ARDSLEY, N.Y. – Sherman Park pitcher Tommy Minafra faced a tough task on the mound against Harrison on Monday.
But his teammates took a bit of the pressure off him by compiling 10 runs, and Minafra appreciated the help.
“I felt that it was great to be on the mound and everybody making plays behind me and everybody hitting the ball,” Minafra said.
Sherman Park defeated Harrison, 10-5, at McDowell Park in Ardsley to remain undefeated and advance to the New York District 20 Little League championship game in the 9/10 baseball division. Harrison will face the winner of Monday's Elmsford-Ardsley matchup on Thursday for a spot in the title game of the double elimination tournament.
Harrison is a team that has performed well historically in this tournament. But Sherman Park got to Harrison pitcher Dante Girardi, son of New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi, and knocked him out of the game after two innings.
Minafra was grateful for the run support.
“It made me a lot calmer,” Minafra said.
Both sides said after the game that they could see each other again in the championship game. Sherman Park manager John Pugni said he knew Monday’s contest would be a battle against a historically strong team, and his team could very well have to go through Harrison again to win the championship.
“I have a good feeling we’ll see this team again,” Pugni said. “In order to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best.”
Harrison manager Kevin Seibel was more focused on facing the Elmsford-Ardsley winner before his team could face Sherman Park again.
“We have to play on Thursday,” Seibel said. “We have to play on Thursday. We have to play on Thursday, and we’ll see what happens.”
The team that advances to the championship game would have to defeat Sherman Park twice, because it has not lost yet in the double elimination tournament.
Minafra, who said Sherman Park is "excited" to be in the championship game, looked forward to the chance to face Harrison one more time.
“We might see Harrison again, so we’re ready,” Minafra said.