Under weather conditions more fitting for an outdoor ice hockey game with accompanying penguins, the Teaneck Under-8 Baseball All-Stars defeated the Rockland Stars in their first round, single elimination playoff match on November 2 in Pomona, New York. The game took place at the Herb Reisman Recreation Center off Route 45 in Rockland County. The facility is a beautiful state-of-the-art complex that provided the teams with everything they could want for the game–except baseball weather conditions! Most of the game was played under the lights with wind chills sending temperatures below freezing for large parts of the contest. Under the frosty conditions, Teaneck came up with an unexpected barrage of runs (14 in four innings), hits (10) and walks (10) to decisively defeat their hosts by a 14-3 score. Teaneck pitchers Zev Weiner and Ryan Buchsbayew were in control all the way. But the hitting show put on by Teaneck was the most impressive part of the game.
Isaac Kantowitz, who has recently solidified the leadoff spot, got on base every time he batted and ended the contest with 2 hits, 2 HBP and one RBI. Ryan Buchsbayew, similarly, got on base all four of his appearances with 2 hits, a walk, an HBP and 2 RBIs. Noam Eckman, batting third, drove in two runs in Teaneck’s 5-run first inning. Zev Weiner capped a 4-run fourth inning with a 3-run triple to right field. Eyal Kinderlehrer was walked three times and his late inning defensive plays at 1st base kept Rockland from getting back in the game. Ezra Berkowitz knocked in a run in Teaneck’s 5-run second inning and was also hit by a pitch. Centerfielder Akiva Rotenberg, continuing his recent rebound at the plate, had two RBI singles and a walk in his plate appearances. Liev Wolin walked three times as well and had an RBI. Rafi Wall’s walk with the bases loaded forced in a run in the 1st. Aron Major and Ben Rose provided solid fielding for the winners.
In a game played under such frigid conditions, it is rare to see the kind of offensive outburst that Teaneck achieved. Every hit and foul ball stung mercilessly, but our boys shrugged off such inconveniences. Five runs in each of the first two innings essentially ended the game, only the final score being in doubt.
Full marks to the Teaneck players, coaches and parents who all came up “swinging,” stamping their feet, not to mention huddling to keep as warm as they could. It will be a long time before those who participated and attended forget this icy Teaneck victory!
By Joe Rotenberg