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Jericho 11- and 12-Year-Olds Win 2nd Annual Turnpike Challenge

The Jericho Little League 11- and 12-year-old All-Stars defeated the Syosset All-Stars by a score of 7-4 in the 2nd Annual Turnpike Challenge.

In a hard-fought game played under the lights at Syosset-Woodbury Park, Jericho overcame an early 4 run deficit to overtake an impressive team from Syosset. Matt Swickle started on the mound for Jericho and pitched well for the first two innings. Jason Bortnick was an early defensive star, with a fantastic throw from left field to throw out a runner at the plate in the second inning. Hunter Principe blocked the plate perfectly and after a double play, Syosset was kept off the scoreboard for the rest of the game.

Jason Marshall was the next pitcher for Jericho, and his three innings of scoreless relief allowed Jericho to get back in the game. Trailing 4-0 entering the bottom of the fourth inning, Matthew Masheb got the Jericho team started with a base hit to right and eventually scored on a hit by Donovan Condon. In the fifth inning, Ryan First and Sal Cammisuli reached base to get a rally started, and Dave Marmann delivered a clutch base hit to cut the deficit to one. Ryan Boico, Joey LaRosa and Marc Mittleman all achieved key walks, which helped Jericho take a 5-4 lead after 5 innings. Nico Doria pitched a scoreless sixth inning, helped by a key double play started by Josh Rothstein at first base. After Jericho pushed across two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth, Matt Herzog came on to shut down Syosset during the top of the seventh and seal the victory.

Although the game was played through some rain, it was an amazing night of baseball for all involved. The boys from both Syosset and Jericho displayed tremendous sportsmanship and the level of play was very high on both sides. Jericho will hold the trophy for one year until next year’s Turnpike Challenge to be played on Memorial Day weekend in May 2011.