Bruno only yields 3 hits in Staten Island’s win over Texas
A closer look at the Staten Island, New York’s 2-1 win over Houston, Texas on Sunday at Lamade Stadium.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Steven Martinez’s RBI single — One of New York’s captains continues delivering clutch hits and his third-inning RBI single provided the decisive run. Martinez ripped a one-out RBI single into right field that scored Chris Bedford and gave New York a 2-0 lead. Giving Bruno a two-run cushion provides quite an advantage.
NEW YORK PLAYER OF THE GAME: Gregory Bruno — The New York ace did it again. He showed a bit of a human side actually allowing a run for the first time since early last month. Bruno improved to 4-0 in regionals and at the Series, throwing 5 1/3 strong innings of 3-hit baseball, allowing just one run and striking out six. Bruno improved to 2-0 at the Series and since regionals has surrendered just a run and six hits in 18 innings while striking out 38.
TEXAS PLAYER OF THE GAME: Matthew Hedrick — In addition to slamming an RBI double in the fourth inning that made it a one-run game, Hedrick played brilliant defense in right field and made two good catches.
BIG INNING: New York third — Bruno and Ryan Selvaggi both were dealing early, but New York broke through in the third, scoring both its runs. Robert Cavalieri ignited the rally with a one-out single and Chris Bedford followed with an RBI single. Both moved up on a wild pitch and Cavalieri scored on a wild pitch. Martinez then gave New York its 2-0 lead with his clutch hit.
BEST EFFORT: Bruno in the fourth inning — He already had taken a baseball off the elbow and watched Texas pull within 2-1 on Hedrick’s RBI double. With the go-ahead runners on second and third, though, Bruno dug deep and stranded them. Bruno induced a lineout to Martinez at shortstop before ending the inning and forcing a groundout. He did not allow another hit.
FLASHING LEATHER: New York wasted little time showing their defensive prowess when third baseman Derek Mendez robbed Justin Michaelis of a 2-out, first-inning single. Mendez dove to his left, stopped the hard smash, rolled up and fired a perfect strike to first. Hedrick made a nice running catch in the fourth inning, avoiding second baseman Charlie Wylie and taking away a potential Chris Cancel single.
WHAT THE ADULTS SAY: “It’s an unbelievable feeling,” New York manager Joe Calabrese said. “They have a great ball club over there. This is what Little League Baseball is supposed to be about.”
“We talked about the Lufkin team last year. They lost a game and came back through to win (the U.S title),” Texas manager David Rook said. “We have good pitching depth and they just have to rebound and come to play (Monday).”
WHAT THE KIDS SAY: “Honestly, I don’t really care whether they did or didn’t because I’m out here and I just want to win a baseball game,” Martinez asked when whether he knew the Mets and Phillies were at the game late. “I wasn’t focused on looking into crowds and searching for them. I just wanted to win that baseball game”
WHAT IT MEANS: New York advances to Wednesday’s winners’ bracket against Hawaii and is a victory from reaching the U.S. Championship. Texas also is still alive in the hunt for a national championship and plays again Monday in an elimination game against Peachtree City, Georgia.