8U Thunder Baseball Team Bring Home the Greater Hudson Valley Baseball Championship title!

The OGRCC (Old Greenwich Riverside Community Center) Thunder Travel 8u Fall Ball team brought home the GHVBL (Greater Hudson Valley Baseball League) 8u B Gold Bracket Championship on Saturday, October 24. The 8u Thunder team beat out the New Castle Thunder Bolts for the title.

During the regular season, the team had an 0-11 record, meaning they went into the playoffs with not one win. The team had come close to winning several times but lost by 1 run in three games. The players and coaches never stopped trying. They headed into the playoffs optimistic.

The Thunder team clinched their first win by mercying the New Canaan Rams with a score of 11-0. The boys were ecstatic and the coaches relieved. It felt all season like the boys had the right pieces to win games but the pieces just never seemed to fall into place. Samuel Jamieson and Leo Binick combined to pitch a no-hitter! The bats came alive with Joseph Marchetti getting the team pumped up with a big double early in the game followed by doubles from Leo Binick, Alex Morin, and Liam Kirsch.

Jump Shot: “Samuel Jamieson at first base and Mikey Hartofilis at second base – that was the
final out recorded in the championship game – a ground ball to second base.
Front row (l to r): Michael Casazzone, Mikey Hartofilis, Leo Binick, Trevor Goodwin, Jaden Vazquez, James DePalma, Ford Gearhart 2nd row (l to r): James Slater, Joseph Marchetti, Liam Kirsch, Samuel Jamieson, Alex Morin Back row (l to r): RJ Marchetti, Denise Casazzone, Tom Casazzone, Ken Binick, Angie Hartofilis.

The semifinal game ended with Thunder upsetting the 8u Pleasantville Panthers 11-4. Another team effort with Samuel Jamieson, Michael Casazzone, Liam Kirsch, and Leo Binick all contributing from the mound for a second consecutive combined no-hitter. The bats stayed hot with Michael Casazzone, Jaden Vazquez, Leo Binick (2), Samuel Jamieson (4), Alex Morin, Liam Kirsch, and Trevor Goodwin all getting RBIs.

The big day was filled with so much excitement and hope. Thunder 8u pitchers Jamieson, Kirsh, Binick, and Casazzone threw well from the mound only giving up 3 total hits. James DePalma and Alex Morin anchored the team catching. The Thunder bats came through once again with 15 hits total contributed by Trevor Goodwin, Leo Binick (3), Samuel Jamieson, Alex Morin (3), Michael Casazzone, Liam Kirsch (3), Joseph Marchetti and Mikey Hartofilis (2). The efforts from the team resulted in an 11-4 victory over the New Castle Thunder Bolts.

Throughout the season, other contributions from the team were made by James Slater, Mark Wermuth, and Ford Gearhart.

The OGRCC Thunder 8u team was led by Tom Casazzone as head coach and was assisted by RJ Marchetti, Denise Casazzone, Ken Binick and Angie Hartofilis.

Thunder scored eleven runs in each of their post season victories, a nice turn around from the 0-11 regular season. It serves as a great life lesson to continue to persist, never give up; good things happen to those who keep trying! A special thanks to the OGRCC for providing the platform for travel youth baseball this fall, as well as keeping everyone safe by following COVID-19 protocols.

More information about OGRCC programs, services, and their COVID-19 protocols is available online.