RLL Wins District 10U Championship
Rockaway Little League (RLL) won the District 27 10U championship for the second year in a row this past Saturday, July 6th by defeating Ozone Howard (OH) 10-1 in the title game at Rosedale LL. Just as in their previous meeting in the tournament when RLL won 9-2, the final score did not indicate the closeness of the contest. The teams were tied 1-1 after four innings when Rockaway broke open the game with five runs in the 5th and four in the 6th. RLL will again represent the Southern Queens district in the Little League sectional tournament starting Saturday July 13th at Fort Tilden against teams from the other NYC boroughs and Long Island for the right to compete in the state tournament.
Rockaway’s victory was a total team effort with all 12 players contributing. Leading the way was James Resker who pitched a complete game and went 3-for- 4 with two runs and three RBIs, leadoff hitter Daniel Green who went 3-for-3, scored three runs and drove in the winning run, James Tuohey who was 3-for- 4 with 2 RBIs and Tom Resker who was 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs. RLL started the game with James Resker pitching, James Agoglia catching, Tom Resker at first, Mike McManus at second, Green at short, Tuohey at third, Jason Sebastiano in left, Ian Byrne in center and Billy Reyes in right.
Green led off the game by punching a double down the right field line off of OH starting pitcher Matt Serratta. Ian Byrne followed with a walk. After James Resker’s infield pop out, Tom Resker smoked a deep line drive but directly to the left fielder. Green tagged and scored on the play for a 1-0 lead. OH then showed the fine defense they had displayed in the teams’ first meeting when Byrne was gunned down at third trying to steal. RLL in turn showed off the terrific defense they had been playing all tournament long in the bottom of the inning. Center fielder Byrne made a running catch for the first out. Then with two outs and a runner on second, first baseman Tom Resker knocked down a hard hit ball on the right side and though the batter beat him to first, he alertly threw a perfect strike to home when the runner rounded third trying to score on the play. Catcher Agoglia smartly blocked the plate and applied the tag for the third out.
In the top of the 2nd, Tuohey and Mc- Manus reached base with two outs but were stranded there. Resker set OH down in order in the bottom of the inning. Green led off the 3rd with a bunt single. Ozone Howard again showed they came to play when Green was thrown out trying to steal 2B. James Resker was gunned down at second as well for the 3rd out when he tried to steal after reaching on a base hit. In the bottom of the third, Philly Benoit came in to play second, Aidan Harkins went to right and Joe Tammaro went behind the plate for Rockaway. Benoit was tested right away with a grounder to the right side but he calmly made the play for the first out. Resker easily set down the next OH batters for another 1-2-3 inning. Rockaway threatened in the top of the 4th when Tom Resker singled to start the inning and moved to second on Sebastiano’s one out hit. But Resker was forced at third on Tuohey’s comebacker to the mound and the threat died there. Ozone Howard tied the score in the bottom of the 4th when, with one out, the OH batter lined a hit down the left field line and hustled into second just ahead of the throw from left fielder McManus to Green to Benoit. After stealing third, the runner came home with the tying run when the ball got away from catcher Tammaro. Resker then closed out the inning with a strike out and a grounder to Green at short.
Rockaway didn’t waste any time fretting about the lost lead. Harkins led off the 5th by working a walk. He dashed around the bases to score the go ahead run when Green followed with a double down the left field line. Byrne then lofted a fly ball to deep right allowing Green to move to 3B. James Resker drove in Green with a single to make it 3-1. After Tom Resker reached on a base hit, Agoglia drove in one run on a fielder’s choice and Benoit drove in another with a deep sac fly to left. Tuohey drove in the 5th run of the inning with a sharp single.
Third baseman Tuohey had trouble handling the OH leadoff batter’s difficult grounder to start the bottom of the fifth but he more than made up for it on the next two plays. He deftly snagged a short hopper on the next batter and threw to McManus at 2B for the force. When the runner at 1B stole second and tried to steal third on the next pitch, Tuohey grabbed Agoglia’s rifle throw from behind the plate and blocked the base, applied the tag and held on to the ball as the runner slid into him knocking him down.
Rockaway, sensing victory at hand, continued to apply pressure in the top of the 6th. Green was hit by a pitch and, after Byrne followed with a single, James Resker brought them both home with a huge triple. Brother Tom drove him in with a hit and Tuohey closed out the scoring when he drove Resker in with a double. A line out to short, a grounder back to the mound and an unassisted put out at first closed out the bottom of the 6th and the Rockaway boys raced out onto the field to celebrate. After lining up to shake hands with Ozone Howard and congratulate them on a fine tournament, the boys received their championship banner from Rosedale LL President and tournament host Bernadetta Brown and District 27 Administrator Ed Chrzastek and took a victory lap with it around the field.
The sectional tournament will begin Saturday July 13th. Rockaway’s first game will be that day at 10 am at Fort Tilden. They will face the winner of District 30, Rockville Center or Lynbrook. Section Five of NY Little League consists of eight districts, Southern Queens, Northern Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Bronx, Manhattan/Riverdale, Long Island - West Central and Long Island - Southwest. The tournament runs through Friday July 19 with the winner advancing to the state tournament starting July 23rd. With a game at Rockaway’s home field to start the tournament, Rockaway Little League urges all members of the community to come on down to Fort Tilden on July 13 and support our boys with a big home crowd turn out.