Downtown teams shine and reach the final
The Downtown Little League Juniors Division Rockies defeated the D.L.L. Tigers 8-7 in the inter-league Division Championship last week at Pier 40 in an exciting and close final game.
To reach the final, the Rockies, putting together a no-hitter, defeated the Greenwich Village Little League Dodgers 10-0 in the semifinal National League Division Championship. Similarly, the Tigers defeated the Athletics 10-8 in their semifinal game.
The Rockies were led by a crack pitching staff composed of Gabe Kleiman, Michael Klusendorf, Adam Kester and Michael Porter and fearsome hitting from Dexter Zimet and Nick Dyja.
Infielders Andrew Bakst, Aren Gallagher and Weston Loving keep grounders at bay while outfielders Axel Epps, Aurel Lambert, Ethan Opheim and Dean Scotti managed to snag their share of fly balls.
Similarly, the Tigers greatly outscored their league opponents behind pitching by Roy Vlcek, Lucas Ortega and Jake Bader, superb catching by Kyel Maer, Jake Kiehl and Tyler Paige, smart infielders like Nicky Bader, Chris Baumann, Jack Finio, Isaac Simmons and Cambell Weaver and the superb outfield play of Henry Costello, Chris Riddick and Daniel Komanoff.
A combined Rockies/Tigers team will represent D.L.L. in the District 23 Little League Tournament, with the first game scheduled for Thursday, July 9 at 5:30 pm against Inwood Little League on Murray Bergtraum/Verizon Field.
The D.L.L. Juniors (13 and 14 years old) play on full-sized 90-foot diamonds in a division composed of boys and girls from D.L.L., G.V.L.L. and Peter Stuyvesant Little League on fields at Pier 40, Central Park and Verizon Field. Ten teams competed this spring and the Downtown teams, the Rockies and Tigers, finished first in their divisions, with overall records of 11-2 and 8-3, respectively.
In an exciting development spearheaded by D.L.L., the Rockies, led by Coach Joel Kopel, and the Tigers, led by Coach Steve Curasco and Scott Diehl, were looking forward to competing against each other on June 21 in the final championship game, which was to be held this year for the first time at Richmond County Bank Ballpark on Staten Island, home to the Staten Island Yankees, the Bronx Bombers’ minor league team. Unfortunately, rain caused the game to be cancelled but a friendly scrimmage is to be rescheduled in September.