In late May, thirty of Teaneck Baseball Organization’s best players showed up at Clubhouse to try out for the eight and under summer travel team. It was a difficult job for the coaches to select a twelve man team with one alternate. The plan for the team was to play three games a week and practice three times a week. Thank G-d for shabbos..
The practices began in early June, as soon as the kids finished their regular TBO League season. The first game of the year was at Elmwood Park and the parents, grandparents and friends showed up in large numbers to root the team on. The support by the parents and grand parents at both home and away games was greatly appreciated by the kids and the coaches. The result of the game was a victory for TBO by a score of 21- 9, led by Ori Engel, who had three hits and seven runs batted in. Eli Rothenberg also had a three hit evening and Jack Ruditzky and Ezra Halpert chipped in with a pair of hits each as TBO, totaled sixteen hits.
Game two of the season was the home opener, and was a close game with Teaneck Southern prevailing over TBO 2-0. Michael Green got the only hit of the game for TBO, and would continue hitting all season, as Michael would go on to get a hit in every game except the last. The only reason he did not get a hit in the last game is because his mother made him go to visiting day to visit his sister.
Following the loss to Teaneck Southern, TBO would go on to lose 2 of the next three games. Game three of the season was a 7-4 victory over Paterson. Zachary Gibber and Jack Ruditzky both had multi-hit games and for the third game in a row Rafi Suss pitched and outstanding game. However, game four was the low point of the season with Paramus drubbing TBO by the score of 15-0. Then, game five marked TBO’s first two game losing streak suffering a defeat at the hands of Wayne PAL.
The next game proved to be both the turning point of the season and a very memorable game. It looked like the losing streak was going to stretch to three games with Ramsey leading 10-5 in the fifth inning of a sixth inning game. The bases were loaded and Eitan Adler roped a three run double to right field to make it 10-8. The sixth inning saw TBO tie the game with an RBI by both Suss and Engel. Ramsey got a run in the top of the seventh and TBO tied the game on an Ari Gilad RBI that plated Adler. In the top of the eighth Ramsey scored twice more, but the never say die TBO team once again tied the game on RBIs by Halpert and Adler. Ramsey pushed a run across in the top of the ninth, but the marathon finally ended when Rothenberg, who had pitched three plus innings of strong relief to keep TBO in the game, knocked in the deciding run in a 15-14 victory.
This game opened the flood gates and a five game winning streak. A 16-11 victory over Upper Saddle River featured Jordy Sheinfeld and Moshe Keiser’s first RBIs of the season. Next up was Rochelle Park and another victory for TBO, 17-2, in which Noam Kornwasser, Green and Keiser had two hits apiece. Strong pitching was turned in by Ruditzky and Suss, as well. Game four in the winning streak was a 12-0 victory over Hasbrouck Heights. Three TBO pitchers Ruditzky, Suss and Gilad combed on a no hitter and alternate Joshua Markovitz played his first game and chipped in with a hit and an RBI. The fifth and last game in the winning streak was a 10-3 game against Ramsey Gold. The offense was led in this game by Gibber and Sheinfeld who had two RBIs each, while Green and Suss had a pair of hits each.
With a 7-3 record TBO traveled down to Wood-Ridge to play an undefeated team. The final score of 3-2 defeat does not do justice for just how exciting the game was. TBO scored two in the top of the first on RBIs by Gibber and Ruditzky that drove in Green and Rothenberg. Suss pitched a great game behind some tremendous defense. The highlight play of the game occurred with the bases loaded and the infield in. A hard smash was hit to third, Rothenberg made a great backhanded play and threw home to get the lead runner and prevent a run from scoring. Additionally, Ruditzky made several solid plays at short and Sheinfeld and Kornwasser both made nice running catches in the outfield to keep the game close.
After the game was over the team was sitting in a circle in the outfield with the coaches and players reviewing the game and the coaches offered the kids a choice. We had just played four games in five nights and the team was given a choice, practice or take a well-deserved night off. To a man the team said lets practice. That was when the coaches knew it was a successful summer because both goals had been met. All the players on the team improved their skills and obviously they were having a good time.
The last game of the year was a victory over Maywood by a score of 12-9. The team finished the regular season with an 8-4 record and a third place finish in the standings. All that was left was the end of the season pizza party, which was sponsored by super fan Perry Langert. It was great to see all of the boys enjoy both the pizza and each others company. Special thanks to Head coach Norm Blumenthal who put in many hours with the team all season long to ensure it was successful.
Now on to the playoffs!!!