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White Plains Rallies to 3-2 Win Over Eastchester

EASTCHESTER, N.Y. -- Jack Keenan took a deep breath as Eastchester loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning Thursday. The ten-year-old White Plains pitcher, who had a one-run lead, did not allow himself to get nervous or flustered. Instead, Keenan focused on a simple approach and the result was thrilling.

Keenan registered the final two outs, sending White Plains to a 3-2 win over Eastchester in the losers’ bracket final of the District 20 Little League Baseball nine-ten-year-old division at O’Rourke Field. White Plains, which lost to Eastchester last week, will play Harrison for the title, Saturday, 4 p.m., at Sherman Park’s Volunteer Field. White Plains will have to beat Harrison in order to force a decisive game, at a time, site and date, to be determined.

Keenan also drove in the tieing run in the top of the sixth inning, then scored the eventual winning run. “I was trying to concentrate on the glove,” said Keenan, a fifth-grader-to-be at Our Lady of Sorrows School in White Plains. “I was blocking out all the sounds for both teams. I remembered my mechanics and threw the ball right to the glove.” After Joe Nasti walked, loading the bases, joining Nick Zingaro and Matt Rinaldi, Keenan registered a strikeout on three pitches. He fell behind the next batter, 3-0, then worked his way back and finished off the game with a strikeout.

Keenan was immediately mobbed by his teammates. “I knew he was going to take a pitch,” said Keenan of the 3-0 pitch. “I threw an off-speed pitch to get me back in the strike zone.” White Plains trailed 2-1 entering the top of the sixth inning. Eastchester starter Matt Rinaldi limited White Plains to one run on two hits in 4 1/3 innings.

Nick Zingaro recorded the final two outs of the fifth and the first out of the sixth. Justin Holman followed with a triple to left field. Keenan stepped in and drilled a 1-1 pitch to left center, scoring Holman with the equalizer. Jonah Quinn then singled to right, scoring Keenan. “I had popped up my first two at-bats so I had to do something,” Keenan said. “I didn’t want to let my team down. If I got a good pitch in the strike zone I was going to hit it as hard as I could.”

Keenan went the final 2 1/3 innings to get the win. Starter Anthony Burgio, whose father, Anthony, was a stand-out pitcher for Harrison in his career, went the first 3 2/3 innings. Burgio struck out four and pitched his way out of a one-out, bases-loaded situation in the second inning. Rinaldi had an excellent day at the plate with three hits, including a double. Nasti had two hits and an RBI, Nick Zingaro collected two hits and scored a run and Drew Walpole doubled.

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