2011-04-15 / Sports

Magical Opening Day Includes Unassisted Triple Play

2After a Saturday morning filled with Opening Day pomp, circumstance and revelry, Rockaway’s baseball and softball players got down to business.

The first weekend of the 2011 Rockaway Little League season featured pitching gems, late rallies, come from behind wins and even an unassisted triple play.

In the Pee Wee Senior division, the Slices and Ices Orioles were hanging onto a 4-2 lead. The Sconzo & Sconzo Blue Jays had the sacks full with no outs. Pitcher Timmy Mills needed some help and got it from his best friend, shortstop Aiden Harkins. Aiden snared a line drive, tagged the runner heading from second to third and then ran to third base, beating the runner who was headed back to that base.

Aiden recorded all three outs on one play.

This is a feat so rare, it has only happened 29 times in the history of Major League Baseball. What a great way to start the 2011 season.

Unfortunately for the Orioles, the Blue Jays would not be denied. The Jays rallied for five runs in the last inning for a 7-4 victory. A rope to left field by Cory Davis plated the go ahead run. The Blue Jays started the game with powerhouse pitcher Carianne Sconzo on the hill. She struck out the side in one of her two innings. In the third inning, the Jays got their first two runs on hits from Davis, Joe Tammaro and Kieran Conaghan. Good hustle plays in the infield by Giancarlo Conti and Kyle Duffy kept the Jays within striking distance.

In earlier action, the first pitch of the season was thrown by Daniel Green while the Wave Publishing Pirates second base position was vacant to honor Christina-Taylor Green, the young girl killed in the tragic shootings in Tucson in January of this year. Both the Pee Wee Senior and Pee Wee Girls Pirates are dedicating the season to her memory. The Pirates jumped out to an early 2-0 lead but the A.O.H. Division 21 A’s stormed back to go ahead 5- 2 before Jason Moore of the Pirates hit a home run to make the final score 5-3.

The Orioles also lost a close one in the Minor Boys division. The Orion Consulting sponsored team fell to the FC Gerlach Blue Jays, 10-8. Orion’s lefty Jack Allen was savvy in escaping trouble the first two innings, but Peter Valdez, who had three hits and four RBIs, ripped a triple with the bases loaded to break the game open. The Orioles fought back in the later innings but Brian Keane came on to record the save for winning pitcher Joe Braskey.

In the Major Girls division, the core of last year’s championship team returned as this year’s FC Gerlach Braves and got off to a fast start, sweeping two from the Vintage Abstract Cubs.

On Opening Day, the Braves plated four in the first inning and cruised to a 12-7 victory behind starter Renee Simos. She chucked three innings without issuing a walk. Samantha broke the game open with a two-run homer. Leadoff hitter Melissa Piccione smacked four singles and scored four runs. Jenny Fahy also notched four hits. For the Cubs, Molly had two hits and two runs scored and Emma had three hits. Two days later, Piccione moved from catcher to pitcher for the rematch. She got the win in a 10-4 triumph. She tripled and had three RBIs. Fahy knocked in two while Nicole and Meagan had two hits each.

In the Pee Wee Girls division, the Margaret Sorensen Trust Orioles came out with strong bats in their opening day against the FC Gerlach Dodgers. Maeve Murnan, Jennifer Quagliariello and Fiona Mullen went 3 for 3 at the plate.

Katey Celentano made her debut at third base, while Caitlin Moran and Keira Rodkin made some stellar throws from the outfield to keep the runners in check. First basemen Sophia Keeler and Corinne Connelly did outstanding jobs controlling the infield, while second baseman Maria Morley made some terrific plays.

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