Ducks Celebrate 600th Sellout

09/12/2011, 10:10pm (EDT)
By Michael Polak, L.I. Ducks

Long Island reaches milestone with past-capacity crowd

 

(Central Islip, N.Y., Sept. 10, 2011) – With a sellout at the Saturday, September 10 night game at Bethpage Ballpark, the Long Island Ducks registered their 600th sellout in team history. Magical number 600 comes in the club’s 12th year of existence and is 378 more than the team closest in the league in all-time sellouts (Somerset, 222 to date in their 14th year).

“It is a wonderful accomplishment to reach this milestone and a reflection of the tremendous support Long Island has shown the Ducks since day one,” says Ducks’ president/general manager Michael Pfaff. “It is a privilege to be able to provide affordable family entertainment for all Long Islanders and deliver a product all can enjoy.”

For 11 consecutive seasons, the Ducks have led the Atlantic League in attendance and continue to set the pace again in 2011. Earlier this season, the team also welcomed its five millionth fan through the gates when Andrea Pizzo of Commack passed through the turnstiles on Saturday, July 30 when the Ducks hosted the Road Warriors.

The Long Island Ducks are in their 12th season of play in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and play their home games at Bethpage Ballpark in Central Islip, N.Y. Individual game tickets for the regular season and playoffs are on sale now by calling 631-940-TIXX, by visiting the Bethpage Ballpark Box Office, or by logging on to www.liducks.com and clicking on the tickets icon.

Advertisements

GNYSAA hosts Scorecard for Goodwill Series

09/06/2011, 2:37pm (EDT)
By Jeff Noreman (photos by Jeff Noreman)

2011-08-20 GNYSAA vs Scorecard – Classic Series

Scorecard coach Bruce Charlebois

The Greater New York Sandlot Athletic Alliance, the most prominent advocate of sandlot baseball in the Greater New York area, hosted a goodwill series against a team from the south this summer.

In 1961 GNYSAA officially became the successor to the Journal American Sandlot Alliance which was established in 1940 by New York Journal American sports editor Max Kase. The Alliance (GNYSAA) carries the same message that was implemented years ago. That mission is – to serve the children of New York City and the Greater Metropolitan Area through baseball while promoting an attitude of professionalism and fair play.

Again this year, GNYSAA recruited, tried out, and selected ballplayers from the Greater New York area for teams at several age groups. The GNYSAA Classic 18U team scheduled a five game series against a team of select players from the South called Scorecard. The series was scheduled to kick off with a game on Thursday, August 18th at MCU Ballpark (home of the New Yorks Mets Penn League short-season rookie club, the Brooklyn Cyclones). Unfortunately, with the field wet and the rain falling, the clubs were relegated to a brief catch on the field and batting practice under the stadium.


(Steven Pastrana pitching for GNYSAA Classic)

The next day, the teams played a double header at Mitchell Park in front of a number of professional scouts. As these were showcase games, many players played several positions.

Scorecards’s Thomas Huddleston (Cleveland State Community College, TN) pitched three innings, fanning five batters. Colton Provey (Columbia Central HS, TN) also pitched three, striking out four and allowing no hits. Clint Gobble (Martin Methodist College, TN) went 2-for-6 at the plate, collecting one RBI, two runs, and two stolen bases. Taylor Ellis (Spring Hill HS, TN) showed great defense all day.

GNYSAA’s pitching duo of twin brothers Steven and Anthony Pastrana (Dominican College) gave three innings and four innings, respectively. Together, they allowed only two hits and no earned runs in the first game. Mike Nardozzi (Nassau Community College) pitched five innings, allowing just one earned run. Mike Roehrig (Stony Brook) closed the game out.

Head coaches Bruce Charlebois (Scorecard) and Kevin Surdi (GNYSAA) both agreed that pitching ruled the day.

GNYSAA players Chris Gaffney and Seth Noreman

(GNYSAA players Chris Gaffney and Seth Noreman)

On Saturday, August 20, the teams did battle in a double header at Hofstra University. The first game, a nine-inning affair, was record for the local cable channel MSG Varsity, which broadcasts high school sporting events.

GNYSAA’s starting pitcher Joey Arena (C.W. Post) pitched three strong innings, fanning five and allowing only one hit. He was also 5-for-7 at the plate on the day. After Arena, other pitchers made their appearance for the camera for about an inning each. This group included Anthony Pastrana,  Steven Prastrana, Seth Noreman (Plainview JFK HS) and Alex Katz (Herricks HS). Katz and Noreman also pitched three innings each in the second game, with Noreman allowing just one run on the day. Mike Roehrig had five RBIs in the doubleheader, including the longest shot of the day to an open centerfield.

Scorecard’s centerfielder Ryan Galan (NJ) collected three hits on the day. Second baseman Curtis Gobble had two hits and three RBIs. Gritty pitching performances were turned in by Thomas Huddleston, Tyler Keller, Yair Lopez, and Bobby Adkins among others.

“Overall, we competed well,” said Coach Charlebois. “We had a good strikeout to walk ratio. They pitched to contact. They kept us in the game.”

“We had five real pitchers for this event, and they threw 32 innings,” continued Charlebois. “All had to throw in every game.”

PHOTOS OF BOTH TEAMS FROM THIS EVENT ARE AVAILABLE HERE…

Blankmeyer Releases Big East Portion Of 2012 Schedule

09/05/2011, 5:12pm (EDT)
By Timothy Brown, St. John’s University

Red Storm opens conference play at Villanova on March 23-25, 2012

Jack Kaiser Field
(Jack Kaiser Field, home of St. John’s Baseball)

QUEENS, N.Y. (Sept. 2, 2011) – St. John’s head baseball coach Ed Blankmeyer has not yet finalized the entire schedule for the upcoming season, but has announced the BIG EAST portion of his squad’s 2012 slate.  The nine series, 27-game conference itinerary includes three-game sets at home against 2011 NCAA Super Regional squad Connecticut and defending BIG EAST Tournament champion Seton Hall as well as road trips to Notre Dame and Louisville.

