July 10, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

TBO Caps a Perfect Season With a Thriller

It’s the play that every kid dreams about when he or she is throwing the baseball around the backyard.

The setup: On November 15, 2015, Teaneck Baseball Organization’s 12U travel team played the Stony Point Patriots for the PBI 12U 46/60 Fall Baseball League Championship at Clubhouse Field in Votee Park. TBO was leading 6-4 in the top of the sixth inning, and Stony Point was up to bat with the bases loaded and two outs. Stony Point’s batter hit a single to right field. One run came into score, and the tying runner rounded third and charged home. Akiva Boyarsky, TBO’s right fielder, picked up the ball and fired a perfect strike to catcher Natan Solomon at home, who turned and applied a perfect tag on the sliding runner for the third out to end the rally and the game. TBO completed a perfect, undefeated season with a 6-5 victory and a jubilant on-field celebration.

The game lived up to its billing, as the top two teams in the league squared off for the championship game. The 12U team, as they have been all season, were up to the task, with incredible pitching, clutch hitting and great plays in the field. Eli Zaretzky started the game for TBO and, as he had done all season, turned in a masterful performance, going four innings while giving up only one hit and striking out nine. Netanel Eckman pitched the last two innings for the save, standing tall as the game got tense and holding off a furious rally by Stony Point to preserve the win.

It was close for the first four innings; both starting pitchers were close to perfect early on. TBO left fielder Aaron Epstein helped keep the game scoreless in the third inning, when he threw a bullet to home plate to keep a Stony Point runner at third base from scoring after a single to left field. Things stayed tense in the scoreless game until the bottom of the fourth, when Yis Kaminetzky and Solomon hit back to back singles. TBO was finally able to break through when Abie Schwartz ripped a single to the outfield, scoring both runners and putting TBO up 2-0.

Stony Point then scored three runs in the top of the fifth to go up 3-2. But this TBO team would not be held down; they immediately responded in the bottom of the fifth inning. Zaretzky reached base on a fielder’s choice, and then stole second and third. Joey Zelig then came up and legged out an infield single that brought Zaretzky home and tied the score at 3. Eckman followed with a single, and some excellent baserunning by both players put them on second and third with only one out. The heads up baserunning paid off, as Zelig came home five pitches later on a wild pitch, and Kaminetzky brought home Eckman on a single to make it 5-2. Kaminetzky then stole second base and came home to score on an overthrow of third base when he stole third to make the score 6-3. Stony Point scored one more run in the top of the sixth inning bringing the score to 6-4, which brought the team to that amazing throw at the end of the game by Boyarsky, sealing the win and closing the books on an incredible season—a season that saw the TBO 12U team go a perfect 8-0 in the regular season, along with a victory in the semifinals against Fort Lee by mercy rule with a score of 12-1 in four innings.

All season long, the team won every game though a combined group effort of sterling play and amazing sportsmanship both on and off the field. The undefeated season was due to a tremendous effort by every single member of the team (most of whom have been playing together on the same team in both summer and fall travel leagues since they were eight-year-olds in the summer of 2011): Akiva Boyarsky, Netanal Eckman, Aaron Epstein, Yis Kaminetzky, Abie Schwartz, Natan Solomon, Yair Wall, Caleb Wolin, Eli Zaretzky and Joey Zelig. Each boy contributed to a magical season. Coaches Chaim Schwartz, Adam Wall and Ari Eckman guided the boys with great skill and sportsmanship.

This was TBO’s sixth championship in the PBI Fall Baseball League since 2003, and the first championship for this talented team. TBO also congratulates the 8U and 13U teams, which both reached the championship games in their respective leagues. TBO takes great pride in all of its players, coaches and families that participate in the recreational and travel seasons, looks forward with great excitement to the 2016 TBO recreational season, which is just around the corner (after a bit of winter and snow, of course). Registration for the spring 2016 season is already underway. For more information or to register visit www.teaneckbaseball.org.

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