Downtowners’ bats heat up with the weather


Rookie Ball

Yankees vs. Angels

 On a truly “spring” morning, the Downtown Little League Yankees squared off against the Angels at the Angels’ home diamond. Both teams were energized and the excitement was palpable. 

The Yankees led off the three-inning duel. Kaya Leitner quickly legged out a single beating a throw to first by the Angel’s Jeffrey Lau. After the full Yankee lineup batted around, the Angels came up for their first chance to bat of the morning. Dylan Gutierrez led off with an infield single. Max Halpern followed with a deep fly ball to right field. The Yankees recorded their first out when Jeffrey Lau hit a grounder to second and Max was forced out.

Max Farhi led off the second inning for the Yankees with a line drive and moved safely to first. They quickly batted through the line up with Chase Behar rounding out the batting as she arrived safely at first. The Angels heated up their second inning with Oliver Ripps hitting a Coach John pitch deep to right field, which was good enough for a single. Dylan closed the inning with a solid single up the middle.

The Yankees made a strong showing in their final at bat with Max Farhi, Gabriel Conley, Quentin Thiery, Kaya Leitner, Chase Behar and Lena Savino all getting on base. Dakota Chung- Greco then hit into a fielder’s choice as the Angels recorded their first out against an opponent of the season as Jeffrey Lau tagged the bag at second. 

The Angels then came up for their last at bat. The team chanted each player’s name as they came to bat. The chanting was clearly energizing to the tired players as the three innings had taken their toll. Alexa Klippel, Jeffrey Lau, Kaitlyn Parker, Oliver Ripps, Danny Coffey, Edward Dowd, Dylan Gutierrez and Max Halpern all reached base safely.

Fun was had by all and the teams high fived as they thanked each other for a game well played.  

Dodgers vs. Astros 

In the second game of the season, the Dodgers met the Astros on a clear and sparkling Saturday morning. The game was a slugfest with strong hitting in the top of the first inning by the entire Astro lineup, Gabriel Baltierra, Luca Black, Lorenzo Frugiuele, Ellen Gaffney, Stan Gould, Eli Harrell, Dixon Katzenberg, Sophia Malik, Rubin Parker and Sovann Woodin.

Not to be outdone, the Dodgers responded in the bottom of the first inning as Jesse Ingerman and Viraj Kathuria led off the inning with homeruns followed by subsequent hits by the entire Dodgers’ lineup, Michael Cheeseman, Camryn Meyers, Tasha Natrella, Dylan Hoffman, Nicky Pomeranz and Braden Donoian. The other members of the Dodgers, James Lawlor, Harris Rosenberg, Joshua Van Der Zwan and Parker Rubin, were there in spirit. 

 The game proceeded very quickly for three innings with each team showing solid hitting and base-running skills, including Tasha Natrella’s first slide ever into third base. There were many excellent defensive plays by the Dodgers and the Astros. 

All the players and parents were thrilled with how far the teams had gone after just one week of playing and practicing, and the spirit of both teams was evident!  Everyone is looking forward to the next game and, of course, Photo Day, after the vacation.

Mets vs. Braves

The Mets met the Braves for a great game as the sun rose over Rockefeller Park on Saturday morning at 8 a.m.  Coach Peter Cassell of the Mets and Coach Randy Kane of the Braves warmed up the teams with a few laps around the bases before starting the game.

Zach Cassell was the first batter for the Mets and hit the ball deep into left field. Later in the game Lucinda DeLaney hit the ball into the outfield allowing Mack Hallett and Eden Mills to advance to second and third. Then Sam Vaillancourt brought them all home. Madison Wenig from the Braves hit the ball deep into right field bringing home Spencer Kane. The game ended with all players high-fiving each other.               


Orioles vs. White Sox

With the threat of rain lingering, the White Sox and Orioles took to the field in their first game of the season a week ago. The game was highlighted by excellent pitching from both sides.  

Moses Rubin was outstanding for the White Sox, as were Billy Holloway, Justin Wong and Brandon Moy of the Orioles. The scoring was defined by single inning outbursts by both teams. The White Sox bats answered early with a four run second inning. The Oriole bats struggled until the fourth inning when hits by Spencer Brownstein, Dante Secada-Oz and a walk to Justin Wong were turned into runs when Jackson Vertucci tripled into left field to clear the bases.  

Vertucci later scored on a base hit by Matt Burnett to close out the frame. The Orioles added another in the fifth when Holloway got on base with a single and stole second and later was walked in.  The Orioles won 6 – 4.

Athletics vs. Orioles

On a sunny late Saturday afternoon the Athletics and Orioles took to battle on the Battery Park fields. The game was a very even contest throughout. Aggressive base running and timely hitting by the Athletics gave them the early lead. The Orioles answered back when James Borrelli doubled into center and scored on a single by Justin Wong.  

The game went back and forth, highlighted in the bottom of the third inning when Spencer Brownstein hit a “Ruth-like” homerun to center field scoring 3. The Athletic bats answered back in the fourth, again with timely hitting and smart base running.  

