Friday, 30 July 2010 00:00
The Giants traveled by bus (thank you Kenny Caldwell from Designer Limousines) to Myrtle Beach, SC on July 15 to play in the Triple Crown 19U Nationals. The tournament had over 100 teams ranging from 8 to 19 years of age.
The Giants reached the semi-finals in the 19U division, winning two games on the final day. Having to play a third game in the 100-degree heat, the Giants lost to the Ohio Bandits 5-1, who advanced into the finals against the Jersey Jaguars. The games were played on high school fields, which rivaled local college fields. The Giants were fortunate to play three games on the Coastal Carolina College field. Coastal Carolina was the number one team in the Southern Conference for a good part of the 2010 season. Just being able to walk out to this Division One school field was a special treat.
In game one, the Giants had Stefan Schwartz on the mound and were trailing the Jersey Jaguars 6-5 when Danny Grabowski hit a 380-foot HR over the left center fence to give the Giants a 7-6 lead. The Jags scratched out a run in the top of the seventh to tie the game which sent the game into the “California tie breaker.” Under the California tie-breaker, the visitors place the last batted out at second. The game is played until one team scores to win the game. In the top of the eighth, the winning run was placed on second base and the Giants brought in Brandon “Lubes” Lubrano. Lubrano was perfect getting the Jags 1-2-3.
In the bottom of the eighth, Dan Roland was placed on second base with Danny Grabowski coming up. Grabowski walked giving the Giants first and second with no out. Third base coach Bruce Testa flashed the steal sign and the runners took off. Roland slid in hard to third and the ball bounced off of the fielder’s glove into short left. Roland raced home and beat the throw to give the Giants their first victory of the tournament.
During the first two days the Giants played through “pool play”. The Giants lost their first playoff game on Sunday, July 18. With double elimination the Giants could not lose any more games if they were to advance. On Monday morning, the Giants travelled to the beautiful teal and silver of the Coastal Carolina University field. In game one, the Giants faced the Myrtle Beach All-Stars which they beat 7-2 behind the seven strikeout pitching of Pete Cappiello. Danny Roland was 2-2 with a 380-foot homer and four RBIs.
Immediately after the game, the Giants played a second game against the Conway, South Carolina team in 100-degree heat. With the Giants trailing 4-3 in the top of the seventh, a fan asked Mike the bus driver to start up the bus’ air conditioning for the ride home. Mike refused, pulled off his shirt and stated that these boys are going to win this game.
Zack Arthus led off the top of the seventh with a walk. Brandon Losee sacrificed Arthus to second giving up an out. Joe “Cannonball” Sorbara walked giving the Giants first and second with one out. The Conway team got the second out on a strikeout giving the Giants only one more out. Will Brennan hit a hard grounder to second which the second baseman mishandled to load up the bases. In stepped Richie Maccarone. The Conway pitcher immediately got two quick strikes and it did not look good for the Giants. Richie fought back and worked the count to 3-2. After fouling off two pitches, Maccarone walked sending in Arthus with the tying run. The walk sparked life into the overheated Giants and deflated the Conway team. John Scuderi singled in two and the Giants went on to score 7 runs in the top of the seventh. The Giants brought in Lubrano for the save.
The Giants made it to the semi-final round with that win and played a fresh Ohio Bandit team. The Giants fought hard but lost the game 5-1 leaving 13 men on base. Three games in the 100+ degree heat was just too much. The Giants finished third overall in the 19U bracket and made it to the semi-final round.
The high averages for the Giants in the tournament were John Scuderi.470, Danny Roland .400 (homer), Richie Maccarone .318, Pete Cappiello .286 and Danny Grabowki .273 (homer).
Upon returning to Glen Cove, the Giants won an LICM game which allowed them to clinch first place in the Long Island Connie Mack Central division. The Giants would also like to thank Marco Stanco and Richie Maccarone from the best sports store on the north shore, Valley Sports and Kenny Caldwell from Designer Limousine for making the trip possible.