Volume 20, Number 51 | THE NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | MAY 2 - 8, 2008


Downtown Express photos by Elisabeth Robert

Cub Aurora Grutman makes the putout at first that just beat Jack Hunter Sunday, top. Liam Doyle was driven in by Lucy Freedman and scored the winning run in a tight 9 - 8 win over the Mariners.

Little Leaguers get in some innings in between the raindrops

Junior Minors Orioles vs. Mets

The cool steady drizzle that fell Sunday could not dampen the spirits of the Orioles and Mets as they took the field at 10 a.m. for their Junior Minors contest. It was a tightly played game by two closely matched clubs in the Downtown Little League. For the Orioles, a scoreless first inning was highlighted by stellar play behind the plate by Henry Bodwell and by Nicholas Cheung playing the pitcher’s position. In the bottom of the inning, Will and Candice Landau flashed some leather for the Mets, keeping it all in the family when Candice threw out a base runner at third, her throw going solidly into her brother Will’s steady glove.

A leadoff single by the Orioles’ Mateo Zules in the bottom of the second ignited the game’s first rally. Mateo came around to score on an R.B.I. double by Yasuhito Saito. The next batter, Arjun Khorana, drove home the O’s second run with a booming double of his own to right center field.

In the top of the third, the Mets responded with a tremendous offensive outburst, scoring four runs in a rally that featured five consecutive hits to begin the inning. Leading the offensive charge for the Mets this day were Ryan Martino who had three hits in four at-bats and Will and Max each added a pair of hits.

In the bottom of the third, Julia Lepre sparked an Oriole seven-run rally with a one-out hit. Consecutive singles by Nicholas, Mateo, Yas, Justin Ng, Arjun and Duke Tsapalas followed her frozen rope to left. A three-run home run by slugger Joshua Davis capped off the rally. When asked to comment on his prowess after the contest, Josh slammed his fist into his mitt and exclaimed: “I guess I’m back.”

The game ended after the Mets batted in the top of the fourth, an inning that featured tough play by Oriole’s catcher Julia, who took pitches off her elbow, helmet and infielder Duke who made three unassisted putouts at first base to complete a fun morning of baseball for both teams. The game was played with a spirit of sportsmanship; both sides showed great courtesy and respect for their opponent.

Will Landau takes a cut for the Mets.

Junior Minors Upper Cards vs. Athletics

The Friday evening game between the visiting Athletics and home team Cards turned into a slugfest as the A’s held on to win 21-13.  On a sunny, warm evening the A’s bats heated up quickly as they surged to an early lead with big first and second innings.  Ben Norrito, Holden Higgens, Pablo Irauzqui, and Jim Huynh contributed clutch hits to drive in their teammates. 

In the first inning for the Cards, Tai and Mak Deguchi reached base with a single and double respectively. James Stinnet, Palmer Menken and Lucas Perra followed with hits to drive in the Deguchi brothers. In the bottom of the second inning, David Lampietti and Hudson Kussie both caught hard hit fly balls off Card bats to limit the run scoring.  In the third inning the Cards also played excellent defense when Qiufei Smart dove for a hard hit ball at short and stopped it from going in the outfield. Marcus Wong caught a line drive to left field and held the A’s scoreless. 

In the fourth and fifth innings, the A’s came alive again with big innings.  Milo Bernfield-Millman lead the A’s with 5 hits and Justen Lam homered in the second inning and ended with five R.B.I. for the game. 

The Cards warmed up in the later innings scoring 5 runs in both the fourth and fifth innings to close the scoring gap. Bain Bourdrea lead off the fourth with a double, followed by singles from Ogden Opheim, Marcus Wong Tai and Mak Deguchi. Trevor Maruffi and Kamron Landry followed with hits to collect an R.B.I. each. Lucas Perra led off the fifth with a single, followed by Bain Bourdrea with a double.  As the home team came up in the bottom of the sixth for their last licks, the A’s demonstrated their defensive skills.  With Card runners on first and second, Hudson Kussie caught a fly ball and fired to second for a double play to keep the Card rally in check. 

