The following update on the Rookie League Championship was provided by John LoGioco ...
The Rookie League Championship recreational baseball game was held recently between the Marlins and Shrewsbury Mudcats.
From a league of 14 teams fielded from , Little Silver, Fair Haven, Red Bank and Shrewsbury, the Marlins and Mudcats overcame many challenges en route to the final July 11 game. It was a pitching duel for the first three innings as Marlins star pitcher John Volker and Mudcats star pitcher Nicky Ferrogine went head to head.
The Mudcats broke out early to a 3-0 lead on base hits by Paul Ventre, Owen Laughlin and Nicky Ferrogine. There were some great plays in the field by both teams. The Marlins' Oliver LoGioco made a two-out catch at second base on a high fly ball in the second base hole.
Mudcats outfielder Gordon Ogden saved some runs late with an outstanding catch on a fly to left field. The Mudcats broke it open late in the game with a rally highlighted by Paul Ventre's hard hit bases-loaded triple that gave the Mudcats an 8-0 lead.
The Marlins staged a last ups rally scoring three but Mudcats closing pitcher Owen Laughlin focused and was able to retire the Marlins for an 8-3 victory.
There was a big turnout for the game from both towns and at the end a celebration ceremony was held at mid-field where both head coaches, Adam Robinson, of the Mudcats and John LoGioco, of the Marlins, and their players received trophies for their accomplishments.
"This is what recreational baseball is all about — two great teams playing it out on a summer night, with a great crowd cheering on the lawn," LoGioco said. "The kids learning about sportsmanship and teamwork, and most of all having fun in a competitive environment."
Mudcats coach Adam Robinson agreed, adding, "That was a very well-played game. Both teams played hard and had a lot of fun. It was a great end to a great season for both teams."