The Orioles did the same in the bottom of the frame highlighted by Justin Wong’s long double to right scoring Borrelli and Brownstein. The next inning was more of the same with the Athletics and Orioles chipping away at each other’s lead. Dante Secad-Oz entered the game in the top of the fourth inning for the Orioles with the bases loaded and did a tremendous job of closing out the frame with a ground ball out to end the Athletic threat.  

The Orioles then found themselves down one run when Jackson Mansfield singled to left to even the contest.  The game went to the final at bat when the Orioles Borrelli earned a base on balls off a 3-2 count that brought home Brandon Moy for the final run.  The Orioles won 11 – 10.

Reds vs. Astros

On a beautiful sunny day, the Reds hosted the Astros at Battery Park Field. Tyler Rohan debuted on the mound for the Reds, but freshman nerves struck. Will Goldstein led off for the Astros, taking the walk and stealing second when brother Trevor Goldstein came to bat. 

Trevor also had a base on balls, as did Joseph Dudley. With the bases loaded, Rohan brought on the heat, striking out consecutive batters.  But he wasn’t able to get Simon Miles to swing, and his walk pushed in a run for the Astros. By the time Rohan retired Fischer Bodwell with a strikeout to end the inning he had tossed 41 pitches.  

In the bottom of the first, the Reds’ offense exploded as the result of a well-attended batting practice. Spencer Kiehl led off with a walk and stolen base. Tyler Kraehling, who had missed the first game, made up for it by cranking the ball for a 2-run homer. Will Best excited the crowd by sliding into first for a hit and then stealing second. Rohan followed with a line drive between third and short, which was bravely fielded by JoJo Aboaf, but still resulted in a single, and Kai Glick’s one bagger drove in Best. 

Jonathan Parker followed suit by bringing in Rohan on his hit. Sal Derogatis joined the fun with his single and the bases were loaded once Miles walked Taylor White and hit Liam Barwick with a pitch. When he walked Josh Steinberg, the 5-run mercy rule was invoked to end the inning for the Reds. Glick took the mound for the Reds, immediately striking out a batter. Spenser Grabow was hit by a pitch and took second on a stolen base before another struck out. 

Grabow was stranded on third. The Reds, now facing Dudley, were able to add three runs in the second.  Miles Donnelly flied out to Will Goldstein at first base. Kiehl fired a cannon into left field, and made it home with aggressive base-running. Kraehling singled and Best walked. Rohan’s hit would have brought in Kraehling if not for heads-up play from Trevor to Miles at home. Glick, Parker and Derogatis walked, loading up the bases and bringing Rohan home, but White’s strikeout prevented any further runs from scoring. 

In the top of the third, Glick struck out two, but a pitch to Aboaf hit the sweet spot and the ball sailed into left centerfield. Great defensive play by the Reds’ Derogatis held Aboaf up at second, but he was stranded. Gross took the mound for the Astros, walking Barwick and Steinberg but striking out Donnelly. Kiehl hit another blast, bringing in two runs with his triple. Kraehling whiffed, then Best walked.  Rohan was hit by a pitch, then three consecutive walks added the maximum of five to the Reds’ score. The Astros started the fourth against Kiehl, down 13-1, and while Gordon and Grabow walked, Kiehl struck out three, and the Astros were unable to close the gap. 

The Astros had their best defensive inning in the fourth, highlighted by the stellar pitching of Will Goldstein. White smacked one to left field, but Gordon smothered it.  Barwick walked, but Steinberg made out two with a strikeout. Kiehl tomahawked his next hit to centerfield. Miles dove for it and slid with the ball in his glove, but it popped out as he landed.  Kiehl was stranded on first, however, when Kraehling’s grounder was handled nicely for out three. The Astros faced Best in the top of the fifth, and all hopes to add any runs were squashed by three consecutive strikeouts.  The Reds won 13 – 1.

Athletics vs. Jays

At 10 a.m., on Sat., April 12, at the Baruch Baseball Fields, the clouds graciously parted allowing the sun to signal the start of a game between the Athletics and the home team Jays. In a well-played game marked by sharp fielding and timely hitting by both teams, the A’s outlasted the Jays 13-5.

On the A’s side, David Wong fielded a hard hit from the Jays to turn an unassisted double play in the third inning. Justen Lam had a busy fifth inning skillfully fielding four solidly hit Jay balls and his teammate, Jonah Frere-Holmes, also contributed several sparkling fielding plays during the game as well as two hits. Matthew Gunther was stellar at the plate for the A’s with four hits including a sixth inning home run. Thomas Burns, David Lampietti, Justen Lam and Hudson Kussie contributed three hits apiece for the A’s. 

On the Jays side, stellar defensive plays by Katerina Coggeshall, Mairead Farrell and James O’Grady helped keep the Jays within striking distance until the Jays hitters sparked two late inning rallies which initiated an important momentum swing by the Jays.  Led by Carlos Ritchie, Ava Villalba and C.J. Araujo, the Jays managed to scratch and claw their way back into the game. 

The Jays’ Anna Miliakos, Jason Kao and Morgan Witt all provided outstanding defense and quality at-bats throughout the game. Patrick Costantin and Bobby Bauman knocked in critical runs for the valiant Jays, in their exciting home half of the sixth inning, as their brave quest to overtake the A’s fell short.  Following the game, the Jays remained resilient and kept their heads high as they chanted “Go Jays!”