Volume 22, Number 05 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | June 12 - 18, 2009
Downtown Little League action
JUNIOR MINORS LOWER
White Sox vs. Brewers
It was a perfect day for baseball Sunday as the White Sox hosted the Brewers.
The White Sox bats were silent during the first few innings, as the Brewers jumped out to an early lead thanks to the solid defense of shortstop Max Schuss and Lucian Ayala at second. Back-to-back home runs by Brew Crew sluggers Luke Silver and Jack Clothier and singles pounded out by Brooks Valentine, who had hit a three-run homer earlier in the season made for a solid offense. James Purpora and Joseph Safer-Bakal, continued their three-game hitting streak of reaching base at every at bat. Trailing 6-1, the White Sox fought back and scored four runs in the bottom of the 4th inning to tie the score behind hits by Miles Dorsey, Ryan Vig, Dylan Guttierrez, Tensi Masuda and Luca Biro.
In the top of the fifth, the Brewers got their lead off hitter on, but then White Sox pitcher Russell Goldmeer caught a smash off the bat of Roman Hoey, who was also a defensive standout for the Brewers. The ball looked like it was headed all the way to Battery Park, but Russell, in one of the fielding highlights of the season, gloved it and immediately headed to first base to complete the double play as the Brewers base runner never dreamed anyone could catch such a hot smash.
After a scoreless fifth inning, the two teams were granted extra time by umpire Jorge to play the sixth inning because of the break for an awards ceremony in the middle of the second inning. The Brewers threatened in their half, with Lucas Gaffney belting a single then running out two bases on a follow-up single by first baseman Sean O’Toole. Gaffney was left stranded on third as the rally was squashed by the stellar White Sox defense. The White Sox were down to their last out with runners on first and second when Michael Cheeseman legged out an infield hit. Paul Stukas alertly rounded third and headed to home on the throw to first to score the winning run. A great finish to a great game.
His first batter, Marcus Wong, walked, as did batter three Dante Vega Lamere, but Best was able to strike out the rest.
Twins vs. Reds
It was a perfect day for a ferry ride to the somewhat unkempt, but always fun, Governors Island.
Will Best performed his best pitching of the year, shutting out the Twins for the first three innings. Douglass Stapler started the rally for the Reds, with a smash to center. Ben Steinberg’s bat struck gold and Stapler crossed the plate. Tyler Adams’ perfectly-placed grounder down the third base line drove in three runs and gave him his first triple of the season. Best punched it to center to bring Adams home, and the inning ended with a five-run mercy rule. Best struck out two in the second, and Stapler caught a foul tip for out three. The Reds were shut out in inning two, when Adam Greenberg struck out the first two batters. Dante Vega Lamere relieved him on the mound, and struck out the next batter for out three.
In the bottom of the third for the Reds, with Lamere still at the mound, Rohan stepped up to the plate with two outs and tattooed a ball to center field, reaching first. He stole second during Steinberg’s at-bat, and as he stole third, the ball was overthrown and he brought the score to 6-0. Steinberg walked and stole second but was stranded there as Lamere struck out the fifth batter, just in time to catch the ferry back to Manhattan for a performance with the Trinity Wall Street Choristers.
The Twins exploded into action in the fourth. Greenberg’s bomb brought in run five, and Marcus Wong went home on the overthrow.
Now tied at six, the Reds were anxious to reclaim their lead. Wong, now on the mound for the Twins, struck out the first batter, but Best had a nice single. Oliver Brown did as well, going to second on the overthrow. Stapler’s beauty to left center gave him a two-R.B.I. double.
Now down 9-6, the Twins faced Adams on the mound again. When Gordon grounded to the mound, Adams plucked it from the weeds and sailed it to Steinberg at third to stop Matthew Burnett.
In the fifth, out of the shadow of the trees stepped Luke Marable, who had not a single practice on the mound, and struck out his first opponent to the delight of the fans. But Levine would not go down easily, putting his foot down and crushing the ball to third. The Twins rounded the bases gleefully, and as the second runner headed home, Doyle threw the ball to Rohan at the plate. The Reds were a bit frustrated when the umpire yelled “safe,” since from their angle, they thought the tag preceded the player touching the plate. Marable remained unfazed, however, and struck out the next batter.
Down 12-9, the Reds did their best to recover the lead and their dignity. But Brown’s bunt single and Jonathan Romano’s walk with two outs were not enough. Wong struck out the last batter and the Twins won, 12-9.
Angels vs. Reds
Wearing their specially-ordered black baseball pants and carrying an official banner, the Mighty Angels (first place) crossed the field in unison and took their place on the visitor’s bench. The Reds were gathered out of site of the banner, listening to the many fine plays they’ve made in the past few games, despite coming out on the losing end of the equation each time. Tyler Rohan was on the mound first for the Reds, and Blas Lee got things started for the Angels with a hard hit past Liam Doyle at short for a single. James Borrelli followed suit, grounding it to almost the same place, for a one-bagger. Jackson Vertucci brought Lee home with a grounder up the first base line, which was handled nicely by Tyler Adams for out one. Valentino Rosa’s high fly to left field brought in teammate Borrelli and himself to second. Jonathan Sandella’s crank to centerfield dropped in front of the Reds’ defender, moments after his coach asked him to move back, for run three and a double. Rohan retired the next batter on a called strike three. Rohan finished up the inning with a strikeout, and the Reds put on their batting helmets.
Rosa’s first batter returned to the dugout after three strikes. Jonah Frere-Holmes punched one to centerfield, scoring the Reds’ first run with a stand-up double. Tyler Adams made good contact with the ball, but Rosa scooped it up and fired it to Vertucci at first base for out three.
Lee (3 for 3) started another rally for the Angels in the third with a grounder that made a path to leftfield. Rohan struck out the next batter and walked Vertucci. Best’s great throw from home to Steinberg at second caught Vertucci while stealing, however, for out one. Rosa (also 3 for 3) cranked another one to left center, driving in Lee. Sandella’s grounder found a hole as well, bringing in Rosa, and he went to second on an overthrow. James Stinnett was up next and was rewarded with a ribbie single, going to second on another overthrow, and then stealing home. When Colon grounded to third base, Stapler saw Stinnett was heading home and threw to Best, who tagged him for out three.
Joseph Scaparelli’s fly ball was caught by Isabel Best, who was both surprised and happy to see the ball in her glove.
The Angels continued slamming the Reds in the top of the fifth, when Nick Constaninesco walked, stole two bases and then scored on an overthrow. Rosa cranked another one to rightfield for his third consecutive R.B.I. Sandella also sailed one into the outfield, driving in two. Stapler was able to strike out the next two batters, and the score was now 11-1, giving the Angels an automatic win, due to the ten-run mercy rule. Both teams agreed to give the Reds one more chance to face Rosa, but only Steinberg was able to get to first. Sandella relieved Rosa after his 75 pitches and struck out the last Reds’ batter. The Angels took the game 11-1, but the real story was the excellent pitching by Valentino Rosa, who was one batter shy of pitching a complete game (a rarity in the Minors).