---- — To say Little League baseball in North Andover is red hot would be an understatement.
The 12-year-olds have won three of the last five District 14 championships, including 2013, which is saying something considering the town had never won a district championship ... ever.
It has rubbed off on the younger generation as the North Andover West 10-year-olds are bound for the New England Regionals in Cranston, R.I. beginning on Aug. 2.
North Andover would have to battle with the likes of Medford, Holden and Lakeville.
In the opener, North Andover beat Medford, 10-1, thanks to multi-hit games from Alex Bodnar, Jack Morin, Brady O’Brien, Jason Faro and Will Landers. The pitching combo of Brady O’Brien, Jack Morin and Jack Twombly never let the Medford team get started scattering four hits over the six inning contest.
Game 2 against Holden proved more of the same as North Andover won, 10-0. West was led by the no-hit pitching of Dylan Caporale, who struck out eight Holden batters. With the score 2-0 in the bottom of the third, Jason Faro doubled home two runners to give West some breathing room.
Games 3 and 4, both against Lakeville were for the championship. In Game 3, Brendan Holland pitched four innings, allowing only three runs and then led off the sixth inning with a double and Brady O’Brien drove him in. Brian Beaudoin’s sacrifice bunt set the table for the West’s fifth run on a Chris Pensavalli single to preserve the 5-3 win.
In the championship, North Andover wasted no time making a statement as Jason Faro blasted a two-run homer in the top of the first. Lakeville answered with two runs in the second inning. Some defense, led by a double play by Bodnar, Faro and Beaudoin, kept the score tied before West answered in the top of the third with back to back doubles from Bodnar and Morin. But Lakeville tied it in third.
Lakeville’s attempt at the go-ahead run was thwarted by a great tag by catcher Dylan Caporale. Jake Landry put West ahead for good with an RBI double off the wall with a few walks adding another run and 5-3 win. Morin got the win in relief.