St. John’s opens BIG EAST play on the road, traveling to Villanova (March 23-25, 2012) for the first of five conference road trips.

The Red Storm then welcomes West Virginia to Kaiser Stadium (March 30-April 1) before heading to New Jersey to take on local rival Rutgers (April 5-7).

A home series with Connecticut (April 13-15) precedes two-straight road trips as St. John’s heads to Cincinnati (April 20-22) and Notre Dame (April 27-29).

After welcoming USF (May 4-6) to Kaiser Stadium, St. John’s heads to Louisville (May 11-13) before hosting Seton Hall (May 17-19), the defending BIG EAST Tournament champions, to conclude the regular season.

The 2012 BIG EAST Tournament, scheduled for May 23-27, will once again take place in Clearwater, Fla., at Bright House Field.

St. John’s went 36-22 in 2011 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 33rd time in program history, a total that ranks tied for eighth all-time.  Led by Blankmeyer, who became the all-time winningest coach in BIG EAST play with a conference win against Pittsburgh on May 6, the Red Storm reached the BIG EAST Championship Finals for the second-straight season.  All-American shortstop, Brooks Wallace Award Finalist and first team All-BIG EAST honoree Joe Panik was selected in the first round (29th overall) of the MLB Draft by the San Francisco Giants, the highest Red Storm draftee since 2005.  Panik was one of four St. John’s players to earn All-BIG EAST honors, a group that included a conference-best three first team selections.

BPM Talks Baseball with Baldwin Pitcher Nick Lobello

09/04/2011, 7:15am (EDT)
By BPM

BPM: Was baseball something that you started playing at an early age? If so, when and where?

LOBELLO: Yes, definitely. I started walking around 10 months old and a little while after that I grabbed a bat and just started swinging.

BPM: When did you realize that you loved playing baseball and it was something you wanted to really pursue?

LOBELLO: In little league, ever since I was about 10 years old playing baseball in college has been a huge dream of mine.

BPM: Who is your biggest influence? Why?

LOBELLO: My dad. He taught me everything I know about the game and I wouldn’t be the ballplayer I am today without him.

BPM: As a fan of baseball, what major league ballplayer do you enjoy watching play the game?

LOBELLO: Derek Jeter is my favorite player of all time. I’ve looked up to him my whole life. I’ve modeled myself after him in many aspects of the game, on and off the field, and it has definitely made me a better ballplayer.

BPM: What are three of your biggest moments playing for Coach Esposito and the Baldwin Bruins?

LOBELLO: My first moment was definitely when I was in 8th grade and I won my first start and our team’s first win against Plainview JFK. Second were all the playoff games I participated in throughout my time on the team. I was glad to get a shot in the playoffs. Lastly was probably being named All County twice in my career. It’s a big accomplishment to be named All County with all the talent there is here in Nassau.

BPM: What do you do to prepare yourself for a game before you pitch?

LOBELLO: Honestly, nothing out of the ordinary. I just relax, listen to music, and think about the game plan before I get out there to warm up.

BPM: When things are going well for you on the mound, we all know things are good, but what do you do when things get tough?

LOBELLO: I just stay within myself, keep throwing strikes and go right after hitters, because if I feel I’m not on I know my fielders are there to help.

BPM: Where do you plan to attend college in the fall of 2011?

LOBELLO: I’ve decided to attend Queens College in the fall. I’m looking forward to my college career.

Uniondale Baseball

09/04/2011, 7:04am (EDT)
By Jennifer Jaeger, Photos by Ellen Schuerger

Cilo Gentile and Frank Esposito are two people that can sit down and talk about their players for hours. They’re very proud of the accomplishments the players have made and can’t wait to keep moving forward.

Uniondale baseball has come a long way in the last couple of years. About  three months ago there was a post on Facebook stating, “Uniondale baseball remains undefeated, going 11-0.” Moments later a response came privately saying, “Uniondale! A couple of years ago they could barely win a game.” There is truth in that statement. Over the past couple of years the coaches have seen some big changes within the program.

About five years ago there were ten kids that wanted to play baseball. “Our numbers were really low and it was a real struggle to keep the morale at a high level. It was a challenge every day to get the kids to believe in themselves,” said Coach Esposito. The Junior Varsity program was very weak, and unfortunately the level of interest in baseball in Uniondale had been bleak. This year the team had over 50 kids trying out. Twenty kids played Junior Varsity, while eighteen kids played at the varsity level. Besides the number of kids who showed up to be a part of the team, one of the biggest changes both coaches have seen in the recent past is the level of commitment. “This past year was the first year where kids really had to compete for a position,” said Coach Gentile. “Four years ago we were just throwing kids into positions that they weren’t necessarily used to playing,” said Coach Esposito. From early on last summer the players have been practicing. They took part in volunteer workouts during the summer, fall and winter in hopes of making improvements and Coach Esposito adds with a chuckle, “look like half a team.” They most certainly looked like more than half a team this year as they turned double plays, won their first 12 games before losing to Sewanakha, and even had a walk off victory.

This season Uniondale went 16-3 overall, finishing on top of the Conference County Wide regular league standings. Besides the level of commitment from the players, both Coach Gentile and Esposito take their hats off to Dr. Jefferson, the Athletic Director in the Uniondale School District. In his 2nd year of leading the athletic department he was able to really assist in improvements for the baseball team. “Whatever we were in need of, Dr. Jefferson tried to help us out. We had a laundry list of needs, including batting cages, fencing, pitching machines and full uniforms,” said Coach Esposito. “Dr. Jefferson did everything he could to make our season successful. This year we went out on the field looking like ball players,” Esposito added.

This team is a young team. For those of you who haven’t seen any of the boys from Uniondale play ball, next year many of them will be returning. The kids are already excited to continue to improve and Coach “Gee” and Coach “Espo” are already thinking about the next challenge their teams will face. After sweeping Great Neck South in the regular season, Uniondale came up short, losing the championship game, 14-1. Overwhelmed you may say, but truthfully from where this team was a few short years ago, and where they are now, you can only agree with Coach Gentile, “One game doesn’t make a season.” Both coaches sit and smile as they think back to that night where the kids played under the lights at Farmingdale. “It was phenomenal. The kids names were announced and it was an amazing night.”

