Little League Recap

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American Legion Reds Nip Neponsit Reality Giants On Opening Day

The sun broke through in force just in time for Rockaway Little League’s first games of the 2017 season last Sunday. The warm weather did not help the bats in some of the best played games; there were several stellar pitching performances.

In the Game of the Week, the Neponsit Realty Giants and the American Legion Reds played a hand of Dueling Aces with the Reds coming out on top 1-0. Joe Jenkusky started for the Reds and threw three scoreless innings. Teammate Brendan Armour matched that performance, blanking the Giants over the final three frames.  Armour also knocked in the only run of the game with an RBI double to left field that plated Pat Torpey. The Giants’ hurlers were equally impressive. Randy Koenig tossed 3 1/3 stellar frames with Brendan Byrne collecting the final five outs in relief. With pitching like this, we can expect the Giants and the Reds to be in the pennant race all season long.

The Pee Wee Senior division also featured a one-run pitcher’s duel. Led by three first-time pitching performances from 2nd graders Nick Castro, Bradley Spaeth and Matthew LaFroscia, the Denis O’Connor Giants edged the Supreme Memorials Royals 5-4.  Castro and Spaeth tossed two shutout innings each. After the Royals delivered a valiant rally, Matthew LaFroscia closed out the game with a scoreless 6th inning to earn the save in the closely contested battle.

Minor Girls also had a 5-4 game with the Bartoli Chiropractic Red Storm beating the McManus Mechanical Huskies in a nail biter. The Bartoli brigade got great pitching from Carly Intrabartolo and Mary Doyle and some great hits by up-and-coming 2nd grader Naimh Tubridy and 4th grader Mary Doyle, whose hits to the outfield knocked in runs. The Red Storm’s lead was protected by great defense at first base by Delaney Sommerville and Emily O’Connor at second base. Looks like it’s going to be an exciting season in Minor Girls!

Opening day fun was in full force when the Shannon Florist Rockies had a well-played game with the Mahoney Real Estate Royals in Minor Boys.  Both teams played a tight game up until the end.  The Rockies held on to win with smart plays. Tommy Connors and Joseph Giambra pitching and Sean O'Malley catching, saved two runs by snatching great stops on the mound and quickly sending them home. Connor McElhinney had a perfect day at the plate for the Royals with three singles and a double.

Back in Pee Wee Seniors, the Pico Mariners swung the League’s best lumber on opening day, defeating the Currans Meats Orioles 13-7. The Mariners were led by Matt McKnight, who went 3-for-3 with a double and triple, and by Isaiah Tawil who went 3-for-3 with a home run. Jack Butler and Justin Williams added two hits each to help the team to victory.

At the instructional level, RLL held its first clinic for the Pee Wee Junior (PWJ) division.  Learning from the success of the Pee Wee Girls’ clinic organized by Moira Mullen in recent years, PWJ commissioner Marty Hoban and fellow Board member Kamin Green used time slots usually allotted to games for training in baseball fundamentals.  The boys worked on swinging, fielding grounders and throwing.

DIAMOND DUST:  This year’s “Opening Day” celebration will be on Saturday, April 29.  The parade will begin at 9:00 a.m. with festivities, food and rides to follow.  Tickets will go on sale soon.

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