2017-04-21 / Sports

“Opening Day” Gala Is Next Weekend

RLL Roundup
By Paul King

Now that the Holy days have passed, the 2017 is entering full swing with all divisions in action, Tee Ball starting this weekend, and the annual Opening Day gala on Saturday, April 29.

Tickets are on sale online (rockawaylittleleagueny. siplay.com) and in the clubhouse for the annual gala, a festival of food, music, raffles, the parade of teams and, of course, baseball and softball. It will be a fun day for the whole family. The parade is free. Tickets for the food and rides cost $15 for nuclear family members and $20 for guests. Children 3 and under are free. On the field, the Game of the Week was battle between two teams in the Major Girls division that are likely to be neck and neck all season. The Graybeards Hilltoppers jumped out to an early 7-0 lead that was capped off by a tworun double ripped down the third base line by “Awesome” Sarah Allison. There was no quit in the BBA Bonnies, though, as they chipped away at the seven-run lead behind strong hitting of Isabella Goldberg, Francesca Zito and Lauren D’Orazio. After the first inning, the pitchers settled down allowing only one run in three of the at-bats and no runs in five of the at-bats. Accolades go to Virginia Gallagher, who led the Bonnies and Fiona Mullen, who is always a force on the mound for the Bonnies. For the Hilltoppers, Kelsie Price kept the opposition bats quiet and Victoria Mullen closed the game for the Hilltoppers 8-7 victory.

Outstanding fielding was on display throughout the game. Both teams appeared to be in mid-season form. It was a pleasure to watch the slick fielding of Kaitlyn Nestor, Caitlin Mullen and Kiera Price for the Hilltoppers and Victoria Goldberg and Isabella Goldberg for the Bonnies. For their outstanding play, Angelina “Gary Carter” Apice of the Bonnies (2-4; excellent catching and flawless fielding) and Haley O’Toole of the Hilltoppers (game-winning two-run double and excellent fielding) were awarded game balls by their coaches. Both girls are new to RLL this year. Welcome and congratulations.

Meanwhile, the girls of the Knights of Columbus Pandas and the Elegante Pizzeria Flippers engaged in a true slugfest! The game ended with a tied score of 18-18 after playing into the two-hour time limit. The Pandas broke the game open in the fifth inning with a grand slam by Noreen George and a two-run homer by Alexandra Caruso, accompanied by overall great base running. Down five in the sixth, the Pandas tried their best with four hits and three walks, but, 5 was their magic number. Both teams played their best, despite missing some veteran players.

In Minor Boys, the Wave Publishing Giants and the Henry Myers Plumbing Diamondbacks also played to a tie, 7-7. For the Giants, the pitching was provided by Jack Leary, Luke Wasserman, and Ryan Gallagher. The offense was provided by Anthony Farina, Liam Pye and Nick Taylor. A very tight defense was led by Hayden Malsy, Daniel Degrechie, Dermot Laffler, and a game-saving catch by Christian Cook. The Diamondbacks offense was led by Matt Bambury, Michael Nestor, Gerard Guglielmo and Billy Benoit. Nolan Dougherty pitched three strong innings in his first start of the season. Solid defense was provided by Paul Burke, Max Coughlin, Nick Coughlin, Matt McDonnell and James Johnson.

Another Minor Boys tilt was not so tight as the Mahoney Real Estate Royals had a big day against the Laquila Group Reds. Royals’ hurlers Connor McElhinney (3 IP, 8 Ks), Ben Gressel, Logan Monahan and Jonathan Lazo combined for the shutout. Joseph Esposito (5 RBI) and Gressel 3 RBI_ each had a home run and a triple. Lazo, McElhinney, Hunter Gilhuley and Dean Esposito also had multi-hit games. Matthew Schneider is leading the Royals with five walks.

Finally, in a Major Boys pitching duel, the Robin Shapiro Realty Mariners edged the Neponsit Realty Giants 3-2.

DIAMOND DUST: Once again Rockaway Little League will be going to see the Cyclones. Tickets ($15.00) are on sale now...Put the Home Run Derby (April 28) and the Pitch, Hit & Run Contest (May 12) on your calendar… Rockaway Little League’s new website is rockawaylittleleagueny. website.siplay.com.

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