Rainfall stopped the game after the fifth inning Tuesday night, and the Throgs Neck Little League All-Stars team’s hopes to complete the game to enter the World Series were washed away.
Their opponents at West Deptford, NJ, had a 1-0 lead at the time, that became the final score.
“The players and the coaching staff are heartbroken over the fact that the weather took their chances away, not giving them the opportunity to play the last two innings to tie the game up,” said Frank Eisele, TNLL president.
“It was an official game, so the score at the end of five innings counted,” Eisele said. “That is really tough. I would think they are in shock. You never expect something like that to occur, you really don’t.”
The Throgs Neck Little League 15- and 16-year-old All Stars won all five district tournaments again for the second year in a row, according to Eisele.
They won 11 games in a row after losing their first game 14-5.
Then in the loser’s bracket they lost 1-0 in five innings because it rained for three hours in New Jersey.
“It’s a tribute to all the boys winning their five district-level championships,” Eisele said. “We’re having a Family Trophy Day on August 19. We’ll celebrate all the boys’ victories in the district on that day at the field on Throgs Neck Boulevard and Harding Avenue.”
The Throgs Neck senior division All-Stars team’s Eastern Regionals game had been rained out Monday night vs. West Deptford and postponed to Tuesday night.
Team coach Joe Silvestri had been concerned how the weather would affect that game and, ultimately, making it to the championship game to enter the World Series.
Until Tuesday night’s loss, Silvestri was optimistic about the team’s fate.
“Right now we are top seed, we are 3 and 0,” Silvestri said. “By Wednesday, there has got to be a winner.”
If the Bronx team had kept the best tournament record by Wednesday, it would have made it to the World Series game by default, according to Silvestri.
“If we play (Tuesday), it becomes a key game, but they’re expecting bad weather,” Silvestri said. “As long as we’re undefeated, we go to the Promised Land.”
On the down side, Silvestri added, “The only unfortunate thing that can happen is if we lose and it rains, they do away with the loser’s bracket and we get knocked out. It can work for us. It can work against us. We’re going to go out there and win this game and that’ll be the end of it.”
Unfortunately, the down side was the team’s ultimate fate after a valiant effort to advance thus far.
The World Series is scheduled for Saturday, July 29 through Saturday, August 5 in Easley, SC, with teams from within the U.S. and around the world.
Last year, the Bronx team lost in the semi-finals of the Eastern Regionals, according to Eddie Mooney, league concession manager.
“Now, they’re undefeated,” Mooney said. “If they win (Tuesday), they will be in the championship game to go to the World Series, which no one else has done in the Bronx besides us in 1970.”
Mooney said he played in 1970 for the Bronx little league team that lost to Tampa, FL, in that World Series.
Within the U.S., teams competed in regional games in Central, Southeast, Southwest and West areas.