Written by Compiled by Dr. Alan Cooper Friday, 25 May 2012 00:00
A beautiful Sunday afternoon set the stage for the long awaited rematch between the Hand-rolled Bagels Padres and the New Hyde Park Elks Royals. Andrew Kern set the stage for a big Padres inning when he singled to start the game. The next seven batters reached base safely and the Padres were off and running. Andrew, Stephen Coffey, Michael O’Grady, and Andrew Stein led the charge with four hits each. Other noteworthy contributions were given by Christian Flynn (3 hits, 1 run) and Sanay Shah (3 hits, 1 RBI). As usual, the Padres were able to depend upon Marco Gullo and Joe Mattei for their brilliance in the field, making plays to save runs, but the play of the day belonged to Vincent Pepe. Vincent stopped a ball with his face (prompting a collective gasp from the capacity crowd) and stood in stunned silence for a moment before completing the play at first base. After a two-batter stint on the disabled list, Vincent (now dubbed “Braveheart” by his awed teammates) returned to finish the game and drive in three runs. Another great performance by Hand-rolled Bagels Padres.
A beautiful night for baseball brought out the best both short-handed teams could offer. Some fine pitching performances by Alfred Squicciarino, Anthony Schembeck and Allesandro Gullo kept the opposing bats at bay. Phil Schurr called a great game and kept the runners in check from behind the plate. A gold glove double play at first base by Steven Derocchis saved a couple of runs. Michael Femia and John Dunn contributed with some great at bats to spark the hot Marlins lineup. The Marlins all around fine play has them heading in a positive direction during the stretch run toward the playoffs.
On a picture perfect day for baseball, the Diamondbacks played one of their most exciting games. Garret Roth started the game and despite pitching very well, got into a jam. Liam Nihan came in to relief with the bases loaded and gave up only one earned run. Making his pitching debut was Brandon Colon and he shut down the Phillies with a 1 2 3 inning. The Diamondbacks were down 3 to 0 until Jackson Benjamin led off with a walk, stole second and third, and was batted in with a productive out by Garrett Roth. Cenzo Montoni came into the third inning and pitched two scoreless innings keeping the game 3 to 1 after 4. In the fourth inning, Matt Rubinic led off with a walk, Brandon Colon hit a single moving Matt to third, and Marc Baronci singled in a run making the game 3 to 2 after 4 complete. Nick Rubinic started the fifth inning and after allowing one unearned run delivered two outs and was in trouble as he loaded the bases. Anthony Steves came in to face the Phillies clean up hitter with the bases loaded and two outs and got him to pop out to second base. The table was set for a Diamondbacks comeback win. Down 4 to 2, Thomas Rubinic led off with a walk. Liam Nihan put the ball in play and beat out an infield hit. Garrett Roth walked and now the bases were loaded with the tying run at second base. The Phillies brought in their Ace closer but the Diamondbacks Matt Merolla after getting behind in the count 1 and 2, singled up the middle scoring 2 tying the game. With the winning run at third the Phillies ACE won the battle striking out the side. With the game tied at 4, the umpire called the game due to time. The Diamondbacks all played like all stars and today’s game was a true team effort.
The rain stopped and the clouds lifted just in time to get the game in. For the second time this season the Braves and Cubs matched up for a great game. Leading the Braves’ offense was Kenny Hirchfeld and Christopher Chin with six hits each. Also contributing to the offensive attack was Ryan Wasserman, Duhan Lee and Edward Mauceri with 5 hits each. Alan Sikora and Michael Paladino smashed out 4 hits each and Anthony Levia contributed with two hits. Kenny and Edward also crushed two towering doubles. Alan, Christopher, Ryan and Kenny who continue to amaze the fans led the defense. Alan had a great inning on the pitcher’s mound contributing to all three outs. The Braves continue to show great teamwork and are playing above expectations. The Cubs also had some very good plays in the field.
Unknown to only the Twins’ most inner circle, the team has been in a long running contract dispute with its longtime announcer and copywriter. Thankfully, such dispute has been resolved through binding arbitration and everyone is back at work! There’s a lot to catch-up on so let’s get started.
The Twins were short-handed today with only seven of their 12 players healthy enough to play. Facing the Braves with a full squad is a tall order, unfortunately, short-handed as we were, the task was that much tougher. Nevertheless, the Twins showed their mettle and stepped up big time led by William Rho on offense with a big double and Zachary Israel on defense with an unassisted double-play at first base. Of course, that is not to diminish the contributions of Parker Cohen, Evan Lipp, LJ Tsiforas, Conner Gould and Zachary Stoyer. The boys were really working together as a unit displaying their increasing baseball knowledge and desire to play the game. Parker and Zachary Israel are a fearsome one-two punch at the pitcher’s mound and first base positions connecting on several nice putouts.
Besides William, several players came up big at the plate today including Parker, Evan, LJ, Zachary I. and Conner who continues to swing a heavy bat. Zachary S. made his coaches proud while fighting a tough hitch in his swing but nevertheless continuing to put the ball into play. The following players were missing: Arjun Bhatt, Josh Davis, Jonathan Squicciarino, Brendan Hickis and Tristan Pia.
