Gino DiSimone cracked a pair of home runs, including a three-run bomb in the bottom of the fifth inning, to lift the Medford National 11-year-old All-Stars past Tewksbury National, 6-4, in the State semifinals at Columbus Park.
DiSimone 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.
Starting pitcher Aiden Park cruised through the first two inning, retiring six of the seven batters he faced with five strikeouts. But he ran into some trouble 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 Medford found itself trailing 3-2.
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 recorded a strikeout for the first out of the inning but Fiorentine (2-for-3) 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 responded 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 relief pitcher Michael O'Brien, who had come on in the fifth inning. O'Brien made short work of Tewksbury in the sixth. He struck out the first batter, then induced consecutive ground balls to third baseman Patrick Bradley-Cooney to end the game.
Medford National is scheduled to play in the State Championship game on Sunday against Worcester Schwartz. Time and location are TBA.