NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - The New Rochelle Robins came, they saw, and they conquered all competition at the National Amateur Baseball Federation Regional Tournament to clinch a spot in the World Series.
Over the weekend, the Robins competed against seven other squads from around the area, knocking off the Champlain Mariners, the Bridgeport All-Stars and Thermaxx Jackets before competing in a thrilling back-and-forth final against the Milford Hunters.
The Hunters got on the board first, knocking in two runs against a tired Akeen Watson, who pitched two complete games and 16 total innings during the tournament. The Robins struck back quickly, taking the lead in the second following an Alex Pena home run and Dominic Loungo’s second extra base hit, which scored Jon Wolfe.
The bats went quiet until the seventh inning, when each team plated a pair of runs, including a two-run shot from the Robins’ Rob Rodriguez that gave his team a 4-3 lead going into the eighth.
A pair of errors by the Robins in the top half of the inning allowed two runs to score, leaving the Robins three outs away from being ousted.
Ed Martinez led off with a frozen rope up the middle, advancing to third on a wild pitch and ground out. Rodriguez continued his hot hitting with a single to right to tie the game, before making his way to third on a pair of wild pitches from the Hunters’ closer. With two strikes on him, Rob Martinez sent a pitch to left centerfield, bringing home Rodriguez and sending the Robins to Battle Creek, Mich. for the World Series in the Major Division.
After hitting the game winning run, Rodriguez celebrated with his teammates and named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player for batting .444 with two home runs.