Little League Baseball: Sunnybrae walks past Tinton Falls in Section 3 tournament | Sports
HAMILTON – When Sunnybrae manager Rob Riley fills out his roster card, he knows it’s almost like having two hitters in the lead as JJ Bucchianico places 9th overall.
Bucchianico had two hits and hit base in his four home plate appearances to help Sunnybrae beat Tinton Falls, 10-2, on Monday night in a Little League Section 3 game on home turf.
“I know I have the training ahead of me to come,” Bucchianico said. “All the fat guys who can drive me.”
In fact, it was Bucchianico who broke the ice with a single RBI in the second set that turned out to be the hit to open the floodgates.
Sunnybrae sent 10 batters to the plate and scored five points in the frame and never looked back. The hosts added two more points in the third and three in the fifth to strengthen the lead.
“It was really important because once one person goes, we all go,” Bucchianico said. “We knew after this race we were going to be good.”
Dominick DeFrancis allowed a run in 2.1 innings and Cullen Bressler worked three scoreless innings with a hit before reaching his pitch limit.
Jonathan Posivak, Tommy Ditta and Raffa Tramo also had two hits each. Sunnybrae, who worked 10 walks against four pitchers from Tinton Falls, had at least two runners to hit base in all but one innings.
“We don’t make a lot of mistakes, we play defense and we throw,” said Riley. “We know that if we score five, six, seven, eight points, we’re tough to beat.”
Sunnybrae qualified to face tournament favorite Toms River East on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET. The winner will make it to the Championship Round and only needs one more victory to secure a spot in the New Jersey Jim Graziano State Tournament.
Sunnybrae is looking to become the first District 12 team to win the Section 3 sine Nottingham in 2012.
“These teams are relishing it,” Riley said. “They won’t be overwhelmed by anyone, not overwhelmed by the crowds. They understand that no team in 64 years has set foot on sectional ground. They know what they are, but they’re not happy. They want to keep on grinding and keep winning. “
Sunnybrae 052 030 – 10 10 1
Tinton Falls 001 001 – 2 4 3
WP: Bressler. LP: Basil. 2B: Posivak, DeFrancis (S). Biasi (TF). RBI: Riley, Posivak 2, DeFrancis, Gutierrez, Kemler, Bucchianico (S). Minafo, Segarra (TF).