The Bayside Little League junior team, ages 13-14, which dedicated its season to Newtown victims advanced to the semifinal round of the New York Section 5 tournament, but lost to eventual champion Franklin Square Little League on July 18.
Bayside, the District 26 champion, won its first two games before losing two. The first loss came from Oceanside Little League and then to Franklin Square, 17-14.
“We let them know how proud we were and how proud their parents were,” manager Jerry Costa said. “Everyone dug in.”
The lost ended their season, which was highlighted by a 20-game undefeated regular season which was dedicated to the victims of the shooting tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. During that time the team wore patches and made chants throughout the season to honor the Newtown children.
“Of all the teams I’ve managed, this team had the most heart,” Costa said. “Plenty of times we kept losing, but kept coming back.”
Costa praised two pitchers, Anthony Costa and Stephen Castro, for performing well in the sectional tournament.
“He played so hard,” Costa said about Anthony, whose team nickname is “Ace.” He pitched the whole game in a 4-2 victory against Westside Little League, Bayside’s first win in the tournament.
Now the junior team will play in other tournaments against other teams, Costa said.