Arjun was the unfortunate victim of a schedule mix-up and was missed dearly. Arjun has been one of the Twins’ most solid performers all year displaying the kind of determination and desire that coaches dream of. He shows up ready to play any position and bat in any spot in the lineup as long as he gets a chance to help his team succeed. He consistently puts the ball into play at the plate and shows excellent baseball knowledge both in the field and on the bases. He also strikes fear into opposing fielders with his aggressive base running and self-sacrificing slides.
Josh has made great strides this season coming in straight from the Twins’ single-A affiliate. He has worked very hard at the plate and has come a very long way. He’s raised a lot of eyebrows in the front office as players like Josh that show the desire and ability to learn and improve are the ones who get the long term deals.
Jonathan has proven to be an all around solid performer both in the field and at the plate with a strong knowledge of the finer points of the game. He’s a strong presence and spurs his teammates on to do better and better. Jonathan’s gritty hard-working style is one that many players would do well to emulate. The Twins hope to have him back for the stretch run.
Brendan, like Josh, joined the team straight from A ball. Quiet and reserved on the outside, Brendan is a cauldron of desire and fortitude on the inside. The coaching staff enjoys working with him in practice as he is supremely “coach-able” and responds very well to constructive criticism in practice always looking for ways to improve.
Tristan Pia has been sidelined for some time now with an unidentified stomach ailment. If it were up to him he’d be out there with his teammates but the team has reluctantly chosen to obey the doctor’s orders and keep him sidelined until he fully recovers. Over the past two seasons, Tristan has been one of the Twins’ biggest bats and most consistently excellent performers in the field and overall. His quiet easygoing style at the plate takes opposing fielders for surprise when he makes contact and rockets a ball in their direction. Tristan is a fearsome competitor in his favorite position on the pitcher’s mound consistently snagging grounders and fly balls to the opposing team’s dismay.
(Manager’s note: Once again and from the bottom of our hearts, the Twins’ entire organization would like to sincerely apologize for the recent lack of write-ups. We are all dedicated to the team and most importantly our players. We want nothing more than for them to have fun while playing and learning the amazing game of baseball. We pledge to submit write-ups for all remaining games including a whopper of a season finale. Stay tuned.)
The Ducks kept rolling (waddling) along and won their fourth straight game, this time a thrilling 6-5 victory over the bruising Bears. The Ducks jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning thanks to a leadoff single from Joey Jacobs followed by a run-scoring double from Eric Del Valle (who later scored on a steal of home). Eric Del Valle started the game on the mound and went three strong innings (4 Ks, 1 H, 1 BB) with the only run scoring against him when the Ducks didn’t realize how many outs there were and started to run off the field after the second out. The Ducks built onto their lead in the bottom of the 3rd inning when Eric Del Valle and George Vlantis hit back-to-back doubles to lead off the inning (George later scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-1). Mikey Rose took the mound to start the top of the 4th, and set the Bears down 1-2-3. In the bottom of the fourth inning the Ducks increased their lead to 6-1 thanks to consecutive 1-out singles from Mikey Rose and Joey Jacobs and a 2-run hit from Eric Del Valle. In the top of the fifth inning the Bears made the game closer when they strung together a few hits, bringing the score at the end of 5 innings to 6-4. The score could have been even closer if not for an outstanding inning ending catch in centerfield by Jesse Romano. In the top of the sixth inning Brian Volk made his season debut on the mound and proceeded to strike out the first batter in impressive fashion. The next batter hit a little dribbler off the plate that went for an infield hit. Brian then struck out another batter to get the Ducks within one out of the win. After walking the next batter on some close pitches, the Bears drove in a run with a sharp single, putting the tying run at second base and the go-ahead run at first. Joey Jacobs then relieved Brian with the Bears’ slugger at the plate, and struck him out on three pitches to end the game to preserve the 6-5 victory. The Ducks could not have held onto the lead had it not been for the solid defense turned in by Brian Korpacz, Robert Cass and Nick Femia.
On a beautiful night for baseball the Braves took the field at Manor Oaks Stadium ready to give their fans their money’s worth of stellar defense and timely hitting. Leading the offense for the Braves was Alan Sikora with five hits. Also contributing to offensive attack: Ryan Wasserman, Edward Mauceri, Duhan Lee and Kenny Hirschfeld with four hits each. Other contributors on offense were Christopher Chin and Anthony Leva with three hits each, Brian O’Conner with two hits and lastly Michael Paladino contributed with one hit. The Braves defense failed to disappoint. Kenny made a great catch after a long run followed by a dive. Ryan turned a heads up double play on a looping liner. Michael fielded a hot grounder at third and then made an unassisted putout. Christopher played a great game at first. The Padres provided to be a worthy opponent and also played a great game.
It was another rematch Sunday between the Royals and Braves. The Cubs offense was led by James Asmus with a double and two singles and Eric Lee and John David Zebitsch with three hits each. Alex Isopo and Jordan Mayorga were also swinging the bat well and had a great day at the plate. Brendan Cooper hit a single and scored before having to leave the game due to illness. The defense was led by Vinay Patel and Benjamin Harnick making the plays on the left side of the infield and Joseph Chimenti continuing his outstanding play behind the plate.