High Heat Kings Win Tournament
The High Heat Kings (11-12 years old), led by two Rockaway residents, entered the July 4 baseball tournament at Fort Tilden and on Monday came out champions, defeating the Forest Hills Bombers by a 4-2 score.
The High Heat Kings were carried throughout the tournament by their powerful three, four and five hitters; Emmanuel Gonzalez, Brandon Lazo, both of Rockaway, and Elvis Balbuena. The three combined had over 20 hits during the five games of the tournament. The pitching, however, was also a major factor.
One day after throwing a complete game, Walter Mancilla, took the ball for the championship game and twirled a gem. Mancilla completed five plus innings, allowing two runs while striking out five on the game.
Mancilla took the mound to start the top of the sixth inning only to allow two straight hits resulting in Brandon Lazo coming on in relief, attempting to end the threat. Lazo entered the game and immediately gave up a single that allowed a run to score to make the game 4-2.
Lazo quickly settled down and was able to get a double play and a pop out to end the inning and end the threat. The Kings were quickly dispatched in the bottom of the sixth inning by a Forest Hills team not shy about flashing their leather. Great plays were turned in throughout the game by their first and second basemen helping end rallies and keeping the game close.
The top of the seventh inning was relatively drama-free, unlike most of the game, as Lazo did his job and was able to get the last five crucial outs to give the Kings the championship.
Almost a year ago, Lazo pitched the Rockaway Cadets to a championship by throwing a complete game and earning the win against the RGMVM Aces and this time he helped earn his team another championship, albeit in the closer’s role.
The tournament itself represented baseball at its finest; barbeques, great weather and America’s pastime – baseball.