The Glen Cove Giants moved into first place in the 15U National Junior Baseball League (NJBL) on Sunday, Sept. 23, taking a doubleheader from the LI Thunder from Merrick, 16-4 and 15-4. The Giants began the fall season with three injured starting players, two of whom (Anthony Ambrosino and Bobby Finke) were hurt with season-ending injuries on July 7. Danny Grabowski was lost on August 18 for six weeks with a broken collarbone in the Ed Rall tournament. Who said baseball was not a contact sport?
Gregory Knox pitched a three-hit, complete game (his team-leading seventh of the 2007 campaign), giving up no earned runs. Joe Manzione and Peter Scacco called the game and held the Thunder baserunners to only one stolen base.
The Giants had 11 hits in the abbreviated five-inning game with key contributions from Will Brennan (2 hits, 2 RBIs), Eamonn Boyd (single, 3 runs scored and 2 RBIs) and Greg "Giggy" Knox (inside the park homerun with 2 RBIs). Also contributing with their bats were Terry Jackson, Armen Kouyoudjian, Spencer "Mongo" Bilello, John "Rock" LaRocca, Mike LoRusso, Paul Rooney and Marvin Tate, each with a hit. Joe "Animal" Manzione (2 runs) and Brendon "Figgy" Figueroa (1 run scored) contributed with their baserunning.
Game Two saw John LaRocca take the hill. John was starting his second game of the season and looking for his third complete game of the 2007 season. The Thunder scored twice in the first on two hits and a walk. The Giants threatened in the bottom of the first with a hit from Kouyoudjian and a walk by Brennan. The runners moved up to second and third on a double steal but the Giants could not get a run across the plate.
In the bottom of the second the Giants scored eight times as John LaRocca led off with a single, moved to second on an error and scored on Greg Knox's single. The Giants batted around the inning with five hits, including a triple by Brennan and singles by Kouyoudjian and Figueroa.
LaRocca held the Thunder to four hits for the game. The Giants had 11 hits in the shortened five-inning game. Armen Kouyoudjian had three hits, including a 300-foot homer over the "Monster" with two RBIs. Hitting by Mike LoRusso, (3 RBIs), Terry Jackson (double, 2 RBIs), Will Brennan (two hits, triple and RBI), and Paul Rooney (2 RBIs), contributed to the win. Once again the catching of Joe Manzione and Peter Scacco held the LI Thunder runners to only one stolen base. Paul Rooney and Will Brennan played a great defensive game in the infield. Terry "Flash" Jackson motored around the bases, including a steal of home.
The Giants' next games are Saturday, Sept. 29 at 6 and 8:30 p.m. at the Glen Cove Roy Campanella field against St. Hugh's/St. Elizabeth of Huntington. Please stop down to watch some great baseball.