After losing back-to-back games last week, ALRC entered this game looking to avoid a third consecutive loss. Restore was looking to snap their losing streak against the Green&White. In the preview, the following words were written: “Last year ALRC approached the Fourth of July weekend with a record of 4-4, but before the holiday weekend could begin they had a game against Restore, this year ALRC approaches the Fourth of July holiday weekend with a record of 4-4, but before that begins, it’s a game against Restore, when they met last year, ALRC won the game 22-8” ….. And again, the game played out almost exactly the same.
In last year’s game, ALRC set the tone with a 6-run top of the first inning. In this game, ALRC again set the tone with 6 runs, their best inning of the game in the top of first inning. Chris Cohen and Scott D’Alessandro each hit singles. Yrvy Gonzalez then blasted a 3-run HR. Brian Churco hit a single. Brett Fritzsch’s RBI triple scored Churco. Dan Bosgra’s RBI single scored Fritzsch. Joe Bosgra hit a single. Mike Cohen’s RBI sac fly scoring Dan Bosgra capped off the inning, which gave ALRC a quick 6-0 lead. In the bottom of the first inning, Restore got just one hit and they were unable to score.
In the top of the 2nd inning, ALRC did all their damage with 2 outs. Scott D’Alessandro hit a double. After hitting his 2nd HR in his rookie season in his last at-bat, Yrvy Gonzalez was given some impressive treatment, an intentional walk. The 2016 ALRC Team MVP Jason Young made that seem like a bad idea, hitting a 2-RBI triple, scoring both D’Alessandro and Gonzalez. Brian Churco then ripped a 2-run HR. Brett Fritzsch hit another triple. Dan Bosgra’s RBI single scored Fritzsch. Joe Bosgra hit a single before the inning ended. ALRC now had an 11-0 lead. Restore finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the 2nd inning. They manufactured a run to make it 11-1 after two innings.
ALRC was sent down in order 1-2-3 in the top of the 3rd inning. It’s the 6th time this season that ALRC has gone hitless in an inning. Restore scored one run again in the bottom of the 3rd inning, which made it 11-2 ALRC after three innings.
In the top of the 4th inning, Yrvy Gonzalez hit a solo HR. For the 45-year old rookie, it meant two HR’s in one game, after entering the game with just one. Jason Young and Brian Churco hit back-to-back singles. Dan Bosgra’s RBI single scored Young. Joe Bosgra hit a single. Mike Cohen capped off the inning with a 2-RBI double, scoring Churco and Dan Bosgra. ALRC was now leading 15-2. Restore had their best inning of the game in the bottom of the 4th inning, scoring two runs, to make it 15-4 ALRC after four innings.
ALRC put the game away with 5 runs in the top of the 5th inning. Scott Botbyl hit a lead-off double. Chris Cohen hit a single. Scott D’Alessandro’s RBI single scored Botbyl. For the second time in the game, Yrvy Gonzalez drew an intentional walk. Coach Botbyl feels that “it was an awful lot of respect given to him, I’ve been intentionally walked, a few other guys on our team have been walked intentionally, but this is probably the first time in our team history that one of our players has been walked twice intentionally during a game”. Gonzalez was clearly having his best game, as prior to this game, he was listed on the ALRC stat sheet with the 8th highest batting average. Jason Young again made the opposition pay a steep price for the intentional walk, as Young hit a 3-RBI triple to clear the bases, scoring Chris Cohen, D’Alessandro, and Gonzalez. Brian Churco’s RBI sac fly capped off the inning, which gave ALRC a commanding 20-4 lead. In the bottom of the 5th inning, Restore was sent down in order 1-2-3. That’s the 4th time this season that the ALRC defense has held the opponent without a hit in an inning.
In the top of the 6th inning, ALRC got just one hit, but it was certainly one that drew a lot of noise from the ALRC players and fans. Wayne Eicher hit a triple! It was Eicher’s first triple since May of 2007 against the old Faith Reformed team, which was over a decade ago. Unfortunately, Eicher was stranded at third base, as the Restore LeftFielder made three very impressive catches that inning. The ALRC lead remained 20-4. Restore manufactured another run in the bottom of the 6th inning to make it 20-5 ALRC.
ALRC scored a pair of runs in the top of the 7th inning. Scott D’Alessandro and Yrvy Gonzalez hit back-to-back singles. Brian Churco’s 2-RBI triple scored both D’Alessandro and Gonzalez to increase the ALRC lead to 22-5. Restore scored one more run in the bottom of the 7th inning, to make the final score 22-6 ALRC.
ALRC avoids a three game losing streak and improves to 5-4 for the season.
Yrvy Gonzalez posted a PERFECT box score for the first time in his career with ALRC. Botbyl jokes that “the old rookie showed me where his son gets it from, because Botbyl has seen Yrvy’s son Pablo in Little League for several years now, Pablo always heats up the second half of the season”. Unfortunately for ALRC though, Gonzalez will miss his first game of the year in the team’s season finale against Pompton Plains. An Annual Team award is the Iron-Man trophy, which goes to the player that participates in every game, like Iron-Man Cal Ripken, so Brandon is already teasing his best friend Pablo, “your Dad can’t win that trophy, maybe a different one”. Over a decade ago, Botbyl predicted that Brandon would be Team MVP in 2024. Considering how Brandon has done in his four years of Little League, perhaps only Yrvy’s son Pablo could prevent that prediction from becoming true!
The only other ALRC player with a 1.000 Average for the day was Brian Churco (4 for 4, 2 singles, triple, HR, 3 Runs, 5 RBI’s). Lets get another prediction out there, Brian’s son Noah will win Team MVP in 2034.
Restore also had a player with a 1.000 AVG for the day, and that was Kendall Everett (3 for 3, single, 2 doubles, 3 Runs, RBI). A long-time ago, Botbyl used to play with Kendall’s older brother Doug on UnityOne, then when Botbyl started SRC, he recalls Kendall as the best player on UnityTwo. Botbyl says, “a decade later, it’s like nothing has changed, Kendall was spectacular out there, just wearing a different shirt, even making some impressive plays defensively as well, he can still do it all, so between his talents, and now Benny Spoelstra bringing over his leadership and winning experience from Midland Park, that Restore team has a bright future”.
The Green & White are 9-4 all-time against Cedar Hill/Restore. ALRC has won the last 9 meetings, after losing the first 4 games as SRC to Cedar Hill. The two teams have never met in the playoffs.