The Brookline Little League Association
made it's best showing so far in the city-wide competition, sending six teams
to the prestigious Pittsburgh Citisports Mayor's Cup championship games at PNC Park
on Friday, July 26, and Saturday, July 27, 2019. There was a local representative
team in all but one of a possible seven games. Of those six squads, five claimed the
title, making it a banner weekend for the community Brookline, who now boasts the
#1 baseball and softball program in the City of Pittsburgh.
On Friday afternoon, the Little League
baseball team opened the series with a painful 18-4 loss to a star-studded Squirrel
Hill team. The 12U and 15U girls softball teams avenged their local brothers by
winning each of their games, 7-2 over Elliott and 3-1 over Hazelwood.
On Saturday morning, Brookline fans returned
to the North Shore for a day of baseball on the big field and left holding their
brooms high as our boys swept the day's games. The Pony and Colt teams won 6-2 and
15-0 victories, respectively, over 14th Ward, followed by an epic 5-4 comeback
victory by the Super Colts over Beechview.
Little League Boys Pony League Boys
Colt League Boys Super Colt League Boys
12-Under Girls 15-Under Girls
History In The Re-Making
Citiparks Jon Coyne and Duane Ashley,
Mayor Bill Peduto and Chris Ganter of the Pirates.
Click on images
for larger pictures.
Photos by Clint Burton, Kelly
Gutendorf, Katie Jedlick, Megan Hutchison, Jennifer Silinski, Andria DeBold,
Peggy Maxwell, Dan Cunningham, Hugh McGough, Ken Roberts, Kevin Colwell and
Little League Boys
On Friday, July 26, 2019, Brookline's 12-Under
boys squared off against Squirrel Hill in the Citisports Little League championship
game at PNC Park. Out-matched from the start by a bigger, stronger team, Brookline
took a thorough walloping, 18-4. Four Squirrel Hill pitchers combined for a five-hit,
fourteen strikeout outing, while their bats banged our seventeen hits in a command
performance to claim the Mayor's Cup.
Down 9-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Brookline
got on the board when Jason Cimador banged a single that scored Michael Cejrowski Jr.
It was 18-1 in the bottom of sixth when Brookline strung together a walk and three hits
to tally three runs. Riley Mares scored on a single by Mason Maxwell, followed by Jake
Greb and Maxwell crossing the plate after a two-out double by Nico Giampa. Ameir Johnson
then popped out to second to put an end the contest. Brookline left five runners
stranded on base over the course of six innings.
Despite the loss, it was a great experience for
these Brookline Little League boys, who made their first trip to PNC Park. We are pretty
sure it will not be their last as they mature into young men. Congratulations to all of
the players and coaches on a great season!
Members of the Brookline Little League Mayor's
Cup Runner-Up team include: Riley Mares, Jake Grebb, Michael Cejrowski Jr, Mason
Maxwell, Jason Cimador, Nico Giampa, Ameir Johnson, Eugene Parker, Juleon Thompson,
Kelly Maxwell, Tamar Connor and Zach Hudson. The coaches were Dave Greb, John Mares
and Jason Cimador.
Pony League Boys
On Saturday, July 27, 2019, the Brookline Pony
League boys returned to PNC Park to avenge last year's loss to 14th Ward. Wearing
new Brooklyn Dodger-style uniforms, the boys from Brookline succeeded in bringing
down their rivals from the east, 7-2, to claim the Pittsburgh Citisports Mayor's Cup
A strong pitching performance by Brian Reed
and a host of big guns at the plate powered Brookline to an early 6-0 lead and they
never looked back. A brief 14th Ward rally in the bottom of the fourth was silenced
and it was smooth sailing from then on. A seventh Brookline run was squelched
in the sixth inning by a strong throw from the centerfielder that caught Liam Gutendorf
trying to score from second base.
At the plate, Dimaggio Lonero led the Brookline
batters by going 3-3 with two runs scored, a sacrifice fly and two RBI's. Liam Gutendorf
was 2-4 with a double and two runs scored. Brian Reed was 2-4 with a double, a run
scored and an RBI. Pacey Daniels, Johan Kilmer, Johnny Williamson and Aric White all
went 1-2. Kilmer also drove in a run.
Alec Pacheco reached base twice on walks and
drove in a run, while Kevin Jones and Austin Exler both drew free passes. Jack Naret
reached first base on a passed ball and scored a run. On the mound, Reed turned
in a masterful six-hit complete game, with ten strikeouts and four walks.
