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New York Nine Win East Coast Championships at Baseball Heaven

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The New York Nine Scout Team ended the 2017 summer season in grand fashion winning the Blue Chips East Coast Championship at Baseball Heaven in Yaphank, Long Island. In their final three Baseball Heaven tournaments, the Scout team went on an incredible 17 game winning streak, finishing those tournaments at 6-0,6-0 and 5-0 respectively.

The tournament opener saw the Nine face the Long Island Titans (who finished the tournament 3-1), beating them by a 6-2 score. In the first inning, Danny Alfonzo was hit by a pitch for the 11th time this summer, which is a new Nine record (the previous record held by Ricardo Espinosa, stood since 2006). With two on, Carlos De La Cruz took an 0-1 fastball and drove it out of the park. The very next batter, Oliver Fernandez, went back to back, hitting his first home run of the summer. With the score cut to 4-2, in the 6th inning, Danny Perez hit the longest home run of the summer, which scouts in attendance said would have landed in the upper deck of Yankee Stadium. The very next batter, one Carlos De La Cruz hit his second home run of the game putting the Nine comfortably ahead 6-2, where the game finished. Austin Cole fanned four in his final start for the Nine, while Matt Demartini pitched a perfect 2 2/3, striking out four in the win.

In game two of pool play, the Nine faced a tough New York Grays team and their hard throwing righthander John Rodriguez. Daniel Alfonzo opened the scoring in the top of the first inning hitting a missile into the left centerfield trees plating Freddy Rojas for a quick 2-0 lead. The Grays quickly tied the game in the bottom of the first on a two out, two run single and took the lead in the second, 3-2. After an Alfonzo leadoff double and a Danny Perez walk, Carlos De La Cruz singled to center plating Alfonzo. Perez scored when JP Compres reached on an error. In the fourth inning, Shawn Harrison led off with a walk and forced at second on a Preston Milano groundout. Angel Presinal singled to push Milano to 2rd and Alfonzo singled on a fly ball to right to score Milano. Perez then hit a long double to center field to score Presinal and Alfonzo, giving the Nine three runs in the frame. The Grays cut the lead to 7-4 in the fourth and the Nine completed their scoring on a Jesse Spellman single, Harrison walk, Presinal RBI single, Rojas walk and an Alfonzo RBI groundout. Anthony “Ace” Costa was superb considering the lack of strike zone, tossing a CG and striking out 6.

Having already clinched their pool, the Nine played an early Sunday morning contest against the CGI Braves out of Long Island. DJ Flug got the start striking out four, allowing two hits and no runs. Eury DeJesus fanned two in his inning of work, and Mario Medina worked a perfect inning striking out a batter. The Nine once again jumped on the board early as Carlos De La Cruz, who you may have heard of by now, hit another three-run homer. In the second, Shawn Harrison, Elvis Torres, Nick Hernandez and Angel Presinal all walked to start the inning. Freddy Rojas scored Elvis Torres on an RBI and Danny Alfonzo‘s sac fly scored Hernandez. Carlos De La Cruz reached on an error, scoring Presinal, leaking the Nine out to a quick 7-0 lead. The bottom of the third saw more of the same as a Nick Hernandez walk plated Jesse Spellman and a Presinal ground ball single to center scored two. Danny Alfonzo added an RBI on yet another HBP. With this win the Nine moved into the quarter finals as the 4th seed.

On a drizzly, rainy day, the first game of the playoffs saw the Nine take on the fifth seeded Freedom Baseball out of Long Island. Starter Wellington Belen was solid, fanning five in five plus innings while giving up three hits. In the top of the sixth, after a walk and double chased Belen, Freddy Rojas got consecutive ground outs to Shawn Harrison, who did not convert either out at the plate and Freedom ended their inning up by two. Mike Garcia held the game where it was with a perfect seventh setting the stage for one of the greatest moments in Nine history. With one out Carlos De La Cruz singled on a line drive to left, followed by a Rojas flyout to left. With an 0-1 count, pinch hitter Jesse Spellman did this:

