Bases-clearing double gives Team Steel a 4-1 lead pic.twitter.com/w4IenOUIjE
— aXcess Baseball (@axcessbaseball) August 10, 2017
After falling behind 1-0 in the bottom of the second the No. 2 seeded Team Steel Prime came right back with a five-run top of the third. The five-run third would be the difference in the ballgame. The biggest blow came by the tallest person on the field.
St. Dominic’s class of 2021, Safwan Shariff, would step into the box and clear the bases, propelling Steel Prime to a 4-1 lead with two outs in the third. The 6’3 13-year-old smoked a fly ball over the left fielder’s head that allowed him to trot into second with an easy stand up double.
“It felt great leading my team to victory,” said Shariff. “It was a big win.”
He would finish his big championship performance 2-for-4 with three RBI. The lengthy first baseman showcased some serious upside with some impressive pop off the bat at the young age of 13. Although he has garnered the attention of basketball coaches, as he is a two-sport athlete, the young 1B plans on sticking with baseball and following his dream of playing in the majors.
Shariff was a big part of Steel Prime’s win, but not the only part. Some strong pitching from the duo of their starter, Jack Quinlan, and their shutdown reliever, Joe Reale. The two righties would allow just two runs and throw just 94 pitches. Reale shut down the strong Smithtown offense striking out six and allowing just one hit in his four and a third innings of work.
“This team started out as a hodgepodge of players, but over the years the team has come a long way and the fruits of our labor are finally starting to show.” Steel Prime coach Cameron Sorgie said.
Team Steel Prime worked hard until the final out tacking on two more insurance runs to ensure their championship victory. Brady Steinart would lead off the fifth inning with a double for Steel Prime and Reale would follow with one of his own to bring in Steinart and give his team a four run lead with no one out in the latter half of the game.
“I just tell them to stay relaxed, stay calm and have fun, that’s the most important thing,” Sorgie said. “Today we went to Baseball Heaven two hours before the game to hit and shake the nerves off, I threw some live batting practice too, but these kids are resilient; they want it, they go after it.”
Reale and his squad did just that, as he finished with a two hit day along with Jake Smith and Dylan Newman. Steinhart would end up collecting the most hits for Steel Prime finishing 3-for-4 with an RBI, two runs and a walk.
This win caps off a dominant summer for Team Steel Prime. The strong young squad would lose just three games, all three coming by way of forfeit. Fortunately for the fans, the two teams did not square off during the regular season, which made for an exciting and tough matchup.