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Home runs fuel Somers to a Baseball Championship

SHRUB OAK, N.Y. -- The previous two years, Somers advanced to the championship game of the Westchester-Putnam Baseball Association only to watch the opposition celebrate at game’s end. Somers would author a different script Saturday.

Matt Pires struck out 11 and was backed by three home runs as Somers defeated Larchmont/Mamaroneck, 8-3 in the 11-year-old final at Lakeland High School. The Somers' 14-and-under team also won its title with a 5-3 verdict over Mahopac.

 “It feels great,” said the 12-year-old Pires, as he held his championship trophy. Somers erupted for five runs in the first inning with Pires starting it with a solo home run. Steven Kalayjian followed with a home run. After Kevin Olifiers singled and Anthony Lombardi was safe on an error, Andrew Cassin drilled a three-run homer, his first of the summer, giving Somers a 5-0 lead.

“When I first hit it, I thought it was going to be a pop up,” said Cassin, 11, and a sixth-grader-to-be at Somers Middle School. “I put my head down and ran, but then when I looked into the outfield I saw the ball bounce off the bleachers. That was my first home run ever and that made me feel good.” Cassin was holding his home-run ball in one hand and championship trophy in his other hand while receiving a big hug from his little sister. Pires was happy for his teammate.

“When I first saw Andrew hit it, I felt proud for him and I could tell he was really excited,” said Pires, a seventh-grader-to-be at Somers Middle School. Given a 5-0 lead, Pires took over. He allowed a Jarrett Nachtigal single in the fourth and that was it until Larchmont/Mamaroneck had two hits and scored two runs in the sixth.

“Before today, I was practicing with my dad yesterday because I wanted to make sure my arm was loose,” Pires said. “I felt good in warmups because I was throwin strikes. “With a five-run lead, I wasn’t as nervous as I would have been if it was 0-0.”

The championship Somers’ team is also comprised of Marc Maestri, Matt Mariani, Brian Olifiers, Colin Smith, Bryce Shor, Ross Dietrich and Evan Kader.

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