Joe LeVasseur got the start for Fenwick, and gave way to Tommy Parsons after back-to-back homers by Buonopane and Bragole. James Dellisola came on to get the final out in the sixth.
“I’ve never had a day like this,” said Buonopane. “I never hit home runs, but I’ve been seeing the ball well and felt good. This is a nice team win; it took everybody to win this game. This is a big rivalry for us, and I’ve got a bunch of buddies in the other dugout. I played with a lot of those guys in Little League and AAU.
“When Noe went down it was a huge loss, and everyone is playing for him. We want him back on the field as soon as possible. This year when we started the season with that loss to Xaverian it fired us up but also kept us in check. Last year we had a bunch of wins, but then lost at the wrong time and were gone from the playoffs. We don’t want that to happen again.”
The lineup on both teams is filled with Peabody kids. For St. John’s Buonopane, Brandon Bingel, and David Bornstein all started. Fenwick starters included Gianni Esposito, Mike MacKenzie, Nick Bona, Eric Razney, and John Oliveira along with relievers Parsons and Dellisola.
The Crusaders (6-2) scored both runs off starter Mike Driscoll, who gave up four hits, walked two, and struck out two in three plus innings of work. Oliveira led off the game with a double and later scored on Esposito’s two bagger. After Brian Burke homered to lead off the fourth inning Driscoll gave way to Jack Burke, who retired all nine batters he faced. Evan Roberts set the Crusaders down in order in the seventh.