What is unclear in the video is the leaping attempt by the left fielder to rob him of a home run. This is similar to the final play of the 2016 season where Oakland Athletic draftee, Nate Webb put a bases loaded fastball over the centerfield wall in Charleston, South Carolina only to have it brought back. Fortunes would be different this time as Spellman’s shot caromed off of the glove of the left fielder falling over the fence for a home run, tying the game at 2. With score still knotted at two in the 9th inning, the bases were loaded with one out. Reliever Brayan Garcia punched out two consecutive hitters with fastballs in low 90s to get out of the inning. In the bottom of the inning, with the bases loaded, Angel Presinal hit a fly ball over the left fielders head scoring pinch runner, Braulio Melo to push the Nine into the semifinals vs. the Body Armor Titans, the tournament’s number one seed who had not allowed a run all tournament.

That streak ended quickly as Francisco Soriano lasered a 3-1 fastball into the parking lot in right center giving the Nine a quick 1-0 lead. The Nine scored another run in the top of the second when Oliver Fernandez singled to right center, and when trying to throw out Jeremy Bueno, the center fielder threw the ball into the dugout, giving each player 2 bases. Starter Chris Pichardo battled the rain all game, allowing a run in the bottom of the second and another In the bottom of the third, when he escaped further danger by getting a shallow fly out to center, leaving the bases loaded. After a brief delay due to driving rain, the Nine came out swinging with a Danny Perez fly ball single followed by Elvis Torres running for Perez. Freddy Rojas lined a single to right and Jeremy Bueno‘s single to center plated Torres. Rojas scored on a Fernandez force out and Braulio Melo scored on a Shawn Harrison single, which was followed by a Leury Tejada single scoring Harrison. The Nine plated four runs in the frame giving them a 6-2 lead. In the bottom of the 5th, Body Armor cut the lead to 6-3 on a deep double to left. Chris Pichardo was incredible the rest of the way, with the hard fought complete game victory. The win was Pichardo’s 8th, a New York Nine record, and 14th victory in the past two seasons. This was also the Body Armor Titans second loss all summer. As the rains fell again the tournament was halted, and co-champions were declared. The Nine were the only five win club in the tournament and beat the number one seeded playoff club in the process. It was a fitting ending to a fantastic summer. The final record for the Scout team was an outstanding 33-9-3.

Tournament notes:

Angel Presinal led the team in batting average and OBP and had a line of .500/.588/.571
Carlos De La Cruz slugged 1.000 for the tournament with a team leading 3 home runs and 8 RBI
Shawn Harrison led the team in walks with 6 and had a .538 OBP
Danny Alfonzo set the Nine record for HBP in a season and got hit with 2 pitches this tournament. He hit .417/.500/.833 with a team leading 5 runs scored.
Oliver Fernandez slugged .889
Danny Perez hit .333/.500/.667 including the longest home run of the season, and his 3rd on the season
Anthony Costa led the team in strikeouts with 6 and had a 63.2% ground ball rate
Brayan Garcia struck out 75% of batters faced
Matt Demartini struck out 50% of batters faced
DJ Flug had a groundball rate of 71.4%
The Nine averaged 7 runs per game and hit .306/.437/.545 as a team
The Nine allowed an average of 2.2 runs per game and struck out 32 in 32.2 innings.

New York Nine Wins Mid-Atlantic Showdown

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The New York Nine Scout Team made a successful six game run in three short days to capture the Mid-Atlantic Showdown crown this past weekend at Baseball Heaven in Yaphank, Long Island. This was the Scout Team’s second tournament crown of 2017.

The tournament opened with the Nine playing against a very solid, well coached Millburn (NJ) Millers club. The club was comprised of many players who helped Millburn HS claim the New Jersey 4A state title. Derrick Jimenez threw six innings allowing a single run in the victory while Carlos De La Cruz‘s grand slam broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth, a lead the Nine did not relinquish in the 8-2 victory.

