Slideshow provided by Ken Guittarr
The East Boston baseball team now has another big reason to defeat Newton South on the opening day of the third annual First Priority Credit Union Strike Out Cancer Tournament on May 21 at East Boston Stadium.
“We’re going for the payback,” Jets’ junior slugger Marvin Depaz said after a 26-3 loss to Newton South this morning at East Boston Stadium. “We’re not gonna slack off with that team. We already know what they are made of.
“If we sleep on them they are gonna put up big scores on us.”
Eastie coach Phil Brangiforte and his father-in-law, Jets hockey coach Robert Anthony, founded the tournament three years ago after Brangiforte’s wife was diagnosed with colon cancer. She had surgery at Boston Medical Center shortly after delivering their fifth child and is now in remission. Anthony’s wife’s breast cancer was in remission for 11 years but recently spread to her bones. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy.
The two-day tournament — which features East Boston, Malden, Newton South and Revere — has already raised $7,500 for colon cancer research at BMC and hopes to collect another $3,000 to $5,000 this year.
“Boston Medical saved her life so I have to give back,” Brangiforte said. “This is a way for myself and my family and team to give back.”
But it will also be a chance to get back at Newton South, who took a 9-0 lead before senior right fielder Chris Diougardi finally put Eastie on the board by hitting a two-run in-the-park homerun in the third inning.
Depaz hit another in-the-park home run in the final inning but said it offered little consolation.
“It just got the team excited for that,” he said. “It was just a bad day for us. We kind of gave up. After the second inning everything went wrong. We usually have this intensity but it’s always at the end of the game. We have to do it at the beginning. We need to wake up basically.”
But Brangiforte said getting beat by non-league opponents will help the Jets (1-4 overall, 1-0 league) against other city teams.
“Seeing better competition you are going to get better, that’s the ultimate goal,” he said. “The teams in the suburbs are a little more disciplined. It does make a difference but the league is strong too.”
Brangiforte said he’s had to bench several players this season for missing or being late to practice. The team’s projected starting lineup going into the season still hasn’t started together, the coach said.
He hopes that will change on Monday when Eastie plays Brighton at 3:30 p.m. at Rogers Park.
“It’s gonne be a tough game,” Brangiforte said. “They have a good team. Hopefully it will be the first time we start all starters.”
Donations for Strike Out Cancer can be made to Boston Medical Center, c/o Phil Brangiforte, East Boston High School, 86 White St., East Boston, MA 02128