Rian Graham and Michael Garland combined on a four-hitter and Mid-Island set the tone early on with a five-run first half as it advanced to the Little League District 24 10s All-Star baseball championship game with a 10-3 triumph over host Snug Harbor Friday in Livingston.
Mid-Island, who received two hits from JoJo Bonura, Gio Molinare and Steven Lutz, will now face the South Shore for all the balls on Sunday starting at 11 a.m. on SSLL’s Joseph Anthony Verdino Jr. Field of Dreams Stadium in Tottenville.
“We have a team that includes seven nine-year-olds, and all my kids have worked hard to get to this point,” said Mid-Island manager Angelo DeFilippis, who also praised coaches Mike Cavallo and Brian Graham for their work on the team. “We worked out on Thursday night, but we went to the percussion cage to get a job, and that is proof of their commitment.
“It’s special to make the championship game. ” ‘
Graham, who started for MI, allowed two hits, three trips and no earned runs while knocking out six in 4 2/3 innings to earn the win. Garland, meanwhile, threw the final 1 1/3 innings for the winners. He gave himself no earned races on two hits and no trips while recording a couple of Ks.
The DeFilippis squad took early control as they scored five times at the top of the first after hitting around.
After Bonura and Garland reached via walks and moved up a bag each on Graham’s sac bundle, Gio Molinare (two-run single), Lutz (RBI single) and Bonura (two-run single) followed with key hits to give visitors a command 5-0 lead.
Snug Harbor first got a run at home, and the score was still 5-1 until the hosts did things interesting by noticing a couple of runs at the bottom of the fifth.
However, the Travis loop put the game away after breaking out in five more races in the sixth.
John Prano (two trips) opened the sixth with a base on balls before Mid-Island loaded the bases thanks to back-to-back singles by Garland and Molinare. It brought up Jack Sherlock, who belted a three-run double to the right center to make it 8-3. Michael Cavallo and Lutz came up with running scoring singles to give the final score.
Catcher Molinare and Graham, who recorded five assists, played defensively for MI.