WOODBURY – To keep young ball players off the bench as often as possible, Woodbury Baseball & Softball has kept is rosters as small as it possibly could this season. In games, it’s led to teams borrowing a right fielder from the other team, and taking an automatic out when that “missing” player came to bat.
On Thursday, it led to an interesting situation when the Ovens of France Mariners took on the LV Electric Phillies in a Minors game. The Phillies were in the field, and it was 10-year-old Mariners player Trevor Santopietro’s turn to man right field.
With one out and a runner on second, a Mariners player hit the ball to right field. Instead of letting the ball fall in for a single and a possible RBI, Santopietro made an all-out diving catch for the Phillies.
Santopietro then doubled the runner off at second to end the inning.
“While we have to share players through the year from time to time they rarely make a meaningful play to affect the game,” Phillies coach Nick DePreter said. “Trevor certainly did that and we thanked him for his honesty and good sportsmanship.”
Mariners coach Greg Toon said he didn’t mind him making a great catch for the other team, and added that Santopietro apologized when he came back to the dugout.
“I told him he never had to apologize to anyone for giving his best effort and playing baseball all out,” Toon said. “However with that said, I did not loan him to the other team for the next inning.”
The Mariners went on to beat the Phillies 15-12, and Toon did award Santopietro the game ball.
“After the game, I gave Trevor the game ball and told him it was from the other team’s head coach,” Toon said. “The entire team got a good chuckle and that’s what it should be about at this age.”
Woodbury Baseball & Softball President Tim Pasquariello praised Santopietro for his integrity and sportsmanship, and said other players in the league can learn from his example.
“I am so proud to hear about Trevor’s great effort – he truly shows us all what this league is all about,” Pasquariello said. “What a great job by Trevor, and a great job by the coaches.”