T-h-u-h Knights win!
Kingsbridge Little Leaguers triumph at Yankee Stadium
By Chris Mascaro
Jake Miller walked off the mound at Yankee Stadium just as he had seen his heroes do many times on television, with his work seemingly done for the day. But then he returned.
The 12-year-old lefty from Kingsbridge struck out 10 in two pitching stints and had two hits and an RBI to lead the Uptown Sports Complex Knights to a 6-2 win over the Bayside Rebels on Aug. 14 in the 12-and-under championship game of the inaugural Borough Cup.
The NYC All Stars Sports Group, which was created by WFAN radio host Craig Carton, Brooklyn Cyclones assistant general manager Gary Perone and four-time MLB All-Star and former Met John Franco, hosted the tournament, which began in July with more than 150 teams in five age groups.
The Knights are based out of the Uptown Sports Complex in Kingsbridge.
“This was a great experience, and it’ll be great for Little League baseball for years to come,” said Knights coach Juan Delarosa, a Queens resident who said his travel team is a non-profit organization that is fully funded by outside donations. One of the team’s sponsors, the Bronx Ale House, supplied new jerseys for the championship game.
‘A dream come true’
“It was amazing; it was a dream come true,” Miller, a lifelong Yankees fan, said about playing at Yankee Stadium. He then smiled, displaying a mouthful of braces, and said: “I never thought I’d get the opportunity, but now I have and it’s just great.”
The Knights led 4-0 going into the bottom of the fourth inning, but Miller allowed the first three batters to reach base, and two scored on an error. Delarosa replaced Miller with lefty Kelvin Marte, who got out of the inning without any further damage. But after giving up a bunt single to lead off the fifth, Marte left the game with an injury and Miller reentered, which is permitted in youth baseball.
“I was staying hydrated, staying in the shade and cheering on my team,” Miller said of his pitching hiatus. “Once coach took me out, I got a little break and I came back throwing gas.”