Little Leaguers continue improving
As the season approaches the halfway point, the competition is heating up for the Majors and Minors teams. This week both squads were matched up against some of the strongest teams in the league which caused problems for Islander batters and pitchers. Both teams are fairly young in age by comparison to the teams playing at G.T. Bray, and the playing inexperience for Island players poses an advantage for the in-town teams.
The Ace Hardware Minors team was defeated by Spagnola Auto Sales by a score of 10-4 in its first matchup of the week, despite putting together a nice four-run rally in the last inning. Mikey Ellsworth, Amanda Nyberg and Rebecca Hynds each had hits and took the mound for the team. According to head coach Bob Vita, "The team is really coming together and playing well for such a young team." The bats came alive in their second game of the week, but so did the same for Pinnacle Medical Center’s players. The team managed to cross the plate 10 times, but were ultimately defeated 14-10. Big hits came from Miles Fischer, Evan Souldjin and Benjamin Calhoun in this contest, with Emma Monuese and Ellsworth doing most of the pitching. Nyberg also reached base safely in this game and Souldjin made a spectacular catch while playing outfield.
In Majors action this week, the team fell to the Reebok Coyotes in both games. Dominant pitching made it difficult to get things going for the West Coast Surf Shop Islanders, however there were several bright spots on offense and defense. Johnny Mattay smashed a pitch that everyone thought was a sure home run off the outfield fence for a double to highlight the hitting in game one. Devin Cole also reached base twice with a pair of singles and scored a run. Cole’s first hit was followed up with an RBI triple by Neil Carper, then a walk by Phil DuDevoire and the double by Mattay. Carper scored on Mattay’s hit and Parker Keegan later drove in Mattay in the inning. Andrew Zink also got in the action with an RBI single late in the game; but unfortunately it was not enough to overcome the 13 runs scored by their opponent. It was the same story on Friday for the team, as it faced a very hard-throwing pitcher and couldn’t manage very much success at the plate. Mattay pitched two solid innings and Henrik Brusso along with Zink each had a hit in a tough loss.
A level below the Minors team is the pitching machine league; which features three teams that play all of their games at the AMICC on Wednesdays and Saturdays. This past Wednesday, Totally Cool took on Ace Hardware and remained victorious 7-6 in a very close game. Nick Kazanas, William Bernet and Dylan McIntosh each had consecutive singles in the first inning, with Brooke Capparelli driving in the first two runs with a single. Tyler Dell followed with an RBI single and had another hit in the third inning. Bernet added to the score by driving in Kazanas and Rutger Langley with a triple in the fourth inning to round out the scoring for Totally Cool. Ace Hardware mounted a late comeback by scoring all six of their runs in the final two innings, with help from a homerun and single by Ati Dattoli and hits by Jacob Cole and Joe Rogers. Jack Heckler and Shelby Barker also reached base on errors and crossed home plate to contribute to the team’s comeback effort.
Juniors: Saturday, March 28, 11 a.m., H.B. field and Monday, March 30, 7 p.m. , Palmetto.
Majors: Friday, March 27, 7 p.m. G.T.Bray,. and Monday, March 30, 6:30 p.m., AMICC.
Minors: Saturday, March 28, 12 p.m., G.T. Bray and Tuesday, March 31, 6:30 p.m., AMICC.
Pitching machine: Wednesday, March 25, 6:30 p.m., AMICC and Saturday, March 28, 12 p.m., AMICC.