PRINCETON: Princeton 12s are third in District 12

Baseball team made strong run

By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor
   HAMILTON — The Princeton Little League 12-year-old all-star team came up a few wins short of the ultimate goal of a District 12 championship.
   But during a run that wound up with Princeton finishing third in the district, the local boys had their share of dramatic moments.
   Princeton got to the Final Eight thanks to an extra-inning home run by Joaquin Hernandez-Burt against West Windsor. And once in the double-elimination draw, posted three straight wins to reach the losers bracket final.
   The last of those wins was another that came in dramatic fashion as Justin Marciano’s hit in the bottom of the seventh lifted Princeton past Robbinsville, 4-3, on Monday night.
   ”I was a little nervous when I got two strikes but I just tried to relax,” Marciano said of the hit that drove in Colin Taylor with the winning run. “The kid almost made an amazing catch. It was still nerve-racking.”
   The win put Princeton in the losers bracket final, where it dropped a 4-2 decision to Sunnybrae. But in the end, Princeton had made a strong showing for itself in the tournament. The win over Robbinsville came after Robbinsville had tied the game in the sixth and gone ahead in the seventh.
   ”We had a couple calls not go our way, so the guys were getting a little down,” Princeton manager Matt Frawley said. “But it is the kind of thing where you just want to keep believing. The game is not over until the last out. We were down against West Windsor. We were down against Florence.
   ”We had the top of the lineup coming up. We got Matt (Hoffman) on and moved him over with Tim (Frawley). I was hoping Colin would get on and he did. And then we got a passed ball and Matt got in, then Justin gave us the win. It was great.”
   Hoffman scored the tying run with two outs on a mad dash from third on a wild pitch.
   ”He’s our fastest guy,” Frawley said. “You never want the last out to be at home but it was worth a shot.”
   Princeton had bounced back from an opening loss to Nottingham to beat Florence (7-3), Millstone-Roosevelt (4-1) and Robbinsville before falling to Sunnybrae. So Princeton’s only two losses came to the two teams that met in the final.
   In the loss to Sunnybrae, Tom Pecora, who also pitched a strong game, drove in a pair of runs to give Princeton a 2-1 lead in the third inning.