The Stoneham Junior League All-Stars have won the District 13 Championship for the third consecutive year earlier this week.
Manager Dave Harrington and assistant coaches Matt Pitts and Joe Herzog have been in the dugout for the Spartans calling the shots. The team bounced North Reading out of a best-of-three series, advancing to play Canton in the Sectional round where the Spartans narrowly lost, 11-10.
“They scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to win,” Harrington said. “Final score was 11-10, but we hung with them and their hitting was too strong. They were feeling confident coming off a 26-0 win over East Boston. We were down early and fought back and gave ourselves a chance to win. We just couldn’t hold it.”
Harrington had plenty of praise for his team before Wednesday’s game with Canton.
“Our depth is why we have been successful,” Harrington said. “We have guys coming off the bench better than other teams’ starters. Our starting pitching has been very strong getting deep into games.
“Also, our chemistry is key. These kids are all extremely close and they are playing for each other and everyone is contributing.”
The team has been improving all season and Harrington points out that their defense and communication have been intricate parts in their success.
“It is still early, but if anything we have been playing a lot better defense as of late and our communication on the field has been great,” Harrington said.
When asked how he has made an impact on his team’s play, Harrington was modest and reiterated that his depth on his ballclub was the reason why the team is flourishing.
“Hopefully I am just keeping them confident and reminding them to play within themselves,” Harrington said. “We may not have a dominant player on our team, but we have a lot of strong players that collectively play hard and that could go far.”
Harrington enjoys managing these District 13 champions due to their array of personalities.
“They are just an entertaining group and I look forward to going to practice every day,” Harrington said.
The 13 year-old District Championship team consists of: Brandon Cann, Nathan Cox, Edward Doherty, Joseph Egitto, Michael Gallant, Matthew Kehoe, Kyle Mackay, Maxwell Messina, Matthew Moreiro, Cory O’Brien, Andrew O’Connell, Justin Oliphant and Peter Raymond.
The team will continue their quest for a state championship on Saturday at 1 p.m. at . The opponent has yet to be determined.