With this group of boys moving up to the Colt
ranks, it looks as if Brookline will be making regular trips to PNC Park in the next
few years, which is good news for the community and also for this writer, who loves
working the games, especially when they have that hometown flair.
Members of the Brookline Pony League Mayor's
Cup Championship team include: Liam Gutendorf, Dimaggio Lonero, Brian Reed, Kevin Jones,
Alec Pacheco, Aric White, Jack Naret, Johnny Williamson, Johan Kilmer, Pacey Daniels,
Tanner Heidkamp, Austin Exler and Patrick Hudyma. Missing from the game was Brian
Vogel. The coaches were Brian Reed, Billy Lonero, Rob Daniels, James Exler and Jordan
Grazianno. The batboys were Carson Daniels and Gavin Gutendorf.
Colt League Boys
Brookline's Colts came to PNC Park on
Saturday, July 27, 2019, to take on 14th Ward for the second year in a row. Like
their brothers on the Pony level, Brookline avenged last year's championship game
defeat with a resounding 15-0 victory to claim the coveted Pittsburgh Mayor's Cup
title. It was as thorough a pounding as one team can put on another, completely
taming the beasts of the east and sending them home with their tails firmly
tucked between their legs. The score was 10-0 after two innings and Brookline
coasted along from that point.
Brookline's bats, silent in last year's
contest, were burning hot on this sunny Saturday afternoon. Danny Cunningham
went 3-5 with a double, triple and an inside-the-park-homer. He scored three
runs and drove in six. Mason Beauregard went 3-3 with a double and a walk, scored
three runs and drove in one. Cam Colwell was 2-3 with a triple. He was also
hit by a pitch and drew a walk, scoring three runs and driving in one.
Mason Hudson and Mac Robertson both went
2-2, with Robertson driving in one run. Kyle Keener was 1-1 and drew a walk while
scoring two runs. Brandon McGough was 1-4 with a walk and three runs scored.
Ethan Parker was also 1-4, with a double, a walk, a run scored and two RBI's.
Brett Wagner and Zach Kalsek both were 1-2, with Wagner also driving in a
On the mound, Ethan Parker was magnificent,
pitching a complete game shutout. He gave up only five hits, struck out eight
and walked none. Only one 14th Ward runner reached second base the entire game.
Another was gunned down by catcher Cam Colwell on an attempted steal. It was a
completely dominant performance, called after six innings.
Members of the Brookline Colt
League Mayor's Cup Championship team include: Brandon McGough, Ethan Parker, Cameron
Colwell, Danny Cunningham, Mason Beauregard, Brett Wagner, Dylan Donovan, Griffin
Englehardt, Kyle Keener, Mason Hudson, Mac Robertson, Ryan Czerniejewski and Zach
Kalsek. The coaches were Kurt Englehardt, Hugh McGough, Kevin Colwell, Dan
Cunningham and Kerry Keener. The batboys were Zayden Freeman and Colton
Super Colt League Boys
Brookline's Super Colt team arrived at
PNC Park on Saturday, July 27, 2019, ready to take on their neighbors from
Beechview in a highly anticipated "Backyard Brawl." Separated by State Route 19,
this grudge match featured the two communities that once made up the Borough of
West Liberty. Since that municipality's break-up in 1908, the former borough
brothers have been going at it for over a century in every sport imaginable
for geo-significant bragging rights.
On this day the prize was the Pittsburgh
Mayor's Cup Championship, and both teams came mentally psyched and physically
ready to play ball. Brookliners went so far as to print up "Backyard Brawl"
t-shirts, with a battle line drawn at West Liberty Avenue. At 2:30 the contest
began. Two and a half hours later it was settled. In diamond drama that lived up
to all of the pre-game hype, Brookline came away with a last-inning
come-from-behind victory, 5-4.
Beechview jumped on top in the bottom of
the first when a Brookline error, two walks and some more sloppy defense allowed
Jeremy Wytiaz to slip across the plate with the game's first run. Brookline tied
the game in similar fashion in the top half of the second frame when a single,
three walks and a couple errors by Beechview brought home Aaron Exler.
Beechview's second pitcher, Mark Ramsey,
who replaced starter Jimmy Kottler in the third inning, immediately lost sight of
the strike zone. He hit the leadoff batter, then issued three walks and a single,
resulting in two more Brookline runs. Ramsey was replaced with fireballer Mason
Brooks, who put an end to the threat.
