Three cheers: Islanders win, Islanders win, Islanders win
|Islander catcher Garrison "Hambone" Clark has a tough job as the primary catcher.
|Merritt Fineout and Joy Phelan are new reigning champs at Key Royale Club.
|Hooke takes second place
Former Islander Mickey Hooke, 47, of Bradenton, crossed the finish line in 62:06 to earn a second-place overall finish at Fort Desoto Park in Pinellas County. The Road Runners Club of America hosted the 2008 Florida 10-mile state championship. Hooke was the first runner in the masterís division to cross the finish line. Training on his own Grassroots Running System, this was Hooke's third race back after a December dog attack. For information on running, call Hooke at 941-794-6141.
The subtle improvements suggested in one of my recent reports on the Islanders Little League team that competes in the Manatee West Little League came to fruition with a 5-4 victory over Horizon Bank on April 7 at the Anna Maria Island Community Center.
The Islanders (sponsored by this newspaper) played error free for the entire game, though their task was made much easier thanks to the stellar pitching of Justin Gargett. Gargett held Horizon Bank hitless until the top of the fifth when Halpern singled to center. But Gargett quickly recovered by retiring the next two hitters via fly out and strike out.
Gargett’s final pitching line was impressive as he finished with 12 strikeouts and only two hits allowed while throwing the maximum 85 pitches through five-plus innings.
The Islanders jumped out to an early 2-0 lead when William Brusso and Max Moneuse both lined one-out singles to center field. Both players moved up on passed balls and Moneuse came in to score when the Horizon Bank outfielder misplayed a fly ball from Max Miller for a 1-0 Islander lead. Brusso added to his team’s lead when he crossed the plate thanks to a booted ground ball off the bat of Lee Bergeron.
The Islanders tacked on another run in the bottom of the fourth when Trevor Albers led off with a double to right center. After stealing third, Albers easily scored on an RBI ground-out by Hunter Parrish to give the Islanders a 3-0 lead.
Two more Islander players crossed the plate in the fifth. Brusso started it off when he reached on an error and moved to second on a passed ball. Jonny Mattay walked and along with Brusso, moved up the bases thanks to another passed ball. Both runners moved up on yet another passed ball to give the Islanders another run, putting Mattay at third. Mattay crossed the plate with the fifth and final run on a fielder’s choice grounder by Albers to give the Islanders a 5-0 lead.
Gargett took the mound for the sixth inning, but was just about at the league-mandated pitch limit. Lakin singled to right to end Gargett’s night and spark a Horizon Bank rally that fell short.
Brusso went 1 for 3 with two runs scored and Moneuse was 2 for 3 with one run scored to lead the Islander offensive attack. Albers added a double, one run and one RBI to complete the Islander offense.
Halpern went 2 for 2 and Conoley tripled and scored one run to lead the Horizon Bank offense in the loss.
The Islanders followed up its first victory with a 9-3 loss to Cooney’s Auto Repair on April 10. Cooney’s struck first when Daniel Grasso reached on an error and came around to score on a single by Jacob Henry to put them on the scoreboard 1-0.
The Islanders came back to take the lead in dramatic fashion. Jerry Meyer led off the game with a single to center and moved to second on an error. Garrison Clark hit a grounder to the left side, but Meyer was cut down at third for the first out. Parrish followed with a single and a pop-out to short by Moneuse brought Brusso to the plate with two on and two out.
Much like former New York Giants great Bobby Thomson, whose home run off Brookyn Dodger pitcher Ralph Branca in 1951 was tabbed the “shot heard around the world,” Brusso then launched a two-strike offering over the left-center field fence to give the Islanders a 3-1 lead.
Word has it that Jeanie Bystrom heard William’s mom, Elsa Brusso, cheering wildly as Bystrom was negotiating Manatee Avenue traffic in Bradenton on her way to the G.T. Bray ball park.
Unfortunately, Brusso’s home run got Cooney’s Auto Repairs attention. They bounced back in the bottom of the inning with three runs to retake the lead. Josh Munoz and Jett Rayner led off the inning with walks. After a pair of flyouts, Jacob Henry walked to load the bases. A passed ball brought Munoz across the plate to pull to within one run. Patrick Bush tripled to center to plate Rayner and Bush for a 4-3 Cooney’s lead that they would not relinquish.
Cooney’s broke the game open in the next inning thanks to a three-run home run by Munoz that also scored Derrick Delaney and Lucas Bush and a solo home run by Zach Butler.
Cooney’s went on to win the game by a 9-3 margin as Butler held the Islanders hitless the rest of the way. Bush paced Cooney’s with a 2 for 3 night that included a triple and three RBIs, while Munoz contributed the big three-run home run and two runs scored. Butler added a solo home run to Cooney’s offense that also received singles from Grasso, Henry and Delaney in the victory.
The Islanders were led by Brusso’s three-run homer and singles from Parrish, Gargett and Meyer.
Key Royale golf news
The Key Royale Club held its annual golf competition recently and awards were presented April 6 at a clubhouse celebration. Club president Chuck Jambe presented the honors at the 40th annual event.
As reported last week, Merritt Fineout is the men’s 18-hole club champ with Webb Cutting runnerup.
In other award categories, the consolation winner is Dick Mills, who defeated Dale Hudson. The men’s overall handicap champion is Larry Fowler. while Frank Vikingstad, Greg Shorten, Bob Kral and Richard Westby are club individual-flight winners.
The men’s president’s cup winner is Omer Trolard, while low gross champion is Vikingstad.
The women’s 18-hole club champ is Joy Phelan, who defeated Jean Holmes. Holmes turned the tables on Phelan in the nine-hole championship when she bested Phelan. Women’s president’s cup champ is Jean Besant, while Pat Townsend received honors for second place.
The club also handed out awards for the highest percentage of improvement in their handicaps. Josie Womble and Don Schmitzerle are most improved over nien holes, while Gino DiClemente received honors for most-improved golfer for 18 holes.
Twelve horseshoe team hopefuls were whittled down to four after pool-play action at the Anna Maria City Hall pits on April 5. The first semifinal match saw Art Kingstad and Ted Powers defeat the team of Hank Huyghe and Rod Bussey 21-15. The other semifinal match had John Crawford and Sam Samuels cruising past the team of Ron Slagh and Norm Langeland. Kingstad and Powers prevailed in the championship match 2-14 to earn the day’s bragging rights.
Play gets under way at 9 a.m. every Wednesday and Saturday at the Anna Maria City Hall pits. Warmups begin at 8:45 a.m. followed by random team selection. There is no charge to play and everyone is welcome.
Anna Maria Island Little League Schedule
6:30 p.m.April 16Islanders vs. JR1 @ Bray
6:30 p.m.April 16 JR5 vs. Islanders @ Tebbetts
7 p.m.April 18Islanders vs. B-town Braves @ Bray 3
7:30 p.m.April 21Freedom Bank vs. Islanders @ AMICC
6:30 p.m.April 17Pinnacle vs. Sun @ AMICC
9 a.m.April 19 Surf Shop vs. New Youngsters @ Bray 1
5 p.m.April 19 Surf Shop vs. Spagnola Auto @ Bray 3
6:30 p.m.April 22Affordable Appliance vs. Surf Shop @ AMICC
6:30 p.m.April 16LPAC vs. Florida Eye Tours @ AMICC
7 p.m.April 18LPAC vs. Americo Title @ AMICC
5:30 p.m.April 16Island Fitness vs. Morgan Stanley @ AMICC
5:30 p.m.April 18Morgan Stanley vs. HB Auto Repair @ AMICC