Tag Archives: Baseball

Bayside Little League Rebels advance to finals of the Borough Cup Challenge


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Bayside Rebels

The Bayside Rebels of the Bayside Little League will be traveling to the Bronx next month to play in the championship game of the Borough Cup Challenge at Yankee Stadium.

The Rebels earned the right to play at Yankee Stadium by defeating the Queens Angels at H.B.Q.V.B. Field on Monday in the semi-final game of the Borough Cup Challenge.

The Rebels hit early and often, opening up a lead that the Angels could not recover from. A stellar pitching performance by the Rebels’ Nicholas Perez shut down the Angels, securing the 8-0 victory and a shot at the championship.

The bats of Sebastian Cabrera, Kevin O’Connor, Aristo Pagiatakis, Becir Hot and John Callahan propelled the Rebels to the win. All of the batters showed patience at the plate and demonstrated smart base running. Defensively, the team stuck to the basics and focused on what they have been practicing on all year.

In this year’s Borough Cup Challenge championship game, the Rebels, who extended their unbeaten streak to five games (5-0-0) will be pitted against another undefeated team, the Richmond County Raiders with an impressive record of 4-0-0.

“The homegrown team from Bayside, which has been together, for the most part, for six years now looks forward to playing in the big league stadium which is Yankee Stadium,” said Steven Perez, press coordinator for the Rebels. “Whatever the outcome may be these children will continue to work hard, have fun, but most of all stay true to their chant of family. Because that is what they have become.”

The Borough Cup Challenge championship game will take place on Thursday, Sept. 3, at 8:30 a.m. at Yankee Stadium. For information on tickets, visit the Borough Cup website.

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Gastropub and beer bar is newest concession stand at Citi Field


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Randolph Group and Entertainment Fusion Group

BY KIRSTEN E. PAULSON

Mets fans wanted it, and now they’ve got it — after winning the second annual Citi Call-Ups Program, Randolph Beer, an American gastropub and beer bar, will be joining the culinary lineup at Citi Field starting July 23 during the Mets’ first home game after the All-Star break.

The new concession stand will be offering the jerk chicken po’boy, a new take on a traditional southern sandwich crafted just for Citi Field by Randolph Executive Chef Masterful Davis. The stand will also serve Randolph’s collaboration beer, brewed by LIC Beer Project and specially created to go with the sandwich.

The stand will be located on the outfield concourse, near the Shake Shack and Two Boots Pizza stands, and will be open during home games for the rest of the 2015 Mets season.

“We envision a fan at the ballpark holding the jerk chicken po’boy in one hand and a cold beer in the other. It just fit,” said Dave Plate, co-founder and Partner of Randolph Group.

For the second year in a row and in an effort to bring New York’s favorite flavors to Citi Field, Citi nominated four New York City eateries for the Citi Call-Ups Program that fans could vote for in online and in-stadium polls. This year, Randolph Beer beat out Crepes & Delices, Bagel Stuffins by Bantam Bagels, and Zengo.

Since 2007, Randolph Group has aimed to satisfy a wide variety of palates with three distinct locations throughout New York City: Randolph at Broome, a cocktail dive and café; Randolph Beer, an American gastropub and craft beer bar; and Randolph Brooklyn, an eclectic garage bar and restaurant.

“We see Randolph as a New York City institution that has been serving quality cocktails, craft beer, southern soul food and providing an authentic Manhattan vibe for over eight years,” said Hari Kalyan, co-founder and partner of Randolph Group. “We are very excited that the New York fans chose Randolph Beer to become part of Citi Field, another authentic New York institution.”

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Team Duce of Bayside Little League completes undefeated season with championship win


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy of Team Duce

After finishing the regular season undefeated, Bayside Little League’s Team Duce made it to the championship game and were victorious over Texas West Division rival, W7, by a score of 4-3, completing their season with a perfect 16-0 record.

