Great at bats ignite L.I. Elite Summer Finale victory

By DN WRITING STAFF | August 28, 2022

Long Island Elite leadoff man Christian Poveda scores on AJ Conza’s first-inning triple.

By Sean Reilly 

Christian Poveda regards each pitch he sees as a unique challenge.

And as the leadoff batter for Long Island Elite Cuomo, it’s a good approach to take, especially since he has the discipline to excel in that role.

“Every pitch is a battle for me,” he said. “And I’m up there trying to win the battle.”

After teammate Michael Perullo struck out the side in the top of the first inning, Poveda stepped into the box to lead off for Long Island Elite against Team PAC 13U in the opening game for both at the 13U Summer Finale on Friday night at Diamond Nation.

Twelve pitches later, Poveda drew a full-count walk. And soon after, he scored when next batter A.J. Conza tripled. 

It was the start of a four-run inning, and Long Island Elite was on its way to an 18-3 victory in Flemington. 

Proveda’s at-bat featured a handful of foul balls as he stayed alive at the plate. 

“Everyone’s approach is to get on base,” he said. “I’m trying to work the pitcher so my pitcher can feel more comfortable in the next inning. After that walk, it felt pretty good going to first base. It was a nice at-bat.” 

After Conza’s RBI triple, he scored when John Brown grounded out to first base. The next batter grounded out to third, but Long Island was far from finished in the inning. 

Luke Walsh walked, and Dennis Majorana singled. An error and stolen base advanced both into scoring position before Michael Agostino hit a grounder that was misplayed and scored both for a 4-0 lead. 

Team PAC, from the Rochester, N.Y., area, scored in the second inning when Max Levitan hit a one-out triple to right field and scored when Jake Schoen grounded out to shortstop.

Long Island Elite shortstop Christian Poveda ends rundown play by tagging Team PAC baserunner as teammate Luke Walsh jumps in appreciation.

Long Island Elite then exploded for 14 runs in the bottom of the inning. 

Conza, who ended 3-for-3 with three RBI, singled in the first run after Poveda walked, this time on four pitches while runner Chris Barling did a good job distracting the pitcher with his leads off of second base. 

Brown followed with a two-run double, took third on an error and scored a ball four wild pitch to Chase Bocchi. After a pitching change and a strikeout, Majorana (3-for-3, three RBI) singled in a run for a 9-1 lead.

Justin Walsh and Luca Viscovich drew bases-loaded walks before Poveda came up for the third time. A run scored on a wild pitch before he drilled a two-run triple to left center.

“He threw me the right one, and I jumped on it,” he said. 

Conza then brought in Poveda with a double, also to left center.

Poveda and Conza finished a combined 4-for-4 with two walks, six runs and five RBI. 

The remaining three runs in the inning came on an error and two-run single from Majorana. 

Team PAC scored twice in the top of the third when Max Seaver hit a two-run single. 

Notes: Long Island Elite continued pool play action against Three Village Patriots on Saturday afternoon. Team PAC returned to action on Saturday afternoon opposite NY Prospects.

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