Friday, 13 August 2010 00:00
On Tuesday, Aug. 3, the Giants played their 43rd game of the summer and faced the Long Island Dragons, an independent team based out of Franklin Square, in the third and decisive semi-finals playoff game in the Connie Mack League at the Glen Cove High School field. The winner of this game would advance to the finals. The Giants having reached this level during the past three years were confident that they could move on.
The Giants were up first. Will Brennan, a Giant for the past four years, led off with a double to right center. Richie Maccarone who was on the hill for the Giants, worked out a walk. John Scuderi hit a shot to center which was run down for the first out. With the runners breaking, Pete Cappiello hit a bullet back to the box for a 1-6-3 double play, allowing the Dragons to get out of the inning.
Richie Maccarone took the ball and kept the Dragons off the bases until the third inning when the leadoff hitter doubled to left center. With men on third and first, the Dragon base runner on first base attempted to steal second and waited for the Giants to react. The Giants were ready for the trick play. As Maccarone ran at the runner going to second, the runner on third broke for the plate. Maccarone, turned and fired a strike to Danny Roland at the plate. As the runner headed back to third, the ensuing throw hit the runner in the back and darted out into left field for the Dragon’s first run. Maccarone reached back and struck out the next hitter. The next Dragon hitter hit a ground ball to third that was not fielded cleanly and the Dragons suddenly had a second run. Two unearned runs had scored. Richie Maccarone did everything that was asked of him on the mound, as he had for the entire season. He allowed only five hits and kept the Giants in the game.
The Dragon pitcher was equally effective and allowed only four Giant hits. Pete Cappiello swung a hot bat with two singles. Eamonn Boyd, arguably one of the best defensive centerfielders in the Long Island area, who possesses a wealth of speed, scorced a single to left for the Giants fourth hit. Richie Maccarone, the number two hitter, worked out two walks at the plate, which reminded the coaches who played ball in the 1970s, of “Coach” Mr. Medina yelling out, “you have to have the good eyes.”
As the last Giant batter was retired and the Dragons started their celebration, many of the Giant players, if not all, were disappointed. With only one loss for the LICM season, many thought they would move into the championship round. After all, the Giants had reached this semi-final round three years in a row. The Dragons were a very good team and were able to shut down the Giant bats. Richie Maccarone did his job and kept the game close, allowing only one earned run. As disappointed as the Giants were, they had an exceptional summer winning the LICM Central division to bring home some “hardware.”
With most of the older Giants age eligible to play 18U next year, the future remains promising. Additionally, with many promising entering seniors who have the goal of getting to the next level, the Giants are poised for another strong season. Next, the Giants are off to Reading, PA for a wood bat tournament. After that, the Giants will settle into the fall season.