Little League stadium rededication May 3
The new Anna Maria Island Community Center building came about at the cost of an Island landmark, Benji Scanio Memorial Stadium.
The field didn’t really change, but the stadium and concrete bleachers were torn down to make room for the expansion.
But now comes Anna Maria Island Little League president Mike Brusso and others to rededicate and celebrate the stadium/field at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 3. The original plaque memorializing young Islander Benji Scanio who had died in 1959, and a new plaque donated by Patsy Hutchinson honoring her late husband and one of Major League’s greats, Fred Hutchinson, will be put on permanent display at the site.
Back in the day, Hutchinson, Scanio’s dad Ben and others were instrumental in providing Anna Maria youth with a ball field before Hutchinson’s death in 1964, and his friends dedicated a monument there to Hutch when the stadium was finished. Members of the longtime Island families - Cagninas, Franklins, Hutchinsons and more, are expected to be on hand.
After the rededication, there’s the “battle of Anna Maria Little League” between minor league traveling teams West Coast Surf Shop and the Sun at 9:15 a.m. Game two has Island Fitness vs. Holmes Beach Auto Repair in a noon T-ball matchup. At 1:30 p.m., the AA-division game between Americo Title and Florida Eye Tours is the bottom of the game lineup.
In addition, individual player and team pictures are scheduled, and Fun Day -bouncy moon walk, water slide and radar tests for pitching speed. There also will be refreshments and grilled hamburgers and hot dogs to chow down on, so everyone’s invited to come on out and enjoy the day.
For picture schedules or more information, contact league president Mike Brusso at 941-778-2838.
Junior League action: M&L Cabinets edges Islanders
M&L Cabinets edged the Islanders newspaper team in Junior League baseball action 2-1 April 24 thanks to a clutch, RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning that drove home Caesar Villarella with the deciding run.
The one-run victory almost mirrored the last game between these two teams, when Blake Wilson outdueled M&L Cabinets pitcher and former Islander Wyatt Easterling with a complete-game, one-hit shutout. Easterling surrendered only four hits and one run in that game.
The pitchers who dueled on this night were Justin Rodriguez for M&L Cabinets and Matt Bauer for the Islanders. Rodriguez went the distance to earn the win, allowing only four hits and one run while striking out nine Islander batters. Bauer was almost as effective through five innings, allowing only four hits and striking out nine.
M&L Cabinets took the early lead when Rodriguez walked ahead of Corey Davis, who doubled over the left fielder’s head to drive home Rodriguez for a 1-0 M&L Cabinet lead. Bauer escaped further damage and overcame a throwing error by inducing two pop outs and getting a strikeout.
Bauer had to work out of a jam in the bottom of the second as well. He plunked Colin Kirker and Trey Albritton to start the inning, but escaped by sandwiching two strikeouts around a pop out by Rodriguez.
The Islanders finally got to Rodriguez in the top of the third when Zack Even singled to left field leading off and moved to second on a fielder’s choice ground out by Trevor Bystrom. Even moved to third on Ryan Guerin’s infield single and came into score on Glen Bower’s bloop single to left. Following a double steal that put runners on second and third, Rodriguez got out of the inning when he fanned Troy Kozewski to end the rally.
Bauer was over-effective in the bottom of the third - recording four strikeouts in the inning thanks to a dropped third strike and a throwing error.
The Islanders had a chance in the fourth when Daniel Pimental led off with a single. With one out and Wilson at the plate, Pimental stole second base. He then took off for third base two pitches later, but Wilson popped up to Rodriguez on the mound, who turned and doubled off Pimental at second to end the inning.
Bauer left the mound after the fifth having reached his pitch limit and was replaced by the lefty Bower, who opened the inning by striking out Easterling, but walked Kirker. John Collins followed with what should have been an inning-ending double-play grounder, but it slid under the glove of the Islander second baseman for an error. Wilson made a heads up play by charging hard from center field and throwing out Kirker at second. Luke Myhree walked and Rodriguez singled to load the bases with two outs. Davis came to the plate and hit a blooper into short center field, but again a hard-charging Wilson came in to make a sliding catch and end the inning.
