Friday, 28 August 2009 00:00
The Glen Cove Cougars travel baseball team closed out the summer season on a high note, winning the Glen Cove Mayor’s Trophy in the 11U Boys Division. The Cougars had a perfect record in the tournament with 8 wins and 0 losses, defeating formidable opponents such as Plainedge, Port Washington, Merillon, RGVM and the LI Yankees.
As they did all season, the Cougars went on a torrid offensive attack averaging 10 runs per game while limiting their opponents to an average of 3 runs per game. In their first two games of the tournament, Glen Cove posted a combined 21 runs beating Plainedge and Merillon. The Cougars received great pitching from their starters Connor Hehn and Michael Manzione, who along with relief pitching from Christopher Kasparian and Jonathan Capobianco, limited two well hitting teams to a total of 7 hits in the two games.
Game three was against last year’s winner, the Port Washington Legends. The Cougars remembered their heartbreak loss in the finals last year against the Legends and came out firing. In their best hitting effort thus far of the season, the Cougars scored 16 runs with 11 hits in only four innings. In the top of the first inning, the Cougars batted around sending 15 hitters to the plate. Leading the hit attack was Joe Suozzi, Jonathan Capobianco, Michael Manzione and Connor Hehn who each had multiple hit games. Suozzi and Capobianco hit back-to-back triples in the first inning. Suozzi was two for two with two runs batted in. Capobianco was three for three with five runs batted in. Manzione and Hehn finished the day each going two for three. On the mound, Hehn pitched brilliantly allowing only two hits and two runs.
The Cougars went on to win the next three contests against the Manhasset Indians, RGVM Aces and Port Washington Legends by a score of 12-1, 12-5 and 4-2 respectively. Key players who contributed in the games both offensively and defensively were Kevin Antoniotti, Eric Belyea, Andrew Gerin, Joseph Martino, Michael Payton and Christopher Palmieri.
Glen Cove faced the LI Yankees in the Semi-finals. With Glen Cove leading 1-0 after two innings, the Cougars found an opening in the third inning. Kevin Shannon had a key base hit that scored two runs. Christopher Kasparian added an RBI hit and Jonathan Capobianco hit a hard shot to right that scored two more runs to make the score 6-0. After trading two runs in the fourth inning and the score 8-2, the Yankees would tack on two more runs in the fifth inning to close the gap to 8-4. Starter Connor Hehn gave way to Capobianco who stopped a rally in the fifth. Michael Manzione came in relief in the sixth inning striking out the last three batters he faced to seal the victory. Thornton Scott finished the night going two for three with two runs scored.
In the championship game against the Merillon Sharks, the Cougars fell behind 4-2 after two innings. In the bottom of the third inning, Glen Cove loaded the bases. Connor Hehn and Kevin Shannon hit back-to-back singles that scored three runs to give the Cougars a 5-4 lead. In the fourth inning, Andrew Gerin led off with a walk and Joe Suozzi hit a long shot over the left fielder’s head for a triple, scoring Gerin. Christopher Kasparian then hit his third hit of the game that scored Suozzi to make the score 7-4. The Cougars would tack on another run in the fifth when Shannon walked and stole second. With two outs and two strikes, Michael Payton hit a hot shot up the middle to score Shannon to make the score 8-4. Merillon would threaten in the top of the sixth inning with two outs and runners on first and third, but Jonathan Capobianco was able to stop the threat and induce a groundball to second to end the game.
After a first place finish in the National Junior Baseball League in the Spring, the Glen Cove Cougars were New York State finalists in the Babe Ruth tournament. Jonathan Capobianco was named Babe Ruth tournament MVP with a batting average of .750, with 2 home runs and 15 runs batted in. The Cougars went on to become finalists in the HBQVB Nick Lomangino tournament before winning the Glen Cove Mayor’s Trophy tournament. Christopher Kasparian was named Glen Cove Mayor’s Trophy MVP with a batting average of .500 and 8 runs batted in. The Cougars finished the Spring and Summer seasons with an overall record of 27 wins and 6 losses. Manager Thom Capobianco and Coaches Dave Hehn and Tom Scott wish to thank all the parents and families who supported the Cougars this season as well thank all the teams that participated in the Mayor’s Trophy tournament this year, especially the LI Yankees and Merillon Sharks for two hard-fought playoff games. Both teams showed great sportsmanship. A special thanks to the Glen Cove Junior Baseball organization, especially Rob Kormoski and Karen Austin for another great Mayor’s Trophy tournament.