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U8-U10 Championship Recap

08/16/2017 2:59 PM -

The Borough Cup crowned three more champions on Tuesday, Aug. 15, at MCU Park in Coney Island -- and in three very different ways.

The only common threads were the rain and the joyous reactions of the winners.
In the opener, Steve Catalano's two-out RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning lifted Baserats Baseball to a 5-4 victory in the the U-8 final over the Brooklyn Bluestorm.
In the U-9 championship, the Astoria Storm pushed across two runs in the top of the ninth inning to snap a scoreless tie en route to a 2-1 triumph over the Brooklyn High Heat.
And in the nightcap, the Brooklyn Bandits spotted the Bronx Raiders an early three-run lead in the U-10 finale before surging to a 10-3 win.
The inclement weather -- which included a rain delay of 1 hour and 48 minutes during the U-9 final -- triggered a postponement of Tuesday's scheduled U-11 and U-12 championship contests. Those two games will be made up on Sunday, Aug. 27 at MCU Park.
The first two Borough Cup division winners were awarded on Thursday, Aug. 10 at Yankee Stadium, with the Dodgers Elite capturing the 13s title and the Williamsburg Sports League All Stars taking 14s honors.
Baserats manager Jams Speciale admitted to having "flashbacks" to last year's U-8 championship setback, when his Staten Island squad lost a late lead. But after the Bluestorm rallied for three runs in the top of the sixth to tie matters, Catalano came through with a hard line single to shallow right field plating Kevin Rugg, who had walked to open the frame.
"He's had a great year for us. He's one of our younger 8s," said Speciale of Catalano, the Baserats' usual No. 5 hitter, who batted in the leadoff spot Tuesday because of a vacationing teammate. 
"I've been telling him all year long to hit to right center. It was great to win a game like that, with the kids jumping over the dugout railing and running on the field, just like in the Majors."
Catalano, a member of last year's club, simply stated: "I just didn't want to strike out. The pitch was a high outside fastball and I went with it. It feels great."
The Baserats led 2-1 entering the third before tacking on two more runs via Gioacchino Bonsangue's RBI triple and John Gano's run-scoring ground out. But in the top of the sixth, Cameron Lynch's RBI force was followed by a two-out grounder from JuJu Martinez that ended up producing two runs to knot it up.
Pitching was the name of this game, which featured a lengthy rain delay after six scoreless innings.
And while the Storm never managed to get a hit on the afternoon, they did get the victory thanks to five walks in the ninth -- with the last two free passes drawn by twin brothers Derek and Ryan Normack to force in the only runs.
Brian Bastian pitched the final three innings for Astoria, wiggling out of a bases-loaded jam with a full-count strikeout, stranding the tying run on third base after allowing Gabriel Rosenfeld's RBI single in the frame.
Harris Mulamekic hurled the first six stanzas for the Storm, yielding no runs, three hits and striking out nine.
"Harris is our big righty. He's always clutch for us," said Astoria coach Mike Fast. "And our lefty, Ryan, came in and closed it down. Our outfield defense was incredible. Both teams executed, and it was a pitchers' duel until the end."
"The game could've gone both ways," said High Heat manager Nelson Rosario, whose club was on the short end of a controversial runner's interference call in the home ninth. "I thought the ball had already gotten past their shortstop, but it is what it is. The Storm pitched and played defense when they had to."
Frankie Sommo, Julian Guzman, Jaden Alvarez and Ernesto Ortiz combined on the nine-inning no-hitter, although in a losing cause.
After Angel Paulino delivered a three-run homer in the top of the first inning for the Bronx Raiders, the Bandits could've been rattled and disheartened. Instead, the Brooklyn squad answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame on a pair of bases-loaded walks, before breaking it open with a six-run second.
"Getting those two in the first really settled us down," said Bandits manager Mario Delgado, who also guided the WSL All Stars to the 14s title last week. "I think we had some nerves in the top of the first, especially playing outfield defense in such a big ballpark."
Brooklyn pulled ahead to stay in the second thanks in part to RBI hits from Jaylen David, Anthony DeLeon, Brenden Rosado and Don Patruno. Ethan Colon would add a solo homer on a sinking liner to center in the fifth inning.
After yielding three runs in the first, David took charge on the mound for Brooklyn, blanking the Raiders over the ensuing 3 1/3 innings.
"He's a horse," said Delano of David. "He's the one I wanted on the mound."
"Our kids just didn't hit at all," said Bronx coach William Ramirez. "Credit the Bandits; they made the plays and were just better than us today."


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