Rodriguez retired the Islanders easily over the next two innings to finish off his complete-game victory, allowing only a walk to Pimental.
Guerin, Bower, Pimental and Even led the Islanders with one hit each in the close loss. Davis and Villarella each had a double among their two hits while Rodriguez, Collins and Heinz each had one hit on the evening in the victory.
Islanders take mercy-rule victory
The Islanders newspaper-sponsored Little League Majors traveling team earned a four-inning, 10-run mercy rule victory over Freedom Bank April 21. There were several great performances led by Jerry Meyer, who went yard with Justin Gargett on base in the third inning. Gargett also prominently figured in the victory, tossing a four-inning, five-hitter with seven strikeouts to earn the pitching victory.
Max Moneuse was three for three with a double and three runs scored, while William Brusso and Gargett both were two for three, including a double and two runs scored. Hunter Parrish added a pair of singles and three runs for the Islanders, which also received singles from Max Miller and Johnny Mattay and one run scored from Philip Dudevoire in the victory.
Gulf Coast Flames win national championship
Young defenseman Zachary Facheris and coach Fred Eaton, both Island residents, helped their Gulf Coast Flames 12-under tier-two ice hockey team to the national title in Hackensack, N.J., April 2-6.
The Flames played and defeated six teams from around the country, scoring 30 goals while surrendering only seven. The national title completes an undefeated season (36-0) for the team, which plays out of the Ellenton ice rink.
They defeated the Hershey Jr. Bears 2-1 in their first game and followed that up with a 6-2 victory over the Wonderland Wizzards of Connecticut. The Flames handed another New England team a loss when they defeated Neponset Valley River Rats 10-0 in their final pool play game.
The Flames then won their quarterfinal match 6-1 over the Bud Bakewell Bruins of New York before edging the Dallas Penguins 2-1 in overtime to advance to the finals.
There the Flames took care of business by defeating Michigan’s Grosse Pointe Bulldogs 4-2 for the championship.
Congratulations to Zachary, Fred and the rest of the Gulf Coast Flames.
Flag football under way
The Anna Maria Island Community Center’s flag football season got under way last week with games in four age divisions.
The LPAC Eagles doubled up on the Sparks Seahawks 25-12 in 8-9 action on April 24. Tyler Pearson and Cooper Hardy paced the Eagles with two TDs each, while Brenden Murphy added a one-point conversion.
Tyler Yavalar and George Lardas each scored one touchdown to lead the Seahawks in the loss.
The last game of the evening saw the AMI Video Bucs roll over the Pine Avenue Bills in 13-16 action. Daniel Janisch led the way with three touchdowns on offense. Chris Pate added a pair of TDs, while Brandon Gengler chipped in with one. Tommy Price scored twice on defense for the Bucs, which also received three one-point conversions from Mackenzie Kosfeld and two from Gengler in the victory.
Kyle Aritt paced the Bills with both offensive and defensive touchdowns while also chipping in with a two-point coversion.
The Americo Title Cowboys rolled over the Mike Norman Realty Browns 56-12 April 21 in the 10-12 age division action behind three touchdowns apiece from Travis Belsito and Logan Reiber. Jake Parsons added a pair of TDs in the route. Luke Shakleford led the Browns with a pair of touchdowns in the loss.
The second game of the evening produced another lopsided score as the 13-16 age division’s AMI Video Bucs thrashed the Island Animal Clinic Falcons 47-12. Brandon Gengler, Daniel Janisch and Kyle Parsons scored two touchdowns each, while Tommy Price added one TD in the victory.
Chandler Hardy scored the lone offensive touchdown for the Falcons, which also received a defensive TD from Daniel Landesburg in the loss.
