Boardman East 11-12 prepares for regional
The team will play its first game on Friday in Indianapolis.
BOARDMAN -- Following today's practice at the Fields of Dreams, the state champion Boardman East 11-12 year-old All-Stars will leave Thursday for the Little League Baseball Regional Tournament at Indianapolis.
Boardman will play Illinois Friday at 12:30 p.m. at the Ruben F. Glick Little League Baseball Center.
Boardman will participate in one of two pools with each team assured of four games. Boardman will meet Wisconsin Saturday at 2:45 p.m.
The top four teams in each pool will advance to the championship round, said Boardman All-Star manager Mike Popio.
Members of the team are: Anthony Pacella, catcher, Kenny Jones, outfield; Cameron DiVito, outfield; Mark Leone, pitcher/first base; David DiBernardi, pitcher/shortstop; Tommy Slagle, second base; Austin Overly, outfield; Joey Markovich, pitcher/shortstop/third base; Ryan Gallagher, pitcher/outfield; Danny Popio, pitcher/catcher; Mark Calautti, outfield/third base, and Bobby Diamond, first base.
Dan Gallagher and Tony Pacella are coaches, Mark Leone is the scorekeeper and Terri Calautti is the team mom.
"In six weeks, this team has really come together," said Popio. "The kids are close knit and enjoy being around each other. During the regular season they played on different teams."
Popio said defense and pitching have been strengths.
"We didn't hit a home run in the state tournament," he said. "The most runs we've given up at any one time in our games has been three. Our pitchers are under 3.00 ERA.
"We have always been within a run or two runs, within reach of victory and found ways to win close games."
It took Boardman seven games to win the district tournament and five to capture the state title.
The All-Stars will play Indiana at 8:15 p.m. Monday, and Kentucky on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The semifinals are scheduled Aug. 11 with the championship contest Aug. 13.
The winner advances to the Little League World Series at Williamsport, Pa.