Pirates Steal Victory During Opening Day Festival
Rockaway Little League’s third annual Opening Day Extravaganza was a big success last Saturday. In between the speeches, rides and food there was some exciting action on the diamonds, highlighted by the Harbor Light Pirates’ (12-6) come-from-behind victory.
The Pirates trailed the Orlow Firm Giants 6-4 with two outs in the sixth inning and were down to their last strike. But with a 1-2 count on him, Timmy McGuiness worked a walk to keep the game alive. From that point, eight more Pirates reached base as they rallied for eight runs in the final frame.
The big hits were delivered by Brian Hall who singled to tie the game, Ryan Clark who drove in two runs with the game winning hit to make it 8-6 and Daniel Green who hit a bases-clearing triple to make it 10-6.
This Minor Boys game featured a series of lead changes as the Giants had rallied from a 4-3 deficit in the bottom of the fifth when Christian Appel hit a huge three-run home run to left for what appeared to be the game-winning hit. Giants starter Matt McCabe struck out seven and shut out the Bucs for the first three innings.
Pirates starter Daniel Green also struck out seven over three innings but gave up a run-scoring double to Jake Mackoff in the first. Mackoff was thrown out at third to end the inning on a brilliant play that went from leftfielder Timmy McGuiness to shortstop Brendan Vazquez to third baseman Mike Light.
The Giants struck for two more in the second as Danny Chavez walked, McCabe tripled and Josh Paul singled. The Pirates scored a pair in the fourth when Brendan Vazquez walked, Nicholas Donahue tripled and Mike Light singled. The Pirates took a 4-3 lead in the top of the fifth when Daniel Green singled in Brian Hall and Vaz-quez doubled home Green. Winning pitcher Donahue pitched the fourth and fifth and Vazquez closed out the sixth inning for the win.
The Major Girls Knights of Columbus Marlins played their season opener against the Friends of Phil Goldfeder Cardinals. They gave it their best against the odds, fielding just nine players against the Cardinals. The Cardinals topped the Marlins by a few runs in what was a tough but well played game. Hannah Nicholson pitched five innings for the Marlins, striking out five and issuing only three walks.
Taylor Scaccia grabbed two pop-ups while playing third base and hit a tworun double in the sixth inning. Emily Frecks hit a solid triple in the fifth inning, driving in two runs. She then scored on a single hit by Christine Diehm. The girls have shown great heart and spirit, which will certainly carry them forward into a great season.
The Minor Girls Walsh Properties Dodgers played their season opener two days earlier against the El Caribe Caterers White Sox. The Dodgers gave it their all in a 6-3 win. The first three innings were a pitchers duel keeping the game scoreless. Margaret Murray pitched a beautiful game for the Dodgers garnering 12 strikeouts and a popup. She also hit three singles, drove in two runs and scored in the fourth inning.
Marie-Elise Piccione caught for the Dodgers and held her ground with a put-out at the plate and catching a popup. Kathleen Walker played excellent defense at first base making four outs. The girls collectively did a terrific job for their first game and hopefully will continue with their enthusiasm.
In the Pee Wee Junior division, the Belle Harbor Roofing and Siding Cardinals played the L. Mahoney Real Estate Dodgers on a wonderful day. The Cardinals’ coaches are very proud of their players who are cheering each other on and making great friendships.
Each week the Cardinals give out a game ball to the player of the game. The whole team signs the ball. Last week, Nicholas Marino got the game ball for staying in front of the ball and having accurate throws to first base. He is keeping his eye on the ball when hitting. He hit it so hard right back at his coach (the coaches pitch in Pee Wee Juniors), that the coach was glad to be paying attention.
The effort and love Marino has for the game is evident in his enthusiasm while playing. He even requests to stay after the game to practice some more. For the Dodgers, hitting was led by the powerhouses of Dylan Markle, Michael Pineiro, Matthew Schneider, AJ Finnegan, and Daniel Shelton. The tone for defense was set by great plays in the field made by Anthony Farina, Andrew Owens, Andres Varas, Hunter Gilhuley, Harrison Rosenhaus, and Michael Benn. Both teams played with great sportsmanship.
Once again, Mother Nature threatened to spoil Rockaway Little League’s annual Opening Day Extravaganza but then yielded to a great day. FDNY Engine 329 led our parade into Fort Tilden. Congressman Bob Turner, State Senator Joe Addabbo and Councilman Eric Ulrich addressed the children and threw out ceremonial first pitches. Hundreds of families attended and enjoyed the food, rides and games.
Special recognition should go to the Opening Day Committee – Rose Resker, Robby Schwach, Robin Zweifler, Randy Koenig, Stu Mackoff, Rob Rose and Kamin Green – for a well-done job.
The Little League Opening Day was sponsored by the Graybeards, Dalton’s Grill and Bulloch’s.
Diamond Dust: Between games this Sunday, parents and children can join Gateway for the three-mile Tour the Tip at Breezy Point. It runs from 10 to noon ... Tee Ball starts on Saturday.
Picture Day will be held on Sunday and on May 5. Check with your coach to find out when your child’s team will be photographed. Consult the RLL web site (www.rockawaylittleleagueny.com) for more information, updates, schedules and standings.