Coaches are questioned at times, as to why they do what they do, or what keeps you motivated to keep on doing what you’re doing? Anyone involved in any sport, or extra –curricular activity for that matter, knows that one of the most valuable gifts an adult can give a child is their time.  Coach Gentile and Coach Esposito most certainly give up their time, but they give it up willingly. They’re so proud of the boys they work with and they know that they are making an impact on the kids’ lives. From sitting down with these two men, it’s also seen the impact these boys make on these coaches. Uniondale baseball is most certainly on the rise, and it’s obvious both the players and coaches are enjoying overcoming obstacles and becoming successful.

SLAP Tears & Sleeper Stretches

09/04/2011, 7:00am (EDT)
By Dr. Jeffrey Gutmann MD FAAOS

A tear of the shoulder labrum can be a season,  or even career, career-ending. Labral tears are  being diagnosed at a rapid rate, with throwing athletes serving as the most common victims. This is both a function of increased participation in throwing sports such as baseball and softball. In addition, it is important to note that the awareness of this particular injury has significantly improved. It has also become easier to diagnose, in large part, due to tests such as an MRI.

The labrum is an important part of the anatomy of the shoulder. The shoulder is a ball and socket type joint. However, the socket is very shallow which makes it inherently unstable.  The labrum is a rim of cartilage that deepens the shoulder socket and forms an attachment site for the ligaments that help stabilize the shoulder. The uppermost, or superior portion of the labrum also serves as an anchor for the tendon of the biceps and is prone to tearing from the repetitive stresses of throwing.

This particular subset of labral injuries, termed “SLAP tears” (Superior Labrum from Anterior to Posterior) were first described by renowned sports medicine specialist Dr. James Andrews in 1985 and can be particularly problematic in the throwing athlete. SLAP tears can cause pain, loss of strength, loss of velocity and/or control, and a “dead-arm” sensation. Any one of these symptoms can lead to decreased performance or inability to throw.

Unfortunately, these symptoms are not unique to SLAP tears and can be seen in other shoulder injuries, such as injuries to the rotator cuff, making the diagnosis difficult at times even for the most experienced sports medicine specialist.  Special studies, such as MRI or MRI after injection of contrast into the shoulder (MR arthrogram), may be needed to confirm the diagnosis of a SLAP tear.

Since a SLAP tear can be such a disabling injury to a pitcher or other throwing athlete, preventing these injuries is paramount. Before we can understand how to prevent an injury, we must first understand how it is caused. Some SLAP tears are caused by a single trauma, usually a fall on the shoulder or outstretched arm, and may not be possible to prevent. Others are caused by the repetitive stress of overhand throwing. The exact etiology of these repetitive stress SLAP tears remains somewhat controversial. It is theorized that tight ligaments in the back of the shoulder (posterior capsule) force the shoulder ball upward when the arm is fully cocked. This upward movement of the ball creates a shearing effect on the superior labrum, which can cause it to tear. When the arm is fully cocked, there may also be a “peeling back” of the superior labrum off of the rim of the shoulder socket, which can also lead to tearing.

Tightness of the posterior capsule is extremely common amongst throwing athletes and is likely an important precursor to developing a SLAP tear. Preventing such tears starts with stretching of the posterior capsule. This is best accomplished with a very simple exercise called a “sleeper stretch.” This is performed by lying directly on the affected shoulder with the arm at 90 degrees to the plane of the body and the elbow bent to 90 degrees. The hand of the unaffected side is then placed on the wrist of the affected side and used to slowly push the forearm down towards the bed/floor. There is generally a feeling of mild discomfort from stretching the tight tissues in the back of the shoulder.

Although it is overly simplistic to think that by doing sleeper stretches one can prevent all SLAP tears, stretching of the posterior capsule should be an important part of the training regimen of the throwing athlete. We have all of our throwers incorporate posterior capsular stretching into their shoulder workout routine, which also includes exercises to strengthen the rotator cuff and scapular stabilizing muscles. Proper training should also include stretching and strengthening of the legs and core muscles, and attention to good throwing mechanics to get more power with less demand on the shoulder.

SLAP tears in the throwing athlete pose a great challenge to the orthopaedic surgeon. Our treatment plan often starts with a period of rest, anti-inflammatory medication, and a rehabilitation program supervised by a physical therapist.  Unfortunately, many of these tears cannot be successfully managed non-operatively and require surgical repair. The good news is that we have advanced surgical techniques that allow us to fix almost all SLAP tears arthroscopically (using a small camera that can be placed inside the shoulder to perform the surgery while looking at a video screen). The bad news is that recovery from this procedure is generally 6-9 months which usually means missing a full season. Therefore, with SLAP tears, as with all sports injuries, the goal remains prevention.

SLEEPER STRETCH
(See Diagram)
Lie on your side on a firm, flat surface with the affected shoulder under you and the arm positioned as shown, keeping your back perpendicular to the surface. With
the unaffected arm, push the other wrist down, toward the surface. Stop when you feel a stretching sensation in the back of the affected shoulder. Hold this position
for 30 seconds, then relax the arm for 30 seconds. Perform 2 to 3 sets of 4 repetitions daily. Continue for a total of 2 to 3 weeks.

Summer Showcase Teams

09/04/2011, 6:00am (EDT)
By BPM, Photos by Ellen Schuerger

Local town baseball leagues provide a place for any youngster to playball. High schools provide an opportunity for a far fewer number. Wrapped all around these, at every age, are summer showcase teams. In the Northeast, we fequently refer to them as ‘travel team’, as they add the excitement of travel to the challenge of playing a more competitive level of baseball. Some travel to play nearby towns, other participate in regional tournaments, and a few present their players to the highest level of competition on a national stage.