Game two saw the Nine get off to quick start on an Angel Presinal walk, a Danny Alfonzo double followed by a Danny Perez RBI single that scored Presinal. Danny Alfonzo‘s long home run to center to lead off the bottom of the 3rd highlighted his three hit effort. Shawn Harrison and Nick Vella each added two hits and an RBI in support of starter DJ Flug who fanned four hitters in four innings as the Nine defeated the Rye Grays by a score of 6-2.

In a winner moves on, loser goes home final pool play game, the Nine and Knights played to a draw after 4 innings, including a first inning Carlos De La Cruz RBI double and a 3rd inning Danny Alfonzo solo home run to right center. But in the 5th, after Nick Vella reached on a strikeout and wild pitch, Angel Presinal doubled Vella in to give the Nine the lead, which would grow to 5-2 by the end of the inning. Chris Pichardo entered the game in the 3rd with runners on 1st and 2nd and threw 2.1 innings of scoreless relief punching out 3, and sending the Nine to the playoffs.

In the quarterfinal, the second seeded Nine met the seventh seeded Connecticut Bulldogs who had scored in bunches in pool play. And as the Nine did all tournament long, jumped out to a quick lead in the first inning. Angel Presinal singled, Danny Alfonzo walked and Danny Perez hit a long double on the first pitch, scoring Presinal. This was no ordinary double by Perez, this double hit the very top of the fence and took a right turn and then bounced off the fence again and back into the field of play. After a Carlos De La Cruz sac fly, Francisco Soriano singled in Perez. After a Soriano stolen base, Shawn Harrison singled him in which ended the scoring in the first. The 3rd inning saw the Nine bats come alive again with a Presinal single, and back to back walks by Alfonzo and Perez. This saw Carlos De La Cruz at the plate and he wasted no time, by crushing the first pitch he saw over the left field fence for a slam that put the Nine up 8-0. Anthony Costa shut down the Bulldogs offense, allowing 1 hit in 4 innings striking out 5. The 10-2 win advanced the Nine to the semi-finals to face another Connecticut team.

The Semi-finals saw the Nine face the third seeded Connecticut Moose, who brought one of the top offenses in the tournament with them, averaging nearly 7 runs per game in their first 4 games. The Nine did not get off to a quick start offensively, and the game’s first 2 and a half innings saw the score knotted at 0. It was at this point, the Nine bats exploded, scoring 7 runs in the 3rd and 5 more in the 4th. The 3rd inning started with a Braulio Melo walk and a Nick Vella line drive single. Angel Presinal then reached on an error and Danny Alfonzo doubled. Danny Perez and Carlos De La Cruz both walked, followed by a Francisco Soriano single and a long Shawn Harrison sac fly. Jesse Spellman ended the scoring in the 3rd with a 2 RBI single on a ball hit back up the middle. The 4th inning saw more of the same from the Nine, with 4 singles and 2 walks scoring 5 runs. De La Cruz ended the game showing his speed by scoring the game winning run on a short wild pitch. Dimitri Papazoglou fired a complete game, propelling the Nine into the Tournament finals.

After winning two previous games, the Nine kicked off the tournament championship game vs LIB Roar at 8:30 pm with Adelphi bound Austin Cole on the bump. LIB Roar knocked off the #1 seed in the semi-finals and averaged 6.6 runs per game heading into the finals. The first inning saw neither team push a run across the plate, but the 2nd was a different story for the Nine, who, like they did all tournament, capitalized on an error. Carlos De La Cruz reached on an error and Francisco Soriano immediately doubled him to 3rd. Catcher, JP Compres drove in De La Cruz with an RBI single. After a Jose Arroyo walk, Nick Vella smoked a 2 out line drive single back up the middle to score 2. After LIB scored one back on an error, the Nine once again capitalized on a misplay. Danny Perez singled, De La Cruz walked and Shawn Harrison reached on an error. JP Compres once again came up and drove in 2 on a hard single to left field scoring 2. After an Arroyo walk, Jesse Spellman had an RBI walk to end the scoring in the 3rd. Austin Cole fanned seven in his 4.1 innings only allowing 1 hit. Chris Pichardo finished the 5th with 2 strikeouts. Matt Demartini threw the final outs of the Tournament as the Nine lifted the Mid-Atlantic Showdown Trophy with a 7-2 win.

