Tag Archives: Baseball

Bayside Little League team continues hot streak


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Team Duce

The big bats of Team Duce showed up as they continued their unbeaten streak with a big interleague win over E2 on Saturday.

Charlie Blair, Team Duce’s starting pitcher, not only earned his sixth victory of the season, but also had a three-run homerun and drove in four runs. Tanner Fried continued his hot hitting, going 4-4 on the afternoon with a three-run homerun and a grand slam.

George Diamantopoulos, the cleanup hitter in the lineup, had a double, a single and drove in three runs. Rafael Rufrano and Aris Catehis got on base all six times they got up.

David Castracane got on base in a different way. He reached base twice, both times by getting hit with pitches. Castracane brushed off the pain by scoring a run for his team. The catcher, Bobby Fretwell, threw out a runner who was trying to leg a double into a triple. Fretwell also had a big double in the fourth inning.

Costa Bournias came in to relieve Blair, and was brilliant, striking out five out of the six batters he faced.  Derek McCreesh relieved Bournias and was lights out – striking out the two only batters he opposed. Tino Famiglietti relieved McCreesh in the last inning and recorded the save, pitching a scoreless sixth inning.

The player of the game was John Archbold, who got two huge hits, drove in the winning run and struck out three in a middle relief appearance.

Team Duce is now 6-0 on the season. Their next games are Thursday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Both are at Valle West, which is part of Crocheron Park in Bayside.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

St. John’s clinches Big East regular season title


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy St. John's Athletics

The St. John’s Red Storm clinched its conference-record eighth Big East regular season championship Saturday with a 5-0 win over the Xavier Musketeers at Jack Kaiser Stadium.

The Red Storm won the game behind a dominant pitching performance by Ryan McCormick, who tossed his first career complete game shutout and recorded a career-high nine strikeouts in the contest.

St. John’s got on the board early by sending eight men to the plate in the bottom of the first inning and took a 2-0 lead. Robert Wayman began the rally with a one-out single. Michael Donadio followed with another single and Zach Lauricella got on base on a fielder’s choice to load the bases. Jarred Mederos smacked a two-run single into center, giving his team the early lead.

The Red Storm added to its lead in the bottom of the third with a string of singles. Tyler Sanchez started things with a single up the middle. Wayman added another single through the left side and Lauricella singled to left, driving in Sanchez to make it a 3-0 ballgame.

Xavier tried to rally back in the top of the fourth, getting the first two batters on base. A single by David Morton led off the inning and Nate Soria followed with a walk, but McCormick retired the next three batters to get out of the jam.

St. John’s padded its lead in the bottom of the seventh inning. Donadio drilled a leadoff double into left field, Matt Harris followed with an RBI triple, giving the Red Storm a 4-0, and Mederos lifted a sacrifice fly to left, bringing the lead to 5-0.

McCormick finished the game by retiring the last seven batters he faced.

The Red Storm completed the three-game sweep of the Musketeers on Sunday by posting an 8-6 win. They continue the season with a game against St. Peter’s on Tuesday, before ending their 2015 campaign with a three-game set against Southern Illinois.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Bayside Little League’s Team Duce remains undefeated with big win


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy of Team Duce.

Team Duce, which is part of the Texas Division of Bayside Little League, continued their winning streak on Saturday and improved their record to 4-0 when they defeated team divisional rival W7.

Tanner Fried hit for the cycle, drove in eight RBIs and earned his nickname “The Sandman” by closing the game with a scoreless sixth inning. He was named the player of the game for his stellar performance.

Charlie Blair, the starting pitcher, earned the win and brought his record to a perfect 4-0. Derek McCreesh came in to relieve Blair and struck out five batters in the relief effort. Bobby Fretwell came in for McCreesh and earned his first strikeout of the season.

Tino Famiglietti made a tremendous play in the outfield by throwing out a runner at second. George Diamantopoulos played great at first base and hit for two doubles.

