|Mondello (above) had the game winning hit for Malden|
It was a back and forth battle between two of the top teams in the YBL. Malden got on the board right away in the first when Brad Tardugno singled home Mike Terrio to give the Bulldogs a quick 1-0 lead. Malden would continue to score in the first off of West Roxbury starter Matt Dannenhoff. Brian Duplissie and Chris Deane added RBI hits while a defensive miscue by the Bluefish led to two more runs crossing the plate to make it 5-0.
The Bluefish would chip away at Malden starter Jason Paul. They managed to score two in the first, two in the second and two in the third. Paul would settle down after the sixth run crossed and keep Malden with in striking distance.
In the fourth, the Bulldogs tied it at six when Brad Tardugno plated Ken Olisky with a base hit past the diving shortstop. That was Brad Tardugno's 45th RBI of 2010, a YBL and Bulldog single season record.
The decisive run came in the top of the seventh. Riding the momentum from Patrick Shanahan's huge strike out of Chris Hartery to end the threat in the sixth, Englehardt crushed a Matt Venzia offering to deep center field for a leadoff triple. After the next two Bulldogs struck out, Mondello battled with an 0-2 count before giving Malden the lead.
Jon Shepard came on for his eighth save in the bottom of the seventh. He struck out the first batter, got the second to ground out to Brad Tardugno at first before walking the third hitter he faced. Shepard then got former college teammate Bobby Foote to ground out to third to end the game.
"This is by far the biggest win in franchise history." said Malden coach Kevin McGovern.
On the night, Mondello finished with a 2-for-4, RBI performance. Brad Tardugno upped his season average to .417 with his 2-for-3, 2 RBI night and Anthony Perry added two hits as he went 2-for-3, including his 10th HBP of the season.
Malden needs a win tonight at the Brighton Minutemen to secure the overall number one seed in the YBL Championship Tournament. A win will also give Malden their third straight YBL division title.
The game against the Minutemen will be on Tuesday night (8/10) at Rogers Park in Brighton, MA. Game time is set for 7:30 pm.