10U Baseball Team Falls In Heartbreaker
The Rockaway Travelling All-Stars winning streak in the Little League 10U tournament came to an end Tuesday evening at Fort Tilden as they lost to Garden City 6-5 in extra innings. The boys from Rockaway were within one out of winning and moving on to the sectional semifinals against either Staten Island or Manhattan.
But Garden City scored the tying run with two out in the bottom of the sixth and then won the game with two outs in the seventh. Everyone in the large crowd that lined both sides of the field agreed it was an exciting and finely played game by two talented teams. Although disappointed at losing, the Rockaway boys could take satisfaction knowing that despite being a mostly 9-year-old team, they had played an even game with a championship caliber 10-year-old team and would be returning as a team next season, mostly intact.
Both Rockaway and Garden City got to the sectionals by going undefeated in their district tournaments. The day started early as both teams arrived at the Rockaway Little League fields at Fort Tilden an hour and a half before game time to warm up and take batting practice.
The Rockaway boys gathered in the clubhouse shortly before game time to hear last minute instructions from coaches Kamin Green, Jamie Agoglia and Marty McManus. Before heading out to the field, the boys presented Rockaway Little League president Marty Andresen with the District 27 championship banner which they all personally signed.
Rockaway was up first and scored right away. Brian MacDonald led off the game with a walk and was forced at second. James Resker was at third with 2 outs after stealing two bases when brother Tom Resker lined a solid single to center to drive in the first run. Rockaway threatened further by loading the bases when Daniel Green walked and Ian Byrne singled but they couldn’t push across another run. Garden City answered right back with 3 runs in the bottom of the first off starting pitcher Green.
Unfazed, the Rockaway boys scored 4 runs in the second to take a 5-3 lead. Mike McManus led off with a double to left. James Agoglia followed with a walk and was forced at second by Brian Mac- Donald on a comebacker to the pitcher. James Resker then drove in both Mc- Manus and MacDonald with a line drive double to tie the game at 3. Jack Casey drove in the go ahead run with a single to right and he scored as Daniel Green hit a hard grounder down the third base line for a double.
The game turned into a defensive struggle after that with excellent pitching and fielding on both sides.
Garden City scored the tying run in the bottom of the sixth inning to send the game into extra innings.
Rockaway threatened in the top of the inning when Ian Byrne walked and James Tuohey singled with two out. But Mike McManus’ hard hit grounder up the middle was turned into a force out with a fine play at shortstop. Jack Casey came in to pitch the seventh for Rockaway. Garden City had runners on first and second with 2 outs when the batter hit a line drive to right center. Tom Resker made a great effort getting to the ball and getting his glove on it but couldn’t hold on. The winning run scored ending the game and Rockaway’s tournament run.
The Rockaway boys came off the field to a huge round of applause from their fans on the sideline. Every boy played a part in the playoff run from the gritty pitching of Jack Casey, Daniel Green and James Resker, to the consistent hitting of Tom Resker and Mike McManus, to the solid catching of James Agoglia and Joe Tammaro, to the daring baserunning of Ian Byrne and Brian MacDonald, to the late-inning clutch play of Philly Benoit, Matt McCabe and Billy Reyes, and the coaching and cheerleading of injured Jack Mullally. The boys and coaches all vowed they would be back next season to go even further.