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Rebels and Rebels Co-champs at 2011 SST

Posted by Mike Conry at Sep 6, 2011 8:44AM PDT ( 0 Comments )

North Bellmore, NY — The 2011 South Shore Tournanment concluded in unprecendented fashion with a co-championship shared by both the Acri 11U Rebels and the McGrath 11U Rebels.

After going 2-3 in pool play, the McGrath club got hot, winning two play-off games knocking out Seaford and the LI Mudcats.

The Acri team ran the table winning 5 of 5 in the pool round and, after a quarter-final bye, winning their lone play-off game routing the Island Trees Bulldogs 12-0 by run-rule.

Rebels Run Ends at States

Posted by Mike Conry at Aug 11, 2011 10:33PM PDT ( 2 Comments )

Pine Bush, NY – The 11U Rebels of North Bellmore North Merrick Little league returned home Wednesday after being eliminated from the 2011 Williamsport Tournament in the New York State play-off. While it was a disappointing ending, it was a great run by this team that hadn’t lost an official game since May 22 and represented its league in a way that hadn’t been accomplished in a decade.

NBNM opened the tournament last Saturday against Section 4 representative Stony Point. Signs that this was not to be the Rebels’ week came early as they very uncharacteristically committed four errors in the top of the first inning spotting the Stony Point club two early, unearned runs. Despite a great effort from pitcher Nick Valeriano, NBNM’s offense was mostly quiet, the defense managed three more errors, and they found themselves trailing 4-2 entering the bottom of the sixth. All the sloppy play and lack of sustained hitting notwithstanding, the Rebels were battling with one out and men on second and third. Stony Point, evidently feeling the reality of the Rebels’ threat, resorted to a desperate, bush-league, trick play: the pitcher feigned a ‘pick-off’ throw to third base, the fielders, bench and fans yelled, “ball! ball!” as the pitcher ran toward third pointing down the left field line with the ball in his glove, the third baseman chased the imaginary ball, the runner was drawn off third base, and the pitcher applied the tag for out number two. The Rebels subsequent base hit that would have tied the game instead drove in just one and that’s how it ended; 4-3 final.

With their backs to the wall in the double-elimination tournament, the Rebels lined up Monday night against Section 1 champion Vestal. The Rebels were the recipients of some charitable play in this one, took an early lead and never looked back. While the offense was more than adequate, the story of this game was Rebels pitching and their remarkable efficiency. En route to NBNM’s 8-1 victory, Kevin McClenghan, Michael Proios, Alec Acri, Jack Delaney, and Brian Porricelli combined for a total pitch count of 91 that left McCleneghan available on one day of rest and Proios, Delaney and Porricelli available the next day.

The Rebels returned Tuesday against Section 3’s Colonie hoping for a resurgence on the momentum of Monday’s big win. After a one-hour delayed start while the field was readied after a day of on-and-off rain, it became apparent that was not to be the case. The Rebels struggled to get anything going offensively. Meanwhile, with two out and men on second and third in the fourth, Colonie managed a big double to score two and take a 3-0 lead. After a Rebels rally was limited to just one run in the fifth, a two-out double in the sixth brought the tying run to the plate. But, again, the Rebels came up short, suffered a 3-1 loss, and an early exit from the tournament.

All in all, it was a great experience for these players that provided memories that will last their lifetimes. Failure to win the State in no way diminishes the great accomplishents of taking the District and Section banners. What some, including this writer, suspect it does do, though, is leaves that bad taste of unfinished business in the players’ mouths and gives them the drive to go even further next year much as the painful 2010 District play-off propelled them this year.

These players ought to be very proud of their accomplishment as I know their parents, families, coaches, neighbors and league are proud of them.

The Rebels next game is 9:00AM Saturday at Gunther field to kick off the 2011 South Shore Tournament.

Long Island Champs!

