Written by Greg Giaconelli, firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:00
The Farmingdale Baseball League recently capped off its fourth annual 9/11 baseball tournament with a series of championship games, to ultimately determine which Long Island town reigns supreme. On Aug. 16, teams from 8U to 14U fought tooth and nail for the ultimate prize.
One of the most exciting games was the evening 14U championship match-up between the Garden City Warriors and Brentwood Braves.
Unlike some of the pee-wees, the Garden City Warriors started the tournament in mid-July, finishing 4-2 overall, which earned them a trip to the semifinals against the Farmingdale Devil Dogs on Aug. 14. Each game in their run began on a low note as they struggled earlier in the games but would eventually battle back late. In the semifinal game, they came from behind by erasing a 9-1 deficit and won that game 13-11.
“Our boys never gave up. We believed in ourselves and supported ourselves,” said Garden City Head Coach Mark DiPierro. “We know we were here for a great cause and the kids responded and we came back, which brings us to this beautiful day here at Farmingdale State College.”
Brentwood entered the evening going 5-0 in group play and looked poised to continue their dominance on the diamond. Garden City tried to get on the board early in the first two innings but left runners on base in both. Brentwood struck first in the bottom of the second with an inside-the-park home run, a two-run triple and a sac fly that did the damage to put the Braves up 4-0.
In the bottom of the third, Brentwood would continue to set up and drive in more runs. They would add another run to chase Warriors pitcher Michael Toohig and extend the lead to five. Layne Meyer came in to relief and surrendered two more runs before getting out of the jam where the Warriors trailed 7-0. The Braves would produce two more runs to extend their lead 9-0.
The Warriors had trouble stringing together hits with guys on base. Defensively, they weren’t on their game either. The pitchers had thrown too many pitches, which yielded a plethora of hits, walks and wild pitches as the Braves took advantage of those mistakes with aggressive base stealing and timely hitting.
Garden City attempted to come back in the top of the seventh by adding two runs as Mark DiPierro reached on an error at first but that was all they could muster. Despite losing 9-2 in the championship game, Coach DiPierro was happy and proud with the team’s progression in the tournament and felt they played great. “I think we did everything we could to get the boys playing out here together. Everybody got to share a part in the day” said DiPierro. “We’re a great team. We played a great team and we did our best. I wouldn’t change a thing.”