Rockaway Express Train Continues Winning Streak
The Rockaway Express won three games this past week in the New York Travel Baseball Club National Division to improve their record to 5-0. On Thursday, July 19, the Express beat the tough Xtra Inning club from Ozone Park/Howard Beach, 13-3. They followed that with a doubleheader sweep of the Bergen Beach Panthers on Sunday, July 22. All games took place at Fort Tilden.
The victory over Xtra Inning featured good hitting, pitching, fielding and baserunning as the Express played an all-around game to achieve the win. After walking the leadoff Xtra Inning batter, starting pitcher Daniel Green and shortstop Ian Byrne recorded a dazzling pickoff of the runner at second. After letting the runner take his lead, Green whirled and fired a strike to Byrne breaking for second ahead of the runner. Byrne caught the ball just before the runner barreled into him and made the tag while rolling onto his back for the out.
Green proceeded to shut out Xtra Inning over his three innings, striking out five batters in a row at one point. He was aided by fine plays from catcher Jakey Mackoff, second baseman Mike McManus and third baseman James Tuohey.
Meanwhile, the Express bats exploded for six runs in the bottom of the first. With one out McManus got things started with a single to left. Billy Reyes followed that with a line shot to right that resulted in a 2-run home run.
After Byrne and Tuohey singled, Joe Tammaro drove a triple down the right field line scoring two. Matt McDonagh drove in Tammaro with a base hit and scored himself with alert baserunning, moving around the bases on stolen bases and by forcing overthrows. The Express scored single runs in the second and third innings on a solo home run by Green and Tuohey’s RBI grounder driving in Byrne.
Reyes came in to pitch the fourth and struck out the side after giving up three runs on walks and an error. The Express put the game out of reach with five more runs in the bottom of the fourth. McManus came in to pitch the fifth. He struck out the first two batters he faced before ending the game by throwing out the leadoff batter at first for the final out. Byrne and Reyes finished with two hits apiece and Express pitchers recorded 12 strikeouts including six by Green, four by Reyes and two by McManus.
The doubleheader against Bergen Beach featured an experienced Express squad against a young and overmatched team. The Bergen Beach boys played hard but the Express swept the games 12-2 and 33-1. The Express next play the Joe Torre Bulldogs in Brooklyn on Wednesday, July 25 and then travel to the Jersey Shore to play in the Southern Grand Slam Tournament, July 28-29.