Big Apple wins regular season title

In an epic, eight-inning struggle, defending champion Big Apple defeated Valley National Bank, 3-2, to take the Cal Ripken Rookie League’s regular season crown.
Valley took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on four walks, with Sean Jun getting the RBI. But Big Apple tied the score in the second. After Paul Mulcahy laid down a perfect bunt single, walks by Josh Wolleon, Alex Reyes and Nye Armstrong forced the run home.
The game stayed tied until the fifth inning, when Andrew Ferrier hit an inside the park homerun. The Apples came back to tie the score in the bottom of the fifth when Shane Paradine singled, Sean Lavin hit a fielder’s choice, and Corey Johnson drilled an RBI double.
In the bottom of the sixth, it looked like Big Apple was going to end the game when Mulcahy hit a lead-off single and advanced to third on wild pitches. But Luciano Lopez Viamonte struck out the next three hitters to send the game into extra innings.
Big Apple threatened again in the bottom of the seventh when Paradine hit a booming triple. Lavin then stroked a line drive that seemed headed for right field, but Ferrier, who was solid at second base all day long, made a tremendous catch to end the rally.
Valley seemed on the verge of a break-through in the top of the eighth, getting runners on second and third after a walk and an error. But the Nats couldn’t score on a grounder to pitcher Nye Armstrong. Then, another walk loaded the bases. Nicholas Kiniery hit a grounder to second that seemed like it would give Valley the lead. But Mulcahy threw a strike to home to gun down the runner.
Big Apple won on four walks in the bottom of the eighth, with Johnson, Mike Nolan, Mulcahy and Greg Pease all reaching base. Pease had the game-winning RBI.
For Big Apple, Johnson and Lavin hurled well, each allowing one run and one hit over three innings. Nye Armstrong got the win with two shut-out innings, allowing no hits.
For Valley, Eugene Keohane gave up one hit and one run over the first three, while Viamonte surrendered three hits and one run the over second three. Jun was the losing pitcher.
Big Apple finished at 10-2, while Valley’s record was 9-3.


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