Three down, one to go. That’s one, simplistic way of looking at it.
Another, which is coming from the players themselves is, “Why not West?”
Whatever the case, the North Andover West 10-year-old all-stars have a big week ahead of them starting tomorrow when they play in the New England 10-year-old Little League championships in Cranston, R.I.
This marks the second time in three seasons that North Andover has won the district, sectional and state championships and is headed down to Cranston, R.I. for the annual tournament.
“This is very exciting,” said manager Bill Morin. “You don’t plan on doing this. You hope the kids play well and then good things happen. The more we’ve played, the more the team’s confidence has grown. The fact that we won the state tournament is an accomplishment by itself.”
North Andover West went to state championship in Saugus hoping to make a run, going against some baseball powers in Medford, Holden and Lakeville.
NA West opened with a 10-1 over Medford with Alex Bodnar, Jack Morin, Brady O’Brien, Jason Faro and Will Landers all getting multiple hits while O’Brien, Morin and Jack Twombly combined for the win on the mound.
It was much the same thing against Holden in Game 2, as NA West broke open a close two-run game with Faro and Twombly keying the onslaught and eventual, 10-0 win. Dylan Caporale struck out eight in getting a shortened no-hit win.
In Game 3 against Lakeville, lefty pitcher Brendan Holland was steady allowing three runs in four innings against the potent lineup. Holland doubled and scored when O’Brien hit a single, eventually leading NA West to a 5-3 win.
With the top two teams — NA West and Lakeville — advancing to the championship game, it was a repeat performance of their earlier game as the locals again won, 5-3, with Justin Faro’s two-run homer in the top of the first inning. After Lakeville tied it, Bodnar and Morin had back-to-back doubles for a 3-2 lead setting up the eventual win and trip to Cranston, R.I.