Tigers vs. Reds
The Tigers hosted the Reds at 8 a.m. on a wet Sunday morning. Spectators from Long Island to Virginia braved the inclement weather to watch a very exciting game.  For the Reds, Sophia Marino led off the first inning with a firm single.  On defense, cousins Caleigh Carr and  Jack Carr connected for some key plays. The highlight to the action for the Reds  was a hit by Ariana Lamser with a full count and the bases loaded, driving in two runs.  The Tigers had another outstanding performance by Duncan Stuard, who caught a diving fly ball for an out, and connected consistently at the plate. 

Offensive performances from Arthur Perry, Caleb Rubin, and Maria Scovel led to several more runs. 

Defensively for the Tigers, Melina Driscoll, Wesley Chong, Zachary Curtis-Ginsberg, Jonathan Romano, Drew Child and Jasper Stoch all played solidly. 

Downtown Express photos by Elisabeth Robert

Jack Hunter connects for the Mariners.

Majors Giants vs. Hornets

Chris Bauman pitched a strong start for the Hornets, giving up only three hits through three innings. The Giants were able to take a slim one-run lead when Gabe Smith stole home after reaching on a walk in the top of the first.  Zach Tractenberg got his first start in the Majors for the Giants, holding the Hornets to a walk by Aren Gallagher and a hit by Chris Baumann.  Baumann shut the Giants down in the top on the second, giving up only two walks to Taylor Myers and Ethan Ophiem and striking out the rest of the side.  Zach Tractenberg finished his debut appearance in the second giving up only one run on a hit by Luca Leeser and walks to Mathew Weldon and Trevor Cronin to tie the game.

With the score tied 1-1, the Giants started a rally on a hit from Jake Kiehl and a rare double steal of home by Gabe Smith and Sean McGowan who had reached on walks. Andrew Puopolo scored on a hit from Micahel Watanabe to give the Giants a 5 – 1 lead.  McGowan came in mid-relief in the bottom of the inning and struck out the side in order.

Hornet reliever, Alec Tullock, kept the Hornets in the game with solid pitching, striking out two Giants and giving up a walk to Matt Wilens in the fourth.

The Giants were able to add two insurance runs in the fifth before Hornet closer Aren Gallagher came in to end the inning with 2 K’s.  Giant closer, Jake Kiehl, eliminated the hopes of a comeback retiring the side in the fifth and only giving up walks to Michael Shorris and James Demsak in the sixth.  The late rally was cut short when Andrew Puopolo snagged a shot by Henry Costello and Taylor Myers did the same with a hit from Aren Gallagher. The Giants won, 7- 1.

Eagles vs. Cubans  

The Eagles edged the Cubans by the score of 5 - 4 in a thrilling game on Sunday that ended with a game-saving triple play.   The Cubans took an early lead in the top of the second inning when Connor Cimino smashed a line drive single to right field that drove in two runs.  

The Eagles’ batters were largely stymied over the first three innings by hard-throwing Leanne Elefterakis, although the team scored a run in the bottom of the inning on Roman Junceau’s R.B.I. single.  An inning later, Michael Klusendorf drove in a run with a fielder’s choice, and the game moved to the fourth inning with the scored tied and with the real drama about to begin.

After the first two Cuban batters in the fourth inning walked, the Eagles summoned pitcher Will Merrill to relieve Klusendorf.  He struck out the first batter he faced, bringing Xavier Russo to the plate with one out and runners on second and third.  Russo smashed a shot off the outer park fence in deep right field that was ruled a ground rule double, putting the Cubans back ahead by the score of 4-2. Unfazed by the titanic blow, Merrill retired the next two hitters to end the inning with Russo being stranded on base.

The Cubans then summoned Robbie Martino from their bullpen.  He struck out the side in the bottom of the fourth inning.  But, after Merrill quickly retired the Cubans in the top of the fifth, the Eagles were able to load the bases for Klusendorf, who doubled to tie the game.  Two batters later, the Eagles took their first lead when a run came in on Clay Walsh’s grounder to second base.

 That set the stage for the triple play.  After Elefterakis led off the sixth inning by singling, Martino drew a walk to put Cuban runners on first and second with no outs and with Manny Alvarez, who had already scored two of the Cubans’ runs, coming to bat.  Alvarez smashed a hard, sinking line drive to right field that a charging Chris Yee caught at his shoe strings.  Yee alertly threw to Klusendorf at first to double off one runner, and he threw to shortstop Taro Nakagawa at second to complete the rare defensive feat that ended the game.       




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