John Archbold and Rafael Rufrano both played catcher and got on base a combined six times. Costa Bournias got on base three times and also scored three runs.

Duce looks to remain undefeated when they take the field this Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at Valley West Field, located in Crocheron Park.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

St. John’s baseball wins fourth straight game


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy of St. John's Athletics

After sweeping a weekend road series in Indiana against Big East Conference foe Butler, St. John’s Red Storm traveled to Brooklyn to defeat the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds, 6-3.

The scoring opened up in the third inning when the Red Storm’s Michael Donadio tripled to center field with one out in the inning. Zach Lauricella followed that with an RBI groundout to put St. John’s up 1-0.

The Blackbirds answered right back, scoring three runs in the bottom of the third. St. John’s starter, Joey Christopher, gave up a two-out walk and was lifted from the game. Alex Katz came in for relief, but promptly walked the next two batters to load the bases.

LIU Brooklyn wasted little time making St. John’s pay, as first baseman Mark Hernandez doubled to center, driving in three runs, giving them a 3-1 lead.

St. John’s began chipping away at the Blackbirds’ lead in the fourth inning when second baseman Ty Blankmeyer reached on an error to score Troy Dixon, cutting LIU Brooklyn’s lead to 3-2.

In the following frame, St. John’s tied the game at 3 when Jarred Mederos hit an RBI double into right field.

The Red Storm retook the lead in the seventh inning when Donadio lined a hard RBI single up the middle, scoring Alex Caruso who reached base on an infield single and moved to second on a wild pitch.

With the score 4-3, St. John’s added two more runs in the top of the ninth to increase their lead to 6-3.

This was the Red Storm’s fourth consecutive victory, bringing them to a 16-10 overall record.

St. John’s next game is April 8, as they host Columbia at 3:30 p.m.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Street Talk: Who do you think has the better chance of making the playoffs this season — the Mets or the Yankees?


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

BY ROSS BELSKY

Brooke

“The Yankees, just based on their track record.”
Brooke Astaria

Danielle

“The Mets, as long as Matt Harvey comes back healthy.”
Danielle Cazilas

anthony

“The Mets are younger and more hungry. Plus, they have six starting pitchers.”
Anthony Hassan

William

“The Yankees. They are the best team in baseball history and always overcome the odds.”
William Landon

Brian

“The Mets. I’m rooting for Michael Cuddyer to make an impact.”
Brian Cornil

Dominick

“The Yankees. They will always be my team.”
Dominick Papasio

Emilio

“I’m generally indifferent. I don’t see the point, philosophically, of baseball nowadays. Chess is my sport.”
Emilio Velez

Luciano

“Both teams are boring. The Phillies are going to win it all.”
Luciano Lamour

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Douglaston teen is pitching for a good cause


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Michael Petze

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

Michael Petze is like most other 14-year-olds in that he loves baseball. For the past three years, the Douglaston resident has been playing on the CP Stars travel baseball team out of College Point, winning 24 tournaments throughout the mid-Atlantic area. However, now he is using his baseball skills to raise money for his cousin, Anthony, 24, an athlete with Down’s Syndrome.

Petze was recently invited to compete in the 9th Annual Power Showcase at the Florida Marlins Park in Miami, Fla., from Dec. 28, to Jan. 2. While the Showcase gives him an opportunity to show off his baseball skills, “it also includes a charity component,” explained Petze. The Showcase urges the players to give back to the community, and Petze decided to help his cousin participate in the local Special Olympics competition held every summer in Massachusetts, where Anthony lives.

“Anthony always puts a smile on my face,” said Petze. “He taught me to never judge a person by their looks, not to treat someone as an outcast because they are different.”

