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Fourteenth Annual Tournament Held
Friday and Saturday, 25-26 May 2018 in Belmont, Massachusetts

Top caliber high school baseball was in store for the fourteenth annual Brendan Grant Memorial Baseball Tournament held in Belmont Massachusetts. The tournament was held on May 25th and 26th with four local high school teams battling for top honors. The four participating teams were the varsity baseball squads from Burlington, Reading, Lynnfield and Belmont High Schools. This year’s overall winner was Lynnfield, which snatched the crown for the fourth time since the tournament was first held in 2005.

The weather at the start of the tournament was beautiful with hot sunny clear skies, but also with a stiff wind coming in directly from left field. Thus, hitting the long ball was a challenge on day one. The bright clear skies would last throughout, but the wind died down on day two. Because the 2018 spring season had lots of cold and rainy weather, this caused some of the teams to have a packed schedule at the end of the season due to make-up games. This would be a factor as pitching rotations and the bull pen became depleted.

Carrying-on with past tradition, the game times started on Friday at 2:15 pm followed by the second game at 4:30 pm, with the consolation game on Saturday at 11:00 am and the championship game at 2:00 pm. The first game on Friday had Reading at Belmont, followed by Burlington at Lynnfield based on the flip of a coin to determine home field. This four-team tournament continues to be a thrill on the Brendan Grant Memorial Field located next to Belmont High School

Game One was a lengthy affair lasting almost two and a half hours with Belmont coming out on top of Reading by a score of 10 to 2. Belmont used their ace Nate Espelin who pitched with strong control most of the game, while Reading utilized a string of pitchers that were unable to quell the Belmont bats. The win makes Belmont co-champions of their league.

The second game on opening day was a tighter contest, with Lynnfield edging Burlington by the tight score of 1 to 0. This game hung in the balance with multiple tight plays that could have gone either way. Arguably the play of the tournament was a spectacular fully extended line drive catch by Lynnfield Sophomore Clayton Marengi in center field, which ended the inning with runners in scoring position.

The consolation game was another close game with Burlington at Reading per a coin toss. The game started at 11 am on a beautiful Saturday morning with pristine blue skies and a light breeze. Reading started with Senior Jackson Dunnell on the mound and Burlington had Junior Matt Tyman as their pitcher. The starting pitchers and their relievers put on a show with the game knotted at 1 to 1 into extra innings. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Burlington squeezed in a run to take the win, ending this exciting contest.
2018 Baseball Tournament Championship Game
The championship game was also a thriller, with visiting Lynnfield ultimately coming out on top by a final score of 7 to 6. Starting pitchers in this contest were Junior Martin Marintchev for Belmont and Junior Jaret Simpson for Lynnfield. The game started with a bang, with Senior Cooper Marengi launching a three run homer for Lynnfield in the top of the first, quickly followed by Belmont Senior Ryan Noone crushing a two run line drive homerun in the bottom of the first. Both side traded runs through the game until the bottom of the seventh inning. With Lynnfield up 7 to 6, Belmont loaded the bases and with two outs and a 2 and 2 count, the game ended on a strike-out. It was a thriller down to the final moment that had the entire crowd on the edge of their seats, with Lynnfield ultimately winning the 2018 crown.

It was a great tournament with plenty of strong talent on display, including underclassmen whom we look forward to seeing next year. Click here for all the details on last year's tournament contest. The standings since the tournament was first held in 2005 are:

2005: (1) Lynnfield, (2) Winchester, (3) Belmont, (4) Bedford
2006: (1) Lynnfield, (2) Belmont, (3) Winchester, (4) Bedford
2007: (1) Belmont, (2) Austin Prep, (3) Winchester, (4) Lynnfield
2008: (1) Belmont, (2) Austin Prep, (3) Winchester, (4) Lynnfield
2009: (1) Winchester, (2) Lynnfield, (3) Belmont, (4) Austin Prep
2010: (1) Belmont, (2) Lynnfield, (3) Winchester, (4) Austin Prep
2011: (1) Austin Prep, (2) Belmont, (3) Lynnfield, (4) Winchester
2012: (1) Lynnfield, (2) Belmont, (3) Winchester, (4) Austin Prep
2013: (1) Winchester, (2) Lynnfield, (3) Austin Prep, (4) Belmont
2014: (1) Reading, (2) Lynnfield, (3) Belmont, (4) Austin Prep
2015: (1) Reading, (2) Medford, (3) Belmont, (4) Lynnfield
2016: (1) Belmont, (2) Lynnfield, (3) Reading, (4) Medford
2017: (1) Belmont, (2) Lynnfield
2018: (1) Lynnfield, (2) Belmont, (3) Burlington, (4) Reading

Numerous volunteers were instrumental in putting this year's tournament together, helping with refreshments, team support, and making sure the field and facility were in fantastic shape so that the entire event ran smoothly. Heartfelt thanks are extended to the following sponsors who provided significant support or in-kind donations:

Avery, Dooley & Noone, Belmont MA
Champions Sporting Good, Belmont MA
Embassy Trophy of Waltham, Waltham MA
Brendan Kelleher and Reebok
The Meier Family, Belmont MA

A set of three premier Red Sox tickets were provided for a fundraising on-site raffle by Meier Family. The long list of volunteers is likewise noteworthy, and a tip-of-the-cap goes to all the dedicated volunteers that assisted throughout the tournament. Special thanks goes to former BHS baseball coach Pete Noone for helping to organize the event and championing the activity behind the scene. Additional thanks goes to Belmont Athletic Director Jim Davis, Belmont Trainer Sarkis Asadoorian, and the Belmont School System.

Once again, the crowds of spectators were rewarded with great local baseball at the Brendan Grant Memorial Field, one of the premier baseball fields of its type in the region. Our heartfelt thanks go out to all who helped make the event a success, and we look forward to seeing you at next year’s tournament!