New York Nine Scout Team Wins NABF Senior Division World Series

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The opening game of the NABF Senior Division World Series at the beautiful Bob Cene Complex saw the Nine take on Means Transformers out of Saginaw, Michigan. In the top of the first the Nine got runners on first and second but couldn’t punch them in. The Nine sent Claudio Rodriguez to the mound in the opening game, but Means got out to an early lead on a three base error and a single. After another single got the runner to third, an RBI ground out gave Means an early 2-0 lead. In the Nine once again got guys on first and second via two walks, but couldn’t put a run on the scoreboard. After a quick bottom of the second for Rodriguez, the Nine opened the top of the third with a Griffin Arnone single, a Reynaldo Angeles walk and a sac bunt error to load the bases. Justin Peralta came through on a 2-2 count, clearing the bases on a gaper to right center. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Peralta scored on a Colm O’Shea ground out to put the Nine up 4-0. The Nine would add one more run in the inning on a John Garcia walk and a Colin Diez RBI single scoring Garcia. After another quick inning for Rodriguez in the bottom of the third, Angeles and Joey Vitiello walked to give Peralta another chance to drive runs in and he delivered. Peralta doubled again to right center driving in both runners and giving the Nine a 7-2 lead. The teams would trade zeros until the top of the sixth when Jesse Spellman used his speed to beat out an infield single before Albery Pichardo laced a pitch just past the center fielder and raced around the bases for an inside the park home run. The Means Transformers added a run in the bottom of the sixth on a double, a hbp, a passed ball and a sac fly. After a single put runners on the corners, Garcia threw the ball into left field allowing Means fourth run to score. The Nine would add a 10th run when JC Morillo singled home Garcia and Rodriguez would shut the door in the seventh giving the Nine the 10-4 win.

Later that night in the prime time game, the Nine would play the local Creekside Fitness. Creekside was anything but local as they finished runner-up twice in the past six years in the Senior Division and have won the Junior Division Championship twice in the past seven years. The Nine started the game loud and full of energy and started the top of the first with a Griffin Arnone walk followed by a Rey Angeles ground ball double to left sending Arnone to third. Albery Pichardo got the run in on a 1-0 ground out to put the Nine up 1-0. Starter Joe Wozny quickly dispatched Creekside in the bottom of the first on 11 pitches including a strikeout to end the inning. The top of the inning started with a fly ball double by JC Morillo followed by Cesar Devarez reaching on a fielders choice. During John Garcia’s walk, the Creekside starter balked Morillo home and Devarez to second. After a double steal by Devarez and Garcia, Phil Li hit an infield single to short, driving in Devarez and advanced Garcia to third, who scored on a throwing error by the SS. Rey Angeles followed that up with a ground ball single to left and Pichardo drove in Li on a ground ball single to left, knocking the starter out of the game. This didn’t slow the Nine down with Joey Vitiello singling home Angeles on a ground ball to left. The final run of the inning came on yet another ground ball single to left, this time by Morillo giving the Nine a 7-0 lead. Wozny once again made quick work of Creekside, inducing three groundouts, this time on 10 pitches. The Nine could muster nothing in the top of the third, going down in order. The bottom of the third saw Wozny dispatch Creekside on nine pitches, on two ground outs and a strikeout. In the top of the fourth, the Nine went down quickly in order. The bottom of the fourth saw Wozny lose command of the strike zone walking the first batter, hitting the second and walking the third to load the bases. Wozny got out ahead 1-2 before walking in a run to make it 7-1. Wozny recovered to strike out the next batter. On a 1-0 count, John Garcia tried to pick the runner off third but threw it into left field and all runners advanced. On the next pitch, Wozny threw a wild pitch scoring another run, which prompted a pitching change to Tyler D’Amico. D’Amico threw 2 balls to complete the walk, which put runners on the corners with 1 out and the score 7-3. D’Amico made quick work of the next 2 batters, striking both of them out. Both teams were losing energy and traded zeroes the rest of the game. Christian Urbina finished off the game after walking the ninth batter and giving up a flare single to left with a flyout, striking out the third hitter and getting the clean up batter to softly line out to first giving the Nine the second win of the day and tournament.

