EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

July 16, 2013

Salem blasts way to district crown

Final of team's four home runs provides 9-7 victory

The Eagle-Tribune

---- — SALEM, N.H. — The Salem Little League district team had its own version of Home Run Derby last night.

Playing in the District 1 finals against Bedford, Salem scored all of its runs off of homers, the final a two-run walkoff blast in the bottom of the sixth that sealed an exciting 9-7 victory.

Winning pitcher John Olivo was the hero in the sixth, hitting a 1-and-2 fast ball over the centerfield fence with one out, scoring John Palardy, who led off the inning with a single. Olivo also was the winning pitcher, going the last three innings, and led the team with three hits.

Bedford took an early 5-0 lead, scoring a single run in the first and two runs in the second and third, but Salem started to come back in the bottom of the third when Michael Borrelli belted a two-run homer.

Salem surged to a 7-5 lead in the fourth with back-to-back home runs when Nick Robertson blasted a grand slam and Jake Delaney followed with a solo shot.

Bedford tied it with two runs in the fifth before Olivo ended the drama in the sixth.

Matt Soldano helped spark the offense with two hits while Jake Emerson sparkled defensively at shortstop and Matt Pelletier prevented further damage early in the game by making a diving catch in left field.

Salem, which is coached by Play Ball director and formal local standout Dean Borrelli, won six games in district competition, its lone loss a shocking 19-1 setback to Bedford two days earlier. It now advances to the best-of-3 state finals in Manchester, starting at 4 p.m. Saturday, against District 2 champion Rye.