While Petze is a pitcher and a competitive hitter, Anthony runs track, plays basketball and bowls. Anthony is part of the Mid-Cape Sports Program, which, said Petze, spends $10,000 annually to provide training facilities for its athletes. He is hoping to raise the entire amount. He started his fundraising efforts “a couple of weeks ago” and has received contributions and pledges for contributions totaling to more than $2,000.

Petze hopes to raise the funds by the beginning of February as that would give him time to visit his cousin in Cape Cod. “I haven’t seen him in a long time,” he said.

Meanwhile, with 170 athletes from more than 20 countries participating in the Showcase, the event itself is a great opportunity for this Derek Jeter fan. “My parents are really happy about [receiving] the invitation and that I’d be meeting new people,” he said. “I like to be able to show people my talent in baseball.”

If you wish to support Michael Petze and his cousin Anthony, you can either make a one-time contribution, or pledge a certain amount for each home run hit or contribute per foot for the longest home run or per foot of a hit that goes over the fence. Make your checks payable to Special Olympics and write Mid-Cape Sports on the memo line.

For more information or to make a pledge, email Michael at MPetze05@gmail.com.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Home run at the Flea


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

IMG_6092

The LIC Flea & Food will hit a home run this weekend with a super sweet lineup.

First, the popular Long Island City market, located at the outdoor lot on the corner of Fifth Street and 46th Avenue, will continue to celebrate the opening of the LIC Flea Beer Garden.
Beer will be available for $2 from 4:30 to 5 p.m. with an LIC Flea purchase. The beer garden, which offers selections from SingleCut Beersmiths, Queens Brewery, Finback Brewery and Rockaway Brewing Company as well as wine, is set up along the basin in the back of the market with views of the Manhattan skyline and outdoor seating. Beer enthusiasts will also have the ability to meet the owners of the local breweries featured and learn about the beer-making process.

For sports lovers, former Mets player William Hayward “Mookie” Wilson will be at the flea market signing and promoting his book “Mookie: Life, Baseball, and the ’86 Mets.”

HGTV will be making its return the LIC Flea to film another episode of its show “Flea Market Flip” with host Lara Spencer, co-anchor on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Each week on the show, contestants, who participate in teams, are given $500 to explore items at different flea markets. The participants search for objects they can buy, fix and then “flip” for a higher selling price. By the end of each show, the contestants display their transformations and battle it out to win all the profits earned.

Finally, to end the weekend on a sweet note, the market will host a Sweets Festival with voting by judges and LIC Flea visitors to name the best sweets vendors. So far, participating vendors include A Spoonful of Brownies, Brookies Cookies, Bibingka-esk, Ice & Vice, Mom & Popsicles, Petalouda Bakery, Sweet Muse and Cassey’s Cookies & Cobblers.
LIC Flea & Food is open every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will run through the end of the year.

For more information visit www.licflea.com or www.facebook.com/licflea.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Bayside Little League drops Borough Cup final at Yankee Stadium


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy Steven Perez

The Bayside Rebels Little League team came up short of standing on top of the city, but they will have a summer vacation story like none other to tell their schoolmates.

The Rebels suffered a 6-2 defeat in the inaugural 12U Borough Cup Championship at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 14 to the USC Knights. But prior to the game, the team took a tour of Monument Park and learned about baseball legends.

Then they met with and received autographs from famous sports figures, including former Yankees infielder Willie Randolph, former Mets pitcher John Franco and Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia.

Photo courtesy Steven Perez

Photo courtesy of Steven Perez

After the pre-game activities, the Rebels had a difficult time against the Knights.

They allowed three runs in the first inning and one more in the second. It was enough to knock out Bayside, which struggled at the plate during the game.

The Rebels had just four hits, two of which came from Nicholas Perez, who also scored the first run for the team in the fourth inning.

John Callahan scored another run for the Rebels in the fourth inning, but it was all the offense the Bayside team would get. The Knights meanwhile added two more insurance runs in the fifth and seventh innings to win the game.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Whitestone defeats Bayside in Nick Lomangino championship title game


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

Getting thrown out of a championship game wasn’t part of the strategy, but after Whitestone Renegades baseball team coaches were tossed in the top of the fifth inning from the Nick Lomangino Tournament final, the team seemed to have new energy.

