The Sunnybrae Little League 10-year-old All-Stars show off their championship banner after winning the District 12 Little League Tournament last Friday.
By Rich Fisher
July 14: Make room for another trophy in the Sunnybrae Little League case.
The SLL 10-year-old All Stars became the league’s second team to win a District 12 tournament this summer, as their 14-8 win over East Windsor, this past Friday allowed them to join the 11s as champs.
Sunnybrae opens Section 3 play at North Howell at 8 p.m. Monday.
The Yardville Gang opened tournament play with 25-0 wins in each of its first two games before defeating East Windsor, 6-2, in the winner’s bracket semifinals. East Windsor then forced the “if” game with a 7-0 victory last Wednesday before Sunnybrae’s offense returned in full fury in the winner-take-all final.
Coach Rob “Junior” Riley’s squad broke the District 12 scoring record with 70 runs in five games, while allowing just 17. The team batting average was .484, led by Xander “Bam” Pelzer (.667) and Joey Riley (.643). Jonathan Posivak and Joaquin “Quino” Gutierrez led the squad with eight RBI each, while Riley had nine stolen bases and 12 runs scored. Other key offensive contributors were Jayden “Big Time” Tirado and Dominick DeFrancis.
Cullen Bressler was the go-to man in clutch situations, as he was the winning pitcher in both the winner’s bracket final and championship game. Gutierrez, DeFrancis and Posivak all contributed on the mound. They got stellar support from a squad that made just two errors. First baseman Ricky Bender and shortstop Tommy Ditta each flashed strong gloves.
Every player on the roster, which included Allan Elliott, Aidan Knowles, Zach Myczyk and Raffaele Tramo, had at least one hit in the tournament.
“The kids really put it all together,” Riley said. “We were optimistic coming into the tournament, and I was really impressed with the way they bounced back after that loss to East Windsor. They didn’t hang their heads or worry about it, they just came out and did what they had to do.”
As for the 11s, their strong season came to an end in the Section 3 tournament with a 5-3 loss to Clark and a 12-4 defeat to South Wall.