Northern Essex standout Kyle Hawes (Lynnfield, MA) went 2-4 with a double and three RBI’s to lead the Reading Bulldogs to an opening night win over the Malden Maddogs 6-3 in an all canine battle at Maplewood Park in Malden. Mike Taylor and Mark DeBenedetto each chipped in with RBI’s as the Bulldogs took advantage of eight walks issued by the Malden pitching staff. Sean O’Neill (1-0) picked up the win for the Bulldogs going the final four innings in relief of Connor Root.
In Somerville, the Andre Chiefs rode the left arm of veteran Tim Dunphy, who went six innings, to turn back the Somerville Royals 2-1 at Trum Field. The Chiefs’ Matt Nuzzo and the Royals’ Brady Chant matched solo homers until the Chiefs pushed across the winning run on a doubleplay ball in the top of the fourth. Dunphy struck out seven on the way to recording his 47th career win for the Chiefs. David Kerns chalked up the save striking out two in the bottom of the seventh. Luke Gustavson (0-1) took the loss in relief of starter Paul Covelle.
Three games are on tap for Wednesday. The Merchants host the Melrose Americans at Walsh Field in Wakefield at 6:00 PM, the Bulldogs and Chiefs battle at Maplewood/Malden Catholic at 8:00 PM, and the Royals visit Alibrandis at Trum at 8:30 PM.