EASTCHESTER, N.Y. Kensico's Little Leaguers walked off the field following their game with Harrison Saturday feeling disappointed, but with their heads held high. Kensico, which had lost, 16-2, to Harrison in Tuesday's District 20 Little League Baseball 11-year-old Championship winners bracket final, was a much more confident team this time around. And even though Harrison prevailed, 11-8, in eight innings at ORourke Field, Kensico manager Mike Astrella and his coaching staff came away quite proud of the team.
The boys played an outstanding game today, Astrella said. They never gave up. We told them that they can match up and play with Harrison and they proved it today.
Kensico led 4-2 after three innings, thanks to a pair of Gregory Palais RBIs and a Joe Pecora RBI. It was the first time during the tournament that Harrison trailed.
Harrison evened the score at 4-4 with two runs in the fifth and added three in the top of the sixth for a 7-4 lead. However, Kensico was not done, even with two outs in the bottom of the inning.
Mark Kennedys infield single scored Cameron Flynn. Gavin Astrella singled and Bryan Goodman laced a single up the middle, scoring Kennedy and Astrella to tie the score at 7-7.
When we put the team together, we knew we had a special group of young men, Mike Astrella said. They showed a lot of heart.
Harrison threatened to win the game in the seventh, with runners on second and third and two outs. However, center fielder Patrick Gleason made the defensive play of the game. Noa Oki hit a sinking line drive that Gleason charged and made a diving catch, giving Kensico another chance.
We gave Patrick the game ball because without it, the game might have been over, Astrella said. Patrick made a great catch.
Harrison broke the tie with four runs in the top of the eighth, but Kensico scored in the bottom of the inning and had runners on second and third with one out before Harrisons Billy OMeara registered the final two outs.
Joe Pecora went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and Goodman had three hits and two RBIs. Gavin Astrella collected two hits and scored four runs and Gleason, Flynn and Palais each had two hits.
This has been an outstanding experience and now we cant wait for next year, Mike Astrella said.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.