Long Island Bandits
Owners: Gary Fischer, President & General Manager; Dan Padrazo, VP
Contact: Gary Fischer – gary@libandits.org – (631) 925-6118
Website: www.libandits.org
Indoor Facility: Play Like a Pro, Hauppauge.
Years in Business: Since 2008
2011 Age Groups: 11U, 12U, 13U, 14U, 15U, 16U, 17U, 18U
2010 League Accomplishments: 12U and 13U Summer League  Champions
2010 Tournament Championships: Multiple tournament wins and finalist showings at each age group.
2011 Teams To Watch: 13U Gold, 16U Gold, 17U Gold.

Coaching Staff:
18U: Steve Duffy
17U: Mike Havelis
16U Gold: Kevin Salmon
16U Blue: John Rivera
16U White: Daniel Padrazo Jr.
15U Gold: Ian Morales
15U Blue: Ryan Griffith
15U White: Noel Purcell
14U: Chris Bozza
13U Gold: Jeff Heller
13U Blue: Nick Locassio
12U: Tom Neary
11U: Carl Schidt
HISTORY:
The Long Island Bandits are a group of elite travel baseball teams from all over Long Island. Starting  in 2008 with two teams, the Bandits have grown to be one of the largest and most respected organizations locally.

The organization currently has teams from 12U to 18U that compete in local league play as well as national tournaments. Their professional coaching staff focus on player development and strive to help all players reach their highest potential.

2011 PLANS:
Boys of Summer Memorial Day Tournament (Long Island, NY), National Junior Baseball League Memorial Day Tournament (Long Island, NY), Baseball Heaven Memorial Day Tournament (Yaphank, NY), Baseball Heaven Summer Classic (Yaphank, NY), Blue Chip Prospects Great American Classic (New Jersey and Brooklyn), Blue Chip Prospects Great American Classic (Long Island, NY), Cincy Flames Tournament (Columbus, Ohio), RYO Tournament (Long Island, NY), US Baseball Championships (Richmond, VA), ECTB Clash of Champions (Allentown, PA), Ripken Baseball (Myrtle Beach, SC), Sports at the Beach, (Rehoboth, DE), Blue Chip Prospects East Coast Championship (Flemington, NJ), Blue Chip Triple Crown, USA Nationals, East Coast Nationals. ECTB, Baseball Heaven Perfect Game.
Long Island Mariners
Owners: John Campolettano & Randy Caden
Contact: John Campolettano – (631) 689-0119
Website: jcmariner@optonline.net
Indoor Facility: Long Island Mariners Sports Academy
20 Aero Road Bohemia, NY 11716 631-218-8200
NumberYears: 19 years as an organization and 3 years withy our own facility
2011 Age Groups: 14U, 15U, 16U, 17U, 18U
2010 Tournament Championships: While we didn’t win any we had a good showing finishing 8th out of 32 teams in the Perfect Game with our 18U and our 17U played Sports at the Beach against 19U teams and finished 6th out of 24 teams. All together we played in 30 Tournaments with all our age groups last summer.

Coaching Staff:
18U: Jose Kortright
17U: Thomas Smith
16U: Felix Roche

2011 Teams To Watch:
18U: Will play in 2 leagues NYABL (NYC league that includes Team NY, Midville Dodgers, NY Greys and Youth Service) and Baseball Heaven. They will play in at least 3 Tournaments which include Perfect Game Led by our best player Lucas Vallas C/3B Northport headed to American International, Matt Sollins C South Side headed to Maritime, Matt Lyons P North Babylon to Manhattanville, Tyler Mannix OF John Glenn headed to High Point, Vincent Sharkey Middle Infielder Lynbrook headed to Adelphi, Anthony Zitaglio Middle Infielder Rocky Point headed to St. Joseph’s College and Nick Domnisch C North Babylon Albany. We also have a handful of Juniors on this team Mike Napolitano C Hauppauge, Rob Kosciuk P/1B, Bruce Tyler Middle Infielder/P Miller Place, Mike Parziale OF Half Hollow Hills East and Ryan Feminella OF Islip.
17U: Will play in the Boys of Summer. They will play in 3 Tournaments which include Sports at the Beach. This team has some very good talent that lacks only in experience which they will get this summer. Tim Clement P/OF Riverhead, Chas Lacko SS/P Farmingdale, Pat Mayer OF/P/C Comsewogue, Noah Raspler 1B/P Northport, Scott Ruconich P/1B Northport, Vincent Tyers OF South Side, Andrew Rodriguez East Hampton Infielder, Adam Stolls 3B Northport.
16U: Will play in 2 leagues Boys of Summer and Baseball Heaven. They will play in at least 3 Tournaments which include ECTB. This team also has come excellent Sophomores that will split playing time with the 17U team. Key players are Jonathan Eisdorfer P/SS Half Hollow Hills East, Joe Santos C Centereach, Coleman Vila P/OF Pierson, Ryan Federman P John Glenn and Mike Gilmor,
OF John Glenn.
Long Island Tigers
Owners: Ike Goldstein, Tom Hopke, Mike Turo
Contact: Tom Hopke – tomhopke@litigersbaseball.org, 917.689.7595
Website: www.litigersbaseball.org
Indoor Facility: Baseball Plus
Years in Business: Since 1969 (originally the Flushing Tigers)
2011 Age Groups: 13u-18u
2011 Teams To Watch: College Division, 17A, 16AA, 16A

Coaching Staff:
College (18U): Kelvin Ortiz, Tom Hopke
AAA (17U): Mike Turo
AA (16U): Ike Goldstein
A (16U): Kevin Perrucci
Rookie (13U): Charlie Patamarapipan
Developmental (8U): Ike Goldstein

HISTORY:
In 1969, two Detroit Tiger Scouts, Warren Almond and Emil Gall founded The Flushing Tigers organization which was subsequently re-located to Long Island and renamed the Long Island Tigers. Since 1969, the Long Island Tigers Baseball Club has built a solid reputation as being one of the finest sandlot baseball programs in the country. From the very beginning, the founder’s goals have been to allow the top local high school players to be showcased as a team. Each ballplayer may use their athletic talents in baseball as a valuable asset in getting accepted to a university of their choice.

