BOARDMAN, OH- It was easily one of the top ten games you’ll ever see in your lifetime. Great pitching, outstanding defense, gutsy performances, high drama, and yes- a walk-off grand slam. Oh, and by the way- these young men are only twelve.
The Boardman All-Stars went back and forth with Canfield for the entire game for the exception of one out to go. The bases were loaded with no outs for Boardman in a 0-0 game in the bottom of the sixth inning, and Canfield reliever, Drew Snyder was put into a tough situation. He started the at-bat 3-0, and was in danger of walking in the winning run before striking out two consecutive batters to put Boardman back onto the ropes.
Then, Mason Nawrocki stepped to the dish.
“Mason was due, he was. And he did a great job” said Boardman Manager, Dom Triveri. Nawrocki stepped to the plate and took a fastball for a strike before delivering the biggest hit of his life. Mason swung at the 0-1 fastball from Snyder and sent the ball majestically into the Boardman sky. The left fielder raced toward the 200-foot fence but knew what the capacity crowd already discovered, Nawrocki had just sent his team to the next round as District 2 Champions in style: a walk-off grand slam.
A 4-0 victory sends Boardman to New Albany later this month to take on some of the state’s finest teams, but without a doubt, they may have already done that on a few special nights in July. “Canfield’s a special team, they played a heck of a game. Enzo Cocca pitched a heck of a game,” said Triveri. Cocca was fantastic on the mound for Canfield, holding an explosive Boardman offense to no runs through 5 innings of work.
For Boardman, Ryan Neifer was a work-horse, plowing his way to 10 strikeouts and giving up no runs while picking up the victory. “I just wanted to come in and get 10 strikeouts, so, I got my goal. You’re always happy when you can get 10 K’s…my infield and outfield is amazing, I couldn’t ask for a better one,” said Neifer.