Down 3-1, Beechview came right back against
Brookline starter Joe Grimm. An error, a walk and two singles evened the score at
three-apiece after three complete innings. Josh Gmys replaced Grimm on the mound
going into the bottom of the fourth, and Beechview's Hunter Richie teed off on his
first pitch. Hunter hit a line shot that went to the warning track. He rounded second
and slid into third base with a triple. Ritchie scored on a passed ball, putting
Beechview ahead 4-3.
Brooks and Gmys then settled into a steady
rythym and good fielding by both teams silenced the bats. In the bottom of the sixth,
with one on and one out, Nick Roell replaced Gmys on the mound for Brookline.
Entering the top of the seventh, the Brookline hitters came up with just three
outs remaining and down by one run. It was crunch time.
After appearing quite sluggish for three
innings, the bats came alive. A single by Gmys, followed by two throwing errors,
turned into the tying run! After Tiger Menosky flew out to left field, Aaron Exler
connected for his third hit of the game. The next batter struck out.
With two outs and a runner at first, Chris
Panza came to the plate and hit a rocket into the gap in left center. Exler's legs
went into overdrive and he made it all the way home with the go-ahead run. A walk
and an error loaded the bases. The inning then ended on a ground out to second base
and Brookline ahead by one run, 5-4.
Now it was crunch time for the Beechview
bats. The first batter grounded out to Roell. The next got a single, putting the
fans on the edge of their seats with nervous anticipation. A pop-up to first base
set the stage for the final out. A strikeout ended the game and sent the Brookline
players and fans into a frenzied eruption of joy!
For Brookline at the plate, Aaron Exler led
all hitters, going 3-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Nick Roell was 1-2 and drew
three walks. Cam Colwell was 1-3 with an RBI. He reached base four times on a single,
walk, hit batsman and an error. Josh Gmys was 1-3 with a walk and two runs scored.
Trevor O'Donnell scored Brookline's other run after reaching base on a hit batsman.
Joe Grimm accounted for a run batted in and Chris Panza, the "Man of the Hour" who
hit the shot heard 'round the Borough, was 1-2 with the game-winning
On the mound, Joe Grimm pitched three full
innings, giving up two hits and three walks. Two other batters reached base on errors.
He struck out six batters. Josh Gmys pitched 2 1/3 innings, giving up one hit while
striking out one and walking two. Nick Roell worked 1 2/3 innings of relief, giving
up one hit and striking out one while earning the win. Catcher Cam Colwell threw
out two Beechview runners attempting to steal second base.
The "Backyard Brawl" was over, for now, and
the Brookline Super Colts, in their first year of competition, were the Pittsburgh
Mayor's Cup champions. It was a great game, full of excitement and plenty of drama.
Both teams were evenly matched and the game could have gone either way. However, on
this sunny July day, it was the boys from Brookline that came out on top.
Members of the Brookline Super Colt
Mayor's Cup Championship team include: Nick Roell, Cameron Colwell, Zac Wheeler,
Trevor O'Donnell, Josh Gmys, David "Tiger" Menosky, Aaron Exler, Joe Grimm,
Justin Hancock, Chris Panza, Brandon McGough and Danny Cunningham. Missing from
the game was Griffin Malloy. The coaches were Carl Roell, Hugh McGough, Kevin
Colwell and James Exler. The batgirl was Frances Williams.
In a twist of irony, several of the Beechview
players were formerly involved in the Brookline baseball program, and some still
live in Brookline. They switched over to the Beechview to continue their diamond
dreams for a variety of reasons, one of which was that Brookline did not have a
Colt or Super Colt team until recently.
Players like Hunter Richie, Aidan Logan, Tommy
Sposito, Christian Volberg and Jimmy Kottler once wore Brookline uniforms or played
in other local neighborhood sports. These young men won the Colt League championship
two years ago and finished as Super Colt runners-up last year. Kottler just pitched
a no-hitter in the semi-final game last week. They have been a force to be reckoned
with in Citisports competition the past three seasons and they played a great game
on this day. All of us in Brookline congratulate our borough brothers on a fine
Brookline's defending champion 12-Under
girls came to PNC Park on Friday, July 26, 2019, for their seventh appearance
in the Mayor's Cup championship game since 2012. Led by coach Tara Garrubba,
the Brookliners successfully added another notch to their championship belt by
defeating Elliott, 7-2, thus claiming their sixth title in eight
The top seeded Brookline girls jumped
off to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, then watched Elliott claw back with a
run in both the second and third frames. In the bottom half of the fourth, the
Brookline bats came alive with three doubles and two singles that resulted in
four runs. They added an insurance run in the sixth to complete the scoring.
