The Levittown South-Wantagh Baseball All Star Team recently won the Cal Ripken Eight-Year-Old State Championship held at McLaren Park in Levittown. The team won five consecutive games en route to the championship. The final two games were against a very tough and talented Plainedge team. The championship game, on July 25, was won convincingly by Levittown 9-3.
Levittown South -- Wantagh Baseball
Front row (l to r): Nick McQuail, Anthony Farino, Danny Kubik, Danny Brandon, Robert Gaertner, Christopher Rossi
Cal Ripken State Champions; 8 Year-Old Division
Middle row (l to r): Kyle Ambury, Mario Angieri, Brian Schill, Matt Benedetto, Mike Addeo, Nick Gagliardo
Back row (l to r): Manager Benedetto, Coaches Rossi, McQuail and Farino
The team played strongly in every aspect of the game. The pitching was excellent throughout the entire tournament. Anthony Farino, Kyle Ambury, Nick McQuail, Mike Addeo and Robert Gaertner rounded out the superb pitching staff. Gaertner pitched in all five games, closing four of them and pitching three strong innings in the championship game.
The infield of Matt Benedetto, Nick McQuail, Anthony Farino, Mike Addeo, Robert Gaertner, and catcher Kyle Ambury were sure handed and cohesive throughout the five games. Their offensive contributions were just as important. Farino and Gaertner were on base most of the time and the middle of the lineup brought them home throughout the tournament. First baseman Benedetto had 11 hits and a team high 14 RBIs. Addeo had eight hits and 11 RBIs. McQuail, who missed the first three games due to injury, came through big in the title game with two hits and three RBIs. Tournament MVP, catcher Kyle Ambury, had a team high 12 hits, seven RBIs and threw out four runners attempting to steal second base during the tournament.
The outfielders were also strong on both offense and defense. Chris Rossi, Brian Schill, Nick Gagliardo, Danny Kubik, Mario Angieri, Alex Hardie and Danny Brandon contributed with timely hitting and great defense throughout the tournament. Brandon had the biggest defensive play of the series. He made a near impossible diving catch to stop a Plainedge rally in the pivotal fourth game of the tournament.
It was a wonderful ride for the manager and coaches. The team was committed in all the practices leading up to the tournament and it showed in the way they performed in the games. In what was their first All-Star Tournament, these 8 year-olds played more like veterans than rookies. By the level of skill and the dedication they showed to their teammates and coaches, their coach believes more will be heard from these boys in the years to come. They gave Levittown South Wantagh Baseball, their manager, coaches and parents something to enjoy and to be proud of for a very long time.