Merged Port Chester/Rye Brook 12U Pirates bow out of Ripken District Tourney despite a home run barrage
July 4, 2019 at 8:09 p.m.
It didn't start well for the first ever merged Port Chester/Rye Brook 12U Pirates in the equally historic first Cal Ripken District Tournament game ever to be staged at Lyon Park.
Pirates ace pitcher Sebastian Santos-Olson dominated tournament favorite East Fishkill (EF) over three and two-thirds innings when he had to come out of the game due to pitch count restrictions with the score tied 2-2.
Walk-off base hit
Joey Ciciriello was equally strong in relief until a ground ball bounced off his glove and went through into the outfield with that seeing-eye walk-off base hit scoring the two runs that gave EF the 4-2 win in the sixth and final inning last Thursday (6/27).
It was just as close when EF beat the Pirates 6-4 for the tourney championship Monday (7/1).
But in between those Thursday and Monday tournament games, a lot of good things happened for the local team while playing against stepped up, elite competition.
In the opening loss to EF, for example, the Pirates got multi-hit games from Elliott Zwicker, Robbie Cuesta, Dan Pauletti and Josh Promisel. Santos-Olson struck out five, walked one and allowed just two hits during his impressive stint on the mound. And Ciciriello came on strong in relief before running into that hard-luck final inning.
Tape measure homer
The local Pirates showed resiliency in their bounce back 13-3 win over TYA last Friday (6/28) in pool play in a game that featured a tape measure first inning home run by Dan Pauletti that went almost all the way to Putnam Avenue and solid pitching from Zwicker plus a lot more.
Other highlights included a Pirates five-run outburst in the third inning featuring RBI base hits from Declan O'Hara, Scott Sullivan, Promisel and Zwicker.
Before the game ended, the Pirates had racked up 11 hits with Santos-Olson, Pauletti and O'Hara leading the way with two hits apiece while the locals ran wild on the base paths, five players stealing at least two bases apiece with Pimentel leading the way with four. And Zwicker threw a lot of fours, scattering four hits over four innings, striking out four batters and giving up just three runs (all in the first inning) to pick up the win.
The Pirates looked even better during their Saturday game against Beacon, a 12-3 win that included four hits by Santos-Olson, among them two home runs, with Promisel and Robbie Cuesta pitching in for the win. It turned out to be quite a day with the Pirates racking up 13 hits including multiple base hits by Santos-Olson (including home runs in the first and sixth innings) and Pimentel who also led the locals with thee of the 11 stolen bases and got the win by pitching three and a third shutout innings, allowing just three hits while striking out two batters. Ryan Gagnon, Santos-Olson and Ciciriello all had RBIs during the second inning when the Pirates scored three runs and started to run away with the game.
Drop a deuce
It proved hard to keep up that pace even though the Pirates scored three quick runs against Poughkeepsie Sunday (6/30) before fading down the home stretch during a 13-3 loss.
Pimentel didn't have it this time around, giving up seven runs in the first inning, and the Pirates never recovered despite Santos-Olson going three for three and Cueto stealing two bases.
The slumping locals dropped a second game to Poughkeepsie 10-0 and lost their finale to EF Monday night.
But head coach Scott Sullivan came away stressing the positives, especially the power hitting displays by Pauletti and Santos-Olson, the team's pitching depth, and the locals’ speed on the base paths (more like an express train). He predicts the merged Pirates will return to their winning ways this week when they return to Hudson Valley league play.