After the previous nights opening ceremonies, the Nine had an early 9 am game vs Team Ontario Astros. Incoming Hofstra RHP, Bryce Martino toed the slab for the Nine and breezed through the first 2 innings before running into trouble in the top of the third. Martino allowed a leadoff bunt single before a sac bunt put the runner at second. The next hitter hit a long triple to center scoring the games first run and immediately followed that up with a squeeze bunt single to third scoring the Astros second run. Martino quickly got out of the inning without any more damage done. The Nine opened up the bottom of the third with Phil Li reaching on an error by the SS. Griffin Arnone followed with a HBP. During Rey Angeles at bat, Li reached third and Arnone reached second on a throwing error by the pitcher trying to pick off Li. Angeles then reached on a fielders choice to shortstop, with Li scoring. Albery Pichardo drove in Arnone on a ground ball single to left and advanced to second on an error by the left fielder. Cesar Devarez followed it up with an RBI single to right field. After a Devarez steal, Wilmer Polanco doubled him home on a line drive to left to put the Nine up 5-2. The Nine did not stop there as Polanco tagged up on a pop up to first and scored on a wild pitch during Jesse Spellman’s at bat, who then proceeded to hit a fly ball double to left center. After another wild pitch advanced Spellman to third, Colin Diez hit an line drive RBI single to center. After Li flied into a forceout, Arnone singled to the SS and Angeles singled on a pop fly to first, scoring Li and Arnone on a throwing error by the 1B, which would be the final run of the inning, putting the Nine up 9-2. Martino only needed 9 pitches to get through the top of the fourth before the Nine bats got going again in the bottom of the inning. The inning started with 2 walks by Polanco and John Garcia before Spellman reached on an error by the right fielder to load the bases. Li then walked in a run before the Astros made a pitching change. On 1-1 count, Arnone smoked a line drive to right for an inside the park home run to put the Nine up 14-2. It wasn’t the end of the inning, however, with Pichardo walking and Eury Vazquez singling Pichardo to third. The Nine showed great patience with the score at 14-2 with Polanco, Garcia and Spellman all walking to make the score 16-2. Pinch hitter Joe Wozny finished the game with a fly ball double to left scoring two making the final score 18-2.

With the Stark County Terriers losing late the previous day, the New York Nine won the pool and rested some players for the quarter-finals. The first inning saw both teams trade zeros with Nine starter Ray Winter throwing only 12 pitches. The second inning saw the Terriers lead off with a single and a double and on a missed catch error by catcher Cesar Devarez, the Terriers took the lead 1-0. The next batter promptly singled in another a run on a ground ball to center. After a bases loaded walk to make the score 3-0, Winter got a foul pop up to first to end the inning. The bottom of the second saw the Nine go down quickly. In the top of the third, the Terriers had a 1 out triple and a sac fly to put them up 4-0 before Winter got the strikeout to end the inning. The Nine went down quietly in the bottom of the third and the fourth saw the Terriers put the game out of reach with a single, walk, single, single, single, error, walk, walk and the score was 9-0 after the half inning. The Terriers would tack on six more runs to make the final score 14-0. For the first time at Bob Cene Complex, a player played all nine positions in the same game when Cesar Devarez accomplished the feat when he went to the mound on the top of the sixth inning.

With the top seed in the pool, the Quarter-Finals saw the Nine play against Diamond Hit Club, who the Nine barely escaped last year by the score of 4-3. The Nine sent Colm O’Shea to the mound to face the Hit Club and he got through the top of the first cleanly. In the bottom of the first, on a 2-1 count, Griffin Arnone hit a leadoff triple on a line drive to right field. Reynaldo Angeles would follow with a sac fly to left scoring the games first run. The top of the second fell apart for the Nine. It started with a four pitch walk and a strikeout. Then followed up with a seeing eye single to left field and a slow roller single to SS to load the bases. O’Shea then get a strikeout for the second out, but hit the next batter to score a run and tie the game. O’Shea looked to be out of the inning on the next batter, but on the ground ball to Phil Li, who muffed it and another run scored. Hit Club capitalized on this error with a two run ground ball single to center to make the score 4-1 before a ground out to third ended the inning. The Nine would get 2 on from a John Garcia HBP and a Phil Li catcher’s interference before the bottom of the second fizzled out. O’Shea rebounded in the third to throw a 1, 2, 3 inning with two strikeouts. The bottom of the third saw the Nine once again get two runners on from an Angeles HBP and a JC Morillo single before failing to cash in. The fourth saw both teams trade zeroes. The top of the fifth started with a walk and then the Nine brought in lefty Colin Diez to get through the inning, which he did with a caught stealing, strikeout and flyout. The bottom of the fifth saw Albery Pichardo start it off with a one out ground ball single to third base and advanced to third on a pickoff throwing error by the pitcher. Morillo was hit by a 3-1 pitch to put runners on the corners. On a 1-0 pitch to Wilmer Polanco, Morillo stole second and Polanco loaded the bases on a walk for pinch hitter Cesar Devarez. On a 1-2 count, Morillo drew a pickoff throw which went into centerfield, scoring Pichardo and advancing everyone a base to make the score 4-2. Devarez then hit a hustle infield single placed perfectly to the pitchers right to make the score 4-3. Pinch runner Alejandro Soler stole second base on a 1-0 count followed by a John Garcia RBI single to third to tie the game. On an 0-2 count to Jesse Spellman, the Hit Club pitcher tried to pick off Garcia, but threw the ball into CF allowing Soler to score the go ahead run. On the next pitch, Spellman drove a long double to right center field putting the Nine ahead 6-4, but was thrown out trying to advance to third. Phil Li started it up again with a ground ball single to right and Arnone followed it up with a fly ball single to right, which scored Li on a fielding error by the right fielder to make it 7-4 and end the scoring for the Nine. The first pitch of the top of the sixth was a long triple to left. After a Diez strikeout, Hit Club was able to drive him home with a sac fly to left, but Diez closed out the inning with a strikeout. After a quiet bottom six for the Nine, the Hit Club lead off the top of the seventh with a double but Diez got a quick pop up before getting the next two batters to strike out looking to end the game and advance to the semi-finals to face the hometown, pre-tournament favorites, Astro Falcons.