Tournament Notes:

Danny Perez lead the team in batting average and on base percentage and had a triple slash line of .538/.667/.615
Carlos De La Cruz led the team in slugging percentage with 1.071 and RBI with 13 had a triple slash line of.500/.556/1.071
Angel Presinal led the team in hits with 8
Danny Alfonzo, Carlos De La Cruz and Angel Presinal tied for the lead in runs with 8
Austin Cole led the team in strikeouts with 7
Chris Pichardo got the win in 2 games, struck out 5 and didn’t walk any
As a team, for the tournament, the Nine hit over .400 and had a triple slash line of .401/.485/.585
41% of Nine hits went for extra bases, with Carlos De La Cruz leading the way with 57.1%
As a team, in 34 innings, the Nine had an ERA of 1.85 and struck out 38

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New York Nine Win Independence Day Championships

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New York Nine Win Independence Day Championships at Baseball Heaven

The New York Nine Scout Team won the 18u Independence Day Tournament Championship at Baseball Heaven in Yaphank, New York. The Nine secured a championship day bye by finishing second overall with a 4-0 record through pool play, saving them a potential seventh game in four days.

The opening round saw two outstanding mound efforts as recent Bayside HS alumni Dimitri Papazoglou and Anthony Costa each hurled a no hitter in their respective complete game victories. Papazoglou fanned an incredible 48% of the hitters he faced in a twelve strikeout performance over the previously undefeated Frozen Ropes Rockies while Costa punched out nine in his dominant tournament opening outing versus Motus Academy.

In the semi-final, starter Bryant Gomez threw four shutout innings against the FAA Phoenix from New Jersey. The Phoenix, who were 20-0-1 in their previous 21 Baseball Heaven tournament games mounted a furious rally against the Nine bullpen but fell up short in a 9-5 contest.

The championship game against the top seeded Bayside Yankees lived up to its billing. Nick Vella started things off with a long home run in the top half of the first inning. After the Nine tacked on a run in the top of the second, Bayside’s bats came alive as they plated three runs to take a 3-2 lead. The score remained the same until the top of the 6th inning when Danny Perez doubled home Nick Vella to tie the game followed by a two RBI double by Jonell Perez to give the Nine the lead. In the top of the seventh, Jesse Spellman was brought home by an Angel Presinal single to center ending the scoring at 7-3. Chris Pichardo threw five shutout innings for the win in relief. The Nine lifted the trophy after finishing 6-0 in the tournament.

Tournament Notes:

Carlos De La Cruz hit .500 with three singles, four doubles, one home run, eight RBIs, scored eight runs and slugged .938
Oliver Fernandez also hit .500 with a .556 OBP
Danny Alfonzo‘s .550 OBP was helped by a tournament high four hbp, while homering and scoring seven runs
Nick Vella and Francisco Soriano each launched two home runs while scoring five and six runs respectively
Braulio Melo swiped three bags and scored two runs

As a staff, the Nine fanned 41 batters in 35 innings, while only giving up 19 hits
Dimitri Papazoglou‘s struck out 12 and Anthony Costa struck out 9
DJ Flug picked up two victories in relief
Chris Pichardo and Bryant Gomez each threw 5 scoreless innings and had a victory apiece.

New York Nine Futures Club Wins Blue Chip Summer Challenge Tournament!

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The New York Nine Futures went undefeated to win the Blue Chip Summer Challenge at Baseball Heaven. In going 7-0, the Futures team had the highest run differential in the tournament, outscoring the opposition by 41 runs. Congratulations to players and coaches on their hard work and fantastic finish!

To start off the tournament, on July 22, the Future teams defeated Frozen Ropes 4-1 in seven innings. Eric Mini went 2-3 with a double in the first inning and a single in the sixth. Spencer Lodes looked sharp on the mound giving up just one hit, allowing no earned runs while punching out 5 with no walks in his 3 innings of work. Mike Papaleo got it done on the rubber on the way to a win, allowing only a single run in 4 innings.

