It has been an outstanding tournament run for the Tewksbury National 11-year-old All-Stars, one that has included championships at the district and sectional levels.
That run came to an end Wednesday evening at Columbus Park in Medford with a heartbreaking 6-4 loss to Medford National.
Tewksbury carried a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning, but a four-run rally by Medford, capped by a three-run homer by Gino DiSimone, put Medford on top for good.
For DiSimone, it was his second home run of the game. He got things started for Medford in the bottom of the first, scoring Tony Fiorentine ahead of him on a two-run homer for an early 2-0 lead.
Tewksbury struggled against Medford pitcher Aiden Park through the first two innings. Park retired six of the seven batters he faced with five strikeouts.
But Tewksbury was able to find cracks in his armor in the third. A walk to Danny Attleberger was followed by a two-out single by Cam Legvold. Then came back-to-back doubles by Matt Peron and Dom Jolly and suddenly Tewksbury had itself a itself a 3-2 lead.
Tewksbury's lead grew to 4-2 in the top of the fifth. Colby Wilson drew a one-out walk and advanced to third when Legvold reached on an error. Peron followed with a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Wilson easily.
But Medford wasn't ready to fold its tents. Thomas Connearney led off with a sharp single and Carmen Diorio followed with a double to the gap in left-center and Medford was in business with nobody out.
Tewksbury pitcher Matt Peron, who had cruised through the middle innings, recorded a strikeout for the first out of the fifth. But Fiorentine laced an RBI single to cut the Tewksbury lead to 4-3. Fiorentine took second on the throw home, putting runners on second and third and bringing DeSimone to the plate for his biggest at-bat of the post season.
The Medford first baseman took a pitch over the outside corner from Peron and lofted with a high fly ball that just kept carrying in the night air, floating over the left field fence to give Medford a 6-4 lead.
Form there, the game was in the hands of Medford relief pitcher Michael O'Brien, who had come on in the fifth inning and retired the side in order in the sixth to end the game and Tewksbury National's season.
Medford National is scheduled to play in the State Championship game on Sunday against Worcester Schwartz. Time and location are TBA.