News and Announcements
Elizabethtown, KY – Last week, the Long Island Prospects 14U team traveled over 800 miles to participate in the Athletx Youth Nationals tournament at Elizabethtown, Kentucky. With 92 teams from 20 states and Canada in attendance, the Nationals provided a week-long event comprising four days of pool play and two days of single-elimination play-offs.
When preliminary round match-ups with the Prospects were being discussed locally, some self-proclaimed tournament prognosticators were already offering opinions. “They won’t be any good,” the naysayers surmised, “they’re just a New York team.” Others may even have agreed. Until play began.
The ’Spects ran the table in pool play dispatching 2 teams from Texas as well as representatives from Illinois, Michigan and Florida.
As one of only two undefeated teams entering the play-offs, the Prospects’ 5-0 record against the greater strength-of-schedule garnered the #1 seed.
Long Island continued its undefeated run eliminating teams from Texas, Kentucky, and Georgia to set up Thursday night’s championship finale with the Panthers of Macomb Michigan. The game stood up to its billing of pitting the best of the 14U division.
After both teams put men on base but were held scoreless through the first two innings, the Prospects starting pitcher Chris Wasson yielded a lead-off walk in the top of the third. A single through the hole by the Panther’s Brian Naidus put two on with no outs but Wasson worked out of the jam getting the next three batters. In the bottom half, a walk, a hit and an error loaded the bases for Long Island. After falling behind 0-2, Jack Delaney worked a two-out base-on-balls to score Matt Conry for the game’s first run. After a scoreless fourth inning, the Panthers got it even in the top of the fifth when Cade Lawitzke doubled to score Ryan Lux. But the Prospects answered right back in their half. Long Island catcher Brian Donnelly got into a 2-2 fastball burning the center fielder and slid safely into third base with a one-out triple. Alec Acri followed with a line drive single to score Donnelly and retake the lead for the Prospects. Macomb looked ready to respond when Evan Finegan led off the sixth inning with a clean base hit up the middle. But Wasson induced a pop up to shortstop, and started a crisp, inning-ending 1-6-3 double play. With one out in the Panther’s seventh, still trailing by one, again it was Lawitzke, this time taking one to the base of the wall in the left field corner for a triple. Composed and in full battle mode, Wasson then struck out Naidus with his fifth and biggest ‘K’ of the game, and the second out of the inning. With the tying run still 90 feet from home and a 1-1 count on the Panthers three-hitter Garret Navarra, Wasson jammed him with a fastball. Navarra fought it off to produce a hump-back line drive that appeared by all accounts to be destined for the grass in shallow left field. But with a quick first step, racing back over his shoulder, and launching into a desperate, lay-out dive into left field, shortstop Tyler Manger made an incredible game-ending catch to seal the victory for the Prospects.
The Prospects 2-1 win in the final completed a perfect 9-and-oh run to the Nationals Champion banner.
By the end of the week folks were overheard saying, “That New York team can play.”
Back row: Coach Bob Delaney, Chris Behan, Tyler Manger, Brian Donnelly, Chris Wasson, Alex Rodriguez,
Nick Valeriano, Coach Mike Conry, Coach Ray Valeriano, Coach Sam Acri
Front row: Matt Conry, Jack Delaney, Alec Acri, Billy McAdam, Eric Solomon
Tyler Manger is headed to the bottom of the dogpile
after making an incredible game-ending catch
at the Athletx Youth Nationals 14U Championship.
Linden, NJ – The 14U Long Island Prospects came within one game of the Perfect Game Super25 Mid-Atlantic Regional final last night. Playing their 5th game in two days, the 11-man squad that was down to 10 due to injury exhausted its pitching depth and succumbed to a strong Tri-State Arsenal Team, 16-1, in the semi-final.
The ’Spects opened up Saturday morning in Snyder Field Park in Berkeley Heights, NJ with a 4-1 victory over Locked In Baseball from Cedar Knolls.
Prospects bats were hot and run support plentiful in the game that immediately followed with a 16-1 win over the 9ers of Hamilton, NJ.
In the final pool game early Sunday morning Long Island mustered a spirited performance defeating the Tri-State Arsenal Silver, 7-3, to sweep the pool round, win their division, and qualify for the quarter finals.
