SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

July 26, 2013

Locals help power Rams to New England crown

By Jean DePlacido
Correspondent

---- — Several Peabody and St. John’s Prep baseball players helped power the AAU Boston Junior Rams 15U to the Diamond Division New England championship this past weekend at Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill.

The Rams were the No. 1 seed, and defeated the Worcester Warriors, 6-3 in the winner-take-all championship game. The Rams finished the season with a stellar 15-2 record. The program, based in North Reading, beat Show Baseball in the opening round (11-1) behind a complete game performance by Nolan Webb, a St. John’s Prep player from Rockport. Peabody High’s Bobby Tramondozzi went five innings in a 12-2 victory over the Warriors in the first meeting before the Warriors bounced back to hand the Rams their only loss.

In the championship game Tramondozzi and Nick Musto, who is originally from Everett and now lives in New Hampshire, combined for the win.

“I’m very proud of my team,” said manager Jeff Mejia, who is from North Reading and runs the Rams program. He is also the head baseball coach at Northern Essex Community College. “A lot of these guys have been with me since they were 11-years old.

“It’s very gratifying to see this group of kids win because they all work very hard to succeed. They all get along so well, and all have similar personalities. It’s a polite bunch, and they are very serious about getting the job done. That makes it easier for me and a lot of fun to coach them.”

Webb, Tramondozzi, Bobby Sullivan (Peabody High), and Musto do the bulk of the pitching all season. Pat Jordan, who is from Reading and plays for St. John’s Prep, was behind the plate for most games. Defensively Ben Irvine of Peabody High was the versatile star, playing a catcher, outfielder, and second baseman.

Sullivan wielded a hot bat, going 7-9 with three doubles in the tournament. Jeffrey Mejia was right behind with six hits in nine trips to the plate. Mejia attended St. Mary’s in Danvers and will be a freshman at North Reading High in September. Chris Hopkins, who plays for Malden Catholic, was 5-10.

Justin Kerhulas, who is from North Reading and plays for the Eagles, and Jerry Lluberes (Lawrence) both had multi-hit games. Jake Spada, who is from Middleton and plays for St. John’s, also contributed to the team’s success. The Rams played solid defense, making only two errors in the four game series.

“We’re going to Long Island to play in the Blue Chip Classic this weekend,” said Mejia. “After that this group will come back as college prospects next year at the U-16 level. It’s a very talented bunch of players, who have bright futures.”