On Saturday, July 28, 2016, the
Community of Brookline descended upon PNC Park for the fifth year in a
row, this time bringing four teams to the prestigious City of Pittsburgh
Mayor's Cup Championship games. Brookline's girls softball league was
well represented, with the 18-Under, 15-Under and 12-Under teams reaching
the finals. To top that off, the boys 12-Under Little League team was also
competing in the title game for the first time since 1995.
It was a gala day-long event,
with a Brookline team competing in each of the four games. When the
contests finally came to an end, the Brookline Little League Association
had walked away with three championships and one runner-up. Not bad
for a Day At The Ballpark.
Young Max Naret looks primed and ready
to cheer on his big brother Jack Naret.
12-Under Girls 15-Under Girls 18-Under Girls
Click on images
for larger pictures.
12-Under Boys Little League
The big day at PNC Park began with the
Boys Little League championship game, with Brookline squaring off against
Squirrel Hill. In the first inning, Squirrel Hill scored two runs off starter
Kevin Jones. Brookline answered in the lower half when Jack Naret, barely
ten-years old and the youngest member of the team, smashed a 250-foot homer
to make the score 2-1.
Kyle Keener took the mound for
Brookline in the second inning. In the third, Squirrel Hill threatened with
runners on first and third, and only one out. They tried a double steal.
Brookline catcher Brian Vogel threw
to shortstop Ty Lagoni to get the runner at second. Lagoni then threw back
to Vogel to nail the runner coming home for a picture perfect 2-6-2 double
play. The hometown crowd erupted with joy at the outstanding effort.
Brookline's Jack Naret lunges to grab a fly
ball for an out in right field (left) and Brian Vogel celebrates
a three-run homer in the third inning with his third base coach. (Post-Gazette
Riding the momentum of their textbook
defensive play, Brookline came to bat in the bottom of the third. With two
runners on base, Naret made his second plate appearance and singled one home
to tie the game at two-apiece. The Brookline fans roared with excitement.
Then slugger Brian Vogel came to the
plate and proceeded to crush a three-run homer to left center for a 5-2 Brookline
lead. The four-bagger took the wind right out of the Squirrel Hill sails and
sent the Brookline faithful into a frenzy.
Vogel's round-trip blast was his 64th
homerun of the season, breaking his own BLLA Little League record of
fifty-six set the previous season. Keener tossed his third scoreless inning in the
fourth, then yielded the mound to Vogel, who finished out the final two
Squirrel Hill brought home one more run
in the fifth to finish off the scoring. Vogel shut them down in the sixth to
claim the title for Brookline, whose team was sponsored by Michael Poremski
Plumbing. It was Brookline's second boys Little League Mayor's Cup
championship, and first since 1995.
The Mayor's Cup win was bittersweet for
one Brookline player. DiMaggio Lonero, the regular shortstop who had gone 3-3
with three extra base hits in the semi-final tournament game against Carrick,
was sidelined after undergoing an urgent surgical procedure. DiMaggio suited
up for the game but missed out on his opportunity to play on the
PNC Park turf.
Members of the Brookline Little
League 12-Under Boys Mayor's Cup Championship team include: Jake Grosse,
Idris Wilson, Chris Grosse, Brian Vogel, Kevin Jones, Ari Xenakis, Nolan Dunn,
DiMaggio Lonero, Kyle Keener, Griffin Englehardt, Jack Naret, Ty Lagoni and
Mike Falce. The coaches were Brian Vogel, Bill Lonero, Kurt Engelhardt
and Kerry Keener.
12-Under Girls Little League
Brookline's 12-Under Little League
girls softball team made it's fifth consecutive appearance in the Mayor's
Cup title game. The girls made it four wins out of five attempts with their
third championship victory in a row.
Riding the wave of enthusiasm from
the previous boys title game, the Brookline girls jumped off to a 6-3 lead
over Morningside in the first inning. They surrendered the edge after allowing
four runs in the fourth inning. Two Brookline runs in the fifth frame restored
a one-run advantage that held through the final frame for an 8-7
Brookline's 15-Under girls softball team
made it's third appearance in the Mayor's Cup title game. This time the girls
finished runnerup in a heart-breaking loss to Swissvale.
Brookline's 18-Under team made it's first-ever
appearance in the Pittsburgh Mayor's Cup title game, and what a memorable first
appearance it was. Many of the girls were veterans of previous PNC Park title games,
having competed in other age groups, but nothing could prepare them for the thrills,
chills and excitement of this game.
Squaring off against long-time rivals Elliott,
Brookline jumped off to an early 2-0 lead and held their opponent scoreless through
the first four innings. Elliott scored two in the fifth to tie the game. Entering the
seventh and final frame, what had evolved into a tight defensive struggle soon erupted
into an offensive showdown.
Brookline scored five runs in the seventh to
take a commanding lead going into the bottom half. Undetered, Elliott answered with
five runs of their own to tie the game and send the contest into extra
In the eighth, Brookline piled on another three
runs, only to be matched by Elliott. The ninth inning was scoreless, leading to the
decisive tenth inning. As darkness fell over the City of Pittsburgh, under the bright
PNC Park lights Brookline scored three more in the top of the tenth, then held Elliott
scoreless in the bottom half to claim the title with a 13-10 victory.
Nervous apprehension turned to sheer delight as
Brookline's faithful fans once again watched their girls hoist the coveted Mayor's Cup
Members of the Brookline 18-Under
Girls Mayor's Cup Championship team include: Katie Smith, Kaitlyn Falce,
Lindsey Maiorano, Hayli Davis, Kelsey Garrubba, Kiersten Swanson,
Tori Williams, Tori Hudson, Tori McCrea, Jamie Farerri, Melina Bushman,
Maddie Jagielski, Olivia Tiani and Kyra Fitzwilliam. The coaches were
Robert "Bibbers" Smith, Mike Falce, Steve Maiorano and
Mayor's Cup Champions and Runners-Up
winners include the 1995 12-Under boys, the 2012 12-Under girls, the 2012 15-Under girls, the 2014 12-Under girls and the 2015 12-Under girls. Others to reach the title game were the 1994 12-Under boys, the 2013 12-Under girls, the 2013 15-Under girls and the 2015 12-Under girls.
Brookline Invited To City Council For Mayor's Cup
The three Brookline winning teams
were invited to City Council Chambers in August for a special day honoring
the Pittsburgh Mayor Cup Championship clubs. A City Council Proclamation was
read honoring those present and afterwards a photo was taken with District#4
Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak and Big League Directors Joe Defeo and Michelle
Photos provided by Brian Vogel, Tara Garrubba, Andria DeBold,
Leslie Maiorano, Stacie Swanson, Rob Jaras and James Naret.