Mineola drops three in holiday tournament

The Island Now

Over the Memorial Day weekend, the Mineola Athletic Association’s 12u travel team, the Mineola Hurricanes, sponsored by Bolla Market, kicked off their summer season by playing in the very competitive Long Island 12u Hot Stove Memorial Day Challenge Tournament.  This year, 14 teams from New York City and Long Island played in the annual tournament.

After winning the fall championship last year, Manager Rich Macchietto felt it was time for his team to face stiffer competition.

“I knew this tournament historically had some of the best teams from Long Island and I felt our team was ready to step and meet the challenge,” the coach stated.

This year’s Hurricane roster consists of Phil Macchietto, AJ Henriques, Patrick O’Gara, Patrick Solosky, Blake Bastos, Vin Othman, Tristan Dougherty, Jack Mackey, Dominic Ferreira, Conor Eakin, Kevin Pusey and Chris Marotta.

Saturday, May 28 – NY Sluggers

The Hurricanes faced off against the NY Sluggers from the Bronx at the Syosset Stillwell field complex. Under a blazing sun, the Hurricanes spotted the Sluggers to a 9-0 lead in the first two innings, before the Hurricanes bats came alive. Chris Marotta was “the stopper” and came in to pitch relief in the third inning and virtually shut down the Sluggers. The Hurricanes battled back and lost by a final score of 11-10.

Saturday, May 28 – Bethpage Eagles

After a very tough one run loss to the NY Sluggers, the Hurricanes then had to immediately travel to Bethpage’s Glynn Kenny Park for their second game of the tournament.  Arriving just in time to start the game, the Hurricanes bats just could not get going. The team lost to the eventual second place winners of the tournament, the Bethpage Eagles, 9-0. Manager Rich Macchietto partially attributed the lack of offense to the logistical issue with the tournament schedule.

“We had to travel from our first game to another field that was located 30 minutes away and we only had about 25 minutes to get there for the scheduled start of the game. The boys literally had to eat their lunch on the move in their parent’s cars and took the field upon arrival” explained Macchietto. “Bethpage was an excellent team and played very well against us but I think this scheduling certainly didn’t help us at all”.

Sunday, May 29 – Glen Cove Bombers

The Hurricanes completed their weekend tournament squaring off against the Bombers of Glen Cove at Plainview’s Borella Park. Blake Bastos got the start and pitched a terrific 6 inning complete game. Unfortunately, the Bombers squeaked out the victory 5-4 with a walk-off single in the bottom of the sixth.

Offensive tournament standouts were Tristan Dougherty, who was 4-for-7, drove in three RBIs, scored four runs and hit a homerun. Jack Mackay went 3-for-6 with a double and two RBIs.

On the defensive side of the house, Manager Macchietto was anxious to see how some of his players responded to new field positions.

“We are constantly looking to improve and as new players join our roster, we try and maximize the new players skills and place them at a position they will excel. This sometimes necessitates moving players around on the playing field” Macchietto remarked.  “For example, Chris Marotta has been working real hard moving from the infield to the outfield position. In game 3 of the tournament he made two nice catches in right field in the fourth inning and the second one was in the gap over his head which he ranged back and caught it saving runs from scoring to end the inning.”

Despite the tough losses of the tournament, Macchietto remained focused on the positive.

“We played tough against some of the best teams on Long Island and New York City”, observed Macchietto. “In two of the games, a key hit here or there and we could have easily won those games. My boys showed that they can compete at this very elite level and I look forward to the summer season and the Ripken Tournament in July.”  

The team selects two captains to represent the team for every game and Macchietto was very impressed that the team selected their two newest players, Patrick Solosky and Tristan Dougherty as the captains for the final game of the tournament.  

“I thought that was a class act by my team,” Macchietto proudly proclaimed. “The players that have been with me a while were welcoming my two newest players and showing them they wanted them on their team. I think it was a very classy and mature move for 12 year old boys”

The Mineola Hurricanes 12u travel baseball team, sponsored by Bolla Market, is part of the Mineola Athletic Association’s travel baseball program.

In addition to a summer and fall league schedule, the team has played in out-of-state tournaments such as “Sports at the Beach” in Delaware and is entered in the July 2016 Ripken Baseball “Blue Crab Week-Long Experience Tournament” in Aberdeen, Md.

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