The next day, the Futures went to Stony Brook and beat Steel Sports 7-2 in seven innings. Michael Gaitan went 1-2 with a triple in the second inning. Steel Sports had no answer for William Gilbert, who allowed a single hit in his 4 innings while striking out 3 and walking none.

July 24th came and the Futures won again. This time by a score of 8-0 against the Diamond Spikes. Tristan Sarcone had a huge day both at the plate and on the mound. He went 2-2 with 2 triples and also threw 5 innings of shutout baseball. Not a single Diamond Spike player got past 2nd base as Sarcone struck out 6 and didn’t walk a single batter.

For the Futures, July 25 was a good as they jumped out to an early lead against the Clue Crabs and never looked back, winning 12-2. The Nine Club scored 8 runs in the first 3 innings putting the game away early. Scoring 12 runs means that a lot of players will have big days and Preston Milano and Eric Mini didn’t disappoint. Milano went 2-3 with 2 RBI and a run scored while Mini went 2-3 with a double, triple and 3 RBI. Matt Hegerty threw 4 innings, struck out 6 and went 2-2 at the plate.

Sunday July 26 saw the Nine play 3 games. First of the day was a tight game into the 6th inning when Michael Mateo drove in the go ahead run in the bottom of the inning. Tristan Sarcone put the dagger into the heart of the New York Knights with a triple in the 6th that put the Nine up 4-1. Rob Rota threw a CG for the win.

In the semi-finals, the Nine exploded in the 5th inning for 9 runs leading to a 14-6 win over the Dutchess Aces. Johnny Archer had a monster game, going 3-3 with 3 doubles and 6 RBI and 3 runs scored. Michael Gaitan chipped in a home run and Eric Mini went 2-3 in the win. Robbie DeBenedictus threw a 5 inning CG.

In the Championship Game, the New York Nine and Frozen Ropes were scoreless through 3 before New York Nine scored 4 in the bottom of the 4th and then Frozen Ropes scored 3 in the top of the 5th to tie it up at 4. In the bottom of the 5th, the Futures broke the tie on an RBI single by Johnny Archer bringing home Mike Papaleo. Preston Milano also got it done with the bat, adding 2 hits and 3 RBI. On the mound, the Nine once again got a fantastic effort by Spencer Lodes, who tossed a CG and struck out 6 while only walking 2.

The New York Nine Organization couldn’t be prouder of the work and effort these athletes put in and once again congratulates all the players and coaches on their tournament win.

Future 15s Win Blue Chip Prospect Tournament & Reach Quarters in Texas

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The New York Nine Future 15s played in two tournaments recently, reaching the quarterfinals at the Premier Freshman Championships in Farmers Branch, Texas and winning Blue Chip Prospect Tournament at Baseball Heaven. Congratulations to players and coaches on their hard work and fantastic finishes!

To start off the Premier Freshman Championships, the New York Nine Future 15s defeated the Amarillo Titans 3-1. Danny Lotito scattered 5 hits and did not surrender an earned run in a very well pitched game. Lotito also went 2-3 at the plate.

Next up for the Nine was a game against the Austin Wings. The team battled but lost an extra-inning heartbreaker by the score of 4-3. Mike Popaleo pitched a fantastic game and only allowed a single run to score. Aaron Sabato and CJ McCarthy each had two hits and an RBI in the loss.

New York Nine then beat the Arlington A’s 6-3. Danny Giangrande threw 5.2 innings in relief to help the team win the game. Danny Lotito and Chris Corrado each had 2 hits. With the win, the Future 15s qualified for the Championship Round.

In the Championship Pool, the Nine beat the St. Louis Rawlings Prospects 4-1. Jack Ryan limited St. Louis to 2 hits and 0 earned runs in the complete game effort. Chris Corrado was 2-3 with an RBI and 2 stolen bases and Henry Davis’s base-clearing double in the 6th inning sealed the victory.

Next up was the #6 seed, Midwest Nationals. Andrew Gurgitano did not surrender an earned run, allowing four hits in a 5-1 victory. At the plate, Danny Lotito went 2-3 with 2 RBI.