In their history, over one thousand players have gone on to play for many prestigious NCAA Division 1 & Division 2 collegiate programs. Over 150 players have signed professional contracts. Tigers alumni include Steve Karsay, John and Dave Valle and Omar Minaya.

In 2009, the organization was acquired by Ike Goldstein and Tom Hopke. Goldstein is a former Tiger and former professional catcher (Minnesota Twins and Montreal Expos) and Minor League Catching Instructor (Toronto Blue Jays). “Playing for the Flushing Tigers under Warren Almond and Russ Bove was one of my most memorable baseball experiences”, said Goldstein. “I couldn’t have had better people to learn the game from and I look forward to providing the same to future Tigers players.”

Hopke states “our goal was to find a decent amount of time for all of our players at all age levels.” That was one of the goals of the Tiger’s expansion to six teams in 2011. Another is to try to help out kids that might normally not be able to afford a travel baseball program. About 25% percent of the Tigers get financial assistance for their baseball expenses through their work-study program and sales of advertising in the Tigers media guide.

In 2011, Tigers teams will play in numerous tournaments including WWBA in Marietta Georgia (East Cobb), Dynamic World Series in Greenville, North Carolina, AABC Qualifier at Diamond Nation in NJ, Under Armor Firecracker Tournament in Jupiter, Florida, NESBC in Worcester, Massachusetts, Blue Chip at Diamond Nation, Super 17 at Diamond Nation, and Shootout at Toms River in NJ. Locally, they will be playing in the Boys of Summer and NYABL leagues.
Long Island Whalers
Owner: Brandon Kurz
Contact: Kevin O’Keeffe – ko@whalersbaseball.com, 516.308.2103
Website: www.whalersbaseball.com
Indoor Facility: Performance Factory
Years in Business: Since 2006
2011 Age Groups: 13u-18u, College
2010 League Accomplishments: 17U Long Island Baseball
Association Champions, 16U Boys of Summer Champions,
15U Boys of Summer Runner-Ups, 14U Perfect Game Runner-Ups
2010 Tournament Championships: 15U Triple Crown Wood Bat Champions, 14U Triple Crown Wood Bat Champions, 16U Silver Bracket Champions, Omaha Slumpbuster.
2011 Teams To Watch: 17 Navy, 16 Navy, 16 Blue, 15 Navy

Coaching Staff:
College: Keith Kenny, Assistant Coach, Manhattan College
17 Navy: Mike Herbst, Assistant Varsity Coach, Bayshore H.S. &
Sean Fennessy, Former Captain & Starting MIF, C.W. Post
17 Blue: Mike Callahan, Pitching Coach, Molloy College
16 Navy: Matt Lemanczyk, Former five year pro, St. Louis Cardinals
& Jason Galbraith, Former two year pro, St. Louis Cardinals
16 Blue: Dave Lemanczyk, Founder of Keg Conditioning & Former Pro Athlete
15 Navy: Kieran Black, Asst. JV Coach, St. Dominic H.S.
15 Blue: Mike Kearney, Former Captain & Starting 1st Baseman,
New York Institute of Technology
14U: Anthony Serrapica, Head Coach, Manhasset Junior H.S.
13U: Lou Bernardi, Former Starting Pitcher at New York Institute of Technology

2011 PLANS
The Whalers are one of Long Island’s most promising teams in 2011. Established in 2006 by Baseball Player Magazine owner, Brandon Kurz, theWhalers have come a long way over the past two seasons. The Whalers, led by coaches long time coaches Keith Kenny, Mike Herbst, Matt Lemanczyk, Jason Galbraith, Kieran Black and many more, are an organization on the rise.

The Whalers snuck up on a lot of teams last season placing no lower than 2nd place in their divisions from ages 14u-17u. The 16u Whalers also won the Boys of Summer Championship while the 15u & 14u teams finished 2nd place in their respective divisions.

The Whalers pride themselves on providing a complete program. The Whalers provide a developmental system from ages 13u all the way up through College, while providing an extremely competitive National & Regional schedule for all teams in the system.

The Whalers are looking forward to building on their winning tradition in 2011 as they have much improved all teams at all levels. The Navy teams are especially good, but watch out for Kurz’s 16 & 17 Blue teams as well.
New York Gothams
Owners: Non-profit 501(c)3
Contact: Francisco Perez – SimpleBaseball@gothams.org
Website: www.gothams.org
Indoor Facility: Pier 40, New York City
Years in Business: Since 2000
2011 Age Groups: 13U, 14U, 15U, 16U, and 18U
2010 Tournament Championships: 18U – Concordia College Invitational: 1st place; 17U – New Rochelle Athletics Invitational Tournament: 1st place; 16U: Blue Chip Prospects East Coast Champions: 1st place; 15U Red: ECTB National Championship: 1st place, Blue Chip Prospects Great American Classic: 2nd place, Baseball Heaven Memorial Day Championship: 2nd place; 15U Blue: Baseball Heaven Dave & Buster’s East Coast Nationals: 1st place; 14U: Triple Crown Summer Nationals: 2nd place; 13U: Sports at the Beach/CABA Seahorse Showdown: 2nd place, Triple Crown July 4th Classic: 2nd place
2011 Teams To Watch: 13U, 14U, 16U and 18U

Coaching Staff:
18U: Carlos Del Rosario
16U: Felix Roche
15U: Jake Rabinowitz
14U: Francisco Perez
13U: Gilberto Rodriguez

HISTORY:
The NY Gothams youth baseball program was founded in 2000 to provide talented New York City baseball players an affordable opportunity to improve their skills, improve their sportsmanship and compete at the highest levels of play. The Gothams place a large emphasis on helping players make connections and receive the exposure that can assist them in gaining entry to quality New York high schools and colleges. Many alumni who are now or have played college ball, with scholarships often provided.

The Gothams’ stress that players should pursue their education with the same intensity they do sports. They provide an educational component to the program, instituting study hall as part of the workouts, and by offering low-cost SAT prep classes to interested players.

