On Tuesday, August 18, the 37th Annual Hampton’s Classic Tournament began with 18 teams across three divisions. For the second year in a row, Anthony and Heather D’Agostino put together a top-notch softball tournament, comprising some of the top players in the New York City/Long Island area. This year’s tournament was relocated for the third consecutive year to the beautiful Emil Stotzky Park in Riverhead, Long Island. The park is less than an hour-and-a-half drive from Manhattan. The fences are 275 feet and the fields are beautifully maintained. The tournament is an unlimited home run tournament. The park is a great fit for the clincher game. The clincher is widely used in the New York City area due to space limitations and can travel up to 350 feet if hit well. With the exception of senior bats, the tournament allows any type of bat. Ray Coyne and his staff at the Town of Riverhead Parks Department were extremely helpful and have complete knowledge of running softball tournaments. The park is a short drive away from the Tanger Shopping Outlets as well as Splish Splash, a waterpark in Riverhead, Long Island. The Riverhead area also has some great hotels and restaurants, all in within minutes from the field location. Regardless of where the tournament is held, Anthony and his wife are committed to maintaining the tradition while improving it each year. This event continues to honor the great players who have played in the past as well as current players. This year’s event honored Mike Collins. Mike played in the last 35 events, but unfortunately passed away last year. He is survived by his two sons, John and Justin Collins, who continue the tradition by placing a team in the tournament as well as accepting a lifetime achievement award for their father. This year’s Hall of Fame inductees were Jake Harrison Jr. (Beach Dawgs), James Hughes (BB’s), and Tony Ippolito (K of C Royals). The annual event is one of the most anticipated tournaments of the year for the local teams in New York and Long Island. The event wouldn’t be a success without the amazing local sponsors from the area: Orange Hammer, Yatzee Ink, Walkoff Sports, 6-4-3 New York Designs, M Four Custom Sports, YOLO Lip Gloss, Bridies Bar & Grill, Jeff Cohen Real Estate, The Station Bar, Ken Kortright/State Farm, Body Armor, 2nd to None Entertainment, P.J. Peria/Allstate Insurance, and Budweiser. Hot Soup is served - Hampton’s style The Coed division has five strong teams, some of them comprised of prior world champions. The Hot Soup team from Westhampton, New York, took on a Ballers team out of Queens, New York. The game ended after the five-inning mercy rule, with Hot Soup winning, 15-2. Erin Breslin (Hot Soup) got the first female hit of the tourney. Matt Colletti (Hot Soup) pitched a great game, sitting down the Ballers, 1-2-3, in four out of the five innings. Hot Soup also won the next game by mercy rule,17-5, against the reigning E Coed World Champions, Darkside, out of Bellemore, New York. Danny Dunn, Josh Haglund, and Joey Gordon all homered for Hot Soup in the rout. Nicole Michel and Kristen “Dink” Gordon both hit well for Hot Soup. This put Hot Soup in the championship game of the double-elimination tournament. On Wednesday, August 19, the rest of the teams battled it out in 93-degree heat to see who would face off against Hot Soup in the finals, with the Allstate Insurance/P.J. Peria Agent team emerging from the pool to face off against Hot Soup. Allstate was back-to-back Coed World Champions in the E and D level, as well as a runner-up in the 2014 C Coed Worlds. The first game came down to walks and key home runs, with Allstate overcoming a seven-run deficit to win by five. Allstate pitcher and all-tournament selection Maurice Reyes held a majority of the Hot Soup bats down, with Dominic Cillotta and Joey Gordon hitting monstrous home runs. Alltournament selection Justin Hutt from Allstate was white hot at the bat, going 5-for-5 in the first game. Jackie Burd and Kristy Digirolamo rounded out the all-tournament selections for Allstate. In the second game, Hot Soup started off with a lead and held on in the end for a one-run victory, as Allstate had the tying run up to bat when Colletti and Gordon turned a game-ending 1-6-3 double play. Despite being hit in the ribs by an errant throw, all-tournament selection Kristen “Dink” Gordon continued the great defensive play in left field as well as having a .640 OBP throughout the tourney. Erin Breslin played a solid first and continued her hitting with a Female MVP .656 OBP. Matt Colletti, Male MVP, continued to battle on the mound with some control issues, but got some perfectly timed ground balls when the team needed them. Alltournament selection Joey Gordon, with a .915 OBP, hit another no-doubter home run in the final game and made a behind-the-back play at shortstop to stop a rally by Allstate. All-tournament selection Dominic Cillotta also had some big home runs and hit a solid .845 OBP. Faddy Malone’s repeats capturing 37th Hampton Classic A Division! Quantity is not always quality. This year’s A division had six teams, but these six teams had quality! The best of the best from the New York City/Long Island area were combined on these six teams. The Faddy Malone boys finished undefeated at 4-0 for their back-to-back championship in the Hampton’s. Tuesday they came out swinging, hitting 15 homers in wins over the Warriors, 26-17, and Sandlot/Pipe, 25-22. On Wednesday, their hot bats continued. They defeated a tough BB’s team, 10-6, in the semis and eventually defeated Sandlot/ Pipe,16-6, in the finals. MVP Charlie Baumgartner led the way for the Long Island team. Jesse Delcolle won his second home run title in as many years. He awed the crowd by hitting the clincher well over 325 feet on several occasions. Player/coach Leon Curiel put a strong team together with many great performances! Special thanks to Steve Malone. Steve placed two teams in the Hampton’s tournament and continues to be one of the best sponsors in the game today. Hampton’s Men’s B Division Goes “Down & Hard” to the Competition Entering their second Hampton’s Classic Tournament, Down & Hard/Team Whipnik from Queens, New York, knew they had a challenge ahead. Team manager Jeff Haufmann entered the team into the B division to face some of the top local teams from Queens and Long Island. Pitcher Mike Braconi started all four games, defending the middle, while only giving up 15 runs. Additionally, Braconi earned tournament MVP by batting .714 in addition to excelling on the mound. Down & Hard/Team Whipnik defeated KJ Farrell’s from Queens, New York, twice in day one, followed by Suffolk Slow Pitch No Walkers during the semi-finals of day two. Down & Hard/Team Whipnik anxiously watched as the next opponent they would meet on the field for the championship game was determined. Team Faddy Malone’s II were the victors and Down & Hard/Team Whipnik was ready to face the challenge of a great opposing team. The bats came alive in the championship game! Down & Hard/ Team Whipnik scored 15 runs and limited Faddy Malone’s II to just seven. The turning point of the game was a home run by leadoff hitter Damian Donohue. Another crucial point during this championship was a six-run inning, all scored with two outs. The offensive leaders in the tournament for Down & Hard/Team Whipnik include All-Tournament team selections Paul Schropfer and Terrence Heller, both batting .769, as well as Maurice “Mo” Reyes, batting .729. In typical Down & Hard/Team Whipnik fashion, games were won by stellar defense, great pitching, and consistent clutch hitting by scoring 60 runs while only hitting one home run throughout the tournament. Team manager and coach Jeff Hauffman remarked, “This was the greatest team win we have had since we started this team. A big thank you to our sponsor, Whipnik, for not only providing us with the opportunity to play but for providing outstanding, hassle-free service and reliability when buying or leasing our vehicles.” Be sure to check out the schedule for next year’s Hampton’s Classic!
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