The little league’s fall classic is played in June, but the lack of autumn chill does not take any of the excitement or intensity out of the playoffs. In fact, you might say the passion of the ballplayers rises along with the temperature.
In the second round of the Bayside Little League’s Major division, Pal Mar defeated Sunny Days Management and eliminated them from playoff contention. This was the third meeting of the season between the two teams, with both previous games resulting in extra inning victories for Sunny Days. Keeping with tradition, this game also needed extra innings; however, Pal Mar changed the script behind masterful pitching of hurler Billy Hatzinikolau. He pitched six strong innings, matching up against Sunny Days’ Christian Cardenas pitch for pitch. Pal Mar’s Anthony D’Orta ended up with the game winning hit, an RBI double in the eighth inning. Dean Mylonas earned the win with 2 2/3 innings of relief to send Pal Mar to the third round.
Pal Mar proved their worth once again in the third round, defeating Jackson Hole, 10-3, to advance to the championship game. John Brennan was on point from the mound and the plate, pitching 5 2/3 excellent innings and connecting on two hits including a two-run homer. Nick Palmieri stole three bases and scored two runs for Pal Mar, while Matthew Gutleber had two extra base hits for Jackson Hole.
Also in Bayside, York Electric shocked M & G Pizza, 10-7, in a fast paced game on Friday, June 18. York pitchers Nicholas Chung, Joseph Higgins and closer Aidan Ciarnielo sliced up M & G Pizza, combining for the win. First baseman and York slugger Dennis had an electric bat with a home run, while shortstop Hoisen made an excellent play covering third.
It was East vs. West in Bayside as the Texas Division All-Star Game took place on Friday, June 18. Both teams were introduced over the public announcement system before the West defeated the East, 3-1, in a game of strategy and fundamental skills. The afternoon ended with awards being handed out to the All-Stars of both sides.
The College Point Slayers played their first playoff game against Dwarf Giraffe’s Stone Tavern, winning, 19-5, behind Anthony “Swish” Rivera’s more than three innings of dominant pitching. In a baseball oddity, every one of Stone Tavern’s outs was recorded via strikeout. Swish left the game with 11 in total before reliever Ryan O’Hagan ended the game by striking out Stone Tavern’s last batter. Offensively, “Hoops” Henrich hit a two-run homer and Ryan O’Hagan belted a grand slam. Swish also dominated from the plate, going 4-for-4 with four RBI.
As strong as the Slayers were against Stone Tavern, they were defeated in the semi-final, 12-7, by the tough Port Washington Russo team. The game was lost in the third inning when Russo broke a 2-2 tie with seven runs. For the Slayers, Swish hit a two-run shot for his first homer of the year; while Hoops added a three-run dinger and Kyle Camacho belted his first long ball of the season.
Coaches John Nicoletti and Tom Henrich couldn’t be more proud of their Slayers for another excellent season on the diamond. They now turn their attention to the Williamsport and Rosenbluth tournaments.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Special thanks to Steven Perez and Tom Henrich for their tireless efforts in providing scores and stats.