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Briarcliff Hits its Way to District 33 Title

ARMONK, N.Y. -- Briarcliff did not waste any time Wednesday getting the aluminum heated up. Briarcliff came out hitting and continued that trend through four innings and went on to a 12-7 victory over Cortlandt American in the District 33 Little League Baseball 10-11-year-old championship game at Lombardi Park.

The Section 4 Championships is the next stop for Briarcliff. The tournament opens Tuesday, July 26 and runs through Tuesday, Aug. 2, at Pine Bush Little League in Orange County. Briarcliff will open against the District 17 champion (Orange and Sullivan Counties), Tuesday, 6 p.m.

This was Briarcliff’s second win over Cortlandt American in this tournament. Briarcliff had a walk-off, 8-7 victory in a winners’ bracket game.  Briarcliff opened with three runs in the first inning, four in the second and three in the third.

The three runs in the opening inning for the first for Briarcliff against Cortlandt pitcher Brian Dinnen. Dinnen threw three scoreless innings in the team’s first meeting. “Twelve runs in five innings is pretty good,” said winning pitcher Jack Ryan, 11, and a sixth-grader-to-be at Briarcliff Middle School. “We were relaxed at the plate and treated this like any other game.”

Ryan led the offense with three hits, three runs scored and two RBI. He had a run-scoring single in each of the first two innings. Will Waterhouse also had three hits, two RBI and scored two runs. Noah Campo stroked a double and drove in two runs and Joe Marinaccio scored three runs.

Lost in the offensive output was the play of Marinaccio at second base, who abruptly ended two Cortlandt American rallies. After Cortlandt American evened the score at 3-3 in the second inning, Brandon Hodge was on the verge of giving his team the lead. Hodge hit a hot smash into the hole between first and second, but Marinaccio dove to his left, rolled over and threw out the fast Hodge by a step.

“That was a really big play,” Ryan said. “I gave him a high five and said thank you.” Ryan would have to say thank you to Marinaccio in the fourth. Cortlandt American had the bases loaded with two outs and two runs in. David Reynoso hit one up the middle, but Marinaccio snared it and flipped to shortstop Jake Brown for the forceout.

“Winning this is pretty special because we went undefeated,” Ryan said. “This is the second year in-a-row we won. We won the 10s last year.”

Ben D’Addona launced a two-run homer in the second inning for Cortlandt American. Skyler Daniello singled in a run and scored twice. Hodge had a hit, run scored and RBI and Matt Budano doubled and scored.

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