Taking the #3 seed of the 32-team field into the play-offs, the Prospects traveled to Westfield, NJ to face Full Count Baseball from Middlesex. With timely hitting and solid pitching and defense, the Prospects won 4-3 earning a trip to Memorial Park in Linden to face #1 seed Tri-State Arsenal Red in the semis.
Things looked promising early when an error and two hits loaded the bases for the Prospects in the first inning with no one out. But after managing to score just 1 run, things unraveled, the momentum had shifted, the Prospects were left to use a position player at pitcher, and the Arsenal, the eventual tournament champ, completed the convincing victory.
Yaphank, NY – The 14U Long Island Prospects came up a little short in the Baseball Heaven ‘Bat For the Cure’ Father’s Day Tournament last weekend losing to Elite Baseball 2-0 in the final.
After a quick start Friday night beating LI Storm Blue 9-1, the ‘Spects didn’t get it done Saturday giving back three leads against the Clarkstown Stars and settling for a 5-5 tie. Bouncing back with a 6-1 win over the Batting 1000 Seminoles Sunday morning, their 2-0-1 record with 7 runs-against was good enough to take the wild-card spot into the afternoon’s play-offs. The offense clicked early and often with a 7-3 victory over #1-seed Team Baseball Heaven but then sputtered in the final.
Merrick, NY – The Long Island Titans jumped out to a first-inning lead that held up for the rest of the game in defeating the Long Island Prospects last night, 5-1, in a 15U Boys of Summer league game at Calhoun High School. The Titans’s quick start put the Prospects on their heels and they never really got going.
Some well-hit balls by the Titans into some shaky defense, and lack of Prospects offense all contributed to the outcome.
The Prospects only run came in the third inning when Tyler Manger worked a one-out walk, Matt Conry singled to right moving Manger to third, and Brian Donnelly drove in Manger with a sac fly to right center. The Prospects managed only one hit the rest of the way.
The ’Spects return to action Thursday night at Calhoun in a BoS meeting with the North Atlantic Whalers.
North Bellmore, NY – The 14U LI Prospects took two games from the 15U North Atlantic Whalers on Saturday, 5-2 and 4-3, to kick off the Boys of Summer Long Island season where the team is playing up in the wood bat league. While the ‘Spects didn’t play their best baseball, they executed when necessary coming up with the big hit, defensive play, or pitch.
Game one was quiet until the third inning when the Whalers converted two singles and a sac bunt into the first run of the game. The lead was brief, however, as the Prospects answered back in the bottom half. With two outs and one on, a single by Nick Valeriano followed by a hit-by-pitch for Jack Delaney loaded the bases. Matt Conry then delivered the big blow in this one, doubling over the head of the left fielder and clearing the bases to give the Prospects the lead. Conry then scored on a single by Brian Donnelly. ’Spects starter Alex Rodriguez labored in the fourth yielding two walks and a hit leading to a Whalers run, but the Prospects returned the favor when a walk and base hits from Billy McAdam and Eric Solomon set the table for a sacrifice fly to center by Chris Behan. Alec Acri came on in relief and pitched three scoreless picking up the save for the Prospects.
In game two, while the Prospects looked flat, the Whalers took advantage turning a hit-by-pitch, an error and a hit into a 2-0 lead in the middle of the first inning that would stand until the fifth. Chris Wasson then got it started with a single to left. After stealing a base, a base hit by McAdam set up first-and-third and it looked like the ‘Spects had something going. After two unproductive outs, Valeriano, hitting at the top of the order, came through with a single to score Wasson. When Delaney and Conry each found grass with clutch RBI knocks of their own, the Prospects had taken a 3-2 lead. Meanwhile, ’Spects starting pitcher Valeriano had settled into a nice groove dealing scoreless innings since the first. Donnelly led off the Prospects’ sixth with a base hit and Rodriguez crushed a long double to left center field driving in a much needed insurance run. The Whalers threatened in the last of the seventh when a hellacious bomb to left for a stand-up double by four-hitter McGowen and a miscommunication and misplay in center field brought North Atlantic to within a run, but Valeriano picked up two big strikeouts to lock up the complete game victory with just 79 pitches.