Island Majors team comes up against tough opposition
Deciding who best to lead the team on the mound, when you know that by playing your number one pitcher you would still lose the game, was a decision Coach Chris Moneuse had to make in the Island Majors last outing. It was against Bonefish Grill, a team that plays year round, and the match up was like Manatee High School facing off against The Rays. Bonefish Grill, coached these past three seasons by Jerry Paperala, is a breed apart. Coach Paperala has taken this team to the title in the District 26 All Star competition, so he has the knowledge. He also has a batting school in Bradenton where the team can go and practice at any time and, from what we have seen, practice they do. The Island team is made up of kids that have played the game at AMICC for these past few years, starting with T-Ball and coming through the ranks. They all know that a resulting loss is not failure, and while they are not happy, they certainly are not down.
Phillip Dudevoire opened the pitching for the Island squad and there was a method behind the choice, for what Dudevoire lacks in speed he surely makes up for in accuracy. This was intended to throw Bonefish off its stride, and it worked, for a short while. When Bonefish adjusted, this polished outfit cracked the bat and didn’t stop. Coach Moneuse didn’t pitch Justin Gargett, the team’s top hurler, because even with him pitching the result in all probability would have been the same – a loss at the hands of a superior team. Coach Moneuse also wanted Gargett eligible to pitch against Freedom Bank in a game to be played on April 7.