REC, TRAVEL PLAYOFFS END ON HIGH NOTE
MBSA PLAYOFF WRAPUP
The opening round saw it's matches decided decisively as boys in the young 8/9 year old division enjoyed their first taste of playoff competition. The series opened on Manalapan Rec Field 8 with Brian Graime's disciplined Brewers club quieting Kevin Kelly's Orioles 7-1. As the Brew crew were building their lead, the Mets were shutting down the potent White Sox lineup at Holiday Park where they went on to win 5-1. The Brewers meet Mike Friedman's surging Mets in this Saturday's semi-final matchup. That game's winner will play the well-rested Yankees, a team that manager Dan Grzejka has playing superb baseball right now.
A trio of Yankee pitchers together tossed a round one shutout against the Mariners. The young hurlers amassed 12 strikeouts against Pat Ciorciari's solid group as as the team cruised to an 11-0 victory this past weekend over the Mariners. The Yank's dominating performance on the hill continued on Tuesday evening as their pitchers spun another 11k's enroute to a 7-1 victory over Stephen Berger's Cubs.
Though new to baseball, EJ, Joey, Sebastian, Trevor, and Michael all proved solid contributors and helped key the team's run as much as AJ
A's Take Championship after Offense Dominates 12/13 Semi-Finals. 11U Braves Emerge as USABL Victor.
Tuesday NIght. After putting down a late Red Sox rally, The A's held on to win 9-7 in game 2 of the 12/13 5070 championship series earning Rob Petillo's squad a series sweep and championship crown. The Red Sox came out strong Tuesday night scoring the games first run and then quieting the A's bats behind some strong pitching. The A's remained patient and finally were able to pull ahead in the 4th. By the 6th inning the game seemed all but over as the home team's lead swelled to a 9-3 advantage, but the Red Sox were not ready to call it a season. Tough at bat after tough at bat ensued as Lucas Ayers' division leaders were not ready to concede the championship crown. The Sox continued their station to station play until 5 7th inning runs had been plated. With the games tying run aboard and the A's closer on the mound it looked as if it could be anyone's game. As the A's held their collective breaths, the teams closer settled in and fired one fastball after another until he had finally put down the Red Sox stunning comeback attempt.
The Chamption A's had great cause to celebrate having won 9 of their last 10 games after beginning the season in an 0-3 hole. It was a miraculous run built on solid pitching and a deep muscular lineup that gave Petillo his second straight fall crown in 5070.
In Wednesday nights semi-final between the division leading Red Sox and the 4th place Pirates, the Sox held on in what turned out to be a squeaker, 5-4. A first inning home run by the Red Sox short stop to deep right field followed by a run scoring triple had the home team thinking this could be a cakewalk, but the Pirates settled down and didn't let up any runs after the second frame. Slowly their offense chipped away until they had the tying run 70 feet away with two outs in the 7th. An epic battle ensued with the Sox closer firing fastball after fastball to the Pirates left fielder. Finally, the pitcher took just enough off his next pitch and with that the game and the Pirates season was over.
Friday's match between the A's and Reds pitted two teams moving inopposite directions. After dropping their first 4 games of the season, the A's have surged, winning more games over the seasons final 3 weeks than anyone else in the division. The Reds, in contrast, had cooled after being Septembers hottest team. That mattered little last night for as the teams awaited the first pitch on a frosty Friday evening, both teams stood at 0-0 with the regular season now past.
Coach Coniglio gives his young pitcher a few pointers
The A's jumped ahead 3-0 in the first, but the Reds quickly countered cutting the lead to 3-2. There it stood as the game move briskly into the 4th when the A's finally broke it open on the heels of a grand slam home run by their shortstop. The Reds fought valiently, mounting a rally in the 7th, but in the end the A's were too much to handle.
ORIOLES AND PHILS TO MEET IN SENIOR FINALS. ORIOLES AND GIANTS IN MINORS
The Orioles and Athletics battled it out in Thursday's Senior Division buy-in qualifier game.In a game that would decide who would move on into the playoffs to play the Rangers, it was the Orioles who emerged victorioius handing the A's an 11-5 season-ending defeat. In Sunday's opening round matchup between the Phillies and Angels, it was all Phillies as they cruised to victory, putting down the halos by a score of 13-2. After dominating the A's last thursday, the Orioles found themselves in a squeaker this Monday in the division semi-final against the Rangers. With the game still up for grabs in the middle innings, the O's again summoned the never say die attitude that epitomized their season. The team managed to push across the deciding runs as they beat the Rangers 9-7 to move into the best of 3 championship against a deep Phillies squad. Though the Phillies took 2 of 3 games from the O's in the season series, each game was a squeaker with two of the games being deicded by 1 run and the other by 2. The champtionshiop series begins on Friday night and it should prove to be a classic.
The 10/11 Orioles and Giants each earned a championship berth on the backs of strong mound work and timely hitting. It was the O's ahead of the 3rd place Angels 11-3 and the Giants besting the Brewers 11-2 in the semi-final matchups that set up the Series with the top 2 seeds.
Sunday's series opener had the Orioles pulling a key victory as the teams were embroiled in a 1-0 duel that pitted 2 of the divisions top pitchers against each other. The Orioles, who manufactured the game's only run in the first inning played flawless defense to hold the Giants down. The Giants hope to solve their offensive woes and draw even in Wednesday's pivotal game 2.
11U RED CHAMPIONS
FINALS APPEARANCE FOR 11U BLUE AND 8U
They battled a visciously bright sun as much as they did the opposition, but the 11U Red's combination of smothering defense, dynamic pitching, and timely hitting was more than enough to secure the crown for the underdog Braves over the first place Warriors of Middletown. Meanwhile, The Blue team, who dominated throughout the playoffs lost a championship game heartbreaker 5-3.
8U Team on the Right Path.
There were growing pains last spring as this young crew learned how to compete on the travel level, but ever since mid-summer, this has looked like a squad headed in the right direction. After gaining confidence in the MBSA Labor Day Tournament the 8U Braves soared to a Central Shore division leading 10-2 finish. Geoff Zawatski's crew started the playoffs strong with an 11-1 thrashing of Rumson and a victory over the Panthers of Lincroft 4-2 setting up a championship match against the 2nd place Middletown Lions. In the much anticipated matchup, Middletown, who led the division with a miserly 43 runs allowed again was dominant from the mound. The nursed a 2-0 lead through much of the game, but this Braves team had come too far and with too much heart to just lie down. Finally, they struck, tying the game at 2. Again, Middletown pulled ahead and again Manalapan refused to cede victory. The teams battled into extra innings, where the Braves repeatedly threatened, but could not push across the game's winning run. Finally Middletown did push a run across and their sterling defense preserved the lead to bring the Lions a much deserved championship win. The 8U team did not bring home a Fall trophy, but they certainly proved themselves to be winners. With as deep a lineup as you'll find at that level, this group has certainly set themselves up to contend for years to come.
8U Braves to remove Beards at Gillette Promotion
GIANTS WIN 10/11 MINORS CHAMPIONSHIP
After a heartbreaking series opening loss to the Orioles, 1-0, The Giants righted the ship taking the next pair, winning 5-1 and 7-4. The bounceback victories secured the crown for the club who after having their backs to the wall showed immense heart. Lockdown pitching and clutch at-bats drove the narrative of this series for both squads, but it was the Giants whose smothering 2 runs per game proved the difference
10/11 Championship Giants
5070 Runner-Up Red Sox