Needham’s 10-year-old “Williamsport” Tournament team won the 2019 Massachusetts 10-Year-Old Little League Tournament on Sunday, July 21, with a 9-1 win over Mansfield at O’Grady Field in Salem, Mass. The victory represented the first state championship for a Needham baseball team participating in a Little League-sponsored state or national tournament in decades.
In 1954, Needham’s 12-year-old All Star team advanced to Williamsport, Pa. to play in the Little League World Series - a team that was led by Asa Small, who has since passed away. Needham later named a field after Asa Small in the DeFazio Complex on Dedham Avenue.
To advance to the state final, the 2019 Needham National 10s team beat Peabody, 8-3, in a state semifinal game on Saturday, July 20, in Salem. Prior to that, the Needham National 10s team beat Brookline, 8-4, on July 16, in Charlestown, winning the Section 3 Mass Little League Tournament.
Throughout the district, sectional and state tournament rounds, the Needham National 10s team went undefeated with a 10-0 record, outscoring opponents 115 to 23.
Representing the Needham Nationals 10s team are William Lavelle, Rory Funke, Matthew Mullaney, Colin O’Donnell, Jack Sherman, Blake Carr, Patrick Killeen, William Cassidy, Matthew Spalla, Colton Harjula, Cal Hammerstrand, Owen Hammerstrand and Declan O’Brien. Coaches for the team are Kevin Lavelle, Barry Mullaney, Jeff Sherman.