July 18, 2024
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July 18, 2024
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Highland Park Owls 14U Take on TBO

On a beautiful night for baseball under the glow of the lights at Overpeck Park the Highland Park Owls 14U team made their annual trek to Teaneck to face the TBO Red 14u travel team in an exhibition game. It really can be said that the matchup was a preview of the next four years of yeshiva high school baseball. With the combined squads representing future players for Frisch, MTA, TABC, JEC and Kushner it could be termed the yeshiva HS futures game.

David Greenberg, led his TBO Red squad (3-3 in NEBAS) against our Owls (8-4 overall, 5-2 Intercounty Babe Ruth and 3-2 NJYB) in a very evenly matched game. Highland Park sent JEC commit and Jewish Link Sportstar Jake Levine to the mound against TBO Jewish Link Sportstar Ryan Buchsbayew (Frisch) in a matchup that is sure to be repeated over the next few years.

The Owls got going early using their go-go style, turning two walks and three stolen bases into a 1-0 lead. Teaneck battled back, tying the game at 1-1 in the bottom half, capitalizing on some Owl early game miscues by pushing across Jared Reich (Frisch). The game settled in the second with Buchsbayew striking out his third and fourth Owls of the game sandwiched by an Elan Teitlebaum (Kushner) double that took a wicked hop over the head of Jewish Link Sportstar Joshie Rabitz (Frisch) at third.

JewishLink Sportstar Akiva Rotenberg (Frisch) took to the mound in the top of the third for TBO and used his dominating and darting fastball to get two quick outs before Netanel Renna (Frisch) worked a walk and came in three batters later on base loaded walk by Sam Blau (JEC). Again TBO battled back with Buchsbayew launching a leadoff double to the left field corner and scoring the tying run on an Isaac Kantowitz (MTA) groundout. Jason Gamss (Frisch) who was hit by a pitch came around with the go ahead run on an Abie Fields (Frisch) grounder. Down 3-2 the Owls responded, Yehuda Klavan (JEC) walked and Teitlebaum running for him stole second and third; Joey Cypess (JEC) also walked. Teitlebaum scored on a wild pitch and Cypess moved to second. After Rotenberg struckout Jewish Link Sportstar Sammy Levine (JEC), his twin brother Jake hit a grounder to second. Cypess was on the move and never stopped running, scoring to give the Owls a 4-3 lead.

The game then settled into a defensive battle with Jake Levine getting through a four pitch inning in the fourth, including one of Sammy Levine’s seven infield assists at short. The top of the fifth was highlighted by Buchsbayew again, this time playing catcher and snuffing out an Owls rally, throwing out Shlomo Golubchik (Heichal) at third as he tried to steal. Rabitz came into pitch for TBO in the sixth and was unhittable, striking out the side and ending the seventh by catching a line drive off the bat of his future Frisch teammate Renna.

In the bottom of the seventh the Owls stuck with Jake Levine who’d thrown only 79 pitches to that point. Joey Weisberg led off by legging out an infield hit and stole second advancing after a Reich groundout. Buchsbayew came to the plate and I went to the mound. “In another game I may have pulled Jake right there but, this is why we came to Teaneck for these boys to face each other in big spots.” Renna said, “I told Jake to imagine himself three years from now, playing for JEC in Columbus on the biggest stage in yeshiva high school baseball. Ryan is going to be that guy that you need to figure out how to get out with the game on the line. I also added, don’t get beat with your second best pitch.” Jake struck out Buchsbayew swinging to get the second out. Then Rotenberg came to the plate and tied the game at four with a single to right. Sammy Levine struck out the only batter he faced to end the game before the lights shut off. The teams gathered on the mound, distanced by a line of baseballs, for a group photo and then took part in a unique on field Maariv to close the evening.

A special thanks to Greenberg and his coaches who were wonderful hosts. We wish them all the best for the remainder of the season.

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