DANBURY, C.T. — The pressure was on when Evan Carway strolled up to the plate with the Somers Red Storm trailing by a run with two outs in the final inning.
With ice in his veins, Carway came through when he crushed a two-strike pitch down the left-field line for a two-run home run. Second-seeded Somers held top-seeded Bedford Hills/Katonah at bay in the bottom half to secure a 10-9 win in the 12-and-under Great Hudson Valley Baseball League 'B' championship game on July 30 at Rogers Park in Danbury. It was Somers' first championship as a team.
Bedford Hills recorded two quick outs to start the seventh inning while holding a 9-7 lead. Jay Creighton started the rally when he tattooed a solo home run to center field. Stefan Swee then reached on an infield single, setting the stage for Carway, who had two home runs, five RBI and three runs scored on the day.
"We've always had the will and the fortitude to come back and fight," Somers coach Rob Conti said. "We did that all with two outs. That's just a testament to this team—the courage and the fight that they have. They just don't ever give up."
Bedford Hills threatened in the bottom of the sixth inning with runners on first and second, but Swee induced a pop out to end the game.
Five Somers errors led to Bedford Hills taking the 9-7 lead in a lengthy bottom of the fifth inning. Center fielder Mike Aquilino ranged to his right to make an impressive catch in left center to finally get the Red Storm out of the jam.
Carway got Somers out to a 3-0 first-inning lead when he walloped a three-run homer, driving in Creighton and Jack O'Reilly.
Swee doubled to start the fifth inning and George Creighton, who pitched three solid innings, launched a home run to give Somers the 7-5 lead. The Red Storm clubbed four home runs in the game.
"They have a drive and belief in one another," Conti said of his team. "If someone is down, we come right back. If someone makes an error, we'll make the next play. 'Hit the ball to me because I want it.' If someone strikes out, we're there to pick up the next player. It's a team that's been together for four years now and really likes one another. The families like one another. Coming off a Cooperstown (tournament) year, where we played some of the best teams in the country, we were ready for this moment. These kids wanted this moment because they believed in their hearts they were the best team."
Aquilino doubled and scored on a Jack O'Reilly single in the fourth inning. Robbie Conti went 3 for 3 with a double in the back-and-forth affair.
"It's always been a complete team effort," coach Conti said. "It's never been about the individual. Everyone at some point in the season chipped in and made it a total-team effort."
Somers, which finished its campaign at 15-2, pulled off a thrilling 4-3 win over sixth-seeded Patterson in the semifinals. It was a measure of revenge for Somers against Patterson, which defeated Somers in the GHVBL spring championship game.
The Red Storm actually lost by mercy rule to Bedford Hills a few weeks prior to the summer championship game, but they played their best when it mattered the most.
"They beat us 13-3 two weeks ago," Conti said. "This was our third shot here at a championship and we finally got one."
The rest of Somers' championship day lineup was rounded out by Casey Berger, Ryan 'Rhino' Eade, George Forbes, Mike Arreniza, Mario Minuto and Danny Haigh.
Conti's assistant coaches were Kenny Eade, Mike O'Reilly and Jason Creighton.