The Irish Wolfhounds Baseball Club made its triumphant debut on June 17 at Clover Stadium in Rockland County, New York, and defeated the NYPD’s NY Finest Baseball Club by a score of 9-1.

The festivities began a few minutes before game time as the Aisling Irish Community Center children’s choir sang the national anthems of both Ireland and the United States. The anthems were followed by the ceremonial first pitch thrown by Ireland’s Vice Consul Dermot Fitzpatrick and an inspiring pep talk from Consul General Helena Nolan.

Many thanks to the Consulate General of Ireland, New York, the Aisling Irish Community Center, Tourism Ireland, the NEW...

Posted by Irish American Baseball Society on Saturday, June 17, 2023

And then, it was time to play ball. The Irish jumped out to an early lead in the second inning, thanks to a double by center fielder Conor Santoianni and an RBI single by right fielder Brendan Eaton.

The NYPD evened the score in the bottom of the fourth inning but the Wolfhounds jumped back in the lead in the top of the fifth inning, when shortstop Patrick Dillon reached base on a walk and advanced around the bases on back-to-back singles by designated hitter Brian McAuliffe and Doyle Kane.

On the mound, Brendan Kenneally kept the Irish in the lead by holding the NYPD hitless over 2.1 innings of relief.

The visiting Irish squad entered the seventh inning with a razor-thin 2-1 lead. Ireland quickly strung together a few hits and blew the game wide open with a rally thanks to hits by left fielder Doyle Kane, center fielder Conor Mackle, and an RBI triple by Conor Santoianni. Second baseman Sean McAdams added to the lead with an RBI single, giving the Irish a 9-1 lead.

Manager Donegal Fergus turned the game over to southpaw Mike McGee for the seventh and eighth inning. Then it was up to former major leaguer Ryan O’Rourke to close it out. It was O’Rourke’s first outing in over a year and a major step in his recovery from a strained rotator cuff.

The Irish Wolfhounds Baseball Club is a project of the Irish American Baseball Society, a non-profit organization that supports youth baseball programs in Ireland and operates the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame

You can watch back on a live stream of the baseball game here:

*This column first appeared in the June 21 edition of the weekly Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral.