Niagara Gazette — NORTH TONAWANDA — After 11 days of Little League baseball tournament action, Grand Island’s Major Division (11-12 year olds) team emerged as District 1 champions, defeating host team North Tonawanda Wednesday, 8-2.
“I am proud of the boys,” said Grand Island coach Joe Weber. “North Tonawanda has been a wonderful host. We are proud to come to this tournament, we are proud to show up and proud to play as well as we did.”
Grand Island’s Easton Spear and P.J. Munoz stole the show.
Spear dominated the game on the mound, striking out 12 over five and two thirds innings. Spear only allowed two hits before being pulled.
“It felt so good,” said Spear. “I felt like an MLB pitcher, like Nolan Ryan.”
Munoz shined at the plate, going 3-for-4 and batting in four runs, including a 3-run blast in the sixth to seal the game.
Munoz also came to the mound to get the final out in the bottom of the seventh, striking out the only batter he faced.
“I wanted to keep the ball alive and just get contact,” said Munoz. “It felt really good.”
Grand Island broke open the scoring early. Colby Muggli reached base on a walk and then was batted in by a Munoz triple. Munoz then reached home after an attempted pick off the got away from the fielders.
Spear showed his dominance from the get go, striking out three and only walking one in the first.
Grand Island added a third run in the third when Nate Reichel batted in Munoz with a double to the left-center gap.
Casey Trombley got the start for North Tonawanda, pitching four innings, striking out four and giving up five runs on seven hits.
Despite the score, North Tonawanda played a strong defensive game. Tyler MacNeil played well at short stop, snagging a couple of hard grounders and making acrobatic throws.