MAHOPAC, N.Y.— For a 10-year-old baseball player, what better way to celebrate your birthday than to be the winning pitcher and drive in the winning run on a walk-off victory for your team?
That’s the scenario that unfolded for Tyler Debrocky as he helped lead the Mahopac 10-and-under team to a walk-off 17-16 victory over Cortlandt National Sunday, July 24 at Crane Road field.
It was the final game of the regular season as Mahopac kept its hot streak going to finish at 9-4 overall with the playoffs set to start this week.
“Our team went from rags to riches, we lost the first three games of the season and now we’ve won nine out of 10,” Mahopac coach Bill Feierstein said. “We’re the three seed out of 17 teams and we’re ready to go into the playoffs. We’re doing very well. I think we can beat anybody, and the best thing is these kids are having fun, they’re having a great time.”
It helps to have fun when you have a happy ending, and that’s the way it unfolded for the team after a long game that took three hours to complete on Sunday. Both teams knew the game didn’t matter in terms of the standings, and they were able to use it as a tune up to get ready for the playoffs.
“They’re one of the better teams, same record as us, and we knew the result didn’t change the playoff seeds,” Feierstein said.
However, it was clear how much both teams wanted a win. Cortlandt got off to a fast start and opened up a 9-3 lead, but Mahopac was able to storm back and emerge with the victory.
Thanks to the birthday boy as Debrocky came in to pitch the sixth inning to be the winning pitcher, and he worked a bases-loaded walk to drive in the winning run in the bottom of the sixth to make the final score 17-16. Debrocky also led off the bottom of the fifth with a triple and he then scored to tie it up at 15-15.
Before Debrocky’s sixth-inning heroics, it was D.J. DeMatteo leading the way on the mound and at the plate for Mahopac. He pitched a couple of solid innings and delivered at the plate as Mahopac rallied back. DeMatteo drove in two runs with a single in the third to make it 9-5, and he came through again with a two-run single to highlight an eight-run rally as Mahopac took a 14-11 lead in the fourth.
Robert Keller also had an RBI single in the fourth-inning rally, and he came up with a big defensive play in the top of the sixth inning to allow the Indians to close out the victory. Cortlandt had the bases loaded and one run in hoping to add more with a sharp liner drilled toward first base, but Keller was able to snare it for the final out.