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Armonk Baseball Wins Title, Off to Cooperstown

ARMONK, N.Y. -- The Armonk 12-plus-year-old baseball team capped its summer league season by winning the Westchester-Putnam Baseball Association championship and now the players are headed to the Hall of Fame.

Armonk defeated Patterson, 7-5, last weekend to capture its first title. Though the WPBA season concluded, Armonk will not be packing away its baseball gear just yet. Instead, the team will have a once-in-a-lifetime experience when it plays in a tournament at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown. The team will leave Friday.

The tournament opens Sunday and runs through Thursday, Aug. 25. This is the third consecutive year the Armonk 12-plus-year-old team will participate in the tournament.

“We were extremely excited when we found out we were going up to play,” said 13-year-old Tommy Bottiglieri, who is entering eighth grade at H.C. Crittenden Middle School. “That’s where baseball started.”

This will be Bottiglieri’s second trip to the birthplace of baseball.

“My family and I went to the Baseball Hall of Fame when I was 11,” he said. “It was really cool seeing all of the Hall-of-Famers and amazing baseball players.”

Armonk Manager Rob Giuliani explained that the league submitted a registration form for the tournament and was immediately added to the waiting list. Armonk only had to wait a year before receiving confirmation for the 2009 tournament.

“Every year this age group is able to go up,” Giuliani said. “This is first time going up. It is an honor and we are all very excited.”

The team members are: John DiMarco, Andrew Zaccgnino, Louis Filippelli, Gregory Giuliani, Jonathon Lattarullo, Joey Rocco, Tommy Formicola, Matt Milone, Nick Schaeffer, Eli Sporn, Jake Tokson, Ben Selkin and Bottiglieri.

The Cooperstown trip will be even sweeter for Armonk based on its WPBA title. DeMarco and Bottiglieri slammed solo home runs in the win and Selkin contributed a key run-scoring double. Armonk avenged a regular-season loss to Patterson.

“We were mad that we lost to them so we wanted to come back and beat them,” Bottiglieri said. “In that game, we started out hitting the ball, then we couldn’t hit and Patterson started to hit.”

The score was even at 3-3 before Armonk erupted for four runs in the top of the sixth.

“We had timely hitting and good pitching,” Giuliani said. “We’ve had this same group since they were nine, and they had come so close so many times.”

Armonk, which was seeded second, finished with a 15-4 record.

“We were really excited because we finally won it after all of these years,” Bottiglieri said.

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