In the final Championship Pool game, the Nine lost 7-4 to West Texas ABA. 9 walks were too much to overcome. West Texas ABA scored six runs in the first inning on four hits and three walks and never looked back. Fortunately, the New York Nine had already won their Pool and qualified for the quarterfinals going into the game against West Texas ABA.

In the quarterfinal, the Nine was shut down by the Building Champions Baseball and lost by the score of 8-0.

To start off the Blue Chip Prospect Tournament at Baseball Heaven, Tyler Mandel was 3-3 with 4 RBI in a 10-7 win over the East Coast Eagles (MA). Danny Lotito gave up 1 run and had 7 strikeouts in 4 innings of work.

Next up was a win vs Garden City, 3-0. Andy Francella gave up 1 hit with 7 strikeouts in six innings of work. Aaron Sabato was 2-3 on the day.

Future 15s then lost 3-2 to Babylon Pride. The Nine were held to 4 hits in the 3-2 loss. Andrew Gurgitano surrendered 4 hits while striking out 5 in the complete game effort.

New York Nine played Diamond Buddies. Jack Ryan recorded 8 strikeouts over 6 innings of work in the 7-5 victory. Aaron Sabato went 2-3 with a double, 3 RBI and 2 runs scored.

In the semifinal game, New York Nine defeated LI Titans-Blue 3-1. Cameron Johnson went the distance, allowing only 2 hits. Aggressive base running with timely hitting by Aaron Sabato and Tyler Mandel secured the victory and a spot in the championship game.

In the championship game, Danny Lotito surrendered one hit in a complete game shutout over the Long Island Titans-Gold. CJ McCarthy doubles in both the 5th and the 7th innings – along with Aaron Sabato’s 2 run double in the sixth – put the game out of reach and clinched the tournament for the Nine Check Out Your URL.

New York Nine 13u Team Wins Tournament!

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New York Nine Memorial Day Tournament

On May 24 and May 25th the New York Nine 13u Spring Team won the Diamond Buddies Memorial Day Tournament. The first game of the tournament saw the New York Nine club beat House of Sports 10-1. Dom Berardi pitched 5 innings, gave up one run on one hit and also helped himself out at the plate by going 2-3. Other standouts at the plate included Carter Meyers, who went 1-2 with a double and 3 runs scored, Doug Conner 1-3 with 2 RBI and Sean Wynn, who went 2-2 with 3 runs scored.

Game 2 saw more of the same from the pitching staff. Multiple pitchers combined to shut down the East Coast Mavs, surrendering 1 run on 1 hit in six innings as the club coasted to a 3-1 victory. Henry Cetina showed a solid batting eye going 1-2 with 2 walks and 2 RBI. Carter Meyers once again chipped in, driving in a run and going 2-3 at the dish.

After these 2 dominant performances, the team was seeded #1 having only given up 2 runs while scoring the most runs of any team in the tournament. On Sunday, May 25, they played their semi-final game vs East Coast Mavs and dominated them once again. Carter Meyers pitched all 5 innings en route to an 11-1 dismantling. It was all all-around effort, Henry Cetina went 2-2 with 2 runs and 3 RBI, John Archer chipped in with 2 RBI of his own and Spencer VanGelder went 1-1 with 2 RBI.

The Championship saw our boys play the Bronx Warriors. And in a workmanlike performance beat them 5-0 in 7 innings. John Archer continued the outstanding pitching seen all tournament, throwing all 7 innings, only throwing 82 pitches, while giving up 2 hits. In the 2nd inning New York Nine would score the only run they needed on 2 errors. They added on in the 6th, after a Carter Meyers double, Joe Denn sacrificed him to 3rd and then John Archer laced a single that scored Meyers. Dom Berardi walked and after an out moved them over to 2nd and 3rd, Doug Conner drove them both in with a single, ending the scoring for the day and the Bronx Warriors chances for winning the Tournament.

We congratulate the entire team and coaching staff who worked hard and performed admirably in taking home the crown!

New York Nine Memorial Day Tournament

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