At the start of the game things did not look promising for undefeated Team Duce. W7 was able to open up an early 3-0 lead in the first inning. Team Duce’s starting pitcher, Charlie Blair, quickly settled down after W7’s three-run first by pitching shutout ball for the next three innings.

Aris Catehis and Tino Famiglietti both got on base once, while John Archbold hit the ball hard. David Castracane helped keep Team Duce in the game by making stellar defensive plays in the outfield to prevent W7 from scoring more runs.

With Team Duce down 3-0, W7 decided to intentionally walk the top three hitters in the lineup: Costa Bournias, Charlie Blair and Tanner Fried. With the bases now loaded and two outs, the cleanup hitter and first baseman, George Diamantopoulos, came to the plate with a chance to tie the game or even put Team Duce ahead.

Diamantopoulos did his job and blasted a triple into right field, scoring all three runners, tying the game at 3-3.

As Diamantopoulos represented the go-ahead run on third, Derek McCreesh and Bobby Fretwell both worked two-out walks to load the bases. This brought up Rafael Rufrano. After fouling off eight pitches, Rufrano earned a walk forcing in the go-ahead run and giving Team Duce a 4-3 lead.

Team Duce’s closer Tanner Fried, known to teammates as “The Sandman,” came in to try and preserve the win.

After pitching a perfect fifth inning, Fried faced the top of the lineup for W7, which included their power hitters. By utilizing his two- and four-seam fastballs, Fried was able to get ahead on each of the hitters with two strikes. He then used his off-speed pitches, the change-up and knuckle drop ball to surprise the hitters and strike them out, securing the championship for Team Duce.

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Donate blood and get free Mets tickets


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

It’s time to step up to the plate for the New York Blood Center.

Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein is once again sponsoring a Bayside Community Blood Drive in conjunction with the New York Blood Center on Thursday, Aug. 13.

The drive will take place from 2:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Bay Terrace Shopping Center at 212th Street and 26th Avenue.

Each donor will receive by mail a pair of tickets to a 2015 Mets game courtesy of the center. The first 60 donors will also receive a voucher for a free pint of soup from Ben’s Kosher Deli as part of its Pint for a Pint program. Additionally, all donors will get free pastries courtesy of Panera Bread and complimentary beverages provided by Waldbaums.

“Each donation helps to save up to three lives,” Braunstein said. “Our hospitals are in need of your assistance, so I hope you will take the time to share this lifesaving gift.”

Eligibility criteria:

  • Bring ID with photo or signature
  • Minimum weight 110 pounds
  • Age 16 to 75 (16-year-olds need parental permission and ages 76 and over need a doctor’s note)
  • Eat well (low fat) and drink plenty of fluids before donating
  • No new tattoos in the last 12 months
  • For medical questions concerning blood donations call 800-688-0900
  • Walk-ins are welcome

For more information on this drive, please call Braunstein’s office at 718-357-3588.

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Team Duce finishes Bayside Little League regular season with a perfect record


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Team Duce

Team Duce capped off a perfect 12-0 Bayside Little League regular season with a 16-5 victory over its interleague rival, E4.

The player of the game, starting pitcher Charlie Blair, earned the win and raised his record to 11-0. Blair also delivered at the plate, as he went 4-4 with three singles, a double, five RBIs and four runs scored.

Tino Famiglietti came in to relieve Blair and pitched solid in the third inning. Famiglietti added a hit in the bottom of the frame to drive in a run.

Costa Bournias later relieved Famiglietti and struck out five of the six batters he faced. He also had two line drive singles.

Tanner Jacob Fried, who leads the league in batting average, on base percentage, home runs, RBIs and saves, went 3-3 with a home run, triple and single, driving in five runs and scoring four times. Fried came in to close out the game in the fifth inning and pitched two innings of perfect baseball, earning his 11th save of the year.

Derek McCreesh had two liners to right field for singles. He also scored two runs. Team Duce’s catcher, Bobby Fretwell, not only had a big put-out at the plate, he also lined a double and a single driving in a run. John Archbold got three huge hits and drove in two runs, both of which came with two outs. George Diamantopoulos went 3-3 with a pair of doubles.

