May 24, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

TBO Team “Back to Health Physical Therapy” Has Nail-Biter Semifinal Win

Back to Health Physical Therapy was in dead last for most of the season, winning only three games. They entered the playoffs as the 6 seed (out of 7). While playoffs began, a new energy overtook the team. Led by their coaches, Steve Pudell, Mordy Simpson and Ari Mermelstien, the team started to gel.

In the first round of the playoffs, they played the number 3 seed and were able to pull off an amazing 6-1 win. The semis were set up to be a difficult battle against a very strong Teaneck Doghouse team, who entered the playoffs as the number 2 seed. It turned out to be an epic, nail-biter game. BTH struck first with scoring 3 runs in the top of the first. Gavriel Pudell’s pitching was excellent, but by the end of the second inning, the Doghouse team was able to tack on 2 runs with good hitting and base running. Liam Levy and catcher Yis Kaminetsky made an outstanding play by throwing out the tying run at the plate to end the inning.

Entering the top of the third inning, the showdown between the two pitching aces, Liam Levy for Back to Health and David Gellis for the Doghouse, began—each available to pitch a full four innings for this game. Gellis blew through the lineup with 3 consecutive strikeouts for a quick 3 outs. Now it was pitching ace Liam Levy’s turn. His pitching was stellar and he mowed down the batters for 2 outs, but Shimon Staum was able to come around on a fastball and smacked a line drive homerun over the centerfield wall to tie up the game to 3-3.

At the top of the 4th, Back to Health’s David Matheson hit a solid single off of Gellis and then stole 2nd and 3rd. Gavriel Pudell had a clutch RBI hit and Matheson scored to give Back to Health a 4-3 lead. With 2 outs, and a man on first base, power hitter David Gellis came up to the plate. He crushed the first pitch, a high fastball, out of the park, smashing the top of the scoreboard at the clubhouse for a two run home run. Even though it was a clear night, a passerby on the running track thought he heard thunder when the ball hit the scoreboard. Now the score was 5-4 in favor of Teaneck Doghouse.

But the resilient Back to Health Physical Therapy team didn’t give up. In the top of the 5th, Liam Levy was up at bat with two outs. He helped himself out with a solid single off the hard throwing Gellis. He then stole 2nd and, although the ball was only two feet past second base, he brazenly stole 3rd as well. On the next pitch, which bounced off the catcher, he stole home to tie the game at 5-5. In the bottom of the 5th, Liam dialed up the heat on his fastball and didn’t allow any hits. In the top of the 6th, with the score tied at 5-5, Gavriel Pudell got on base with a hard hit grounder. He then stole second. Zachary Gibber came up to bat and smacked a hard grounder between third and short, scoring Pudell for the go-ahead run. Levy was able to hold off the bats of the Doghouse in the bottom of the 6th and BTH came away with the 6-5 win in a thrilling game that boasted amazing hitting and fielding by both teams. In addition to the above mentioned players, great defensive plays, hitting and baserunning throughout the playoffs were also made by: Uriel Simpson, Eitan Mermelstein, Elijah Mossberg, Binaymin Rubin, Ezra Becker, Dovid Reichman and Yakov Halstuch.

By Coach Mordy Simpson

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