The normal six inning game simply wasn't enough for Rotary and Meagher Insurance Wednesday night. No, the Yankees and Athletics needed one extra frame to decide this year's Honesdale Little Baseball Association Junior Division championship...
The A’s and Yankees took two very different paths to this year’s Honesdale Little Baseball Association Junior Division title game.
Meagher Insurance dominated the regular season, rolling to a league-best record and the top seed in the play-offs.
Rotary fought for every win en route to a 6-6 mark. Coach Steve Martin’s squad finished in a three-way tie for third place in the division and ended up with the #3 seed.
On to the Play-Offs
The A’s earned a first round bye, then defeated the Stephens Pharmacy Mets to punch their ticket to the final.
The Yankees outslugged the Dime Bank Cubs in the quarterfinals, 25-14, then handed the Sunrise Service Rockies a 14-11 loss in the semis.
On Wednesday night, these two ballclubs met at Fred Reisch Memorial Field to decide the ‘09 Junior Division championship...and what a game they played!
True to form, Meagher Insurance leapt out to a big early lead.
The A’s tallied three runs in each of the two opening frames and looked to be cruising toward yet another easy win. However, the Yankees had other ideas. Rotary erupted for seven runs in the top of the third, taking a lead and eventually forcing the game into extra innings.
The Yanks tallied once in the sixth, but the A’s staved off de-feat with a run of their own in the home half of the frame. Rotary surged back into the lead with another solo run in the top of the seventh.
The Yankees then turned to Charlie Pykus to close it out. The young reliever did his job, striking out the side and preserving a wild 9-8 Rotary win.
“I really don’t know what to say...I’m almost speechless,”?an emotionally drained Coach Martin told TWI Sports afterward. “We started off the year 0-2, but the kids really worked hard and it all started coming together. I am very proud of them.”
Meagher Insurance manager Joe Curreri was just as spent after this contest. But, he still had lavish praise for his lads.
“If you’d told me at the start of the season that we’d win 12 games and make it to the championship, I probably wouldn’t have believed you,”?Coach Curreri said. “All in all, this was a great year. We’re still young, so we’ll be back...”
The Yankees finished up the campaign with an overall record of 9-6. The A’s were 12-2.
Meagher Insurance wasted no time getting on the board in Wednesday night’s Junior Divi-sion championship game.
Cade?LaBracio went to the hill as the A’s starting pitcher and worked a scoreless first inning.
Meagher Insurance tallied three runs in the home half of the frame, then tacked on three more in the second to take a commanding 6-0 lead.
Matt Stinnard and David Curreri led the A’s offensive assault. Stinnard singled and scored a pair of runs, while Curreri ripped a double and reached base in all three of his at-bats. Sierra Rutledge, Eric Grant Jr. and LaBracio also came in to score for the Athletics.
Rotary didn’t wait long to retaliate. The Yankees exploded for seven runs in the top of the third, taking the lead for the very first time.
Billy Franklin provided the fireworks in this rally. Rotary’s hard-hitting catcher put the Yankees in front with a bases-loaded line drive to the wall in left center.
Franklin actually circled the sacks on this basehit, taking ad-vantage of a Meagher Insurance overthrow to record an “inside-the-park grand slam.”
Billy came into the title tilt as the Yankees’s top hitter. Billy batted an unbelievable .818 for the year. He led the team with five homers and 43 RBIs.
“He’s a phenomenal hitter,” said Coach Martin. “Billy bats further down in the order than he’d probably like to, but that gives him a chance to drive in a ton of runs.”
Franklin was once again at the heart of the Rotary attack. Billy went 2-for-3 in the title tilt. He also walked, scored a run and collected four RBIs.
Coach Martin sent Franklin to the hill as his starting pitcher and Billy responded with a pair of first inning strikeouts.
Jason Bertolini, Carter Terysen, Rex Schweighofer and Jack Brooks also toed the rubber for Rotary. Pykus then pitched the seventh and sealed the deal.
Defensively, Clayton Martin turned in a pair of stellar plays that helped preserve the Yankees’ upset victory.
In the bottom of the fourth, the A’s pushed a runner up to second base, setting the stage Eric Grant. The young slugger ripped a liner to left center that Martin fielded on one hop.
Clay looked up and saw Alex Kille rounding third and heading for the plate. Kille represented the tying run, so Martin knew he had to take a shot at cutting him down.
Martin unleashed a strong throw to the dish, but the ball faded a bit. Franklin, who had returned to his customary position, ranged up the line and snared the throw. Billy and Alex collided about five feet from home plate, but Franklin managed to hold onto the ball and make the tag.
Just two innings later, Martin duplicated his heroics. Clayton threw another runner out at the dish, once again preserving Rotary’s tenuous one-run advantage.
“At this level of competition, that almost never happens,” said Coach Martin. “But, Clay has a strong arm. He wants pitch, but he’s only eight-years-old, so he isn’t quite ready yet. Those two throws were just huge.”
Brooks also contributed one of the game’s biggest plays. Jack fanned Rutledge with the bases loaded in the sixth, squelching another potential rally.
Bertolini scurried home with the Yankees’ sixth inning run, while Terysen scored in the seventh despite being drilled in the led by a throw.
Score by Innings...
Yankees 0 0 7 0 0 1 1 - 9
Athletics 3 3 0 0 0 2 0 - 8