Two assistant coaches got tossed from the game on Monday after arguing a call with the umpire that favored the opposing Bayside Bulldogs.

The Whitestone team gave up its lead early in the inning thanks to the call, but after the ejections, starting pitcher Lino Gagliano struck out the side to end the Bayside rally.

And when it was their turn to bat, the Renegades scored two runs to get a 5-3 lead, which they protected for the victory. Gagliano notched 14 strikeouts on 116 pitches for a complete game win.

“They tied up the score, but we came back,” Whitestone Renegades manager John Cirillo said. “The next inning we came right back at them.”

The Renegades, who play out of the Dwarf-Giraffe Athletic League, used timely hitting to break the 3-3 tie in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Third baseman Angelo Alessandro, who finished the game 3-for-3, smacked a double to the fence to get things going.

Then Gagliano brought him home with a single. The following batter, catcher Nick Ellerby, then smacked a double to send Gagliano home.

With the renewed 5-3 lead, Gagliano got back on the mound for the two remaining innings and looked like a machine. He struck out the final six batters — without allowing a hit — to win the championship.

“Once you got the lead in the sixth and the seventh inning, it becomes who is going to fight harder, and we did,” Cirillo said. “We fought like a team.”

 

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

 

CM Vallone wins bet against CM Vacca over youth baseball game


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Office of Councilman Paul Vallone


The Whitestone Renegades’ 4-3 victory against Bronxchester on July 17 meant more than just another win.

The Renegades also helped Councilman Paul Vallone enjoy authentic Italian pastries on Thursday courtesy of Councilman Jimmy Vacca of the Bronx, due to a friendly wager between the two public officials on the game. Of course, the Renegades, a local travel baseball team out of the Dwarf Giraffe Athletic League, are now also entitled to bragging rights over their Bronx rivals.

“We would like to thank Councilman Paul Vallone for all his support to the team,” said Renegades assistant coach Joe Alessandro. “And congratulate the councilman on winning his friendly wager with Councilman Vacca.”

When the council members learned that their local baseball teams would play each other in the inaugural NYC Borough Cup tournament, they decided to increase the stakes of the game.

The terms were, if the Renegades won, Vacca would treat Vallone to homemade Italian pastries from Arthur Avenue, which is known as the Bronx’s Little Italy. But if Bronxchester won, then Vallone would treat Vacca to a chicken sandwich from Whitestone staple deli Cherry Valley and an Italian ice from Pesso’s in Bayside.

Vallone said the only downside of winning was that now Vacca will miss out on delicious foods from the Queens eatery and dessert shop.

“While of course I am thrilled that the Whitestone Renegades beat Bronxchester, I’m sad that Jimmy won’t have the opportunity to experience the culinary masterpiece that is a Cherry Valley TCS (The Chicken Sandwich) washed down with a mouthwatering Pesso’s Ice,” Vallone said.

While the Italian desserts were sweet, the story didn’t have a satisfying ending. The Renegades finished 2-1 in the Borough Cup, having dropped their last match in pool play against the NCYA All Stars, 6-1, and were eliminated from the tournament.

 

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

 

Bayside Little League female player is determined to continue playing baseball


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre


Bayside Rebels Little League coach Randy DeCastro was approached by a fuming parent two years ago, resulting in a conversation he won’t forget.

The man, who was frustrated because his son didn’t receive enough playing time, criticized another player on the field, but not targeting a lack of skill.

“Any good coach knows at this age you shouldn’t have a girl on your team,” DeCastro remembered the parent said, referring to Regan Goger, the team’s left fielder.

DeCastro responded by saying, “Then you don’t know Regan.” Following the confrontation, Regan went on a 10-game hitting streak, securing her starting spot.

