By LORENZO RECUPERO
Everett Little League’s playoff finisher at Sacramone Park Saturday was “Silly” good.
The Rays completed a two-game series sweep of the Red Sox with a 4-0 shutout to capture the 2020 Major League Championship and did so in exciting fashion.
It was 12-year-old pitcher Ryan “Silly” McMahon, who earned the nickname for his playful nature and not his skill set, that helped secure the title for the Rays with a no-hitter on the mound and a home run – his first ever – at the plate.
“He was just out there having fun and being himself,” said assistant coach Mike Belloise, who is in his first season with the Rays but coached McMahon in the past as part of a traveling team when he was 9.
“He just kept saying to me ‘We’ll win one together, we’ll win one together’ and after we did, he came to me and said, ‘I told you we’d win one’,” said Belloise.
After finishing the regular season 5-6-1, the Rays outdid their opponents by a combined score of 26-3 while going undefeated in the playoffs.
And after all it took to get a season started with Covid-19 altering how everything is conducted, Belloise was relieved the season finished in such a way.
“It was nice to get the kids away from the Covid stuff and back on the field, but it wasn’t easy. It was stressful [getting things going], lots of zoom meetings and planning and at one point thought we wouldn’t have a season, but it was worth it and ended like a fairytale for us. Winning it all made things a little sweeter,” said Belloise.
Also leading the charge for the Rays was fellow 12-year-old pitcher Dylan Clough, son of first-year head coach Dave Clough. In the team’s opening playoff game against the Tigers, a 10-0 shutout, Dylan tossed a no-hitter to go with a homerun of his own.
With the program catering to ages 9-12, McMahon and Clough played their last games in the Everett Little League ranks.
“We had the two best pitchers in the league,” said Belloise. “I’m happy to see them win it.”