SOMERS, N.Y. — It’s officially summer and that means the Greater Hudson Valley Baseball League is underway as neighboring towns Mahopac and Somers dueled on the diamond in 11-and-under action last weekend.
Both teams gave valiant efforts, but the Indians (4-1) were victorious in an 8-2 win at host Somers at Van Tassell Park on Sunday, June 25.
Mahopac’s Chris Sapienza smashed a double to center field and was driven in by an RBI single from Joey Luczkowski in the second inning.
Indian pitcher Robert Dusovic drove Luczkowski home after rocketing a double to left field. Catcher Casey Brandstetter kept the merry-go-round spinning by ,knocking an RBI single to right.
Tyler Castrataro smoked an RBI base-hit down the third base line in the third inning as the Indians began to pull away. Nevan Nystrom hammered a double to left in the fourth before Steven Geraghty scored him with an RBI groundout.
“Today was a great day because many of the kids that weren’t hitting are now hitting,” Mahopac coach Dan Brandstetter said. “We are definitely getting better and are ready to be our best for the playoffs.”
Dusovic worked the entire game on the hill for Mahopac and pitched outstanding. He even helped his own cause at the plate, driving home three runs.
“He struggled in the first inning but then threw a lot of strikes,” Brandstetter said. “Strikes matter in this game, there are quite a lot of walks.”
The Indians will drive down to the Cal Ripken Tournament in Maryland to play against teams from all over the country in the third week of July. The 11U playoffs are set to kick off just a week after that on quite a busy summer slate.
“We have gotten better and most games have been competitive,” Brandstetter said. “It’s a short summer season so you have to get the wins when you can.”
As for the Red Storm, second baseman James Curry lofted a sacrifice fly to left field in the second inning. He also finished with a single as did Eddie Baranowski. They used pitchers Jake Gannon, James Lopatka and Nick Herzegovitch.
“We’re past some of the fundamentals and working on some of the more specialized skills of the game,” Somers assistant coach Chris Herzegovitch said. “The stealing is very different and the travel league is not like what they are used to in town.”
Although everyone is still learning, fielders from both squads impressed with the glove.
Baranowski dropped back to make a tough catch on a Texas-leaguer at shortstop in the fourth. Indian shortstop Castrataro made a very similar grab in the third inning.
Somers may not have won, but head coach Joe Lopatka and Herzegovitch have seen the group make long strides.
“[The kids] are competitive, trying hard and loving the game of baseball,” Lopatka said. “We have a bunch of committed kids that love baseball. We play three to four times a week. That is a level of commitment that an 11-year-old should be really proud of.”