The Astro Falcons sent Youngstown State commit Bryce Warwick to the mound against the Nine, while the Nine countered with Ulster commit Robert Bradley. The Nine started off fast with an Griffin Arnone walk, a line drive single to right by Angeles and a bunt single to third by Albery Pichardo to load the bases for JC Morillo. On a 2-1 count, Morillo hit a ground ball single to left scoring the game’s first run. On a Peralta strikeout, everyone advanced one base on a wild pitch, scoring a run to put the Nine up 2-0. Bradley made quick work of the Falcons in the bottom of the first with two strikeouts. In the top of the second the Nine were able to take advantage of a couple of miscues from the Falcons. It started with John Garcia reaching on an error by the shortstop and followed by a Joey Vitiello walk to put runners on first and second. Phil Li sac bunted, but the 2B missed first base and Li was safe to load the bases for Griffin Arnone. Arnone showed his patience and walked on four pitches and giving the Nine a 3-0 lead. After a force out at home plate by Angeles, Pichardo singled on the ground to left field scoring Li and Arnone and giving the Nine a five run lead. The bottom of the second saw the Falcons get a leadoff single to center, but Bradley quickly shut the door including two swinging strikeouts. In the top of the third, the Nine went down in order. The bottom of the frame saw the Falcons get a one out walk and moved along to second on a ground out before a fly ball single to right drove him in for the Astros sole run of the inning. The Nine immediately responded with a 1 out single to the shortstop by Phil Li and a walk by Arnone. Rey Angeles then hit a line drive single to center scoring Li and putting the Nine up 6-1. The teams traded zeros the rest of the game with no threats to score by either team and Bradley finishing up the game on a lazy fly ball to right field sending the Nine to the Championship game to meet Creekside Fitness. Bradley finished with six strikeouts and one walk in his complete game.

With the Championship game being New York Nine vs Creekside Fitness, three of the final four teams were from the same pool, with Means Transformers being the other team. The game started off with Griffin Arnone reaching on an error by the 2b and Rey Angeles singling on a line drive to left field with Arnone thrown out trying to advance to third. Albery Pichardo followed with a ground ball single to left and JC Morillo loaded the bases with a fly ball single to right. This brought up Justin Peralta, who drove a 2-2 pitch over the right fielder’s head for a bases clearing triple. On a Wilmer Polanco walk, Peralta scored on a wild pitch, giving the Nine a 4-0 lead before Tyler D’Amico had to throw a pitch. In the bottom of the first, Creekside got a player to third on a HBP and a throwing error by John Garcia, but D’Amico got the fourth hitter to ground out, ending the threat. The teams traded zeroes in the second with D’Amico striking out the side on 12 pitches. The Nine went quickly in the third but Creekside mounted a rally in their half of the third. With one out, Creekside singled on a fly ball to center and the leadoff hitter reached on a fielders choice to first. Their All Tournament two hitter hit a fly ball single to right to load the bases with one out. D’Amico got a first pitch line out to third and on a 2-1 count got the clean up hitter to ground into a force out to end the threat. In the fifth inning the Nine mounted a threat on a one out Arnone line drive single to right, Angeles line drive single to left and Pichardo walk to load the bases for Morillo, who struck out swinging and Peralta grounded out to end the threat. The sixth inning saw the top of the Creekside lineup come up again and their two hitter led off with a line drive single to center, followed by a line drive single to right. But that’s all Creekside could muster in the inning as D’Amico got the next three batters with a strikeout, flyout and a strikeout. The Nine tacked an insurance run on when Arnone singled on a ground ball to the shortstop and pinch hitter Colm O’Shea drove a double to right center to score Arnone giving the Nine a 5-0 lead and 3 outs away from the National Championship. D’Amico got a first pitch foul pop up to Garcia and a second pitch pop up to Joey Vitiello leaving the Nine one out away from their first NABF World Series Championship. And on a 2-2 count, D’Amico got the swing and miss and the Nine won the NABF National Championship. The 5-0 score was the first shutout in a Senior Division Championship Game since 2008 and only the third since 1981. Tyler D’Amico won MVP with 9.2 innings, 15 strikeouts, 1 walk, 5 hits and no runs allowed.

Tournament Notes:

Reynaldo Angeles Jr. led the team in batting average with .471 and tied for the team lead in hits with 8
Griffin Arnone led the team in on base percentage with .542, slugging percentage with .667 and runs scored with 9. He tied for the team lead in walks with 5
Albery Pichardo tied for the team lead in hits with 8
John Garcia tied for the team lead in walks with 5 and saw 5.4 pitches per plate apperance
Justin Peralta led the team in RBI with 8
Cesar Devarez led the team in stolen bases with 3 and played all nine position in one game
-The team scored 53 runs total, averaging 7.57 per game and hit .291/.406/.401 for the tournament
Tyler D’Amico led the team in IP (9.2) and K (15)
-Outside of the 14-0 loss, Nine pitching and defense gave up 2.14 runs per game
-The Nine threw 4 complete games including the mercy shortened game