Thursday, 14 November 2013 00:00
The sun was setting in Levittown, last September, and it appeared to be setting on the Devil’s chances of winning a third straight tournament. The U9 team had come out on top in The F’Dale 911 and Plainedge Summer Tournament, but things did not look good in the final inning of the Levittown Tournament championship game.
The Devils and the Levittown Rays were even at two, after five well-played innings of baseball. The Rays squeezed across a run in the top of the 6th and final inning to take the lead, and after the first two Devil batters were retired in the
bottom of the inning, it appeared bleak.
Matt Brandimarte stepped in, and quickly found himself down to his last strike. He fouled off two pitches before grounding a ball between third and short. The throw was late to first and got by the first basemen, and Brandimarte was awarded second base. Chris Barisi was next up for the devils, and he to was quickly down 0-2 in the count. That’s when the excitement really started. Barisi drilled what appeared to be a game tying single up the middle, heading toward center field. The Rays shortstop, made an unbelievable dive and fielded the ball, got up and threw to first base. The field umpire, positioned in left field, signaled “out’ and the Rays players, coaches and parents stormed the field in celebration. The home plate umpire then overuled the field umpire and correctly ruled the runner safe, as the fielder was pulled well off the bag by the throw. After several minutes of “lively discussion,” the field was cleared and the Rays retook their positions. Dominick Costanza stepped in to bat, and on a 3-2 pitch worked a walk, loading the bases. Nicholas Napolitano then stepped in for the Devils, and drilled the first offering to right field to score Brandimarte and Barisi, and giving the Devils a dramatic come from behind walk off championship.