Shuk and Pearsall belt four-baggers in Little League
They may have been playing baseball in Yankee Stadium and CitiField for a month but for Philipstown, baseball broke into the sunlight on Saturday, April 29.
The season had kicked off with a ceremonial opening day on April 22. Haldane graduate Allie Monteleone, who played basketball, soccer and softball for the Blue Devils, threw out the first ball to one of her many former baby-sitting charges, catcher/first baseman Jeremy Hall.
The opening ceremony featured the inauguration of an electronic scoreboard purchased with funds from the Higbee family. John Van Tassel of JVT Construction helped remove the old scoreboard, Pidala Electric did the wiring and Tino Yannetelli Steel Fabricators provided the crane equipment to put it all in place. Mike Monteleone of Monteleone Construction assisted with all steps in the process. The entire process was overseen by Lee Erickson of LGE Woodworking.
On Saturday, April 29, the baseball gods smiled. The grass was green and healthy, well watered by two days of rain in mid-week. And, though the morning began with a challenging battle with mayflies, the players and spectators settled in at 9 a.m. to an entertaining rematch battle between the Minors Athletics and Marlins.
The previous week, the A’s had prevailed 5-0. This week it was the Marlins’ turn. In a swift-moving game featuring daring base-running and lots of balls put into play, the Marlins avenged their opening day loss, prevailing 4-1.
A’s starter Owen Powers made his Little League debut by holding the Marlins to one run and one hit over two innings. Marlins starter Zack Fox pitched four and two-thirds innings of one-run ball, striking out 10.
The lone A’s run was scored on a daring steal of home by Lucky Bell, who slid just under the tag. Joey Smith, Brendan Shanahan and Owen Powers each had hits for the A’s. For the Marlins, Lincoln McCarthy, Zack Fox, Leo Manicinelli, Isaac Jordan and Daniel Campanile each had a hit while Zachery Knott had two. Dylan Ambrose was on base twice after walks and once after being hit (gently) by a pitch. He stole two bases and scored twice.
Brendan Shanahan, who had pitched a complete game shutout for the A’s the previous week, worked two and two-thirds innings in the middle of the game, striking out five and making a lunging catch of a short pop fly near the mound. At first base, Jake Powers fielded a slow grounder and just beat the runner for the out.
On the Marlins side, Ryan Cavalaro and Dylan Ambrose recorded five outs at first base. Despite getting their bats on the ball regularly, the A’s were held to three hits and one run. Jake Powers relieved in the Marlins’ last at bat and struck out the only batter he faced. For the Marlins, Lincoln McCarthy turned in a four-out save, striking out four in the 5th and 6th innings.
Meanwhile, in Fishkill, the Majors Brewers fell 5-1 in a game that was much closer than indicated by the score. After the Fishkill team jumped to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, the rest of the game was a tie, featuring good pitching, hitting and fielding. Tommy Tucker belted a triple in the top of the 2nd inning that hit the centerfield fence. He was driven in by a double off the bat of Giancarlo Carone – his first of a two-hit day. Julian Ambrose also had two hits.
After the first inning, Ambrose held the Fishkill team scoreless, working out of a bases loaded, one out jam in the bottom of the fourth by striking out two batters in a row. Giancarlo Carone pitched an inning and two thirds of one-run ball. Strong work in the field kept the game as close as it was.
The second round of play featured a Majors game at 11 a.m. and a Minors game at 1 p.m. In a most entertaining see-saw game with many lead changes, the Majors Indians defeated the Mets, 8-7. The game featured a towering home run to dead center field by the Mets’ Milo Shuk.
Not to be outdone, a few minutes later on the Minors field Milo Pearsall belted a two-run homer to give the Minors Yankees a 2-0 lead early in the game. The Mets battled back for a 4-2 win. The afternoon will go into the Philipstown baseball archives as the day of the double-Milo home run derby!
The home run in the Majors game was only one of many dramatic plays. Entering the fifth inning, the Indians were clinging to a 5-4 lead against the Mets. Following the home run, which gave the Mets a 6-5 lead, the Mets pushed across what looked like a useful insurance run with a daring dash to home. The Indians rallied for three runs in the bottom of the fifth to take an 8-7 lead. Pitcher William Bradley then worked a scoreless 6th to nail down the victory.
In the Minors game between the Mets and the Yankees, Kyoshi Tomizawa was aboard when Milo Pearsall launched his home run to right center (which momentarily interrupted the Majors game on the other side of the fence), giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead. But Mets starter Ty Villela settled down after that and held the Yankees scoreless before turning the ball over to Jessica Tudor who finished up the game with a scoreless inning and a third.
While the pitching staff kept the Mets close, their hitters battled back with RBI hits by Catherine Leiter, Ty Villela and two by Tudor. One notable play was a line drive to center by Kyoshi where Rhys Williams rifled the ball to Ryder Griffin at first, almost nipping the runner. The final score was 4-2 Mets in a well-played game.
Before the Minors game started, about 40 junior minors players enjoyed two games of three-inning coach-pitch baseball.
On Saturday, May 6, games are scheduled at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the North Highland Firehouse fields.
Mets vs. Yankees
Photos by Robert Ferreira