In what can only be described as unbelievably exciting baseball, the Syosset Woodbury Yankees split a doubleheader with the Bethpage Rebels winning the first game 3-2 in extra innings and losing the night cap 2-1 in extra innings.
In the first game marked by flawless fielding and outstanding pitching, there was no score after three innings with Jonathan Doyle matching zeroes with the Bethpage pitcher. Bethpage broke up the scoreless dual in the top of the fourth and added an insurance run in the top of the sixth. In the bottom of the sixth, Ari Chaskes led off with a walk. Jason Beck followed with a single and cleanup hitter Doyle knocked them both in to tie the score and force extra innings.
In the top of the seventh Chaskes (in his third inning on the mound) held the Rebels scoreless. The go ahead run was left stranded on third with the help of some fine defensive work by catcher Zack Schwartz who caught what looked like a mile high pop up directly over the catcher's head (leave this to the professionals; don't try this at home; it is not easy) and left fielder Ben Feder who caught a difficult fly ball with his patented Willie Mays style catch.
In the bottom of the seventh, rookie Jared "JB" Blech led off with a walk. Ian Berg also worked out a walk to put runners on first and second with one out. Blech then stole third, followed by Berg stealing second. Then with two outs Beck lined a game-winning single over the center fielder's head scoring Blech from third who punctuated the win by jumping on home plate. Yankees win 3-2.
The second game was one of those games that you had to see to believe. After the flawless fielding of the first game, the Rebel's first two batters reached base on errors. Their third hitter singled to give the Rebels a 1-0 lead. After a double steal the Rebels had runners on second and third with nobody out and the game was on the verge of getting out of hand. Then the Yankees employed some great strategy (it is always great strategy when it works) and some timely fielding to take control of the situation. The Yankees elected to intentionally walk the Rebels' cleanup hitter to load the bases and create a force play at the plate. The next batter hit a grounder back to Yankee pitcher Beck who threw the ball to catcher Matthew Avidon who threw the ball to first baseman Doyle for a 1-2-3 double play (that's pitcher to catcher to first base for those laymen readers). The next batter grounded to shortstop Berg to end the inning. One run scored; major damage averted.
The game stayed 1-0 until the sixth but never a dull moment in this game. There was Chaskes' diving catch of a foul pop up in the third and Avidon throwing out a runner attempting to steal third in the fifth but then there was the bizarre play in the fourth inning. The Rebels got a lead off triple. With no one out and a runner on third he attempted to steal home. Catcher Avidon made a perfect flip to the pitcher Beck who was covering the plate for what seemed like an easy out. The runner, however, took his cue from a Jackie Chan movie and did a forward flip over Beck in an attempt to avoid the tag. It did not work and the runner was out but it looked really good.
The Yankees tied the score with two outs in the top of the sixth (Feder scored the tying run) and left the go ahead run on third. They held the Rebels in the bottom of the sixth to force another extra inning game. In the top of the seventh, Yankees captain (for the first game) Dom Caputo was left stranded on first after a two-out single.
The game ended in the bottom of the seventh in a way that only this game could have ended. The first batter reached on an error. He got thrown out at second by now right fielder Avidon. Then with two outs and the bases loaded, and captain (for the game) Aiden Albano warming up in the bullpen, the winning run scored on a perfectly placed pop up behind second base. Two great games.
The Yankees have had players from Jericho, Oyster Bay, Syosset, Woodbury and New Jersey (Hoo is from NJ); there are no residence requirements. You can live anywhere as long as you can make the practices and the games.
To be eligible the player must have been born after April 30, 1996, must play competitive baseball, and must have families who recognize the commitment but understand the priorities.
The Yankees will be adding a player or two this summer. If you are interested in being considered you should send an email to email@example.com.