Matt Kim lead the West Nyack Little League 10-11 all-star team to the Section 4 title game as one of the team’s starting pitchers, but in the championship it was his bat that helped clinch a spot in the state tournament.
With two outs in the bottom of the fifth in a tied game, Kim singled up the middle to score Luke Pallogudis from second base to give West Nyack a 6-5 lead en route to a 7-5 win Saturday against Brewster Little League at Cesca Field in West Nyack.
“I was just trying to make good contact,” Kim said.
Kim also started the game for West Nyack, pitching into the fifth inning, giving up five runs, which all came in the top of the third.
“I pitched all right,” he said. “It was enough to keep the team in the game.”
Kim said that going back out on the mound following the third, he was just trying to throw strikes and keep Brewster at five runs. West Nyack Head Coach Paul Solomon said he knew Kim could hold the damage at five.
“Matt’s been Mr. Consistent for us all summer,” Solomon said. “When he’s on the mound, you know what you’re going to get, which is 85 hard thrown pitches from start to finish.”
Kim was taken out in the fifth for TJ McIvor, who finished out the inning and closed out the tournament with a 1-2-3 sixth. McIvor also followed Kim’s RBI single in the fifth with an RBI double of his own for West Nyack’s seventh run.
With the win, West Nyack earns a spot in the state tournament, starting Aug. 4 in the Bronx at Van Nest Little League.
To win the Section 4 title, West Nyack had to beat Brewster twice, once in the semifinals on Wednesday and then again in the title game Friday. West Nyack trailed in both games against Brewster, something that hadn’t happened in the section or district tournaments to that point. In the semifinals, West Nyack trailed only 1-0 whereas the biggest deficit West Nyack faced Saturday was 5-1.
“Every game so far we’ve had at least one inning where the offense exploded, so I wasn’t too worried when we were down,” Solomon said. “The kids were in the dugout doing the ‘Chicken Dance’ down by four runs too. They play really stress free. We play a full six inning game.”
The West Nyack comeback Friday started in the fourth when Christopher Dimick singled with the bases loaded to score one. A second runner tried to score on the hit but was thrown out at the plate. RBI singles from Kim and Wes Jacaruso made it 5-4 Brewster heading into the fifth.
West Nyack tied it up with one out in the fifth when Brendan Berrigan blasted a home run deep over the left-center field wall.
The win gives West Nyack undefeated runs through both the District 18 and Section 4 tournaments. To keep the winning going, Kim thinks West Nyack’s answer might be a little more “Chicken Dance” than timely hitting.
“We just need to keep getting pumped up in the dugout and cheering each on,” he said. “We need to keep having fun.”