to get the offense going with all the rain postponing the games. We battled even though a few of our starting nine were missing.”
Alibrandis was scheduled to host West Roxbury at Trum Field on Monday, before visiting South Boston and Brighton on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
The Yawkey League All-Stars will take on the United States Military All-Stars on Friday at Morelli Field in Melrose.