WMFD takes over AAA lead with pair of wins
|Joey Hutchinson, Daniel Janisch, Troy Kozewski, Jake Rappe and Zach Even before the start of the home run derby 11-12 age bracket at the Anna Maria Island Community Center.
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|Max Moneuse, Travis Belsito, Shawn Conover, Elijah Toussaint, William Brusso, Daniel Pimentel, Jerry Mayer, Elijah Pelligrin and Patrick Edwards before the start of the age 9-10 home run derby. Islander Photos: Kevin Cassidy
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West Manatee Fire District withstood a four-run rally from Duncan Real Estate in the bottom of the sixth inning to hold on for a 9-8 victory on Friday, April 22, to move into solo possession of first place in the Anna Maria Island Little League AAA division for ages 9-12. WMFD got themselves into position to overtake Duncan Real Estate on the virtue of their two victories last week over Duncan and Morgan Stanley, plus their win a week ago over Morgan Stanley. But board members decided that the sixth inning of the WMFD-Morgan Stanley April 13 game should not have been allowed to start, thus giving an 11-8 victory to WMFD.
As we close out the month of April, only one game separates first place from last place so the AAA title is up for grabs.
The April 23-24 weekend brought out Fun Day at the Anna Maria Island Community Center on Saturday and then on Sunday it was Anna Maria Island Community Center Day at Tropicana Field. Unfortunately, the Devil Rays got waxed 11-3, making Saturday’s home run derby events for ages 9-10 and 11-12 players the big event of the weekend.
The derby consisted of two rounds where each batter got 10 outs and a final round of five outs. Anything they swung at that didn’t go over the fence was counted as an out and the person with the most home runs after three rounds was the champ.
Zach Even put on a show in the 11- and 12-year-old competition. After a slow start that saw him hit every ball hard, but on a line drive trajectory, Even broke out in the second round. Line drives are great hitting in a game, but not what you want in a home run derby.
After the first round Even, Troy Kozewski and Joey Hutchinson were all tied for the lead with one home run. Round two brought about a pitching change with Chris Moneuse (Max’s Dad) replacing Jeff Kozewski (Troy’s dad) on the mound. Even apparently liked the change as he absolutely “launched” eight home runs to seize control of the contest. Troy Kozewski managed three home runs, while Hutchinson hit two and Daniel Janisch connected once in the second round.
Even and Kozewski each hit three home runs in the final round, while Hutchinson and Janisch each hit one dinger. Even finished with 12 home runs, five better than Kozewski’s seven home runs. Hutchinson finished with four home runs and Janisch had two.
The 9-10 competition was riveting as well. After three rounds, William Brusso and Daniel Pimental were tied at two home runs apiece and went to overtime. Travis Belsito, Shawn Conover, Elijah Toussaint and Jerry Mayer each hit one home run and were eliminated.
Brusso went first and knocked one ball over the fence to take the lead. Daniel Pimental was down to his last out when he ripped a shot onto the left field screen to tie Brusso and stay alive. Brusso didn’t hit a home run during his next five outs, leaving Pimental an opening to claim the title. Again Pimental waited until he was down to his last out when he ripped one over the fence to win the 9-10 home run derby.
Congratulations to Zach and Daniel and the rest of the derby competitors.
WMFD 9, Duncan 8
WMFD overtook Duncan Real Estate to seize a half-game lead in the standings thanks to a hard-fought 9-8 win on Friday, April 22. Blake Wilson wielded a big stick for the Fire District, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBIs, while Joey Hutchinson added a single and two runs scored in the victory. Wilson also pitched an effective four innings, allowing two hits and two runs while striking out six. Connor Cloherty singled and scored once and Shawn Conover went 1-for-2 to round out the WMFD offense that also received three runs from Hunter Parrish and one run apiece from Tommy Price and Alex Burgess.
Trevor Bystrom went 2-for-4 with one run scored and Glenn Bower doubled and scored two runs to lead Duncan Real Estate at the plate. Kyle Crum added a pair of singles and Daniel Pimentel singled and scored one run for Duncan, which also received singles from Jordan Sebastiano and Austin Wash, and runs from Troy Kozewski and Jake Rappe in the loss.
WMFD 12, Morgan Stanley 9
Blake Wilson went 2-for-5 including an RBI double and one run scored and Tommy Price went 2-for-4 with one RBI to lead WMFD past Morgan Stanley on Wednesday, April 20. Joey Hutchinson added an RBI double and two runs scored for WMFD, which also received a double and two runs scored from Shawn Conover and three runs scored from Hunter Parrish.
Morgan Stanley was led by Matt Bauer who went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Martine Miller who was 2-for-3 with one run scored. Sarah Howard singled and scored one run for Morgan Stanley while William Brusso added two runs in the loss.
Morgan Stanley 17, Duncan 8
Zach Even went 3-for-3 including a double and two runs scored and Martine Miller and William Brusso each singled twice and scored three runs to lead Morgan Stanley past Duncan Real Estate on Monday, April 18. Matt Bauer added a pair of doubles and one run scored, while Daniel Janisch singled twice and scored four runs. Giorgio Gomez doubled and scored one run, while Sarah Howard, Blake Rivers and Zach Evans each singled and scored one run in the victory.
Austin Wash and Glenn Bower each went 3-for-3 with Bower adding a double to lead Duncan Real Estate in the loss. Jake Rappe added a single, double and two runs scored for Duncan who also received a single and two runs from Jordan Sebastiano and a pair of singles from Daniel Janisch. Kyle Crum rounded out the Duncan offense with a single and one run scored.
Team Bordes 12, Central Sarasota #3 2
Chad Wickersham pitched a complete-game two-hitter to lead Team Bordes to a 12-2 victory over Central Sarasota No. 3 on Saturday, April 23, in Senior League baseball. Chad Wickersham, who struck out eight batters in earning his third pitching win also helped himself at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a triple and two runs scored, while Sean Price went 3-for-4 including two RBIs and two runs scored.
Pat Cole made his season debut a strong one, going 2-for-4 with one run scored and he narrowly missed a grand slam by five feet. Zach Thomas added a two-run single while C.J. Wickersham had three walks and three runs scored to round out the Team Bordes offense.
Next up for Team Bordes is a 7 p.m. game at G.T. Bray on Friday, April 29, in Bradenton.
In a related story, Team Bordes teammates and brothers Shane and Tanner Pelkey hit back-to-back home runs in their Babe Ruth baseball game played earlier in the day. For the record, Shane and Tanner played two Babe Ruth games and one Senior League game and won every game by 10 runs.