Posted by Mike Conry at Aug 3, 2011 11:56AM PDT ( 0 Comments )

Dix Hills, NY – The North Bellmore North Merrick LL Rebels are the 2011 Williamsport 10/11 Section 6 (Long Island) Champions. They claimed the title in defeating Huntington Tri-Village LL, 4-2, last night at Otsego Park. The victory completes the Rebels perfect 6-0 run through the Section tournament.

After postponement due to weather on Monday night and a late start behind an earlier game last night, the Rebels were more than a little anxious to get this game started. Despite the delays, though, NBNM portrayed the loose group they’re known to be, and were ready to claim what they’ve worked so hard for.

The Rebels struck first when Alec Acri was driven in by a ground ball from Nick Valeriano and NBNM led 1-0 after one. With key base hits by Jack Delaney and Brian Porricelli, the Rebels extended their lead to 4-0 after two.

Rebels’ starting pitcher Porricelli was very effective en route to his complete-game victory. The only runs he allowed came by way of two hits, including a single and a three-base error, in the fourth inning that brought HTV to within two runs.

Then pitching and defense took over on both sides.

The defensive play of the game came on its final out. With two away and Porricelli bidding to retire the side in order in the HTV sixth, the clean-up hitter drove a ball deep toward the warning track in left-center. Centerfielder Kevin McCleneghan read the ball right off the bat and, with a great first step, streaked into the alley and, at full gait and full stretch, made a spectacular grab to seal the win for the Rebels.

Having brought the Section banner back to North Bellmore, the Rebels will head up to Pine Bush, NY to represent Long Island in the State tournament beginning Saturday 8/3.

Rebels Run the Table in Section Pool Play

Posted by Mike Conry at Jul 30, 2011 9:44PM PDT ( 0 Comments )

Dix Hills, NY – With their 15-5 victory today over Huntington Tri-Village A&E LL at Otsego Park, the North Bellmore North Merrick LL Rebels have swept the 2011 Williamsport Section 6 pool going a perfect 5-0. The Rebels have outscored their opponents 64-11 for an average margin of victory of 10.6 runs.

They were similarly dominant today. After taking an early lead ignited by the hot hitting of Jack Delaney, then proceeding to give it back, the Rebels gained momentum as the game progressed and their now hallmark offense went to work. Starter Nick Valeriano and the Rebels defense had Huntington trailing 5-2 after two innings. Then, ignited by the brilliant middle relief work of Alec Acri, the Rebels offense extended their lead to 7-2 in the fourth, 11-2 in the fifth, and 15-2 in the middle of the sixth as Acri baffled HTV batters with a dazzling array of pitches. Delaney came on to close out the bottom of the sixth, buttoning it up after Huntington managed to scratch out three runs without getting a ball out of the infield. In all, it was a convincing victory that reinforced the apparent message of the Rebels’ intentions in this tournament.

Virtually every player in the NBNM lineup contributed to the usually prolific offense.

Delaney — multiple hits including his deep double in the first, Acri, Brian Porricelli — smoked a double to the fense in right-center, Nick Valieriano — hustled out a hit after hitting hard into tough luck prior, Kevin McCleneghan, Eric Solomon, Mike Proios, and Andy Davila — a great bunt that went for a single, all tallied in the hits column for the red-hot Rebels.

A particularly scorching performance was that of Matt Conry who, with a chance to hit for the cycle in the sixth, instead ripped a double through the left-centerfield alley for his second of the day and a perfect 4-for-4. In the fourth inning Conry hit his first career homerun launching a deep drive over the left-centerfield fence.

It was a game mostly in keeping with the Rebels performance through the 2011 Williamsport Tournament to date. Having gone 4-0 in the District with total scores of 49-4, their overall Williamsport numbers are 9-0, scoring an average of 12.6 runs per game while allowing just 1.7.

The Rebels would earn their place in the NY State Tournament with a victory in the Section championship final Monday August 1, 8:00pm, also at Otsego Park and also against HTV A&E.