McKechnie Field faithful bid farewell to Pirates, regular season commences
|Wally Stern's slap-shot goes just wide of the net during Islanders roller hockey action at the Anna Maria Island Community Center.
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|Duncan Real Estate's Jake Rappe pitched a complete-game four-hitter, striking out seven during a 6-6 tie against Morgan Stanley.
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The puck dropped and the action commenced in the first-ever games of the Anna Maria Islanders Roller Hockey League at the Anna Maria Island Community Center. The end-to-end action got started Saturday, April 9, when Home True Value Hardware, Play It Again Sports and the Anna Maria Sun teams laced 'em up for a couple of games.
Though the experience and talent levels vary greatly from player to player, there was no shortage of fun for players, parents and fans that took part in the inaugural games.
The Sun captured a pair of games to seize the early lead in the standings for the league, which will run until the end of May. The Sun took on Play It Again Sports in its second game of the afternoon and came away with an exciting 7-6 victory.
Early on it appeared as if the Sun would skate away with an easy victory after Giorgio Gomez skated in alone to beat Play It Again keeper Rasheed Waliagha for a 1-0 lead. Minutes later, Wally Stern finished off a beautiful drop pass from brother Trey Stern to give the Sun a 2-0 lead.
Play It Again Sports' Broderick West halved the Sun lead when he scored from the right slot two minutes later, but Wally Stern answered when he stole the puck and banked it off the wall to elude one defender before beating Waliagha near post for a 3-1 Sun lead.
The Sun extended its lead when Wally Stern carried the ball behind the Play It Again Sports goal and attempted wrap-around goal, but Waliagha - playing his first game in goal - made the save. Unfortunately he couldn't hold onto the ball and Trey Stern poked the loose ball past him and into the goal for a 4-1 lead.
Play It Again Sports' Patrick Anderson then took things into his own hands when he won the face-off and split the defense before beating Sun goalie Max Miller top shelf to cut their deficit to 4-2.
Trey Stern restored the Sun's three-goal advantage when he got loose on a breakaway. Waliagha made a couple of saves, but Stern kept whacking away at the loose puck before finally getting it past the Play It Again Sports goalie for a 5-2 lead. Trey Stern then stole the puck a couple of minutes later, skated into the corner and hit a great behind-the-back pass to Wally Stern, who roofed Waliagha for a 6-2 Sun lead.
Facing a four-goal deficit, Play It Again Sports rallied. Anderson started the rally when he stole the puck deep in his own end and skated up the right side before dropping the puck to a trailing Matt Shafer, who finished to pull to 6-3.
Wally Stern got loose on a one-on-one with Waliagha, but the Play It Again Sports goalie stoned Stern with a great save. Anderson picked up the loose puck and skated up the right side where he beat Sun goalie Miller with a wrist shot to pull to within 6-4.
Shafer and West almost teamed up to pull Play It Again Sports to within a goal when Shafer found West in the crease, but Miller made the save for the Sun in goal to keep their two-goal lead. Play It Again Sports pulled to within one goal when Anderson stole the ball, skated up the middle and juked Miller to make it 6-5 with time running out.
The Sun responded with a strong offensive push, but Jonah Castor broke up the three-on-one breakaway to temporarily deny the Sun. Darren Phillips hustled into the corner and stole the puck back and beat Waliagha near post to give the Sun a 7-5 lead as time ticked away.
West answered with a goal immediately following the face off to pull to within 7-6, but the final whistle blew with the Sun hanging on for its second one-goal victory of the day.
Sun 3, True Value 2
Wally Stern scored a pair of goals and Trey Stern added one as the Sun defeated Home True Value Hardware 3-2 in the first youth roller hockey game at the Center.
True Value was led by two goals from Zachary Facheris in the loss.
Tie game punctuates return to Little League action
Duncan Real Estate and Morgan Stanley battled to a five-inning, 6-6 tie on Friday, April 9, following the spring break, thanks to a league-mandated time limit that prevented starting another inning.
Troy Koszewski led Duncan at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance that included an RBI single in the first and one run scored. Teammate Jordan Sebastiano added a double and two runs scored for Duncan, which also received a double from Glenn Bower in the tie. Kyle Crum and Jake Rappe each added a single to the Duncan offensive attack, while Rappe pitched a complete-game four-hitter.
Matt Bauer had an RBI double and one run scored and Blake Rivers came through with an RBI triple and one run scored to lead the Morgan Stanley offense in the tie. Martine Miller added a single for Morgan Stanley, which also received runs from Katie Hunt and Zach Even.
Duncan 9, WMFD 3
Southpaw Glenn Bower pitched a complete game to shut down the West Manatee Fire District offense, allowing only four hits and three runs while striking out nine to earn the pitching victory. Jordan Sebastiano provided the bulk of the Duncan Real Estate offense, going 2-for-3 including a triple and two runs scored, while catcher Kyle Crum added a pair of singles and one run scored. Trevor Bystrom singled and scored a pair of runs for Duncan, which also received a single from Austin Wash and one run apiece from Glenn Bower and Troy Koszewski in the victory.
Trent Marshall went 2-for-3 including an RBI single and one run scored and Justin Succa added a pair of singles to lead the WMFD offense. Tommy Price and Max Moneuse each scored one run for WMFD in the loss.
WMFD 11, Morgan Stanley 7
Nine-year-old Elijah Toussaint pitched an effective three innings, allowing four hits and three runs while striking out six to help WMFD to its first win on the season Monday, April 4. Joey Hutchinson pitched the final two innings and allowed two hits and four runs to nail down the victory for WMFD. Tommy Price went 2-for-4, including an RBI double and three runs scored to lead WMFD, which also received a single and two runs scored from Jonah Castor and a single and one run from Alex Burgess. Hunter Parrish added two runs scored, while Shawn Conover, Toussaint and Michael Dolan each crossed the plate once for WMFD.
Zach Even had a huge game at the plate for Morgan Stanley, going 3-for-3 including an RBI triple and two runs scored, while Daniel Janisch provided some excitement when he connected on an inside-the-park home run in the first inning. Matt Bauer added a single and two runs scored and Giorgio Gomez had an RBI single to round out the WMFD offense in the loss.