Volume 22, Number 52 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | May 7 - 13, 2010
Downtown Little League wrap-up
Bats knock off the River Dogs
A great battle unfolded between the red-hot River Dogs and the beyond-belief Bats this past Sunday. The game kicked off with Bats pitcher Paul Stukas facing a strong River Dogs lineup. It looked like the River Dogs would score early when Alex Townes-West, who went two for three, singled and Ethan Berg belted a line drive between first and second. But glove-handy second baseman Liam Torres snagged Ethan’s blazing shot and fired to Brendan Doherty at first to end the inning with a double play.
In the bottom of the first, River Dog pitcher John “Sand-Man” Sandella performed miraculously on the mound thanks to his rocketing fastball, and then performed similarly in the second. The River Dogs scored three runs in the top of the second and third thanks to their patience at the plate, heads-up judgment on the base-paths, and the bats of Michael Gashler and JC Rodriguez, who also made a shoestring catch in right field.
The Bats followed suit in the bottom of the third, working some walks before two clutch hits by James O’Grady and Oliver Brown drove in the Bats’ base runners for six runs. The next inning, Max Hendricks and James Stinnet added to the Bats’ lead with two more clutch hits. Leo Jenkins, Nathaniel Cohen, and James O’Grady helped defend the Bats’ lead with three spectacular defensive plays. Ben Acker pitched exceptionally well for the River Dogs, and also had a single.
Late in the game, Spencer Briggs roped a single to start a three-run, River Dogs bases-loaded rally which was fueled by the River Dogs mindset: not to give up. However, the Bats kept going and finished the game victorious thanks to stellar pitching performances by Nate Russo and Liam Torres.
Epic battle ends in tie
No one can say that Tuesday’s game between the Sand Gnats and the Bats was not an exciting, hard fought contest.
The Gnats drew first blood, going up 2-0 in the first. Adam Greenberg led off with a single, followed by a double by Matthew Burnett and single by Luca Nickola.
The Bats’ alert base running allowed Paul Stukas to score from third on a pop up to second base by Joe Torres, Jr., a run which loomed big in the final tally.
The Gnats scored five more runs in the second, powered by hits from Ethan Shoulberg, and Shane Alvarez. A sixth run was prevented on a strike from right field from Liam Torres to catcher Joe Torres Jr. who applied the tag at home.
The Bats came back with 5 runs in the bottom of the frame, thanks to a clutch hit from Trevor Maruffi,
Nate Russo came in to pitch, calmed down the Gnats’ attack, and then passed the ball to closer Joe Torres.
The Bats came back with three runs and took a 9-8 lead, thanks to a clutch hit from James “the Stiletto” Stinnet. The Gnats then tied the game in the fifth when Nicholas Simmel reached first on a single, then stealing second and finally scoring on a ground ball.
The Bats had a chance when Cole Stallone drew a two out walk in the bottom of the inning and tried to advance, but was stranded as Marcus Wong struck out the last batter.
Stage set for the rematch
Sunday afternoon also saw great Junior Minors action as the Mets hosted the Tigers at the BPC fields. The Tigers showed off their defensive skills early, putting the Mets on their heels with an early lead and a 1-2-3 inning. But the Mets bats woke up in the second inning as Dana Yesson and Russell Goldmeer each hit singles to set up Michael Cheeseman, who cracked a double, bringing in two runs. The Mets went scoreless in the third, but posted two more runs in the fourth after singles by Milan Jevremov, Dana Yesson, and a two-run single by Russell Goldmeer. Entering the last inning down a run at 5-4, Phileas Auray and James Cheeseman hit singles to lead off the 5th, and Mack Bourne tied the score with a one-run single up the middle. The wily pitching machine put an end to the game with two strikeouts, leaving the teams tied—and setting the stage for a rematch down the road.
The Tigers’ kept the Mets at bay with stellar defensive play at every position. Line drive stops led by Rylie Spiegel, Jamie Morrison, Alan Fandrich and Jackson Mossey were notable. Many opposing team hits destined to be doubles and triples in previous Tigers’ outings turned into singles, despite the Mets powerful bats. At the plate, all the Tigers showed great poise and improved fundamentals. Consistent batting by Eden Mills and Dorian Nowell led to Tiger runs. Boots Burrow showed terrific improvement with a solid single.
Following the game, the Mets and Tigers acknowledged their mutual respect for the other teams’ hard play, exchanging a hearty round of high and low fives.