Players come from a wide variety of socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds and represent the broad diversity of the City itself. The Gothams have always stressed community outreach and since its inception has offered scholarships to players in financial need. MLB recognized the organizations efforts with a $10,000 grant through its Baseball Tomorrow fund. The NY Gothams extended that goal internationally when it organized a collection of uniforms and equipment for Homerun Hopefuls, a charitable organization that distributes its collections to children in need in the Dominican Republic.

In 2010, two of the NY Gothams players, Nelson Rodriguez and Fernelys Sanchez, were invited to play in the Area Code games, a highly prestigious, invitation-only event, held in Southern California and sponsored by ESPN. The two also played for the major-league-scout-selected Summer Rivalry Classic, played in Yankee Stadium in August.
Team New York
Owners: Non-profit corporation 501(c)3
Contact: Ian Millman – teamny@hotmail.com
Website: www.teamnybaseball.org
Years in Business: Since 2010 (Predecessors, Since 1981)
2011 Age Groups: Senior Scout (18U), Selects (17-18), Showcase (17U), Futures (16U), Future15s (15U), Rookies (14U)
2011 Teams To Watch: 18U, 17U, 16U, 14U

Coaching Staff:
Senior: Marc Cuseta, Ian Millman,
Scout  Al Christensen
18U: Matthew Heenan, Pat Manganaro, Richard Armento
17U: Stanley Latimer, Bobby Delgado
16U: Bobby Cruz, James Mondesir, Mike Mondesir
15U: Pete D’Elia, Rufino Rodriguez, Mike Buonississ
14U: Tyler Abrams, Tony Fiorino, Arik Abrams

HISTORY:
Team New York Baseball was created to bring the most complete baseball experience to allow city kids to be seen by collegiate and professional baseball communities. It has its roots in two other baseball organizations, the Bayside Yankees and the New York Nine.

Marc Cuseta jumped into the game of amateur baseball thirty years ago, in 1981, with a passion. The Bayside Yankee stressed the keystones of Baseball success – loyalty, hard work, respect of the game, and respect on oneself. This formula helped over 40 former players reach the Major League, as well as hundreds of others that played professional baseball at other levels. The Bayside Yankees still today have a nationwide reputation.

The New York Nine was created by Frank “Buddy” Paine along with Ian Millman and Stanley Latimer.  Payne was the Northeast regional scout of the Pittsburgh Pirates, after he fulfilled the same role for the Detroit Tigers. He also was the head coach at Iona, and also coached at Concordia College and in the Indians organization. Millman was the former Vice President of Team New York Cardinals, as well as the head coach of Francis Lewis HS in Queens. Millman is presently an associate scout with the Anaheim Angels and formerly with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Latimer ran the successful Westchester Wolfpack as well as several leagues.

“Lots of summer programs are about chasing trophies, but we concentrate on helping our student-athletes become men,” states Millman. “Our program of development is about taking our players weaknesses and making them their strengths. The key is to prepare and situate our student athletes at the next level, wherever it may be”.

In 2010, 15 players from the organization were drafted in MLB’s First Year Player Draft. And in  2011, 17 current or former players were drafted by major league ballclubs and/or signed affiliated pro contracts (as of 6/14/2011). For two straight years, better than 1% of the entire ML draft class are/were affiliated with Team New York Baseball.

In 2011, Team NY high school seniors will going on to play for teams like Illinois State, Seton Hall, St. John’s, the Naval Academy, Princeton, Maryland, Bucknell, Virginia Tech, Johns Hopkins, Vanderbilt, and Michigan.

2011 PLANS
In 2011, Team NY will be competing in the AABC Super Regional (Diamond Nation, NJ), the Mid American World Series (Louisville, KY), the Premiere World Series (Joplin, MO), WWBA National Championship (East Cobb, GA), Liberty Tournament (Glen Cove and Bronx, NY), as well as other events, scrimmages, and league play. They will add other events to best meet the needs of the players, the parents, the coaching community, and the scouting community.
Team New York Cardinals
Board of Directors: Rich Kashdan, Craig Everett, Charlie Foster,
Craig Sheikowitz
Contact: Rich Kashdan – coach1319@aol.com
Website: www.teamnycardinals.org
Indoor Facility: Benjamin N. Cardozo High School
Years in Business: Since 1990
2011 Age Groups: 16U, 18U, College
2010 League Accomplishments: 18U LIBA finalist
2010 Tournament Championships: 18U Liberty &
Westchester Tournament finalists
2011 Teams To Watch: 16U, 18U, College

Coaching Staff:
College:  Barry Silverstein
18U:  Barry Silverstein, Brian Flynn
16U:  Jamie Adams

HISTORY:
Team NY Cardinals is a non-profit baseball organization which prides itself on preparing our players (at every age group) to succeed at the next level. This includes school, life and baseball.  They play in various competitive leagues (LIBA, FABL etc.) and venture into tournaments both local and around the country each year.  They have been successful in the baseball world both in league and tournament play.

According to board member Rich Kashdan, “We are fortunate to have had and still have college coaches, former college players, quality high school coaches and overall exceptional baseball people in our organization.  The qualities and values we teach on the field can be applied to all walks of our players lives.  Many of our players have gone on to play college ball and we have been fortunate to have had a fair amount drafted.  Just as important, the vast majority have gone on to be very successful in life. We are college connected and do our best to help those players who choose to continue their baseball career.”

2011 PLANS:
16U team will be playing in the Blue Chip “Great American Classic” (Staten Island, NY) from June 24 to June 27. They will also be attending the BH Summer Challenge in July (Yaphank, NY) and the Fordham University 16 and Under tournament in June (Bronx, NY). They will also be playing in the Long Island Baseball Association (LIBA) summer league. 18U team will be playing in the LIBA as well, and participating in the Great American Classic (Yaphank, NY), the Liberty Tournament, (Glen Cove, NY and Bronx, NY), Sports At The Beach, Rehobeth, DE), and the Crush Tournament in July at (Bronxville, NY). College Team will be playing in the Federation Amateur Baseball League (FABL). If they win their league, they will go on to American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC) regional play.