“The timing was great,” DeCastro said. “You could have written a movie to it.”

Regan began playing baseball at 5 years old, after watching her father coach her two older brothers.

“When she was 3 or 4, we tried to put her in dance, but she was like ‘no,’ she wants to play ball,” Teresa Goger, Regan’s mother, recalled.

She briefly tried softball, but went back to baseball because of the higher level of competition the male version of the game offered.

Around 8 years old she tried out for the Bayside Little League travel team, and beat out rival boys for a spot.

Every year since she’s battled to keep her position on the team and grew up with most of the players until the boys don’t even see her as a girl anymore, just “Regan ‘the hitting machine,’” DeCastro said.

And the nickname is well-earned. This season, as of July 17, she has 15 hits in 22 games, and is maintaining a .300 batting average with a .430 on-base percentage and 15 RBI. She also has two homers.

So when people criticize her for playing the male game, “I just ignore what they say,” Regan said.

But having just turned 13, next year she will outgrow Little League and begin high school, where odds are she won’t be able to join a baseball team and be pushed into softball.

Until then, she has decided to keep working hard at baseball, and her parents vow to support her whenever she makes a decision regarding the next level.

“She’s not just doing this because she’s a girl,” George Goger, Regan’s dad, said, “but because she’s pretty good at it.”

 

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Fan filming 1986 World Series Mets movie, running Kickstarter campaign


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy Heather Quinlan

It’s been nearly three decades since the Mets won a World Series championship. So why not make a movie?

A movie on the 1986 World Series Mets team is long overdue, according to long-time fan and filmmaker Heather Quinlan. That’s why she’s begun working on the project, hoping to have the documentary of the legendary team completed by fall of 2015 in time for the 30th anniversary the following year.

Quinlan, who has already spoken to key members of the team including Darryl Strawberry, Lenny “Nails” Dykstra, Dwight “Doc” Gooden, and people from the era such as former mayor Rudy Giuliani, is pitching it as the movie “Every Mets fan on Earth wants,” although the organization isn’t as thrilled about the 1986 team.

“The organization doesn’t celebrate that team,” she said. “As a fan, I don’t understand why. One of the reasons why I wanted to do this [documentary] is to show the Mets and MLB that this is a team that the fans still love.”

’86 Mets: Lords of Flushing, as the film is called on its trailer, has already collected more than $2,500 on crowd funding site Kickstarter. She hopes to collect $50,000 to fund travel, editing and production and rights to certain footage.

Quinlan grew up a Mets fan in Staten Island and was just 12 years old when the 1986 team won the franchise’s second World Series championship. But she believes it resonated with her more because she wasn’t an adult.

“When it happens to you when you’re a kid it’s like the greatest thing in the world,” she said.

Her hope is not only to tell the story of how the team won its second crown, but also catch up on players’ lives today and compare the 80’s to the modern game.

For example, Strawberry’s life as a pastor, Dykstra as a convicted felon, and even personal notes such as “Bill Buckner saying he would call Mookie Wilson if he didn’t see him for a while because he really missed him,” she said.

During the era comparison portion of the film, fans can expect to see how baseball itself has evolved, which Quinlan believes has changed the focus away from the game.

“Baseball has changed tremendously since 86,” she said.  “What I don’t love is now the spectacle that’s being made of the game. Let’s get back to the game.”

 

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Attend a Mets game to support the NYS Pavilion


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of New York Mets


The Mets are stepping up to the plate to help out one of their iconic neighbors.

In cooperation with People for the Pavilion (PFP) and to celebrate the 50th and 75th anniversaries of the World’s Fairs, a portion of each ticket purchased through a special online offer for the team’s Friday, August 1 game at Citi Field will help support the PFP’s initiative of preserving the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Purchasers will receive a Limited Edition Mets Pavilion t-shirt. Additionally, groups of 25 or more get welcomed on the Right Field Scoreboard and the group leader receives four tickets to the game of their choice (tickets subject to availability).

