The Chiefs broke up a scoreless tie when they scored four times in the bottom of the fifth inning, then held on for dear life when they beat the Watertown Reds 4-3 in the season opener on Sunday afternoon at Tufts University.
Nothing new from Chiefs’ ace Jared Freni who was on an early season pitch count, and blanked the Reds over the first four innings.
There were a couple of minor scoring threats mounted by both teams. The Reds got a couple of runners aboard in the top of the first inning via a Kyle LaVigne single and a Sean Callahan walk before Freni ended the threat by striking out Will Brennan. The Chiefs threatened in the bottom of the inning when Tony Serino singled, moved to second on a Mike Burgoyne sacrifice bunt, went to third on a Juan Portes groundout, but was stranded there when Brennan stabbed a Johnny Welch liner that was earmarked for centerfield.
Freni gave way to Eric Perrault who threw a scoreless fifth. The Chiefs finally got to Reds’ starter Max Ockner in the bottom of the fifth. Veteran Mike Andre got things started when he lined a single to right. Rookie Adam Lucey came on to pinch run and Mike Barbati sacrificed Lucey to second. Matt Boleski drew a walk before Chad Conner (pictured) lined a single down the left field line, scoring Lucey. Serino then singled up the middle to load the bases. Burgoyne then singled to left-center, scoring Boleski, to make it a 2-0 game. Ockner then got Portes to pop up before Welch lined a single to center, scoring Conner and Serino to open the lead to 4-0.
The Reds began to chip away in the top of the sixth when Perrault walked Mac Jacobson and then hit Sean Callahan with a pitch. Mike DiCato came on for the Chiefs and got Josue Feliciano to ground out to Portes at short but the relay to first was thrown away by Barbati for an error that allowed Jacobson to score the Reds first run. Brennan then singled before Welch turned in the defensive play of the game when he dove and snagged Danny Chaisson’s grounder and threw him out by a step at first. DiCato then got the Chiefs out of the inning when he got Justin Forman to bounce back to him.
Reds’ reliever Tyler Campo struck out the Chiefs side in order in the bottom of the sixth setting up the dramatic top of the seventh.
Steve Tramontozzi led off the Watertown seventh with a line single to left before DiCato hit Kelly with a pitch. Southpaw Tim Dunphy then came out of the Chiefs’ bullpen to face the left hand hitting LaVigne who blooped a single to center loading the bases. Jacobson grounded out to Mike Gedman at first who forced LaVinge at second with Kelly scoring the Reds second run. Callahan made it a 4-3 game when he hit a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Tramontozzi. Dunphy then apparently struck out Feliciano on a low pitch but the ball skipped by Conner allowing Kelly to score and sending Feliciano to first. Matt DiCato came on to face Chaisson and the Reds veteran put a charge into an offering that sent Burgoyne back to the warning track to end the game.
Chiefs Chatter…… …..Mike Burgoyne had two hits, a sacrifice bunt, and two nice defensive grabs in his Chiefs’ debut…..Mike Gedman was a late addition the lineup after Peter Copa was a late scratch at first base after tweaking a muscle in his side during batting practice…..Mike Andre recorded his 250th career hit in the fifth inning….. The Chiefs play the Melrose Americans on Monday at Maplewood starting at 8:00 PM…
– Submitted by the Andre Chiefs