Monthly Archives: August 2011
The Royal Oak Sandlot League wrapped up an exciting season with World Series championship playoffs for each of its divisions this week at Memorial Park.
Two of its champions were crowned Sunday night, with Tania’s Pizza & More winning the Freehan Division (ages 9-11), and Dr. Matlen’s Happy Feet claiming the girls softball title.
The remaining two divisions decided their champions on Wednesday and Friday evenings after a pair of three-game series.
Harwell Division (ages 14-17)
The William Sullivan & Sons team offense had been largely dormant through the first two games of the Harwell division World Series. They were shut out by Oakland Utilities, 5-0, in the first game and narrowly won the second game, 2-1.
After falling into an early 4-1 deficit in game three, Oakland Utilities rallied to take a 5-4 lead going into the sixth inning. However, the William Sullivan & Sons offense struck back with two runs in the sixth to regain the lead. They added five more runs in the seventh and final inning and held on for the victory.
William Sullivan & Sons manager Jeff Skarjune said his team had to overcome some obstacles to win the World Series, including a good opponent.
“(Oakland Utilities) scored a lot of runs against us, and spanked us pretty good in game one,” Skarjune said. “We battled back from game one, and then they got down by a run (in game three) and battled back from that. We got contributions from the top of the order to the bottom.”
Skarjune said a difficult practice schedule meant his players had to put in a lot of extra time over the course of the season to reach their goal of winning a title.
“You’ve got guys that are playing for school and for other teams, and we can’t practice with a full team until the season starts,” Skarjune said.
“We’re trying to squeeze in any time we can get, so these guys are showing up and putting in extra time,” he said. “I had a couple of guys that got here early and the first thing they said was ‘Can I take some extra ground balls?’ They came fired up, ready to play and ready to win.”
Despite the struggles early in the series, Skarjune said he believed his team had what it took to win.
“I told these guys right from the start that we would win the World Series this year,” Skarjune said. “At any level that you play, any chance you have to win a championship is a good thing. When they got their trophies tonight, I said, ‘Be proud of it. It says champions for a reason and you guys earned it.’ I could not be more proud of my team.”
Kaline Division (ages 12-13)
The first two games of the Kaline division World Series provided a lot of offense and thrilling finishes.
Royal Oak Firefighters captured the first game, defeating Avery Printing, 16-15, in extra innings. In game two, Avery Printing scored 11 runs in the first three innings, but the Firefighters rallied to tie the game at 11. However, Avery answered the rally by scoring two more runs of their own in the sixth inning and holding on for a 13-11 victory that tied the series at one game apiece.
For a while, it looked like Wednesday night’s game three might have to be postponed. Rain began falling steadily shortly after the first pitch, but it was never heavy enough to force umpires to stop the game. Undeterred by the poor weather, the Firefighters continued their offensive surge, and held Avery Printing to just one run in a 15-1 Firefighters’ victory.
Firefighters’ co-manager Mike Geboski said the win was special for his team.
“The kids will always remember it,” Geboski said. “You always want to be a winner, and they’re winners. It was a team effort, the kids did a great job and we’ve got great coaches.”
Geboski’s co-manager, Steve Agnello, said the team’s hard work and preparation throughout the season was crucial.
“We called a special practice before the World Series just because this team is so competitive,” Agnello said. “I know (the win) means a lot to the coaches, the players and their parents because they worked so hard for it all year. Everything worked out nice for us.”
Agnello added that he was especially proud of the kids on his team.
“Every young man (on the team) is such a nice kid,” Agnello said. “I don’t have any kids but they feel like mine. They’re going to go far in life.”
The Royal Oak Sandlot League teams are in the thick of championship series play. Here’s an update:
Kaline Division (ages 12-13)
Needing a victory Monday night to keep its Royal Oak Sandlot League World Series hopes alive, Avery Printing got off to a quick start and withstood a comeback attempt by the Royal Oak Firefighters to extend the series to a decisive third game.
In Saturday’s Game 1, Avery Printing built up an early lead, only to have the Firefighters come back and win the game in extra innings, 16-15. In Game 2, Avery Printing scored 11 runs in the first three innings, only to have the Firefighters come back again late and tie the game at 11. This time, Avery Printing regained the lead in the sixth inning and held on for a 13-11 victory.
With the best-of-three series tied at 1-1, Wednesday’s Game 3 (Memorial Park, 7 p.m.) will determine the Kaline Division champion.
Harwell Division (ages 14-17)
Monday night also marked the beginning of the World Series for the ROSL’s Harwell Division. In Game 1 of that series, Oakland Utilities defeated William Sullivan & Sons, 5-0. Game 2 of the best-of-three series will be Wednesday at Memorial Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m.
Freehan Division (ages 9-11)
Tania’s Pizza & More captured the Freehan Division World Series championship with a 7-5 victory Sunday night over Norm’s Field of Dreams.
ROSL Girls Junior Softball
The ROSL’s girls junior softball World Series champion was also crowned Sunday night, as Dr. Matlen’s Happy Feet defeated the Clawson Sluggers.
With Thursday’s temperatures hovering around 100 degrees, players in the Royal Oak Sandlot League baseball playoffs took the field at Memorial Park to determine which teams would advance to the league’s World Series.
Due to concerns over the excessive heat, the start times of games involving the ROSL’s Kaline Division were pushed back a half-hour, to 7:30 p.m. The softball and control pitch games scheduled for earlier in the day were postponed.
Thursday’s action was the conclusion of a round-robin playoff that saw the Kaline field cut to its final four teams – two each from its National League and American League divisions. The Kaline Division consists of players from the 12-13 year-old age group.
The Freehan Division, made up of players aged 9-11, determined its World Series matchup Wednesday night. In that division, Norm’s Field of Dreams (14-1) will face Tania’s Pizza & More (11-4) in a three-game series that will begin 7 p.m. Friday at Memorial Park.
The ROSL’s Harwell Division and softball leagues will hold their championships next week.
Kaline Division series
Back in Kaline, in the National League Final, Avery Printing defeated Frentz & Sons Hardware, 9-3, to earn a berth in the World Series. Avery Printing ended the regular season in third place with a record of just 8-7, but it had defeated first-place Frentz & Sons (14-3) on June 15.
Avery Printing manager Aaron Allison said the win meant a lot to his team and the coaches. “We’ve worked so hard for this,” Allison said. “These kids have put in extra practices when most people aren’t practicing. It just paid off for them, it really has.”
In the American League Final, the first-place Royal Oak Firefighters continued their strong play, defeating the Royal Oak Lions Club, 12-2. The Firefighters finished the regular season with a 13-3 record.
Royal Oak Firefighters co-manager Steve Agnello said he was confident his team would reach the World Series. “For a team that had six wins last year, we had some nice draft picks and we thought we would do good,” Agnello said. “It’s no surprise that we’re here.”
Agnello’s co-manager, Mike Geboski, said the team is already looking forward to its next game. “They already know what their job is and they showed it again tonight,” Geboski said. “We’ve had a good team since Day One – good players and great coaches; it’s all one unit. Hopefully we can continue for two more of the next three – that’s all that counts.”
Avery Printing and Royal Oak Firefighters will begin their best 2-out-of-3 World Series matchup Saturday at Memorial Park with the first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. Royal Oak Firefighters won both of its regular season matchups with Avery Printing.
For more information on the ROSL, including standings and a schedule, visit the league’s website at www.eteamz.com/royaloaksandlotleague.