TNT heads to WBA championship playoff

The Throgs Neck Thunder (TNT) kept up their winning ways in the Westchester Baseball Association (WBA) with two playoff victories this past weekend.

In their first playoff game, the number two seeded team (TNT) played against the number seven seeded team (Richards) at Yonkers (Andrus Field) on Saturday, June 13.

TNT dominated this game with strong pitching, flawless defense and clutch hitting as they won 4 to 0. Justin DelVecchio went the distance by throwing 6 innings of shutout baseball. He compiled 13 K’s and limited Richards to only 4 hits. All of TNT’s four runs were scored in the 4th inning as Justin DelVecchio, Joe Menna, Michael Wickes, Brian O’Rourke and Nick Gennarelli came up with key hits.

On Sunday, June 14, TNT traveled up to the Pine Ridge field in Rye Brook for the 2nd round of the playoffs against the number 3 seeded team (Rye Brook). It was a gut-wrenching extra inning affair (8 innings) as both teams played hard and did not want to lose. Rye Brook took an early 1-0 lead as they scored an unearned run in the first inning. Rye Brook held that lead until the 4th inning, when like the day before TNT showed that this was there lucky inning by again rallying for 4 runs. Rye Brook scratched out 2 more runs in the 5th inning against starter Nick Gennarelli (4.2 I, 3R, 2 K) to make it a one run game. The game was kept close by some spectacular defensive gems by the second baseman Brian O’Rourke.

In the 6th inning, Rye Brook did not go down without a fight and found a way to score a run to tie the game at 4-4 and send it to extra innings. However, reliever Joe Signore (3.1 I, 1R, 4K) was determined to not let Rye Brook score again as he shut them down in the 7th and 8th inning. In the bottom of the 8th inning, TNT again found a way to win in dramatic fashion. With two outs, Justin DelVecchio singled up the middle, quickly stole 2nd and moved to 3rd on an errant throw. With clean-up hitter Joe Signore up at-bat, the Rye Brook manager decided to intentional walk him and instead challenge third baseman Joe Menna. However, Joe made the strategy backfire as he came through with a clutch base hit to drive home the winning run and send TNT into the championship game next Sunday.

Manager Luigi D’Ancona said, “We have a great bunch of kids on this team and they have shown over and over that there is no quit in them. Of the 10 wins this spring, we have 5 walk-off wins in our last at-bat after being down or tied in the last inning. This last playoff game was another example of our teams grit and determination as we struck quickly to win the game after two outs and nobody on. As we now go to the championship game next weekend, I know that no matter what happens in that game, our team will play with heart and passion.”

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