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Syosset Baseball’s Memorial Weekend Recap

It seems only fitting that with all the rain this spring baseball season that the anticipation for the traditional Memorial Weekend baseball festivities would turn out favorable for the baseball world in Syosset with sunny skies, mild temperatures, great baseball and fun to be had by all.

The early morning game has become a tradition for Bagel Master of Syosset to get things started with complimentary bagels and coffee for the early risers to see their All-Stars play the first games of the day.

The weekend events kicked off on Saturday, May 23 with the 8-year-old Division All-Star games at 8:30 a.m. The games started off with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by The Star-Spangled Banner sung by Sara Ross and Michelle Mackonochie. First pitch honors went to head of Syosset Woodbury Park, Joe Ramos who’s responsible for maintaining the beautiful fields at Syosset Woodbury Park with his crew. Solid all around games from team Moon/ Banks/Ahearn to seal their shutout victory. Team Mayer/Deluca/ Friggi enjoyed 2-hit days from Anthony Friggi and Johnny Flanigan. Team Naughton/Alongi/ Yacavone also recorded a shutout game with scoreless innings pitched by Ryan Naughton, Jason Yacavone, David Alongi, Brandon Grundberg, Drew Cohen, Jason Yu and Andrew Lamston.

The traditional barbeque pit opened up by 10:30 a.m. at the conclusion of the 8-year-old games with complimentary hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelon, munchies and drinks courtesy of Syosset Baseball Association with the barbecue pit manned throughout the day by Syosset Baseball Board Association members. A cotton candy machine made its way onto the picnic area for everyone to enjoy as well as a dunk tank and moon bounce for the younger kids to enjoy the day while watching their siblings play in the various games.

Throughout the day, the Syosset entry for this year’s Cooperstown team was out and about selling candy and 50/50 raffles to raise money for their trip to Cooperstown in late July. Each year for the past 6 years, Syosset has sent a team of 12-year-olds to the Cooperstown Dreams Park tournaments held in Cooperstown, New York. Our team competes throughout the week against teams from all over the country including Hawaii and Alaska as well as entries from Canada.

At 10:45am, Quackerjack, The Long Island Ducks mascot arrived to join the festive morning, mingling with the crowd before the start of the 9-year-old division games. The Pledge of Allegiance was again led by Sara Ross followed by The Star-Spangled Banner. First pitch honors were given to Quackerjack as has become traditional for him to receive at the 9-year-old games. The colors were presented by John Nelson at the center of the 60’ Little League Field for everyone to pledge towards. With that, it was time for baseball. Team Fogelman and the Syosset South 9-year-old All-Stars went back and forth only to fall 10-6 to the North in game 1 led by Manager Team Deckner. A double play from Sapienza who caught a line drive at 3rd and throwing to Connell at 1st base who caught the lead running leading off first base. Jake Fogelman went 3 for 3 and Ethan Gruber 2 for 3. Logan Freedman was MVP for Team Deckner. Matt Tesoreiro went 2 for 2 with an RBI and 2 runs scored. In the second game, Team South defeated Team North by a 7-4 margin. MVP for the South was Eli Grossman, pitching a scoreless inning as well as a double, triple at 2 at bats. Spencer Mandelbaum went 2 for 2. MVP for the North was Tommy Rooney with 2 hits, 2 RBIs and a scoreless inning of pitching.

The special guest for the day, Hall of Fame Pitcher, Bob Feller arrived at 1 p.m. to enjoy the day with Syosset Baseball Association. At 90 years old, Mr. Feller was extremely accommodating to all he spoke with. Each child that met Mr. Feller enjoyed a souvenir Hall of Fame Autographed postcard to take home as a keepsake of meeting this extraordinary man. At 90 years old, Mr. Feller flew in from Cleveland to join us in Syosset for the afternoon. He had been extended an invitation from President Barack Obama to join President Obama at the White House for Memorial weekend as a 4-year Veteran of our armed forces. Mr. Feller accepted his invitation only to advise The President that he had a previously booked engagement with Syosset Baseball Association. Mr. Feller flew from Syosset to Washington D.C. to meet with President Obama on Sunday morning for breakfast. During his visit with us, he shared stories of his great baseball past along with reminiscing about the military with parents, grandparents and Mr. Gus Scutari who joins us each year to present the colors from our local Syosset Veterans of Foreign Wars organization.

