By Melanie Cane
On July 11, after a ten-day break, Rye’s undefeated 12U Little League team played a doubleheader against Port Chester at the Ardsley Little League field for the District 20 Championship title.
Despite terrific pitching by Jack Margiloff, Rye lost the first game 2-1. The Pirates scored their runs in the bottom of the third on a two-run homer by Kevin Francella. Rye scored in the top of the fourth. JT Wolf hit a hard ground ball past the third baseman for a single and then stole second. Jack Sullivan moved Wolf to third on an infield single. Tillman Ball sent Wolf home on a ground ball fielder’s choice to shortstop. Rye threatened with bases loaded in the top of the sixth, but Port Chester’s adept fielding prevented them from scoring.
In the second game, Rye got off to a shaky start. Port Chester’s leadoff batter Francella hit an inside-the-park home run. After that, Ryan Surhoff pitched a phenomenal complete game, recording nine strikeouts.
Margiloff tied the game in the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run. Rye scored the go-ahead run in the fifth inning. Derek Woods started the inning with a single to shortstop, Surhoff singled on a line drive to left field, and Woods and Surhoff advanced on a wild pitch. Sullivan then walked to load the bases. Margiloff grounded into a fielder’s choice and Woods was out at home. Ball singled on a hard ground ball to second base, which scored Surhoff. The next batter struck out to end the inning.
After the win, Rye head coach Mark Surhoff said, “Ours is a special group. Every player contributes, and I can’t say enough about how we play as a team.”
The district win propelled the team to Sectionals. Rye plays against New Rochelle at New Rochelle on July 15.