To buy tickets for the 7:10 p.m. game against the San Francisco Giants, click here.

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES

Channel View HS baseball wins first-ever city championship


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre


The Channel View High School Dolphins’ storybook season could have ended all wrong.

Tied at 5-5 apiece in the final inning against Bronx High School of Science Wolverines at the PSAL division B championship game on Thursday, Dolphins pitcher Marvin Hernandez came in to relieve starting pitcher Kely Aponte, who just gave up two runs.

With one out and the winning run at third base, Hernandez got his first batter to hit a fly ball to center.

Centerfielder Antonio Moccia made the catch, and then fired a canon to home plate, which catcher Joseph Calandra caught and tagged the runner in time to save the game.

“After it hit the grass I knew I had it,” Calandra said about the play. “I was just worried about holding on to it.”

The game went to extra innings, until the ninth inning. While the bases were loaded, the wolverines walked Sergio Galdamez and two batters later David Polanco smacked a double to give the Dolphins a 7-5 victory and the school’s first baseball championship.

The win capped a magical run for the boys from the Rockaways.

Just a few years ago, former Mets prospect head coach John Mangieri, who has played 10 years professionally including a stint with the Italian national team in the World Baseball Classic, came to Channel View and met a group of enthusiastic players lacking equipment.

As coach, he whipped the team into shape, and transformed them to a perennial Queens powerhouse in the B conference. But the Dolphins came up short consecutive years in the playoffs.

“When I first took the job four years ago, we literary had kids saying coach I need a glove and showing up to practice in jeans,” Mangieri said. “Talk about a total 360.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES 

Cardozo wins first baseball championship in nearly 30 years on coach’s birthday


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre


All season long, and through the post season as well, Benjamin Cardozo senior pitcher Keith Rodgers has been literally unbeatable.

He went 7-0 in the season with a 0.02 ERA (and 3-0 with a 0.04 in the playoffs) and for five innings of the 2014 PSAL division A baseball championship game against Tottenville on Thursday, Rodgers plowed through batters, while holding on to a slim 1-0 lead.

But a fatigued Rodgers found himself in a pickle in the sixth after walking two batters. With two outs, he gave up a single, which scored one run and tied the game at 1-1. It seemed as though Rodgers could have his first loss of the year in the most important game.

Rodgers, however, came through in the final inning with his bat, not his arm, and lined a single into left field to break the tie. The Judges added another run in the inning, then senior Jun Young Lim came in for relief and struck out the side for a 3-1 victory at Yankee Stadium, and Cardozo’s first championship in 26 years. 

“I was just trying to put the ball in play. I didn’t make the best contact, but it got through,” Rodgers said. “I really just tried to lock in the very last (at-bat), make sure I could do something and get a run for us.”

Senior centerfielder Chris Campbell, who will attend Monroe College next year, gave Cardozo the 1-0 lead in the first inning. He blasted a double to right field, sending sophomore infielder Noah Cabrera home.

“We were underdogs coming into this, but we showed that we could complete with any team in the league,” Campbell said.

The win became extra emotional when players began signing happy birthday on the field for head coach Ron Gorecki. Gorecki, who has coached high school baseball for more than four decades around city schools, admitted has never had a team like the 2014 Benjamin Cardozo Judges.

There are a few standouts— specifically seniors Rodgers, Campbell and Lim— but otherwise the team doesn’t have many superstars. So Gorecki works on a system of “synergy,” which he describes as players substituting for others’ weaknesses and working together. He attributed the win to his team philosophy.

“The real bottom line here is that we are synergy, this team is built on synergy,” Gorecki said. “We have guys that can run, we have guys that can’t run, we have guys that can throw, we have guys that can’t throw. So what they do is they substitute for one another.”

 

RECOMMENDED STORIES