All the while, pitcher Brianna O'Neil and the Brookline defenders silenced the
At the plate, Brookline batters pounded
out fourteen hits, led by Chelsea Kohr 3-3, two doubles, two runs scored; Kiara
Cerminara 2-3, two doubles, two runs scored; Jayla Carrington 2-3, two doubles,
run scored; Taylor Roberts 2-2, run scored; Gabby Dietz 2-2, Laci Blanchard 1-2,
double; B.B. Stowe 1-3, run scored; Arianna Jaras 1-2.
Members of the Brookline 12U Girls
Softball Mayor's Cup Championship team include: Alexa Hogle, Brianna O'Neil,
Kiara Cerminara, Chelsea Kohr, Jayla Carrington, B.B. Stowe, Arianna Jaras,
Taylor Roberts, Laci Blanchard, MacKenzie Joyce, Gabby Dietz, Savannah Hibbs,
and Abby Rush. The batgirl was Kaitlin. The coaches were Tara Garrubba, Ralph
Cerminara, Hank Hogle, Justin Dietz and Julie Joyce.
Brookline's 15-Under girls met Hazelwood
for the second year in-a-row on Friday, July 26, 2019, in the third game of the
afternoon at PNC Park, looking to avenge last year's defeat in the final. In a
close contest, Brookline came out on top, 3-1, to claim the Pittsburgh Mayor's
Cup championship. It was the 15-Under team's second title and fifth finals
appearance since 2012.
Brookline jumped off to an early 3-0 lead
in the first frame and held on from there. Hazelwood threatened in the third inning
by putting a string of runners on base. Two heads-up plays by pitcher Cameron Davis
to throw out runners at third and a stunning assist by Jessica Hancock ended what
could have been a promising rally.
Left-center fielder Hancock, who had five
putouts in the game, fielded a single and without hesitation gunned down the lead
runner heading for home plate. That fine play took the wind out of the Hazelwood
sails. A minor threat in the fifth inning ended uneventfully. A solo home run in
the sixth by Breanna Spaw was the only score for Hazelwood's Lady
At the plate, Jayden Derbas went 2-2; Ashley
Williamson went 1-2 with a run scored; Danielle Kohr went 1-2; Jessica Hancock went
0-1, drew a walk and scored a run; Ayden Dickman was 0-2, reached base on an error
and scored a run; Casey Cunningham was 0-2, reached bask on an error. Abby Roberts
reached first base twice on fielder's choice plays. In the field, pitcher Cameron
Davis had five assists and Ashley Williamson had five putouts at third base.
Hazelwood actually out-hit Brookline 8-4, but crafty defense and good coaching made
all the difference.
Members of the Brookline 15U Girls
Softball Mayor's Cup Championship team include: Casey Cunningham, Ashley Williamson,
Jessica Hancock, Ayden Dickman, Danielle Kohr, Jayden Derbas, Cameron Davis,
Abby Roberts, Kendall DeMarco, Gabby Stanizzo, Katelynn Joyce, Riley Joyce and
Emilie Roberts. The coaches were Robert "Bibbers" Smith and Frank
History In The Re-Making
One of the umpires in the first game on
Saturday afternoon was Bobby Healy III. As a twelve-year old in 1995, Bobby
participated in the second annual Mayor's Cup game at Three Rivers Stadium as
a member of the Brookline Little League team. Bobby hit a home run in that contest
to help propel his team to a 7-3 victory. After the game, he and the Brookline
head coach, his father Bob Healy Jr, posed for a picture at home plate.
The games on July 26/27, 2019 marked the
26th official Mayor's Cup games. For the Healy family, this was the 25th Silver
Anniversary of their big win at Three Rivers. Now thirty-six and a professor at
Duquesne University, Bobby brought his father along to the game and they
re-created that memorable photo, this time standing at home plate in the Pirates
new home, PNC Park. It was a poignant moment in time for the two well-known
Brookliners. Learn a bit more about Brookline's 1995 Mayor's
winners include the 1995 Little League boys, the 2012 12-Under girls, the 2012 15-Under girls, the 2014 12-Under girls, the 2015 12-Under girls, the 2016 Little League boys, the 2016 12-Under girls, the 2016 18-Under girls, the 2017 18-Under girls, the 2018 12-Under girls and the 2018 18-Under girls.
Others to reach the title game were
the 1994 Little League boys, the 2013 12-Under girls, the 2013 15-Under girls, the 2015 12-Under girls, the 2016 15-Under girls and the 2017 Little League boys, the 2018 15-Under girls, the 2018 Pony League boys and the 2018 Colt League boys.