DANBURY, C.T. — It was over in just over an hour as the top-seeded and unbeaten 8-and-under Shrub Oak Storm defeated Larchmont/Mamaroneck 12-0 in a four-inning win by mercy rule in the Greater Hudson Valley Baseball League ‘A’ championship game on Sunday, July 30, at Rogers Park in Danbury.
Top-seeded Shrub Oak finished the season 20-0 and won its third GHVBL championship in a row. The Storm, which is 53-1 over its last three seasons, also won a Memorial Day Weekend tournament in May.
“Their concentration level, not to think about their record from game to game is what I always stress with them,” Shrub Oak coach Lou Vernagallo said. “We don’t even bring it up. Don’t think about the record until the season’s over and then we can celebrate. Play every game one at a time.”
Matthew Clyman’s bases-clearing triple made it 11-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning. Jake Bruno (2 for 3, three RBI) then drove in Clyman with a walkoff single.
The Storm scored six runs in the first three innings and finished the game off with six runs in the fourth. The team clubbed 12 hits, with Louie Vernagallo (two runs, RBI), Nicholas Santobello (two runs, RBI), Clyman (four RBI, run), Bruno and Vincent Lugo (RBI, run) each recording two-hit games. Kevin Gordon (two runs), Joseph LaPeruta (RBI), Michael Lucia (RBI), C.J. Simone (run), Michael Zumatto (run) and Nick Lucia (run) also contributed at the plate.
“We make contact from one to 11,” Vernagallo said of his offense. “Everybody hits and we bat everybody. They all put the ball in play.”
Santobello tossed three innings to earn the win and struck out four while allowing just one hit. Gordon came on for the save and fanned two batters. Pitching was a strength for the Storm all season as it compiled a 2.08 earned run average with Santobello going 7-0 and Vernagallo and Lugo each finishing 4-0.
“I have about six pitchers and half the time I don’t even get to use three of them,” coach Vernagallo said.
Vernagallo’s assistant coaches were Anthony LaPeruta, Joe Lucia and Ronnie Santobello.