Special to The Bedford Citizen
On June 19, the Bedford Black under-15 Babe Ruth travel team put the exclamation point on their spring baseball season with a hard-fought 10-3 victory over the Winchester Royals at Arlington High School, winning the MSBL Intermediate division championship and finishing the year with a 13-1 record.
Bedford Black swept through a 10-game regular season schedule unscathed against teams from Winchester, Belmont, and Lexington, while splitting two games with cross-town rivals Bedford Blue. The two Bedford teams, who were the class of the league all season (Blue was 10-1-1 and Black was 10-1 entering their final game) played a winner-take-all game on June 6 to determine which team would represent Bedford in the playoffs, with Bedford Black grabbing a tough win and advancing to the postseason.
Bedford Black opened the playoffs on Saturday, June 16, hosting Medford at G Field, and despite some early struggles at the plate emerged with a 9-1 victory behind dominating pitching from Owen Hickey, Max Alper, and Charlie Naylor. Hickey’s pitching performance was matched by his stellar defense at first base and 2-RBI double in the 5th inning; Alper’s three walks and two runs scored were also instrumental in the victory.
The league semifinal took place on Sunday evening under the lights at Arlington High School, as Bedford faced the Belmont A’s. The game was close early, and the fourth inning saw Bedford hanging onto a slim 2-1 lead, but with two outs, two strikes, and two men on base, Will Taft hit a clutch seeing-eye single that scored two runs and Evan Kenahan’s subsequent base hit plated Taft and put the Bucs up 5-1. Will Campbell’s timely RBI in the 5th inning gave Bedford pitcher James Brosgol game plenty of breathing room as he pitched the final five innings of the game, striking out 11 and sealing the 7-3 win as the Bucs advanced to the championship game.
In the final, played on a picturesque late spring evening, the Winchester Royals jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but Riley Daniel’s 2-out single in the bottom half scored Max Alper and Charlie Naylor to put the Bucs up 3-2 and give Bedford a lead they would not relinquish. In the bottom of the 4th inning, the Bucs grabbed four more runs as the first four batters all reached base, highlighted by Hickey’s ringing triple to lead off the inning. As the skies darkened and the lights shone brighter, Alper and Hickey scattered three hits over 7 innings of pitching, and the Bedford defense played brilliantly, notably by left fielder Rudra Parvate’s running catch to end the 4th inning that brought roars of approval from his teammates. Hickey pitched the final 5 innings, allowing just one run over that span, as the Bucs held on for a 10-3 win.
As the Bucs celebrated with championship hats and t-shirts on the field, players, coaches, family, and friends all basked in the afterglow of a game and a season full of well-played baseball. Bedford Black, a team made up of three 9th graders, six 8th graders, and five 7th graders had a team batting average of .332, had a collective ERA of 1.99, and outscored their opponents 129-36 on their way to the league crown. Congratulations to the boys on a well-played season and a playoff run that they will never forget.