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Merillon Athletic Association: April 11, 2012

Merillon Holds Season Opener

New Hyde Park Kiwanis Reds – 4 
Island Wide Medical Associates Rays - 0

It might have been a chilly opening day for the New Hyde Park Kiwanis Reds who started the season against the mighty Island Wide Medical Associates Rays, but the Reds were “red” hot on the field. Pitchers Chris Bruccoleri, Jordan Seidenberg and Elliot Weissman combined for 5 scoreless innings, which allowed for red hot bats to light up the evening with solid hitting from Michael Jacobs, Paarth and brother Prit Patel, while Dylan Karef ripped a double during the second inning. We also had solid fielding which kept runs off the board including a Willie Mays style catch by AJ Devito, and pure brilliance from Andrew Apazza, John Welch and Daniel Mattea at third, as well as a dart thrown by Matthew Baronci from third to home to get the runner at home.

New Hyde Park Kiwanis Reds – 9 
Piccolo Italian Gourmet Blue Jays - 8

Despite going down 5 runs in the first inning, the NYP Kiwanis Reds fought hard all game to pull out the 9-8 victory against the Piccolo Italian Gourmet Blue Jays in the bottom of the fifth inning. We had a solid effort all around, with Chris Bruccoleri coming in with bases loaded in the first inning to keep the team down just 5 runs—and keeping us in the game. Brilliant play on the field from Paarth and Prit Patel kept us in the game, while aggressive base running from John Welch and Daniel Mattei had the Blue Jays spinning hot bats helped get us on the board with solid hitting once again from AJ Devito who had 3 RBIs, while Dylan Kareff providing hit after hit. Finally, while Elliot Weissman was once again brilliant on the mound with 4 strike outs, it was his bottom of the 5th, base clearing triple with a bomb to left field helped tie the game. With Elliot on 3rd, Paarth Patel hits a clutch single to help drive in the winning run.

Salmon Limousine Services Ducks 6
Fundamentals Of Baseball Bears 8  

On an afternoon that was perfect for baseball, the undermanned Ducks fell to the battling Bears 8-6. The Ducks’ bats came alive early in the game, highlighted by smashes from Nick Femia, Mikey Rose, George Vlantis and Eric Del Valle. Thanks to the offensive explosion to open the game, the Ducks took what looked to be a commanding 6-0 lead after the 1st inning. However, despite chances throughout the rest of the game, the Ducks were not able to push across any additional runs. The Ducks’ pitching was again formidable, led by Eric Del Valle, making his season debut with three dominant innings, followed by Tyler Witt and George Vlantis, who threw nothing but strikes. Unfortunately for the Ducks, the Bears began “hitting them where they ain’t” and rallied late to take the lead going into the last inning. Eric Del Valle led off the 6th with a scorching triple. Brian Volk followed with what appeared to be a run-scoring line-drive headed for the right centerfield gap, but it was nabbed by the Bears’ second baseman for the first out of the inning. The Ducks weren’t able to muster any additional hits, and for the second game in a row the Ducks’ rally fell just short. The Ducks’ defense was strong all night long, never giving the Bears any extra outs. Thanks to our call-ups, Brandon Alwadish and Christopher Bruccoleri, who patrolled the OF very well and had excellent at bats.

Salmon Limousine Services Ducks 4,
Hillside Beverage Cyclones 6

On a nice but chilly night, the Ducks opened their 2012 Majors season with a tough 6-4 loss to the super Cyclones. The Ducks were a little shorthanded tonight, yet battled until the last out and almost pulled off the big comeback. Despite excellent pitching from Mikey Rose, Tyler Witt and George Vlantis, the Cyclones took a 6-0 lead into the late innings. Maybe it was the chill in the air, or maybe it was just a matter of getting the rust off the bats, but it took a few innings for the Ducks to get comfortable at the plate. Once they did, the rally began. Good plate discipline combined with aggressive base running allowed the Ducks to chip away at the lead. The Ducks had a chance in the bottom of the 6th to tie the game, or even complete the comeback victory, but it was not to be, and the rally fell just short. While the rally fell short, the Ducks played an excellent game in the field, highlighted by strong defense turned in by Brian Korpacz (great catch in the OF and nice play at 2B), Brian Volk (great block of the plate to nail a runner), Eric Del Valle (solid at SS & 1B) and Jesse Romano (excellent plays at 2B and OF). Thanks also to our call-ups, John Tagios, Thomas Mangin and Brett Figelman, who played wonderful defense in the OF and had nice at bats.

