DANBURY, C.T. — Mahopac's 11-and-under 'B' baseball team is used to winning the games that seem out of reach, but it fell shy in the Greater Hudson Valley Baseball League championship against East Fishkill, 10-5, on Sunday, July 30, at Rogers Park in Danbury.
"This was another game that represented how resilient this team has been all year," Mahopac coach Dan Brandstetter said. "When we're down runs, this team doesn't quit. We never quit. That's what makes this team special. When we were down five runs, I expected us to win."
It was keeping pace until surrendering seven runs to the Patriots in the third inning. Down 7-3 in the bottom of the fourth, the Indians refused to quit as Robert Dusovic launched a two-out double to deep right field.
Dusovic claimed third base on a wild pitch and Chris Sapienza followed with a grounder to third, but the throw was too low so the run came home.
Mahopac had a tough time handling Fishkill's offense, and it was down 10-4 in the bottom of the sixth with two outs just before Casey Brandstetter got the crowd on their feet by smashing a solo home run over the left-center field fence.
Joe DeFeo, Tyler Castrataro, Owen Ryan, John Kearney, and Joey Luczkowski all notched singles in the team effort. Nevan Nystrom whacked a double as well.
"We've been averaging 10 runs per game this season and our lineup is hitting from top to bottom," Brandstetter said. "That's all been happening in the playoffs."
Sapienza started the game on the mound and Joe Koch only allowed one run in relief. Tyler Castrataro also pitched in the loss.
During the Indians' appearance in the Cal Ripken Tournament in Maryland last weekend, they fared even better, scoring 27 runs in three games.
"This team's come a long way," Brandstetter said. "From the spring, to summer, to now, they have gotten better every single step of the way."
Mahopac earned the top seed this summer, winning the division and compiling a 12-3 record. It shocked Armonk with a 10-9 triumph in the semifinal after trailing by five runs in the fifth inning. Dusovic had a walk-off walk in the bottom of the sixth to seal the win.
Castrataro pitched superb out of the bullpen, striking out seven batters for zero earned runs over three innings.
The Indians beat Patterson 14-4 in the quarterfinal with a walk-off three-run homer from Joe Koch. The mercy rule shortened the game to four innings.
"We had a fantastic year," Brandstetter said. "The kids should be proud, I know the parents are proud. But the coaching staff is incredibly proud of what the team delivered. It's not a one-man show, it's the entire team."