Prideaux's power, pitching sends Peabody LL all-stars past Swampscott

·4 min read

Jul. 6—PEABODY — The District 16 Williamsport Little League winners' bracket semifinals will feature an all Peabody matchup.

Manager Rick DeLoretto's Peabody squad, which thanks to Patrick Prideaux defeated Swampscott, 5-4, Tuesday night, will meet their crosstown rivals from Peabody West Saturday (6 p.m.) at MacArthur Park. Both teams will enter the game with perfect 2-0 records.

"I've been coaching the 12-year-olds for four years now, and every time we've had to face Peabody West in either the semis or district finals," said DeLoretto. "There's no getting around it. The kids all know each other and play together on the travel team, so it's a friendly rivalry."

In fact, manager Steve Lomasney's Peabody West team was practicing on another field at Lt. Ross Park Tuesday when the Peabody/Swampscott game started, and soon gathered around the fence to see which team they'd be facing next.

Peabody got off to a great start when the game's first batter, Prideaux, belted a Teddy O'Neill pitch over the left field fence. Prideaux supplied the power for the Tanner City boys, adding another dinger in just about the same spot in the third inning and singled in the fifth. He was 3-for-4 at the plate and scored three runs while pitching five strong innings before reaching the 85-pitch count limit. He allowed four runs on six hits and struck out 10.

"I can't say enough about the job Patrick did for us," said DeLoretto. "He was unbelievable. We also used small ball to get some runs, which is something I like to see.."

Swampscott tied it up at 1-1 in the bottom of the first on an infield hit by Miles Brown, who advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on an error. But Peabody answered right back with a pair of runs in the second inning to go ahead for good.

Cam Iorio's high popup was dropped, and he came around to score on a single by teammate Mason Ritchie. Bradlee Ferullo then beat out a bunt, and Alex Cunha followed with a sacrifice bunt to plate Ritchie and make it 3-1.

"We worked on bunts for a whole week and it paid off," said DeLoretto. "It was great to get some runs going to small ball. Cunha and Ferullo had great bunts, and Iorio singled to score another run."

Swampscott made it a 3-2 game with a run in the bottom of the second, loading the bases on two walks and an infield hit and plating a runner on Brown's infield hit. Prideaux got out of the jam with two big punchouts, though, and then hit his second blast over the fence to start off the third inning.

Peabody tacked on what proved to be the winning run in the fifth when Jonathan DeLoretto hit an RBI single to drive in Prideaux. O'Neill worked his way out of a jam, leaving runners on second and third.

That run turned out to be the difference as Swampscott's Will Rowe hit a two-run homer over the fence in center field in the bottom of the frame to close the gap to 5-4.

Mike Harris came on in relief for Peabody and struck out the side with an immaculate inning to end the game. O'Neill and reliever Michael Hall pitched well for Big Blue.

"This was our first game," said Swampscott head coach Jeremy Kacuba. "We had a bye and then a rainout, so we've been practicing hard but it's not the same as playing a game. We hung in there, but just couldn't get a lead. "Their pitcher No. 41 (Prideaux) was dealing and it took us a while to get going, but that was a big homer by Rowe, who hit 4-5 during the season."

Rowe's shot scored Brown ahead of him, who was aboard with a double (his 3rd hit of the game).

Defensively, center fielder Beau Olivieri made two great catches, the second one leaping up at the fence to rob Nick DelMonico of a homer.

"He's one of the best young athletes in any sport and made two unbelievable catches," Kacuba said of Olivieri. "He's also the heart of our team.

"We've got to work our way out of the loser's bracket now, starting on Thursday night (against Pine Hill of Lynn). Hopefully, we'll get another chance at Peabody."

Contact Jean DePlacido @JeanDePlacidoSN

Contact Jean DePlacido @JeanDePlacidoSN