Upper Farms
New Hyde Park Fire District Marlins
Costello’s Ace Hardware Phillies

A well-played opening game between two closely matched teams, with some solid pitching performances turned in by Daniel Garcia, Adam Miller, Stephen Derocchis, Danny Simmons, Phil Schurr, Michael Marrone, and Anthony Schembeck. A nice day at the plate forAllesandro Gullo with a single, two stolen bases and an RBI, Dean Caldwell with a single and an RBI, Adam Miller 3-3 including a double, Michael Marrone 2-2 with a double, Stephen Derrochis with a double and 2 RBI, Alfred Squiccarino with 2 stolen bases, Michael Femia with a double, 2 stolen bases and a run scored, and Justin Cosgrove with a run scored. Solid games behind the plate for Justin Cosgrove and Phil Schurr, with both catchers keeping opposing runners in check.

Fundamentals of Baseball Bears (8)
Salmon Limousine Services Ducks (6)

Facing a 6-0 deficit after a rough first inning, the comeback Bears began to chip away at the Ducks lead starting in the third inning with a double down the left field line by Michael Zuschlag, who was later driven in by Andrew Colgan to score the Bears’ first run of the season. The Bears added two more runs in the fourth inning with John Denara and Patrick Devine picking up RBIs. The Bears capped the comeback victory in the fifth starting with a lead-off single by Sean O’Leary and a later walk to Jimmy Denara to load the bases. Up stepped James Castaldi who promptly launched a Grand Slam home run to deep right center field. Not to be outdone, the next hitter, Joe Dampman, followed with a home run of his own to add an insurance run to the Bears’ lead. After the first inning, dominant pitching by Dominick Piccirillo and Andrew Colgan and solid defense by Mike Marcy shut-down the devasting Ducks offense to make the Bears comeback possible.

Costello’s ACE Hardware Phillies vs. New Hyde Park Fire District Marlins

Umpire Bret helped make sure that this very exciting opening day game vs the Merillon AA Upper Farms Marlins, went the distance.

The Phillies, who are sponsored by Costello’s ACE Hardware, displayed steadfast pitching throughout the day. Starting pitcher – eight- year-old Jesse Witt, allowed just one run on one hit and four strikeouts in the first two innings of play. In addition, eight-year-old pitchers - William Vasilakos and Cooper Alwadish gave the Phillies a big boost with a combined 2-2/3 innings of solid pitching. Phillies player – nine-year-old Lance Gandras also helped defensively with 3 put outs, and helped lead the offense with three walks, three stolen bases and two runs scored.

The Marlins came roaring back hard in the fifth inning, and also threatened in the bottom of the sixth but the Phillies - led by Upper Farms Veterans Adrian Balkcom and John Vlantis (who displayed outstanding sportsmanship and leadership for their team), were able to hold on, as all the players on both of these great teams gave their parents and fans a great opening day show!  

“It was an overall team effort’ - said the Phillies Coach. “We were little concerned having only nine player’s available today, but everyone on our team focused defensively; and offensively every player was able get on base, despite the limited amount of practice time. It is indeed a team effort when you see seven different players earning all eight runs batted in, and with six different players scoring.”    

The Costello’s Ace Hardware Sponsored -Merillon AA Upper Farms Phillies, want to thank all the parents, coaches, players and fans of Merillon AA for their hard work and support, as the kids look forward to another exciting season of play.