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Sherman Park Wins Opener In State Baseball Championship

WARWICK, N.Y. – Domenick Fensore’s sacrifice fly in the sixth inning brought home Salvatore Pugni with the winning run Saturday as Sherman Park rallied to an 11-10 walk-off victory over Saratoga American in a New York State Little League Baseball Minors Championship game at Warwick Little League.

Sherman Park plays South Shore National (Staten Island) at 8 p.m. Monday in a winners bracket game.

“This team has battled from behind the past two weeks,” Sherman Park manager John Pugni said. “The boys just have an uncanny knack of playing from behind. I wish it was not always that way, but nothing fazes them.” Pugni reached on an error to lead off the bottom of the sixth and Anthony Scaglione beat out an attempted sacrifice for a hit, sending Pugni to second. Vincent Spaziante walked to load the bases and Fensore came through with a fly ball to chase Pugni home.

Sherman Park trailed, 10-6, with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning when it staged a rally. Spaziante reached on an error, and consecutive walks to Fensore and Stephen Donato loaded the bases. Tommy Minafra bounced into a force out at the plate, but T.J. Palma followed with a double, scoring Fensore and Donato. Sal Nardone’s infield single scored Minafra and Palma scored the equalizer on a subsequent throwing error.

Spaziante finished with two hits and two runs scored and Minafra also had two hits. Donato scored three runs, Fensore had two runs scored and Joe Pennini doubled.

Sherman Park turned a double play in the top of the fifth to end the inning. Pugni, who was pitching, fielded a come-backer, threw to Fensore covering second and the shortstop relayed it to Minafra at first to complete the double play.

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