Little League Playoffs Bring Thrills and Upsets
In between Mother Nature’s raindrops and lightning bolts, the boys and girls of Rockaway Little League battled hard, producing exciting wins and heartbreaking defeats. Four division titles will be decided tomorrow on Super Saturday.
In the Pee Wee Senior division, the Henry Myers Plumbing & Heating Jays won the Ocean Conference final with an extra inning triumph over the top seed, the Ram Title Orioles. They will face the Bay Conference champion Servpro Dodgers in the title game. The Dodgers edged the Conte’s Carpet A’s Monday night.
The Jays advanced to the conference championship game with a 10-1 win against the Animal Hospital of the Rockaways Cubs. James Mangan had a huge game for the Jays, driving in six runs and going 3-for-3. Charlie Smith crossed the plate three times. Matt Sweeney and TJ Mahoney also provided some pop. Brothers/pitchers Colin and Brendan Byrne kept the Cubs in check with help from Chris Light, who played great defense.
The Harbor Light Pub Pirates and Orlow Firm Giants kicked off the Minor Boys playoffs with a tense pitcher’s duel as the Pirates prevailed 1-0 in the Ocean Conference play-in game last Thursday. Daniel Green walked to lead off the game. After Green stole second and third, Ian Byrne hustled his way to an infield single with two outs to drive in the only run of the game. Pitching and defense took over after that. Josh Paul and Matt McCabe gave up one run, two hits and struck out 15 for the Giants while Ian Byrne and Daniel Green shut out the Giants on three hits while striking out 12. Danny Chavez made several sparkling plays at second base for the Giants and Mike Light did the same for the Pirates at first base. The Giants had the tying run on third in five of the six innings but couldn’t break through as the Pirate defense constantly thwarted them.
The top-seeded Graybeards Reds ended the Pirates season on Sunday with an 8-2 decision. Another pair of pitching brothers, James and Tom Resker, were kings of the hill. Billy Reyes went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and Kiernan Smith also had three ribbies while Kyle Duffy rapped out two hits. In the field, John Mullen was solid at first and Cooper Nagle made a great catch in right field.
The Major Boys division is watching an improbable run by the fifth-seeded Casino Auto Body Dodgers. After beating the Wave Publishing Orioles in the “play-in” game the boys in blue toppled the first place team, the Bartoli Chiropractic Rockies, 7-4.
The Rocks didn’t go quietly. Trailing 7-3 in the final frame, Bartoli’s boys loaded the bases with none out before fireman Kevin Erhard doused the flames with some heat of his own. The Dodgers grabbed game one of the championship series, 8-4 over the Camuto Group A’s.
The Major Girls Knights of Columbus Marlins played their last two games of the season last week. They gave it their all, and, regrettably, fell short. Against the first place Friends of Goldfeder Cardinals, good defensive plays were garnered by Shannon Mangan at first base, Chrissy Diehm at second and Marie Elise Piccione at shortstop.
Exceptional, both offensively and defensively, were pitcher Meghan Duffy, third baseman Emily Frerks and Liz Paperelli in left field. They had at least three hits each, scoring six times, and securing nine outs. But the bats of the Cards were too potent for the Marlins to fend off, and the Cards took the game 18-14.
The opening round playoff game, 23- 12, put the Marlins against the VIP Fire Sprinklers Orioles. The Orioles pitching hammered the Marlins with 14 strikeouts. Meg Duffy pitched for the Marlins and put in her best efforts, as always, with nine strikeouts and one assist to Hannah Nicholson at first base.
Scoring for the Marlins was limited to six runs picked up by Taylor Scaccia, who slammed a hit into the outfield for a double, Emily Frerks, Shannon Mangan, Meg Duffy, Carolyn Diehm and Maggie Brady, who also had her first Major Division steals! The 16-6 loss ended the Marlins’ 2012 season. They applaud the Cardinals and the Orioles and wish them luck in their upcoming championship game!
The coaches of the Marlins wish them all a safe and fun summer. From looking at the standings one might think it hasn’t been the most successful season, but if you look at the spirit of the team, the coaches say, “it’s been one of our best yet! It’s been a pleasure and we hope to see you all back next season!”
In Minor Girls, the Walsh Properties Dodgers came through their final game of the regular season and the playoff game victorious, putting them into the Championship Game. Both games pitted the Dodgers against the Dr. John’s Destroyers Reds. The season finale game had the pitchers of both teams near even with strikeouts (14 and 15). Jackie Piccione, playing third base, and pitcher Margaret Murray both performed very nicely defensively, securing outs at third and home. Offensively Marie Piccione with three hits, three runs, one RBI, and Katie Hogg with her solid triple and three RBIs led the pack with a close following of Maggie Brady, Jackie Piccione, Kathleen Walker, Gianna Grillo and Angela Millet scoring for an 8-3 win!
In the semifinal matchup, a number of Dodger players showed “heads-up” ball. Gianna Grillo and Marie Elise Piccione were outstanding offensively. Grillo scored on each of her at bats with a homer, triple and walk and four RBIs. Piccione also smacked out a tworun homer! Scoring by Sarah Haley, Kate Wrynn, Katie Hogg, Mary Haley, Jackie Piccione and Maggie Brady all contributed to the Dodger score. Good defense by Jackie Piccione and Maggie Brady, Jill Schneider, Margaret Murray and Angela Millet all contributed to picking up a 12-10 win.
Diamond Dust: The entire post-season schedule can be found on the RLL website at www.rockawaylittleleague ny.com.
Click on “Schedules and Standings” … The League raised more than $500 for Clare Droesch via sales of pink socks, donations in the clubhouse and other acts of generosity. Get well Clare.