Key Royale golf news
The Key Royale Club men played an 18-hole, low-net-of-partners game April 23. The team of Vince Mercadante and Jim Mixon carded a 4-under-par 124 to take first place, one shot ahead of second-place finishers Vince Fanton and Ernie Hauser. Third place went to the teams of Hal Sears and Bob Elliott, who matched the 126 posted by Tom Lewis and Dick Ware.
The men played a nine-hole tournament on April 21 in an individual-low-net format. Dick Eichorn posted an impressive 6-under-par 26 to finish two shots ahead of second-place finishers Austin Rice and Harold Sears, who both shot 28. Third place also produced a tie as Tom Lewis and Chuck Reed both carded 3-under-spar 29s.
The weekly coed game on April 18 was a throw-out the-worst-hole team game. Jane Winegarden, Earl Huntzinger, Hal Sears and Matt Behan combined to card a 105 to claim first place by a whopping 10 strokes over the second-place team of Teddy Morgan, Fred Meyer, Al Morgan and Marian Mulroy.
More golf news
The annual Anna Maria Island Privateers Whitey Horton Memorial Golf Tournament is now accepting registrations for its May 10 fundraising golf tournament, which is being held at River Run Golf Links. Cost for this event is $75 per player, which includes beverage tickets, a barbecue dinner and awards ceremony.
Organizer Chip Jones said they have loads of door prizes and there should be “something for everyone.”
Hole sponsorships for $50 are still being sought.
To reserve a foursome, list the players and make checks payable to Anna Maria Island Privateers and mail to P.O. Box 1238, Holmes Beach FL 34218.
For signup and more information, contact Jones at 941-812-1412.
Three teams emerged from pool play with undefeated records at the Anna Maria City Hall pits April 23 horseshoe competition. The team of Herb Puryear and Tom Rhodes lost in the semifinals to the team of Ron Pepka and Carole Watson by a 23-14 score. Waiting in the wings were of Debbie Rhodes and Steve Doyle, who edged Pepka and Watson 21-15 to earn bragging rights for the day.
Only two teams managed perfect pool play records on April 19. Debbie Rhodes and Herb Puryear were trailing Ron Pepka and Jay Disbrow by a 9-7 score, but four ringers by Puryear and one from Rhodes lifted the duo to a 22-9 victory over their stunned opponents.
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 schedules
10 a.m.May 3 JR3 vs. Islanders @ Birdie Tebbetts Field
7 p.m.May 6Islanders vs. JR 6 @ GT Bray
7 p.m.May 2Islanders vs. ELS @ GT Bray 3
7:30 p.m.May 5 ELS vs. Islanders @ AMICC
6:30 p.m.May 1 TNT Towing vs. Surf Shop @ AMICC
9 a.m.May 3 Sun vs. Surf Shop @ AMICC
6:30 p.m.May 6Anchor Indians vs. Surf Shop@ AMICC
AA (games @ AMICC)
6:30 p.m.April 30LPAC vs. Florida Eye Tours
7 p.m.April 26Americo Title vs. LPAC
1:30 p.m.May 3Americo Title vs. Florida Eye Tours
T-ball (games @ AMICC)
5:30 p.m.May 2 HB Auto Repair vs. Morgan Stanley
12 p.m.May 3Island Fitness vs. HB Auto Repair
AMICC Flag Football schedules
(All games at Birdie Tebbetts Field, Holmes Beach)
5-7 age division
6 p.m.May 6 Dips vs. Walter & Assoc.
8-9 age division
6 p.m.May 6LPAC vs. Sparks
10-12 age division
6 p.m.May 1Norman vs. Galati
6 p.m.May 5Norman vs. Mr. Bones
7 p.m.May 6Americo Title vs. Galati
13-16 age division
7 p.m.May 1Animal Clinic vs. AMI Video
7 p.m.May 5 Pine Avenue vs. AMI Video