Opening Day Pitching Duel For Diamondbacks
The 61st season of Rockaway Little League baseball kicked off last weekend, highlighted by strong pitching performances in the first game of the new year. The El Caribe Caterers Diamondbacks edged the Empire Surgical Angels 3-2.
It was a tight game from the start as the D-backs’ Andrew Clark and the Angels’ Kyle Fabiszewski traded zeros in the opening two frames. In the top of the third, Clark helped his own course by driving in Timmy Hayes and Philip Kelly with a one-out, bases loaded double. Kelly followed Clark on the mound and retired the six batters he faced, striking out three. Marco Conti drove in a critical insurance run with an RBI single to assure the win.
Gene Sebastiano made a key play at third base in the bottom of the six to preserve the victory and end a late game rally by the Angels. George Clark had a good day at the plate for the victors. Bobby Benoit was the hitting star for the Angels.
The first game in the Major Boys division also saw fine pitching performances as The Orlow Firm Cubs got off to a fast start by defeating the RAM Title Insurance Pirates by a score of 6-0. The pitching combination of Matt McCabe, Reid Heyman and Philly Benoit turned in a one-hit shutout performance, with Matt McCabe striking out nine of the 12 batters he faced in four innings of work.
The offensive attack was led by Brian Keane, who recorded two singles with an RBI, and stole home in the top of the fourth inning. Also contributing to the scoring were David Berman, Matt McDade and Max Brown, all with singles and an RBI each. Jack McDade also collected an RBI with a ground ball sacrifice in the fourrun fourth inning. Jake Mackoff also contributed with a single and catching the three pitchers Reid Heyman pitched in relief in the bottom of the fifth inning and walked the first batter, but was helped out by a tremendous defensive play by Ryan Fitzgerald at third base, picking off a screaming line drive off of the bat of Joe Tammaro heading into left field. Reid retired the next two batters on strikeouts. Philly Benoit came in to close the game, striking out the side in the bottom of the sixth inning to secure the win for the Cubbys.
Ed Coyne, Albert Meyer, Pat Aryoveinan and Charlie Smith combined to pitch a strong game for the Dodgers. The first hit of the season was delivered by Christian Banker. Smith also swung the lumber well for the Elite team. Philip Rosenhaus scored four runs in the lead off position. Strong defense by Johnny Piccione, Ryan Parker and Brian Yorke helped the Dodgers hold off the Sportography squad.
Diamond Dust, RLL’s annual Season Opening Gala Celebration will take place on Saturday, April 26. There will be food, music, rides, raffles, the parade of teams and, of course, baseball. Tickets will be available for purchase online soon... Donations are being accepted for Opening Gala raffle gift bags and prizes. Contact Robin Zweifler to make a donation.