By Cary Shuman
The Giants, under the direction of manager Alex Wallace and coaches Steve Roncevic and Richard DiMartino, captured their second consecutive Revere Little League playoff championship, clinching the title with a 9-2 victory over the Dodgers Saturday at McMackin Field.
The Giants, who were 0-16 in the 2007 season, have now compiled a 39-6 record the past two seasons including a dazzling 19-1 mark on the road to this yearâ€™s title. The Giants lost their only game, 5-4, to Dodgers on May 12 but then proceeded to win 15 games in a row, culminating with their impressive sweep of the Dodgers in the finals.
Giants ace right-hander Richie DiMartino was the winning pitchers in Games 1 and 3 of the finals, while Oscar Zavala was the winner in Game 2. DiMartino, a league All-Star this season, was undefeated on the mound all season.
Three Giants players, Mirza Liscovica, Ronnie Burnett, and Danton Duque, hit home runs in the final game of the championship series. The Giantsâ€™ offense displayed home run power all season. Matt Roncevic (nine home runs) and Richie DiMartino (eight home runs) were 1-2 in the leagueâ€™s home run race.
Wallace, who is in his third year as a manager in the league, credited his defense for leading the way to the championship.
â€œEverybody on this team played exceptionally well in the field,â€ said Wallace. â€œIn our second game of the series, Christian Ordonez made a spectacular diving catch in center field. When he made that play, we were all amazed, but the defense has been a key factor in our success all season.â€
The 12-year-old players on the Giants roster â€“ Michael Dreeszen, Mirza Liscovica, Ronnie Burnett, Danton Duque, Matt Roncevic, and Alex Rojas â€“ displayed excellent leadership this season.
â€œOur 12-year-olds stepped up, listened to the coaches, and helped our younger players develop their skills,â€ said Wallace.
The 23-year-old manager also credited the parents for supporting the team. â€œWhen we went through that 0-16 season two years ago, I told the kids and their parents to stick with the team because we were going to rebuild. Iâ€™m so proud of these kids for making the rebuilding process happen so quickly and the team winning back-to-back championships,â€ Wallace added.
Wallace played Minor League baseball in the Revere Little League. He graduated from Revere High in 2004 and started coaching in the RLL summer baseball program for his nephew Brenden Carterâ€™s team. When Carter graduated from the league, Wallace decided to remain as a coach in the organization. He became the Giants manager in 2007 and has now built a dynasty that includes a 10-0 record in the past two postseasons.
The Giants players and coaches will receive their City Championship trophy at the leagueâ€™s awards banquet next month.