After the summer season is over for the Cardinals, there is a short hiatus before the Fall season begins (right after Labor Day). They also conduct a five week clinic at Cardozo High School that starts the in January.
Storm Baseball Academy Inc.
Founder and Owner: Mike Leiderman
President and Partner: Nick Clark
Travel Team President and Partner: Shaun Manning
Contact: 516 481 2255
Website: Stormtravelbaseball.com
2011 Age Groups: 13U – 18U
2010 League: 13U BOS  Finalists, 15U BOS Champions,
8U LIBA Finalists
2010 Tournaments: 13U BOS Memorial Day Champs, 13U BOS 4th of July Champs, 16U WWBA Perfect Game Pool Winner, 16U BCS Perfect Game Pool Winner, 16U Dynamic World Series Pool Winner, 16U Blue Chip Diamond Nation Tournament Semi Finals, 16U Sal Agustenelli Tournament
Tournament Champion: 17U Dynamic World Series Finalist, 17U BCS Perfect Game – Playoff round, 18U Baseball Heaven 18U Columbus Day – Tournament Champion

This will be our 4th summer as youth travel Academy has been open 6 years And semi – pro team has been around 22 years

Teams to watch:
18U White: The 2011 Long Island Storm 18U team has 11 Division 1 commitments on roster and will be a force throughout the summer season.
17U White: The Long Island Storm 17U White team won pools in several national tournaments.The team also has six of the top ten players in the state, as ranked by Perfect Game.
16U White: The Long Island Storm 16U White team placed at several tournaments last year. The won the Boys of Summer 15U and went 25 -1 on Long Island,
14U White: This team is loaded with good, young talent.  Went 62-13 last summer, but lost in the Boys of Summer finals. They won several local tournaments throughout the summer.
Youth Service League
Owners: Non-profit 501(c) (3)
Contact: Mel Zitter – 347-581-1217 – melzitter@aol.com
Website: http://www.youthservice.org
Indoor Facility: John Jay H.S. & Samuel Tilden H.S. (Brooklyn)
Years in Business: Since 1954
2011 Age Groups: Pee Wee (4 to 7); 8U, 9U, 10U, 11U, 12U,
13U, 14U, 15U, 16U, 17U, 18U, College
2010 League Accomplishments: 13U (AABC Sandy Koufax in Michigan) and 14U (AABC Sandy Koufax in Surprise, AZ) won North Atlantic regional champions; 16U PONY Regional Champions in Brooklyn and New Hampshire, runner up in Greensboro, NC; 19U (AAABA runner up in New Jersey)
2010 Tournament Championships: Beast of the East

HISTORY:
The Youth Service League is a delinquency prevention that uses sports as a tool to get kids in college. Their in house Little League serves kids ages 4 to 7, and their All Star program is for players 8 to
20 years old. The program is heavily supported by fundraising to keep the costs low to all participants. YSL sponsors more than twenty teams a year, with older teams typically playing seven to eight games a week.

One player of note on YSL’s 17U team is Edgar LeBron, a junior at Martin Van Buren High School in Queens. Although he was born mostly deaf, that has not stopped LeBron from any goal he has set for himself. He plays varsity basketball, as well as shortstop, 3rd, outfield and pitches. According to YSL Director Mel Zitter, “Edgar is an example of what hard work can overcome.”

Many YSL alumni have gone on to have careers in professional baseball. One example is Pedro Beato, who has been on the New York Mets roster since opening day. Another is former Met and current Houston Astros starter Nelson Figueroa. In fact, Figueroa has donated generously back to support YSL, the program that supported him on his way up.

2011 PLANS:
Again this year, Youth Service All Star teams are playing in many high profile events around the country. Their teams will be participating in PONY regional tournaments, Beat of the East, tournaments in Greensboro (NC), New Hampshire, and AABC’s Connie Mack Regional and Sandy Koufax National, as well as the Parade Ground League.

Panik Nabs Northwest League MVP Honors In Rookie Season

09/01/2011, 11:34pm (EDT)
By Timothy Brown, St. John’s University

Shortstop leads league in batting average, hits, runs and RBI


Joe Panik at St. John’s

QUEENS, N.Y. (Aug. 31, 2011) – Less than three months after signing a contract with the San Francisco Giants organization following his selection in the first round of the MLB Draft, Joe Panik is already making his presence felt in professional baseball.  The rookie shortstop of the Class-A Short Season Salem-Keizer Volcanoes was named the Northwest League Most Valuable Player and was one of just two unanimous All-League selections.

“It is a tremendous honor to win this award and it is particularly special to win it as a rookie,” said Panik.  “To cap my rookie season with this accomplishment is a great feeling.”

Panik currently leads the league in hits (87), runs scored (49) and RBI (52), and is tied for first with a .332 batting average with just four regular season games remaining.  The shortstop is also second in on-base percentage (.395), tied for fifth in slugging percentage (.462) and tied for tenth in stolen bases (13).

The league-leader among shortstops with a .962 fielding percentage, Panik has collected 10 doubles, six home runs and three triples this season for the Volcanoes.

An All-American, Brooks Wallace Award Finalist, Golden Spikes Award Semifinalist, first team All-BIG EAST selection and Academic All-American as a junior, Panik concluded his St. John’s career ranked second all-time in batting average (.370), sixth in hits (237), third in RBI (157), fourth in doubles (48) and fifth in home runs (25).  A two-time All-BIG EAST selection, Panik also earned Freshman All-America honors as a rookie with the Red Storm.

New York Prospects Dodge Irene

09/01/2011, 9:57am (EDT)
By Jeff Dahn, Perfect Game

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The storm named Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm from its original hurricane status as it swept across the New York City area Sunday morning, bringing an ever-so-slight sense of relief to the millions of people affected by the storm.

More than 1,000 miles from where the storm made landfall near Staten Island, three sets of fathers and sons from three Long Island families were finding refuge at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium, enjoying a warm, sunny Sunday morning at the Perfect Game Midwest Underclass Showcase.

