Thursday, September 1, 2011

Little League Raiders take inaugural Borough President's Cup

Wednesday, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and the New York Yankees co-hosted the first ever Borough President's Cup Little League Championship. We'll have a full story for next week's Bronx Press, but since it will be nearly a week, here's a recap of the game.

Playing at Yankee Stadium was a dream come true for the teens.

The Little League Raiders and the Rolando Paulino Little League competed for the Bronx title at Yankee Stadium. The Little League Raiders won the game, defeating the Rolando Paulino Little League 9-7 in extra innings.
Diaz with RP's Joel Paulino.

The Raiders were down 3-0 going into the fourth, but scored two runs. In the fifth, they pulled ahead 7-3 after a run-scoring error, two bases-loaded walks and a two-run single.

But the Rolando Paulino Little League didn't give up. In the bottom of the seventh (typically the final inning in Little League), down 7-3, a two-run single with the bases loaded brought the score to 7-5. With the winning run at the plate, an RP player then struck out swinging, but then Felix Camacho's liner into left field was misplayed by the fielder and tied the game up.

Jump below for the rest of the recap.

The crowd in the front rows was more enthusiastic
than your typical front row crowd at the Stadium.
Heading into the eighth inning - the first extra - pitcher Adam De La Cruz, who started the game for RP but didn't pitch the entire game, alternated between walks and strike outs, finishing the frame by striking out a Raider with the bases loaded. The Raiders managed to retire the RP batters in order in the bottom half of the inning.

Diaz speaking to the crowd.
It seems only fitting that a game played at Yankee Stadium go nine innings. The Raiders played small ball in the top half of the inning, drawing a leadoff walk, stealing second then bunting the runner to third. A double by Sebastiano Santorelli (Thank you, commenter, for the name correction.) gave the Raiders an 8-7 lead. A sac fly by Andy Corrillo tacked on an insurance run.

The Raiders breezed through the bottom of the ninth for a 9-7 victory and then celebrated on the mound the same way the 2009 Yankees did when they beat the Phillies for the World Series.
The Little League Raiders celebrate winning
the inaugural Borough President's Cup.

To compete for the “Borough President’s Cup,” players for each Little League had to meet a set of requirements unrelated to their performance on the field. Those included a B-average in school, 90 percent or greater school attendance and a demonstrated commitment to community service.

“This game is not about showcasing the best athletes in the Bronx, but those students who represent the best of our borough overall: good students who have shown us that they want to make the Bronx a better place,” said Diaz. “What better way to reward them then to give them a chance to walk in the footsteps of Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and all the Yankee greats.”

Update: We incorrectly identified the player posing with Diaz as De La Cruz. He is actually Joel Paulino. We apologize for the mistake.


  1. Great article!! Thank you so much for dedicating your time to your young ball players and great students. I'm Adam the la Cruz's mother. Adam is #23 and pitched the first 4 inning pitching a 4 inning no hitter. Also hit a triple. The boy that you have in the picture with Ruben is Joel Paulino came in in the 5th inning and also hit a triple his number is 27. you have joel's picture but Adam's name under his picture. Hope to be helpfully with my comment. God bless you.

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