HARRISON, N.Y. A split second after the ball came rocketing off Sebastian Rolons bat, it touched off an exuberant Harrison celebration Tuesday at Brentwood Park.
Rolons single to right field scored Will Marriott with the decisive run in the bottom of the sixth inning, giving Harrison a 3-2 walk-off win over Rye in a winners bracket game of the District 20 Little League Baseball Majors Championship.
The Rolon hit, which came with one out, capped a three-run rally in Harrisons last at-bat. Rolon had re-entered the game and had not batted since the second inning.
Harrison will play Eastchester in a winners bracket semifinal at 11 a.m. Sunday at Gedney Field in White Plains. Rye returns to Brentwood Park on Wednesday to play Kensico in a losers bracket game.
Rolon was immediately chased down by his teammates after he crossed first base.
I had a walk-off grand slam during the regular season, but this makes me even more happy because its a walk-off win in the district tournament, said the 12-year-old Rolon, an eighth-grader-to-be at Louis M. Klein Middle School and a first-time all-star.
Matt Donohue, who singled in Joey Coppolla with the first run of the inning, could not wait to join the celebration at first base.
When Sebastian hit the ball, I knew it was going to be a hit and I thought, We did it. We beat Rye, said Donohue, 12, a seventh-grader-to-be at Klein Middle School.
Through five innings Harrison had only one hit an Alex Gianeris single against Rye starter Dusty Mion, who went five and one-third innings, struck out seven, allowed two hits and was charged with two runs.
With one out in the sixth, Coppolla doubled and Scotty Lobel walked, forcing Mion from the game because he had reached his the allotted pitch count for 12-year-olds. Will Marriott worked a walk to load the bases. Donohue singled up the middle, scoring Coppolla. Harrison manager and third-base coach Mark Dalto thought about sending Lobel, but held him up.
Lobel raced home on a wild pitch, with Marriott and Donohue moving up to third and second, respectively. The count was even at 2-2 on Rolon when he laced a high fastball to right field.
Matts hit got us more energy and got us more pumped up, Rolon said. Coach told me to just calm down and let the pitch come to you. It was a high fastball up and away and I wanted to take it the opposite way.
Rye took a 2-0 lead into the sixth on the strength of a mammoth Sean Hale two-run homer in the fourth. Hale crushed a Lobel pitch to straight-away center field. The ball caromed off the top of a 20-foot fence beyond the center-field fence.
Rye 000 200 2 4 1Harrison 000 003 3 3 0
RBI R: Sean Hale; H: Sebastian Rolon, Matt Donohue. 2B H: Joey Coppolla. HR R: Sean Hale. WP Will Marriott. LP Max Kenney.
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