Rockaway Express Wins Kings Bay LL Championship
The Express scored three runs in the first inning and never looked back. Hitting and fielding stars abounded for the Express. Mike McManus and Ian Byrne combined for five shutout innings and Matt McDonagh, James Toohey and Daniel Green each record ed an out in the final inning. The last out triggered a big celebration as the Express boys all ran onto the mound and piled on top of each other.
That victory capped off an exciting playoff run by the Express. They finished second during the regular season, having lost only twice to the Kings Bay Terza team. The playoffs began with the Express beating Good Shepherd Garamo at Fort Tilden. The next game had the Express lose 6-4 in a hard fought game against their nemesis, Kings Bay Terza, at Marine Park.
That put the Express in the loser’s bracket and one more loss would eliminate them. Despite that pressure, the Express won their next game 5-4 against the next opponent, overcoming a 3-0 deficit in the fifth inning to tie the game and send it into extra innings. Rockaway fell behind by a run in the seventh only to score two runs in the bottom of the inning for an exciting walk-off win.
That led them to face Kings Bay Terza once again the next day in an elimination game. This time the Express prevailed 4-2 in a tight defensive game as Daniel Green tossed five shutout innings.
That brought the Express to the championship round vs. Kings Bay Seda. Kings Bay needed only one win while the Express had to win twice. In the first game on Thursday, June 24, Kings Bay jumped out to leads of 3-0 and 4-3. Each time the Express came back to tie the score. The game was tied 4-4 going into the bottom of the last inning. The Express then loaded the bases with one out and Matt Schmitt hit an infield single scoring Jake Mackoff for another walk-off win to send the teams into a one game, winner take all contest on Sunday, in which the Express prevailed 11-1.
The regular season and playoffs featured outstanding contributions from everyone. Strong pitching was provided by Byrne, Green, McManus and Phil Benoit. Joe Tammaro and Toohey anchored the left side of the infield at shortstop and third base. James Agoglia, Matt Schmitt and Terrance Marten were rocks behind the plate at catcher. Pete Meehan provided big hit after big hit. Jake Mackoff, Jack Collins, Christian Agoglia, Joe Featherston, Jack Ward, Brendan Watters and Matt McDonagh were constant contributors at the plate, on the bases and in the field.