Little Leaguers scrimmage before the big day

The Downtown Little League Angels arrived in full force (though in assorted baseball get-ups) to face a combined Reds/Pirates team on the Bttery park City fields on April 9 for a warmup game.  The sun was strong, when it peaked through the many buildings (including three under construction), but the air was still chilly.  Jackson Vertucci was on the mound for the Angels in the top of the first, facing leadoff hitter Tyler Adams.  Adams punched the ball into the shallow outfield for a single, stealing second during the next at-bat.  Teammate Will Best’s towering double to centerfield brought Adams home for the Reds’ first run of the season.

The Angels, down 1-0 in the bottom of the second, faced Douglass Stapler on the mound.  Doug threw three pitches and three strikes to the first batter, then caught a short fly for out two.  Vertucci’s long drive to centerfield earned him a double and teammate Valentino Rosa brought him to third with a single.  Sal Derogatis hit a little blooper in front of home plate, which catcher Tyler Rohan fielded and threw to first base, but both Vertucci and Rosa were able to cross home plate before the ball made it back to the pitcher.  James Stinett was behind on the count, but his single brought in Derogatis.  Stapler was able to end the scoring spree by throwing three consecutive strikes to the seventh batter.

Down 3-1, the Reds/Pirates led off against Rosa, with Ava Villalba, then Hudson Kussie.  Kussie took one for the “teams” when Rosa’s pitch nailed him in the back.  He recovered enough to steal second and then third, and subsequent batters Patrick Constantin (Pirates), Jonah Frere-Holmes, Trevor Maruffi and Adams (Reds) walked to load the bases and add another two runs for the Reds/Pirates.  The Angels were scoreless against W. Best in the second, though leadoff batter Brendan Doherty walked and stole to second and Gabriel Colon walked as well. Joseph “Skap” Scarpelli grounded out to the pitcher, and Nick and Catherine Constantinesco were unable to connect with the ball.   

In the bottom of the fourth, the Angels faced Rohan on the mound, who put away their leadoff batter, but lost concentration a bit when Angels’ fans began to chatter from the bench.  Sandella took a base on balls and stole second base, but Rohan struck out batter #3, and successfully fielded a grounder to the mound to end the game at 14-8, Reds/Pirates over Angels.

Opening Day is Saturday.