MANCHESTER — Danvers American manager Scott Palladino has been patiently waiting for his team to start swinging the bats with more a little more purpose in the District 15 Williamsport tournament.
Last night, Danvers American traveled to Sweeney Field in Manchester to play Middleton with a chance to advance to the knockout round and finally, the boys brought the big bats with them.
Danvers American homered five times, going back-to-back on two occasions, to defeat Middleton 10-5 and advance to the next round of District 15 play.
Danvers American and three other teams (Beverly, Hamilton-Wenham and Gloucester American) will be seeded by blind draw for the double-elimination knockout round. The first two games will be played at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Harry Ball Field in Beverly.
“The bats finally came alive. It was something I was hoping would happen coming in,” said Palladino. “We lost our first game to Danvers National and that was tough but now we’re moving forward. Hopefully the bats keep moving and so do we.”
In District 16, the top two pools in each team advance. Hamilton-Wenham had won Danvers American and Middleton’s pool going into last night, and because Danvers was 2-2, Middleton was 3-1 and the rest of the teams were 1-3, the Danvers American/Middleton winner would advance.
Palladino’s son Brett, the team’s two-hitter, got Danvers going in the top of the second inning when he belted a two-out, two-strike pitch over the fence in centerfield for a solo-shot that made it 3-0.
After Middleton’s Anthony Cafarelli and Matt Gillespie both left the yard to tie the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the third inning, Kevin Rooney (two-run homer) and J.T. Cashman (solo) went back-to-back to extend the Danvers lead back up to 6-3.