New York prospects Max Riskin, a junior C/OF at Northport High School in East Northport, N.Y.; Lukas Pracher, a junior MIF/OF/3B/1B at Manhasset (N.Y.) High School; and Jason Weiner, a junior LHP/OF at Oceanside (N.Y.) High School, were here seeking shelter from the storm.

“It was good to be out here and play against other kids from the Midwest,” Pracher said.

“This was very beneficial. Very organized,” Riskin said of the showcase. “It should help a lot to get our names out there for the colleges.”

Despite the pending storm, the players felt it was important to travel here from their Long Island homes in the company of their fathers – Dave Weiner, Rick Pracher and Dean Riskin. They flew out of New York’s LaGuardia Airport on Friday and made it to eastern Iowa with few problems.

Over the last two days, Hurricane Irene moved slowly up the Atlantic Seaboard, and soon travel plans across the entire region – the entire country, for that matter – were put on hold.

The kids played their final 10-inning game Sunday morning and, unable to get a flight home until much later in the week, the fathers rented a car and the six New Yorkers hit the road in the afternoon for the start of a 16-hour drive. School in the players’ three separate districts doesn’t start until next week, so there will be no missed class time.

“Sixteen hours,” Dean Riskin said, shaking his head. “They cancelled our flights and they weren’t going to get us out of here until Thursday, so we decided to drive it.”

The players said they had received reports of flooding and some downed trees around their homes, but nothing of too much significance.

“In my area, a couple of trees fell down, but I’m not really near the water like (Pracher and Weiner) are so I don’t really have to worry about water damage or backed-up drainage systems like they are. I’m more worried about the wind,” Riskin said.

Although Riskin admitted to also being worried his mom, who remained at home, to a man the three players said they had no regrets about traveling to the showcase.

“It was important for me to be out here. I really wanted to play,” Weiner said. “This is very organized, and it was shorter and not dragged out.”

The trio of players is serious about their baseball careers. This was Pracher’s fifth Perfect Game event in the last two years, and Riskin’s and Weiner’s fourth.

They play together on the Long Island Whalers travel ball team and started their PG careers at the 2010 PG WWBA 2013 Grads or 15u National Championship, and played again with the Whalers at this year’s PG WWBA 2013 Grads or 16u National Championship. There was also a mutual stop at the 16u Northeast Father’s Day Invitational at Baseball Heaven in Yaphank, N.Y., in June.

Pracher went out on his own to attend the 2011 National Underclass Showcase – Session 3 in Fort Myers, Fla., in January.

The boys’ fathers are equally determined to provide their sons with the opportunity to attend as many Perfect Game events as possible – even if there is a hurricane swirling around the neighborhood back home.

“Everybody’s OK at home, and it’s more important for the kids to be here,” Dave Weiner said. “My father wanted us to cancel the trip, and I said, ‘No. What am I going to do? This is (Jason’s) future.’”

Call it that New York state of mind.

“We were worried, but as New Yorkers we’re always optimistic,” Rick Pracher said. “We never think that we’re going to experience the same kind of hardship that other people do. Hurricanes don’t really happen in New York (very often).”

The nearly 130 players who turned out for the weekend’s PG Midwest Top Prospects and PG Midwest Underclass showcases – games were played at both Perfect Game Field at VMS and Kirkwood Community College – represented 10 states, with most from Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

There were a couple of prospects who traveled nearly as far as the trio from New York, however. Glenn Roy Pace (RHP/3B, 2013) came all the way from Flower Mound, Texas, and Cadis Chase (1B/OF, 2013) made the trip from his home in Cheyenne, Wyo.

But the New Yorkers traveled the farthest – with a lot on their minds – and they don’t plan on cutting their trips back anytime soon.

“This is something that we’ll look back on the rest of our lives. We travel all over the country for this,” Dean Riskin said.

“We only have another year or two to do this with our boys, so this is special to us. We love it,” Rick Pracher added. “We want them to get into good schools and play ball in school, and we give them the opportunity and they do the work.”

Braves Strong in 16U National Playoffs

Take League in Best of Three Series

08/29/2011, 1:14pm (EDT)
By Jeff Noreman (photos by Jeff Noreman)

2011-08-12 North Shore Cougars vs GCI Braves White

CGI Braves pitcher Brian Tinney
(CGI Braves Brian Tinney pitched ten shutout innings.)

The CGI Braves White 16U and North Shore Cougars completed their quest to reach the Boys of Summer 16U National League championship on Friday, August 12 with a game at St. Anthony’s High School. In a best of three series, the course of the first game almost always sets the tone for the short series. And this eleven inning affair was scoreless until the last frame, with the Braves pushing one run across for the 1-0 win.

The Braves Brian Tinney (St. Anthony’s) pitched ten solid innings, racking up nine K’s while allowing just five hits, one walk, and no runs. Left fielder Kevin Cocchi had two hits and scored the game-winning run. He also made a game-saving catch, colliding with the centerfielder in the 9th. John Parisi (St. Anthony’s) had a clutch single in the last inning sustaining the rally in which the winning run scored.

“It was a great job from Tinney,” said said Braves skipper Matt Burke. “He was challenging hitters, getting ahead, and using the defense.”

“Our intensity was great throughout,” Burke continued. “This was one of the most challenging games of the year. Our pitchers challenged hitters, and our defense made the plays.”

Cougars pitcher Nick Liegi
(Cougars Nick Liegi pitched into the 11th inning)

The Cougars starter Nicholas Liegi (Sachem East) went 10 ? innings, allowing only three bases on balls and six hits in his strong 119 pitch effort.

“It was a great defensive game,” said Cougars coach Matt Piccolo.

“We sputtered in the league for a while. Then we won seven games,” Piccolo explained. “All my roll players played up to their potential. All my big guys kept doing well.”

“You never want to lose a game like that, but it is what it is.”

The Cougars won game two of the Championship the next morning by the score of 3-1. Then the Braves won the second matchup on Saturday 6-4, taking the championship.