Rye’s select team of 11-year-olds opened the District 20 Little League playoffs July 8 by thumping a strong Eastchester team 9-5 at Disbrow Field.
Rye started slowly, with four batters going down swinging in the first two innings. But the floodgates opened in the third, when Rye’s No. 8 and 9 hitters, Owen Hull and Max Kenny, stroked a pair of singles through the middle. Everyone was safe when Eastchester’s third sacker muffed Matt Bruno’s grounder, and Dusty Mion’s hard single to center plated all three runners, aided by some sloppy Eastchester defense. Billy Chabot’s groundout to short scored Rye’s fourth run of the frame.
Front row: Andy Bach, Jared Olbrys, Forbes Crowley, Billy Chabot, Gavin Kenny, and Sean Hale; middle row: Dusty Mion, Max Kenney, TJ Lavelle, Owen Hull, Brett Egan, and Matt Bruno; back row: Coaches Brian Bach and Michael Kenny, and Manager Greg Hale.
Unfortunately, pitcher Max Kenny’s own defense was porous early on, and Eastchester was ahead 5-4 when Chabot settled things with a towering homer to right-center in the fifth. Mion’s second hit of the day, a double, drove in Bruno for Rye’s ninth run in the sixth inning, after which Mion took the mound and closed out the game.
The following Monday, Rye was back at Disbrow to take on fellow first-round winners Elmsford, trouncing them, 8-2. The victory sets up a battle of the unbeatens July 15 at Eastchester’s O’Rourke Field against Harrison, which defeated White Plains, 8-4. The winner advances to the championship round, where they’ll need one victory in two games (if necessary) to win the District 20 title.