The Little League and Major League TNT Championships took place at DeVries Park on Saturday morning. Players demonstrated some of the best performances of the season in front of enthusiastic parents and fans.
Little League (Third and fourth graders)
The underdogs of the season made it to the championships with hard work and perseverance. The Rangers, sponsored by Santa Fe Restaurant, won the championships over the Rockies, sponsored by the Warner Library, 4-0.
The Rockies came a long way this season. To place in the championships they had to defeat the last place team and the first place team. In the final inning, Coach Rod Oshins gave the team a brief pep talk.
"You've played the best baseball you have ever played in the past two weeks, don't stop now," he said.
The game proved to be what little league is all about, learning lessons through team work and struggling to do one's best, but not always making it to the top. Both the Rangers and the Rockies displayed good sportsmanship.
"This has been a very surprising game, both teams are the underdogs," said Karen Casper, mother of Rockies pitcher Danny Casper. "This has been very exciting and it proves that hard work pays off."
Ranger players Eric Bird, number 9, and Noah Kelly, number 2, enjoyed hot dogs at the TNT picnic under the pavilion after their winning game.
"I am really happy," said Bird. "It was a lot of fun."
According to the Ranger's assistant coach Mike King, it was a well-pitched game. Pitchers Rody and Manny helped the team bring home the win.
Tears and cheers were heard throughout the game, but all players proved to be champions.
Major League (Fifth and sixth graders)
TNT baseball players competed in the major league championships. The Mets, sponsored by Mahopac National Bank, won against the Reds, sponsored by T.F. Andrews, 6-5.
Karen Doyle, mother of Reds' coach Richie Doyle, cheered at the sidelines.
"TNT baseball is a really nice community, all here to support the players, people who don't even have relatives in the game are here to watch today."
Reds coach Richie Doyle is a junior at Sleepy Hollow High School whose love for the sport made him want to volunteer. The team listened closely to his instruction. During the middle of the game he ran to give one of the players his own hat.
The game went into double over time with a score of 3-3.
"We are in a very unique situation, tied at the bottom of the sixth," said Coach Doyle, "everyone has got to want it."
In the end, the Mets made a few powerful hits that turned into the winning runs. Both teams worked hard to make it to the championships, friends played against friends, but they were all proud to make it the final round.
After the game was over, TNT players picnicked together and enjoyed the sunny day with the pressure of the championships gone.
All players demonstrated a level of maturity that surpassed their age. Their hard work was all for the love of the game.