Amelio champs

The Rhinebeck Hawks have won the 8th annual Phillip Amelio Tournament championship.

They beat Rondout Valley in the semifinals, 5-0, on April 27, on a nippy and blustery day. And then they rolled over Red Hook to take the title.

Rhinebeck’s Will Burns burned the Ganders for nine strikeouts and two three-up, three-down innings. “Will Burns is our No. 3 pitcher, but he’s been pitching great for us,” Rhinebeck head coach Bill Carney told The Observer, “He threw seven shutout innings in Dover (April 11) before Joe Naglieri finished it off. But today was great for him, a second-time shutout.”

“As a team player, he’s our best player. We just let him throw strikes, let him hit the ball around,” said Carney of Burns, who pitched a complete game for the Hawks. But it wasn’t all Burns on defense. Rhinebeck’s outfield was a big part of the win, pulling down several fly balls that were lost in the wind.

Purple scored their first run in the top of the first. Rhinebeck’s Kory Hutchins scored a single and made it to second base on an error, and Josh Hanaburgh splashed a ball into short left field to bring him in for the score. Hutchins’ run would be the only peep of offense for either side until Rhinebeck’s absolutely monster seventh inning. The Hawks scored four runs in the seventh against a suddenly dull Rondout team, which committed three errors in the inning. Jackson Pavlakis smacked a double to bring in two runs, and Vinnie Graziadio scored a run on a Rondout overthrow at third base. Rhinebeck managed four runs on the inning. Burns pitched four up, three down in the bottom of the seventh to kill the game.

“We hung in there,” said Carney. “Nothing was falling for us until the seventh and I thought Rondout played well—hats off to them, their shortstop made great plays—but we stayed in. All we have to do is keep playing our game and it will come, and it did.”

Joe Naglieri led all batters in the game, going three-for-three.

Rhinebeck trumped Red Hook in the championship game later in the day, beating the Raiders 7-1. With that, the Hawks jumped to an 8-2 record.

Spackenkill will host Rhinebeck on Thursday, May 9, at 4:15pm.