Week 1 is in the books. Here is where the league’s eight franchises currently sit:
- The CARDINALS!OH CAR-DIN-ALS! The Cards won the title back in 2018 but since then they have been battling the Red Sox for the top pick in the draft annually. Until now! The Cards have opened the 2022 season with a 2-1 record thanks to a one-sided victory on Friday night over the Diamondbacks. The 2-1 record is good for 3rd place in the standings and renewed optimism.
- Back in 2019, the Red Sox had an 0-14 record. Slowly but surely, the franchise has been building.There was Sam Pandolfo and Richie Masterpol in the 2020 draft. There was the surprise availability of Jack Silberhorn in 2021. 3 more 10 year olds join skipper Rich Masterpol in 2022. And . . . boom . . . the Sox are back. They have a 2-0 record heading into week 2 and are one of only two teams unbeaten.
- Ho hum, the White Sox are rolling along.Winners of the last three regular season titles and 2 of the last 3 playoff runs, the Sox have started 3-0 led by a trio of White Sox younger brothers (Gannon, Ragosa and Fiorentino) and the addition of some potent new talent. They will have to be reckoned with in 2022.
- Loaded with talent and pre-season fanfare, the Dodgers lost a tough opening night match-up with the Red Sox but bounced back on night two vs. the As.The team with the league’s sweetest uniforms has high hopes in the 2022 campaign for manager Joe Lawler.
- The A’s scored 19 in game 1 and 0 in game 2.Lets take stock after another week or two for this team with solid players at every age level.
- The defending champion Padres 1-2 record in week 1 was a bit of a surprise to league pundits.The big right arm of Jack Lennon will certainly lead to victories for this squad of battle tested players. But a further slide might mean Coach Lee Sardone’s championship run of 2021 was a one and done.
- A perennial contender, the Diamondbacks had a rough first week in 2022. But manager Rich Michienzi always seems to build his teams up during the regular season and no one would be surprised if this is the case in 2022.
- The Orioles boast a plethora of young arms and also started slowly in 2021 as they did last week.In 2021, they turned the ship and made a run into the playoffs. Will the same be true this year?
And now to the action on Friday . . .
In game 1, on yet another chilly Friday night on Nutile C, the Orioles and Red Sox locked horns.
11 year old Jovic Stachelski toed the rubber for the Sox and found his way into early trouble in the first. With one run in and runners on the corners with nobody out, 12 year old veterans Sam Pandolfo (C) and Richie Masterpol (SS) pulled off a successful run down between third and home, with the help of Jack Silberhorn (3B). The Orioles tallied two runs in the inning via walks and hits from Gus Toomey, Ben Adams, River Maclin, Will Bolognese, Carlos Noel, and William Usera. Stachelski then settled down to retire the last two batters of the inning via strikeout.
12 year old Will Bolognese was the starting pitcher for the Orioles on this late April evening. In the top of the first with the Sox down 2-0, Jack Silberhorn showed great patience at the plate to draw a leadoff walk. Richie Masterpol then drove a 2-2 pitch to the right-center fence for an RBI double, scoring Silberhorn and cutting the Orioles lead in half. The Sox kept the inning rolling with walks from Sam Pandolfo and Max Wilcken, followed by a single off the bat of Harry Condon, a well placed double from the quick-footed Tim Dean, and the first Majors hit off the bat of Nicky Ulbricht-Puopolo. At the end of the first, the Sox held a 6-2 lead.
Stachelski and Bolognese then settled in nicely on the mound. Pitching ruled most of the rest of the night as Stachelski worked two scoreless innings and handed the ball off to Tim Dean with a 7-2 lead in the top of the fourth. Dean worked a perfect fourth before running into a bit of trouble in the fifth. Jack Usera led off the inning with a single and later came around to cross the plate with Gus Toomey on a double down the third base line from Ben Adams. The Orioles were now trailing 7-4.
Masterpol led off the bottom of the 5th with a hard single to right-center and the Red Sox took advantage by adding a run and padding their lead to 8-4, heading into the top of the sixth inning.
Grady Sullivan came in to close it out for the Sox, but Bolognese led off with a triple to keep the Red Sox on their toes. Sullivan quickly recovered with a groundout and two strikeouts to close the door and send the Red Sox to their second consecutive victory to start the 2022 campaign.