Victory! Islanders win opener in inaugural county cup
|Islander pitcher Justin Gargett was nearly perfect in his complete-game victory over Gatorade in the Manatee County Cup Little League baseball tournament.
Twelve major league teams from eight Little Leagues across Manatee County are entered in the inaugural Manatee County Cup Little League baseball tournament at G.T. Bray Park and Braden River fields. The tournament consists of six pools of four teams that will compete against each other, which guarantees each team three games. The top two teams from each pool advance to the knock-out rounds until a champion is decided.
The Islanders, who played regular-season games against Manatee West Little League teams, got off to a great start in pool-play action when they scored an upset over Gatorade, the Manatee East Little League champions.
Gatorade came into the tourney with an impressive 10-2 record, but Islander pitcher Justin Gargett shut them down. Gargett pitched a complete-game, one-hitter that included 14 strikeouts and only two walks. And one of the walks led to Gatorade’s only run. He kept the Manatee East hitters off balance all night with a changeup pitch and an explosive fastball, all except for the second inning when Trent Elliott lined a clean single to left field.
The game was scoreless until the top of the fourth inning when Gargett drew a one-out walk. Max Miller hit a grounder that pulled the Gatorade first baseman off the bag to field the ball. He initially looked to force Gargett at second, but Gargett hustled in safely. Meanwhile Miller hustled down the line and beat the first baseman to the bag to give the Islanders runners on first and second with one out. Lee Bergeron walked to load the bases, but after a couple of bunt attempts, Garrison Clark struck out to bring Johnny Mattay to the plate with two outs.
Mattay showed bunt on the first offering, but with two strikes and two outs, Mattay fought off an inside fastball and blooped it over third to drive in Gargett and give the Islanders a 1-0 lead. Trevor Albers then came to the plate and initially showed bunt as well. He fouled off a few pitches and eventually drew a walk to bring Miller home for a 2-0 Islander lead.
Garrett Schultz relieved Gatorade pitcher Joey Ambrosino on the mound and struck out Nick Papazian to end the fourth.
The Islanders tacked on a run in the fifth when Hunter Parrish and Max Moneuse singled. Gargett struck out for the first out, but Miller singled to right field and Parrish scored from second to extend the Islander lead to 3-0. Bergeron advanced Moneuse to third when he grounded out to the first baseman and Clark struck out to end the threat.
Gargett started the bottom of the sixth inning with 15 pitches left to throw. He sandwiched strikeouts of Enrique Ferrar and Joey Ambrosino around a walk to Garrett Schultz, which brought Matt Ambrosino to the plate. Matt Ambrosino took a couple of pitches before hitting a grounder to short that caromed off the glove of Moneuse to score Schultz.
If Matt Ambrosino had managed to look at one more pitch from Gargett, he would have been unable to pitch to Elliott. Little League rules stipulate that a pitcher may exceed his limit of 85 pitches in order to finish on the current batter. Gargett had 84 pitches when Elliott stepped to the plate. Gargett made good use of that rule when he struck out Elliott to end the game with the Islanders on top 3-1.
Moneuse led the Islander hitting attack with a two-for-three performance that included a double. Mattay and Miller both contributed RBI singles, while Parrish finished one for three with one run scored, and Gargett walked and scored a run.
Gatorade was led by Elliott, who was one for three on the evening,while Schultz walked and scored a run. Starting pitcher Joey Ambrosio’s final pitching line was impressive with only two hits allowed and nine strikeouts, while Schultz allowed three hits and one run while striking out five.
Next game up for the Islanders is at 8 p.m. May 28 against Cooney’s Auto Repair on Field 3 at G.T. Bray. A win over Cooney’s would almost guarantee a trip to the elimination round. Pool play ends for the Islanders at 8 p.m. Friday, May 30, when they take on Munivez Lawn Care on Bray’s Field 3.
Key Royale golf news
The Key Royale Club men played an 18-hole, best-ball-of-partners game on May 21. The team of Bob Jorgensen and Don Ledford matched the 102 that Fred Meyer and John Driscoll carded to tie for first place. Six shots back in second place was the team of Bob Kral and Vince Mercadante with a 108.
The men teed it up on May 19 for an individual-low-net contest that produced a tie. John Sagert matched the 4-under-par 28 carded by Jim MacVicar, which was one shot ahead of Jerry Brown, who finished in second place. Third place went to Earl Huntzinger and Tom Nelson, who both carded 2-under-par 30s.
The weekly coed game was a two-best-balls-of-foursome match that also ended in a tie. Frankie Smith-Williams, Gordon McKinna, Fred Meyer and Paulina Proxy carded a 57 to tie the team of Jane Winegarden, Earl Huntizinger, Matt Behan and Patty Proxy. McKinna and Smith-Williams each had a chipin on hole number three.
AMICC NFL Flag Football standings
(as of May 8)
Ross Built Bucs 60
Bones Steelers 41
Norman Browns 05
Pine Ave. Bills 23
Anna Maria Island Little League schedule
7 p.m.June 6Islanders vs. Employee Leasing @ Bray
8 p.m.May 28Cooney’s vs. Islanders @ Bray
8 p.m.May 30Munivez Lawn vs. Islanders @ Bray
6:30 May 29Hagen Daz vs. Sun @ Braden River
6:30 June 2Wood Dock vs. Sun @ Braden River