Friday, 21 August 2009 10:17
This summer the Glen Cove Comanchees 9-under travel baseball team, manager Kevin Monahan and coaches Glenn Rizzo and Paul Casale traveled to Staten Island to register for the Babe Ruth State Tournament. After the meeting, they went for pizza and while in the parking lot in Staten Island, Kevin said to Glenn and Paul, “I have a really good feeling about this. We are going to win it all -18 teams, one winner!” Turns out, Kevin’s prediction was right on the money, and then some!
The Comanchees started in the States, a grueling ten-day tournament versus the best teams from Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island. They opened up against one of Staten Island’s best, the Yellow Jackets. Thomas Paulich took the ball, pitching all six innings, allowing just five hits and two runs with three strikeouts and three walks en route to a 4-2 Comanchees win. Hitting standouts for the game were Paulich with two hits and one RBI. Catcher Brian Shannon had a big 2 RBI double, putting the Comanchees ahead 4-0 in the 3rd. Key hits were also contributed by Robert Rizzo, Christopher Capobianco, Kevin Monahan and Michael Capobianco.
In Game 2, Sean Maleady took the mound, pitching two innings of no-hit ball with one strikeout in the 16-3 victory over the Manhattan Inwood All Stars. Maleady chipped in 2 singles and a double for 4 RBIs. Quadir Akines added two hits and an RBI and Rizzo had 2 hits and 3 RBIs. Monahan doubled and had a sac fly for two RBIs, while Christopher Capobianco added two hits and scored four runs. Matthew Ziegen caught a great game, shutting down the All Stars running game.
In Game 3 versus undefeated HBQVB, the Comanchees trailed 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning with runners on second and third and two outs. Monahan doubled them in to tie the game. Jared Jackson gave the Comanchees a 5-3 lead in the top of the sixth with a two-run double, adding to his earlier single for a three RBI day. Sean Hehn added a big hit to keep the rally going. Pitchers Maleady and Paulich combined for a five hit, three strikeout victory as the Comanchees beat HBQVB 6-3.
The Comanchees took on the Richmond County All Stars in the semi-finals and jumped out to an early lead. Christopher Capobianco had two doubles and a single for three RBIs and Maleady added three hits and two RBIs. Daniel Floccari and Michael Capobianco’s timely hits put the Comanchees ahead to stay with a 11-1 win. Defensive stars included Maleady on the mound again (3 innings, 1 hit, 4 strikeouts) and closer Rizzo (1 inning, 1 run, 1 strikeout). Peter Nikolus played a strong right field as the Comanchees headed to the championship.
After a rainout on Sunday, the Comanchees were ready for the championship game against HBQVB, who played through the loser’s bracket to resurface for their second chance. Glen Cove wasn’t about to let that happen. On only the second pitch of the game, Paulich hit a chopper just three feet from the plate. The HBQVB catcher threw it wild down the line and Paulich hustled all around the bases to score 1-0. In the second inning, Rizzo walked and stole second and Shannon singled him in. Michael Capobianco walked with runners on second and third and Paulich doubled in two runners. HBQVB answered back with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Going into the fifth with a 5-3 lead, Ziegen walked with the bases loaded, putting the Comanchees up 6-3. Alex Maruca played a tight outfield, stopping several hard shots and Paulich pitched five strong innings, allowing only five hits and three runs with one strikeout.
Maleady came on to close it 1-2-3.
Let the water flow…and it did! Cases of water were poured on everyone. The awards ceremony before a packed house was something these boys will always remember, taking the team banner and running around the field twice. Thomas Paulich was named the MVP for the tournament. After last year’s fourth-place finish, the Comanchees are now #1, New York State Metro Babe Ruth Tournament 9-under champs!
As New York Metro State Champions, the Comanchees were invited to the Middle Atlantic Regional Tournament in upstate Troy, with only a day to prepare for the trip. While in Troy the team beat Delaware 4-2, then lost to Pennsylvania 11-4, giving up six runs in the last inning. The best game of the tournament came against Western New York. The Comanchees faced a pitcher who threw harder than any pitcher they had come up against to date. Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning, the team went on a hitting rampage to go ahead 5-4, but could not hold the lead in the last inning and lost 8-5. In game four against Maryland, the Comanchees came from behind again in the last inning to pull out a 6-5 victory. Overall, the team finished third in their pool and came away with memories to last a lifetime. What an experience for these 9-year-olds!
The team expressed gratitude to Glen Cove Junior Baseball & Softball Association for their support. Special thanks went to Board Members Rob Kormoski, Karen Austin and Dom Grosso for their helping hands and emotional support. Thanks also went to the parents, grandparents and fans. Next stop: Glen Cove Mayor’s Trophy Tournament finals.