Rockaway Little League 10U Team Advances
The Rockaway Little League (RLL) 10U team continued their success in the Little League tournament as they followed up their four game sweep of the District 27 (Southern Queens) district tournament with victories in their first two games of the NY Section 5 tournament. Section 5 encompasses the boroughs of NYC and western Long Island. RLL kicked off the tournament at home at Fort Tilden on Saturday, July 13th with a thrilling, come from behind 6-5 victory over Rockville Centre and followed that up the next day with a convincing 10-3 win over Kingsbridge LL of the Bronx in a game that took place at Rockville Centre. Rockaway next moves on to face Mid Island LL, the Staten Island champions on Tuesday July 16th at Bronxchester Field in the Bronx.
Saturday’s opening game victory was a tightly contested affair. Rockaway led 3-2 most of the way until Rockville Centre’s
(RVC) late rally in the 5th inning gave them a 4-3 lead and what they thought was a come from behind victory for them. But Rockaway turned the table on their opponents as they struck for three runs in the top of the 6th and then fought off an RVC rally for the one run win.
Rockaway was up first and Ian Byrne’s one out single and Tom Resker’s two out triple led to the first run. RVC came right back to tie the score on RLL starter Daniel Green as a walk, a stolen base and a single led to a score. Rockaway jumped back into the lead in the top of the second as Mike McManus beat out an infield hit and James Agoglia walked. Two out singles by Green and Byrne scored McManus and Aidan Harkins who ran for Agoglia. Rockaway uncharacteristically gave back a run in the bottom of the inning when two errors on a pickoff play at 2B allowed the runner to score. Green struck out the next three batters to preserve the 3-2 lead.
The top of the 3rd saw RLL with a runner on and two out when McManus drove a high fly ball deep to left. It looked like it had a chance to go out but it was caught five feet in front of the fence for the 3rd out. Despite pitching effectively, Green’s pitch count was high the first two innings and Billy Reyes came on in relief in the 3rd inning. Reyes pitched two effective innings and the game evolved into a pitcher’s duel with neither team able to mount an effective attack.
Byrne came in to pitch the bottom of the 5th and had things under control with a runner on 1st and two outs. A single by the RVC cleanup batter was followed by RVC’s only hard hit of the day, a huge double over right fielder Harkins’ head that scored both runners. That was followed by a high fly to right that Harkins easily settled under for the third out.
That set the stage for the dramatic final inning. With one out and down 1-2 in the count, Agoglia fouled off pitch after pitch until he worked a walk. Green was up next and, after Agoglia stole second, he also found himself down to his last strike. He then laced a line drive double into the left center gap to drive in Agoglia with game tying run. Byrne followed with a huge drive to left that was tracked down by the RVC left fielder with Green being forced to hold at second. That brought up James Resker who was hitless his three previous times up despite hitting the ball hard each time. He was not to be denied this time as he stroked a solid single to center and Green raced home with the go ahead run. Tom Resker followed with a run scoring hit, his 3rd hit of the day, to drive in brother James after he had stolen second.
Rockaway now had a two run lead and three outs to go for a victory. But District 30 champ RVC was not about to give up. James Resker came on to pitch the 6th. After striking out the first batter, the next two RVC hitters singled and doubled. That set up the tying run on second and the winning run at bat with one out and the top of the RVC order coming up. The next hitter lifted a high pop behind 3rd that SS Green called everyone off of and grabbed for the 2nd out. Down to their last out, the RVC batter laced a line drive over first that seemed it would tie the game. But first baseman Tom Resker reached high to snare it for the final out allowing the home town Rockaway crowd to celebrate with their boys.
With that opening game victory behind them, Rockaway traveled the next day to Long Island to face Kingsbridge LL from the Bronx who had beaten Forest Hills LL the day before. RLL seemed drained by their dramatic victory the day before as they started off sluggishly and allowed three runs in the top of the 1st on an error, three walks and two hits. From that point on however, Rockaway bore down and outscored Kingsbridge 10-0 the rest of the way on the way to a 10-3 win. After giving up three runs and having the bases loaded with one out in the opening inning, RLL starting pitcher Ian Byrne easily controlled Kingsbridge through the 3rd inning after which he was removed to preserve his pitch count. Tom Resker, Jason Sebastiano and Mike McManus each pitched a scoreless inning to close out the game.
After the shaky first inning, the RLL defense returned to its usual solid form as Kingbridge collected only one hit after the 1st inning. On offense, Daniel Green went 4 for 4 with three runs scored, Byrne scored two and drove in two, James Resker was 2 for 3 with five RBIs and Mike McManus was 2 for 2 with a run and RBI.
The Rockaway Little League 10U team is Joe Tammaro, Philly Benoit, James Tuohey, Aidan Harkins, Billy Reyes, James Agoglia, Jason Sebastiano, Tom Resker, James Resker, Mike Mc- Manus, Ian Byrne and Daniel Green. The team is coached by Kamin Green, Jamie Agoglia and Marty McManus.