However, in the championship game, Rodriguez used his secret weapon to propel Kuhl's to the Bayonne Little League Minor Division title. With the score tied in the bottom of the fifth inning, and the go-ahead run on third, Rodriguez laid down a perfect bunt to give Kuhl's the decisive run in a heart-stopping 4-2 win over Classic Skate.
The game culminated a four-game playoff surge for Kuhl's, which finished fourth in the regular season.
Classic, however, did not go down without a fight. In fact, Classic twice had the lead. Seven-year-old Tyler DeRocco gave Classic a 1-0 edge when he singled home Nikko Sanchez in the second inning.
However, Kuhl's came back with a run in the bottom of the second on four walks to Adam Deczynski, Julian Perez, Nico Chiarlavotti and Aidan Rosario.
Classic went back on top in the third when Braden Dunlap walked and scored on Randy Leonardo's single. But Kuhl's answered with another run in the bottom of the inning when Brad Deczynski doubled down the third base line and scored on Rodriguez' ground-out to second base, a ball on which Jessica Van Sant made a nifty play.
Classic looked like it was going to take the lead again in the fourth inning when the first two batters walked and the next hitter had a 2-0 count. That's when the call went to the bullpen for Brad Deczynski and the youngster pitched with the poise of a veteran, striking out the first two batters he faced. Classic's Jack Attisano then poked an infield grounder that looked like it might produce the go-ahead run. However, Perez charged the ball for Kuhl's and tossed to Rodriguez at first, who lunged to scoop up a low thrown and retire the side. Kuhl's Olivia (Nails) Torres help her mates stop another Classic rally when she robbed Dunlop of an extra-base hit on a shot he hit towards right field.
Josh Davis sparked Kuhl's winning rally in the bottom of the fifth inning by working a walk. Aiden Milachouski also reached on a walk and they moved up to second and third on a wild pitch, setting up Rodriguez' dramatic bunt single that scored Davis. Kuhl's notched an insurance run on walks to Torres and Perez.
Leonardo and Dunlap pitched very well for Classic, combining for 12 strikeouts. Rodriguez struck out eight batters, surrendered two hits and walked five in the first three innings for Kuhl's. Brad Deczynski tossed three shutout innings with seven strikeouts to get the win.
Other members of Kuhl's are Raul Gonzalez, Isaih Suren, Aedan Farley, and Ryan Griffen.