Successful Season For Cadets
It’s been another successful year for the Rockaway Cadets team.
The team offered special thanks to James McElroy, Commissioner of the Cadets Organization.
Over the last 10 years Coach Bill Erhard has guided these young players into winners.
This summer they once again won their division and Championship game under Erhard’s calm, firm leadership with help from Eddie Gonzalez and Charlie “Pop” Meier.
On the first day of play every coach asks their players to make “contact”. When at bat, Matty “Mr. Contact” Erhard earned that nick name. All summer he smacked the ball almost every time he was at bat. When not at bat, Erhard was doing a good job catching.
Kevin McDonagh, did a great job as catcher, pitcher and hitter. “He is the only player in my 40 years of coaching baseball in Rockaway,” Meier said, “that I have ever seen pitch a no hitter. This year is the first time that Kevin ever hit a H.R. It gets better. In one day he hit two.”
Charles “Chuck” Gavigan was excellent in the field playing 1st, catcher, outfield and consistently hitting the long ball. He too, hit two H.R.’s in one day. Karl (Iron man) Materna was great on the mound, with the bat and playing the hot corner. It was great seeing Emanuel “Manny” Gonzalez come to bat with his smooth swing banging balls to the outfield and over the fences.
Shawn Griffin played short stop and second base. A real good defensive player, good with the bat and a great bunter.
John Frost played a solid right field, with a strong throwing arm and killing the ball every time he made contact. Anthony Scotto had his best year ever. Hitting, playing a mean short stop and volunteering to catch, throwing out runners.
Brandon Lazo did a great job with his strong pitching, big bat and filling in at third. A big surprise was the return of John Whelan. His fielding and his bat were a great help to the team. Chris Cole returned and was magnificent in center field and great with the bat.
Special thanks went to Mario Cimino, Luke Erhard, Chris Moore, Teddy Stahis, Lucas Bartoli, Conner Ward and Matty Frost for providing extra help.
The Championship game was played Wednesday, August 28th, against the Latin Souls.
“What made this a different game for us,” Meier said, “was we won it without the long ball. It was done with walks, singles and best of all bunts by Shawn Griffin and Conner Ward.”
The game changed leads three times. The first inning the Cadets were ahead 1-0. The 3rd ended with the Souls ahead 2-1. The 4th ended with the Cadets ahead 5-2. The Souls came alive in the 6th, tying it 5-5. In the 7th inning with darkness looming five straight singles by Shawn McDonald, Charles Gavigan, Manny Gonzalez, Karl Materna and Brandon Lazo gave the Cadets an insurmountable 9-5 lead for the win and the Championship. McDonald pitched the last inning, shutting out the Latin Souls.