Mr. Feller’s outstanding Hall of Fame career statistics were prominently displayed for all to see as well as take home pieces for those interested. His career stats include the only pitcher in Major League history to throw a no-hitter on Opening Day, 3 no hitters total, after serving 4 years in the Navy, striking out 348 batters his first year back as well as many other accomplishments which gave him the bestowed honor of being inducted into The National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

The 10-year-old group took to the fields at 1 p.m. with Mr. Feller throwing out the ceremonial first pitch as well as presenting the winning Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit and Run local winners with their winning ribbons. The AP Willits Chorus joined us for the Pledge of Allegiance and The Star-Spangled Banner. Team Ranges and the North was behind 4-0 to come back in the top of the 6th to take a 6-5 lead only to see the victory slip away to the South in the bottom of the sixth with the winning run crossing the plate with 2 outs. Team Machson vs Team Schuster in the other 10-year-old game ended fittingly in a 2-2 tie after 6 innings. Team Schuster’s highlights were Zach Comroe’s homerun and a solid triple by David Moyett to bring this game to a tie against Team Machson. Team Machson was led by Domenic Sciove and Mario Fasano.

The Major League Division game took center stage at 3:15 p.m. with ceremonial first pitch thrown out by Deacon Richard Murphy. This honor is bestowed upon Deacon Murphy each year for our Major League Division game as we take time to remember Brian Murphy, Deacon’s son, who we lost in our community and member of Syosset Baseball Association. Team Ott/Mitchnick/Persichilli defeated team Isler/Wergiles/Rosen by an 8-3 margin. Team Ott took at an early lead with 4 runs in the 1st and 3 in the 2nd holding on for the victory.

The AAA Division at 5:30 p.m., Team Turrell defeated Team Malone handily with Ryan Berlin the MVP for Team Malone. In the other AAA Division game, Team Kaplan tied Team Rosen with back and forth action throughout the game. Team Kaplan MVP Mike Hawkins enjoyed 2 hits, RBI and run scored and an inning pitched. Team Rosen’s team was highlighted by Christian’s home run in the 3rd inning. Daniel Newman enjoyed a single and double.

Last year we introduced an All-Star game for our Junior League Division, age 13 and our Senior League Division, ages 14-17. Again, this year our Juniors and Seniors were able to enjoy some time together playing for the fun of it.

The Juniors All-Star game pitted manager Brian Jolson’s American Leaguers vs Bob Mittleman’s National Leaguers. Jolson’s team jumped out to an early league before Mittleman’s team fought back. This nip and tuck game went back and forth ending in a 12-12 tie. MVP honors for the American League went to Matt Citron and National League MVP honors awarded to Corey Stein.

The Seniors All-Star game put on quite a show with managers John Fischer for the National League and Lance Moore for the American League fielding an exciting array of talented SBA 14-17 year olds. A pitchers duel between Phil Scarangella from the Nationals vs Dylan Jaloza from the Americans kept this game close, highlighted by a triple play.

The day’s games ended with the first annual Turnpike Challenge Cup games featuring All-Stars comprised of Syosset Baseball Association and Jericho Athletic Association players from the 9/10 year old divisions and 11/12 year old Divisions competing under the lights for a trophy that they will hold onto for 1 year until next year’s game.

The 9/10-year-old Syosset team took an early lead and went on to victory. The 11/12-year-old group had a back and forth nail bitter as Syosset led 6-3 going into the 6th inning. Jericho tied the score with a 3-run homer in the 6th inning over the left field fence. Syosset won the game in the bottom of the 7th inning to take home the victory.

A special thank you to all the Jericho Athletic Association Board members, managers, players and families for joining us on our Annual Memorial Day All-Star games and picnic and adding another dimension to this fun-filled day of baseball.

Thanks to Town of Oyster Bay Department of Parks and Recreation for all their help and support in keeping the grounds clean throughout the day and maintaining our beautiful fields.

Thank you to Bagel Master of Syosset for the coffee and bagels for the 8:30 a.m. 8-year-old division All-Star games.

Thanks to all the Syosset Baseball Association Board members who throughout the day kept the games flowing, barbecue pit fully stocked with food for all the families to enjoy, drinks and watermelon from our now famous board member Bill Lewis, our official watermelon cutter.

Thanks to the umpiring teams and scoreboard operators throughout the day to keep the games moving along.

The Syosset Fire Department and Mr. Ed Keenan for providing their services throughout the day in various capacities.

Special thanks to those groups presenting the colors for our Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthems as well as Sara Ross, Michelle Mackonochie and the AP Willits Chorus.

As we move forward into the final week of our intramural season, playoffs are under way to crown our champions in the Division A, AA, AAA, Majors, Juniors and Senior Divisions. It’s hard to believe that we’re talking about November, however trophies for these winning teams for the Divisions A through Majors will be awarded at the Annual Awards Dinner to be held at Crest Hollow Country Club on Monday, November 2nd.

Additionally, the AAA Division Champion will be honored at The Long Island Ducks game as part of Syosset Baseball Family night on Monday August 31st as Gary Carter’s Long Island Ducks take on Sparky Lyle’s Somerset Patriots. Tickets for this game have previously been announced and fliers distributed and e-mails sent. Tickets are $10.00 and are on a first come, first serve basis. Ticket fliers can be obtained by going to www.syossetbaseball.org, downloading the flier and mailing your ticket order in.

Events and information on Syosset Baseball Association can be found on www.syossetbaseball.org.