Rockaway Little League’s Pee Wee World Series (best 2 of 3) took place last Tuesday and Thursday matching up McManus Plumbing against Knights of Columbus. This was a great matchup since the only loss either team had up to this point was the Knights one loss to McManus in a 9-8 campaign in the regular season. Each team was well prepared for the matchup after marching through the playoffs without any losses. However, it needs to be said that each team was missing key players with TJ Liable and Matt Patterson of McManus and Timmy Kline of Knights unavailable. Their talents were sorely missed. This series was so well played by both teams and filled with such excitement that its easy to see why many people favor youth sports to professional sports. The coach's knew this series would be a defensive struggle but nobody expected the explosive offense that took place in game 1.
Knights came out of the box quick when Matt Cusmiani led off the game with a line drive that one hopped over the fence for a ground rule double. Knights went onto score 2 in the top of the first before George (you mean you want me to watch the game on this field) Urcelay turned out the lights with a catch of a scorching line drive. That set the stage for McManus' potent offense and they brought out the heavy lumber. After a leadoff double by Vinny Boland it was lights out for the McManus pitcher as Danny Paskoff, Greg Pulkowski and Tommy Boggiano hit back to back to back over the fence HRs to stake the team to a 4-2 lead after one. McManus extended the lead in the second inning to 9-2 after timely hitting by Sean Boyle, PJ Casey, Mike Dier, Jimmy Lynch, Joe McCabe and Tommy Boggiano's 2nd HR. Knights avoided being further in the hole with spectacular defensive efforts by Matt and Michael Knott (both of whom made diving catches that could have been mistaken for Alomar and Martinez), Danny Munday, Michelle Kenel and Brian Collier. But Knights didn't give up. They put 7 on the board in the top of the third to tie the game and send each team's parents to their coolers to settle their nerves. This prompted McManus to send their old pitcher back to the mound and true to form he gave up 6 runs to take back the lead 15-9. Knights responded with 5 more runs bringing the score to 15-14. McManus ended the fifth by scoring 2 after Joe McCabe delivered the crushing blow with a double to center. These proved to be the deciding runs with the final of game one, 17-15 McManus. This prompted everyone to change their plans for Saturday because it looked like it was going three.
Game 2 proved to be just as exciting with more of the long ball and unbelievable defense on both sides. McManus was fortunate to have Sue Levy back in the lineup for this contest. The top of the first started with 3 straight hits by Vinny Boland, Danny Paskoff and Greg Pulkowski bringing Tommy Boggiano up with the bases loaded. Tommy had that sweet swing going and hit a grand slam out of the park. McManus continued to pound hits and was on the verge of breaking it open when Ryan (I believe I can fly) Hurley made a diving catch of a laser line drive and converted it into a double play to shut down any further damage. This was one of many outstanding plays by Ryan during the game. The score was 6-2 McManus in the bottom of the fifth when Knights came roaring back with 4 runs to tie the game highlighted by a tremendous bases loaded triple by Michelle Kenel. In the sixth, McManus led off with a triple by Tommy Boggiano, another double by Joe McCabe and the final blow for the McManus pitcher was delivered by Sean Boyle who hit yet another HR over the fence. This long ball ended the scoring for the series and McManus ended a magical season with a perfect 15-0 record.
A perfect season is quite an accomplishment at any age level and the kids on McManus showed that hard work overcomes many obstacles. The coaches and kids of McManus would like to thank the parents and grandparents for letting the kids play this year and for their support during the season with special thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Dier (the drink brigade), Alison Urcelay and Tom Pulkowski.