Rafael Rufrano went 3-3 at the plate. Aris Catehis got on base all three times was he went to bat, driving in a run in the fourth inning. David Castracane got on base both times he was at bat, one of which was a shot up the middle in the second inning and scored two runs in the game.

Team Duce is now preparing for the playoffs, which begin on June 13 at Valle West in Crocheron Park in Bayside.

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Whitestone’s defunct little league program gets new life


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy Mets Sandlot Baseball League

The Mets Sandlot Baseball League, founded in the 1960s, was once an outlet for kids and young adults to continue playing past the summer months — but for almost two decades, it’s been inactive. Now, two coaches are helping to resurrect the league with a new generation of players.

In 2012, John Guarneri and Arthur Lagrega wanted to extend the Bayside Little League summer season into the fall. At that time there were no fall programs in Bayside and the fall programs from other local leagues were canceled. In response, they introduced the Whitestone, Bayside, Flushing (WBF) Baseball Program “where the players will not only play games, but also learn about the game and the proper way to play it,” Guarneri said.

By 2014, the WBF league had reached 133 registered players, enough for nine teams. The speedy growth of the program led the coaches to bring back the Mets Sandlot Baseball League.

After a successful 2014 campaign, the board members decided to start a new travel league, called New York City Elite (NYCE). Now, both the WBF Baseball Program and NYCE are incorporated under the Mets Sandlot Baseball League.

As the program keeps developing, its leaders look back to the league’s history. At its height, elite little league teams such as the Bayside Yankees, Flushing Tigers, Youth Service Bonnies, Whitestone Knights, Astoria Youth, Elmjack and Long Island Mets used to participate, and divisions ranged from 10 and up to 21 and up.

“Our vision is to improve the overall baseball talent in the Whitestone, Bayside, Flushing and surrounding areas,” Guarneri said. “We also look to give the players a positive experience that they will remember the rest of their lives and also learn many different life lessons that they will use throughout their life.”

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St. John’s men’s baseball season ends in regional round


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy St. John's Athletics

The St. John’s Red Storm saw their season come to an end on Sunday when they lost to the Arkansas Razorbacks, 4-3, in the finals of the Stillwater Regional bracket of the NCAA Tournament at Reynolds Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

The Red Storm finish the season with an overall record of 41-16 as the Stillwater Regional finalists, Big East Tournament champions and Big East regular season champions.

The game was a close contest throughout and Arkansas managed to score a run in the ninth inning to seal the victory and knock St. John’s out of the tournament.

It was a scoreless game heading into the fifth inning, when the Razorbacks grabbed the lead. They led off the inning with back-to-back singles and a sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third base. Arkansas’ catcher, Tucker Pennell, hit a sacrifice fly, bringing in one run, and left fielder, Joseph Serrano added an RBI single to give the Razorbacks a 2-0 lead.

Arkansas increased their lead to 3-0 in the top of the sixth when Tyler Spoon launched a solo home run off Red Storm relief pitcher Shawn Heide.

St. John’s managed to get on the scoreboard with a two-run sixth inning. Center fielder Alex Caruso worked a leadoff walk and second baseman, Robert Wayman, reached base on a throwing error, but the ball soared into the dugout and Caruso was awarded home, while Wayman was given second. Michael Donadio then smacked an RBI single to right field, cutting the Razorbacks’ lead to 3-2.

The Red Storm led off the seventh inning with a single from Jarred Mederos. He quickly stole second base and scored on an RBI single by Robbie Knighties to tie the game at three runs apiece.

In the top of the ninth, Arkansas had runners on first and second before a sacrifice bunt moved the runners into scoring position. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, Serrano lined a one-out RBI single into left to give the Razorbacks a 4-3 lead.

Arkansas’ closer, Zach Johnson, struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth for the save and the win.

Wayman, Knightes and first baseman Matt Harris were each named to the Stillwater Regional All-Tournament Team at their respective positions after St. John’s was eliminated from tournament play.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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