Rebels Sweep Final 3-game Series for NJBL Fall Title to Close 2011 Season

Posted by Mike Conry on Nov 07 2011 at 11:26AM PST in 2011 Fall

North Bellmore, NY – The NBNM Rebels defeated the Garden City Titans 9-5 on Saturday, and 4-3 and 9-0 in a Sunday double-header season finale. The Rebels improved their NJBL American Division record to 12-1 and secured the title, their third NJBL championship in 2011. The clean sweep put the final touches on a solid ‘one-defeated’ ‘fall ball’ campaign with the Rebels finishing 18-1 overall.

In each of the past weekend’s games, the Rebels jumped out to early leads. They featured typically good pitching and defense. Jack Delaney, Alec Acri, Nick Valeriano, Michael Proios, Brian Porricelli and Kevin McCleneghan got it done on the mound. The defense made all the plays including a number of DPs shared by middle infielders Delaney and Acri. While the bats were just good enough in the first two games, the final game featured hits throughout the Rebels lineup including impressive dingers from Proios and Porricelli (2).

The strong finish put an exclamation point on a storied season.

The Rebels collected the following titles in 2011:
- NJBL Spring League Champs
- NJBL Memorial Day Tournament Champs
- Williamsport District Champs
- Williamsport Section Champs
- South Shore Tournament Champs
- Baseball Heaven Columbus Day Wood Bat Tournament Champs
- NJBL Fall League Champs

NBNM came off a winter of hard work on offensive skills as the spring league unfolded. Key accomplishments in the spring were establishment of a new rivalry with Elwood as well as gaining the upper hand against an old rival from Little League district 31, Massapequa Coast. The effects of these things would work into the upcoming Memorial Day and Williamsport tournaments. A 14-4-1 record was good enough for the top spot in the NJBL spring league.

The success in the Memorial Day tourney in the “Red Division” of top Long Island 11U talent set the tone for the season. The results of the team’s off-season efforts were in full effect and the Rebels established themselves among the best in Long Island as they ran through this one, submitting Elwood by run-rule 16-4 in the semis and easily handling the LI Breakers 9-1 in the final to complete a perfect 5-and-0 run.

The Rebels looked strong coming into the summer season.

Their compelling 11-2 effort through Williamsport, including a 10-and-0 streak through the District and Section (LI) — and even the disappointing result at the States — provided thrills, priceless experience, personal bonds, and lifetime memories. The plaque on the barn at Gunther Field and the pending sign on Bellmore Avenue immortalize this accomplishment that had eluded North Bellmore North Merrick Little League for over a decade.

Despite nursing a bit of a Williamsport hangover, the Rebels next had a relatively easy time running the table, 5-0, in the South Shore Tournament.

With expectations of raising the bar of competition, the team from North Bellmore North Merrick LL headed down to “Sports at the Beach” in Rehoboth, DE for the Labor Day Bash. The Rebels jumped out to a pretty good start with a 3-0 record including a quarter-final play-off victory but got bounced in the semis by a Delaware Liberty team that jumped out to a big, early lead from which the Rebels didn’t recover.

While that wasn’t the way the team would have liked to close the summer, they would not be deterred from their path of continual improvement.

The highlight of ‘fall ball’ was the Columbus Day Tourney where the Rebels played exceptional baseball against top competition and dispatched every one by a combined score of 40-2 in their 6-0 run. And the highlight of that tournament was the epic battle with the Bronx Bombers in the championship game that saw an incredible and beautifully played 0-0 tie through eleven innings before the Rebels took the title in the twelfth.

Finally, as a result of playing consistently fine baseball over the course of eight weeks, the Rebels took care of business in the NJBL fall league with a terrific 14-1 effort and another championship.

In coming out on top of 7 of 9 contests in which they participated this year, the Rebels amassed a combined record of 53-9-1 (.841). Of their 53 victories, 22 were by shut-out while the Rebels were never themselves a shut-out victim in 2011.

2011 saw 4 more Rebels players hit their first homerun.

This season was a major stepping stone in the continuing evolution and growth of this team. This was the season where many folks saw first-hand and truly believed the things this little league all-star team, most in their 4th year together, is capable of.

There was great off-field success in 2011, as well. This was the first season of fund-raising where successful efforts like the Cooperstown Concession and next week’s Night at the Races demonstrated the effort and commitment of the entire Rebels family.

It is all testament to the dedication and will of everyone involved in this program, especially the players, the generous and supportive parents the players are so lucky to have, the coaches, and a very special manager.

I’m sure everyone is looking forward to the off-season and the refocusing and rejuvenation it provides. But I’m also certain that we’re all anxiously anticipating a 2012 12U season that could provide even more magic than 2011.


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