VALHALLA, N.Y. – The final outcome – a 17-3 loss to District 18’s Stony Point in Saturday's Section 4 Little League Baseball Majors final – was not what Eastchester was hoping for, but, following the post-game meeting, the team sprung from the dugout and was greeted with tremendous applause from parents, siblings and friends.
In that meeting, Eastchester manager Anthony Satriale stressed how proud he was of the team for its outstanding time together. Eastchester won the District 20 title and, after losing its opening game in the Section 4 Championships, won three consecutive games to earn a shot at the title against a Stony Point team that also won the 2010 Section 4 Minors title and played for the state championship.
Satriale told the team this was the deepest into the playoffs an Eastchester Majors team had ever advanced.
“After being so close the past two years, winning the district title was really good,” said shortstop/pitcher John Doherty, 13, an eighth-grader-to-be at Eastchester Middle School. “We felt we had another good team this year and we were more confident. We also added a few new players who we felt helped the team a lot.
Doherty was referring to Tsubasa Yuhara, Alston Tarry and Luca Fava. Along with these three players and Doherty, the team was made up of John Satriale, Nick Koutoulas, Mark DeLorenzo, Danny Kripple, Benny Salanitro, Nick Baglio, Paul Puccini, Jared Curcio, Jonathan Limekiller and Mark Stern.
While Eastchester found itself in an early hole in the Section 4 Championships after losing to New Rochelle, Doherty and his teammates knew they had the talent and ability to bounce back.
“We never got down on ourselves,” Doherty said. “We picked each other up, helped each other out and we came back and kept on winning.”
Eastchester began with a 7-6 walk-off win, thanks to a Doherty grand slam. Yuhara pitched an excellent game in a 5-2 win over New Rochelle and Eastchester hit the long ball in a 12-10 victory over Poughkeepsie to reach the final.
Tarry, who hit two home runs against Briarcliff, singled, scored a run and drove in a run against Stony Point. Doherty had an RBI the hard way, getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
“We have a great team and we had fun coming to the field every day and playing baseball,” Doherty said. “The coaches are proud of us and we’re proud of ourselves, too, because we accomplished something that no other Eastchester 12U team has ever done.”