RGMVM machine rolls along

The balls started flying over the walls suddenly and without warning, from unlikely hitters towards the bottom of the RGMVM (Ridgewood-Glendale-Maspeth-Middle Village) order.
Forest Hills kept the Western Queens Little League champion’s imposing threesome of Eric Tully, Chris Piteo and Gerard Fraracci in check, limiting the three in their Section 3 semifinals. But they had no answer for the rest of RGMVM’S order in their dominant 9-3 victory at Fleet Field in Forest Hills that qualifies the defending state champs for the sectional final against South Shore Little League of Staten Island.
Manager Steve Adams has seen it before. The opposition tries so hard to shut down the top of the lineup, it relaxes against the others. Big mistake.
Brandon Acosta, Adams’ fifth-place hitter, made the Bombers pay, stroking a two-out, two-run, opposite-field single in the second and lashing a solo home run in the fourth, also to right field. Nieves, who bats behind Acosta, joined the fun with a two-run blast.
“They think they’re our entire team,” Adams said of his top three, which did produce one run scored and two RBI. “Little do they know one through nine can hit. Every guy in our lineup can hit the ball over the fence except for [Casey] Surdi.”
Added Acosta: “We all have a big part of the team. Everybody can do the same thing.”
With Tully and Fraracci book-ending the third sectional win in four days - they have outscored city opponents by an astonishing 32-7 - RGMVM seems destined to return to the state tournament that will begin in Westchester this weekend.
On display in their latest showing is what makes them so tough to handle, why this group of 11- and 12-year-olds have won consecutive Section 3 crowns and are, according to league president Pat Piteo, the best team in RGMVM history.
“Well,” Fraracci said, “we’re defending champs of the state, so we’re pretty confident.”
They received production from almost their entire lineup, working deep counts, fouling off pitcher’s pitches and making Forest Hills pay when they caught too much of the plate. RGMVM played a near flawless game in the field. Besides Forest Hills slugger Greg Boyle’s mammoth two-run shot to center, Fraracci (without his customary glasses) and Tully, the No. 2 and No. 3 starters on the staff, held the high-powered Bombers in check, pounding the strike zone early and often.
Adams’ toughest job, in fact, is making sure his players stay on an even keel. They will surely be tested in the sectional title game against South Shore. But so far, he hasn’t needed to explain each game’s significance. It’s win-or go-home, and RGMVM doesn’t plan to see their season end anytime soon.
“You can’t take anything for granted,” Fraracci said. “Even though the games may be easier than we expected, it’s still a challenge every time you go out there.”
RGMVM doesn’t take itself too seriously. After questionable calls didn’t go their way, they merely moved on, allowing their fans take umbrage instead. Afterward, the kids from Ridgewood, Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth acted their age, goofing around as each player was interviewed on camera, attempting to distract one another.
“The players on the team are all funny,” Acosta said.

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