The West Orange PAL Spring Travel Baseball season started with a cold front. Practices began indoors in January with teams practicing two nights a week working on conditioning and baseball fundamentals. Once the snow had melted teams began battling the cold and working outdoors, with three or four practices a week in addition to their games.
And the hard work and dedication paid off! All 6 of our West Orange PAL Travel Baseball teams represented West Orange in the United States Amateur Baseball League (USABL) playoffs. This is not an easy task as our teams competed against not only town based teams but club and travel programs as well. The USABL is one of the oldest most established leagues in the state of NJ providing travel league play to not only NJ but eastern Pennsylvania and the New York metro area. It is one of the most competitive leagues in the state!
Our 8U team finished the spring season with an 8-3 record. This young team made it to the USABL North Metro division championship where they dominated the game with a 6-3 win over club team, NJ Axeman. Players on the Spring 8U team are: Aidan Ackermann, Kyle Boyle, Jeffrey DelBello, Daniel Haber, Brendan Kearns, Tommy Kearns, Ian Lewis, Logan Mallack, Brayden McCree, Hayden Moore, Jonah Scott, Max Stevenson, and Trey Williams. The 8U team is coached by Lou DePasquale, Phil Portuese, Dominic DePasquale, and Brian Cardona.
The 9U team finished the season with an 8-2-1 record. They were focused on winning the championship and it showed in their 13-1 win over Union. They won the Central Northeast division Championship of the USABL, making it a back to back championship having won the fall season as well! Players on the Spring 9U team are: Alexander Alfonso, Michael Battle, Bryce Bradley, Ciaran Brosnan, Keaton Capuana, Syree Coleman, Joel Goldberg, Ethan Liss, Tyler Martini, Owen McCree Liam Ramos, Nicholas Riley, and Drew Stevens. Coaches of the 9U team are Andrew Alfonso, Jose Ramos, and Daren Stevens.
The 10U team finished the season with a 7-3 record. This talented team progressed to the Championship of the Central Northeast division, losing a tough battle, 4-2, to Hudson Baseball Center. They did however win the 2018 Mt. Olive Memorial Blast Tournament! The 10U team went into the 6thinning with an 8-3 victory to win the 10U Division Tournament Championship. Players on the Spring 10U team are: Miles Burton, Patrick Cassels, Noah Gattens, Riley Gnecco, Jordan Jackson, Max Kelly, Jack Pimm, Jordan Rothseid, Hudson Schowalter, Jay Stevenson, Sheppard Stevenson, and Riley Sullivan. Coaching the team are Jagger Garguilo and Mike Wahlers.
The 12U team completed the spring season with a 7-2 record earning a first round bye into the semi finals of the USABL Central division. They came up just short losing a heart breaking 5-4 to the Springfield Minutemen. This is a great achievement for having moved up to the 50/70 diamond! Players on the 12U Spring team are: Anthony Bolen, Ryan Boyle, Eli Cohen, Bobby Duff, Sean Harrington, Jackson Lee, Aidan Rodgers, Randy Stevens, Amir Stewart, Justin Strozyk, and Ethan Young. The 12U team is coached by John Strozyk, James Boyle, Mohammed Stewart, and Chuck Young.
The 13U experienced a turn around season. Coming off a tough fall season, the Spring season showed tremendous improvement in their level of play, dedication and focus. The team completed the season with a 3-3-1 record in the USABL National North division. They played competitively but lost to Weehawken 3-2 in the semi finals. Players on the 13U team are: Daniel Aguilera, Jack Harwood, Tyler Harwood, Tyler Levy, Riley Moses, Joseph Narduzzi, Nathaniel Rodgers, Jacob Shapiro, Ethen Sinnreich, Joshua Teich, and Jackson Ward. The 13 team is coached by Rob Kost, Edwin Johnson, Rob Parisi, Jr. and Chris Moses.
With 6 years of commitment and dedication to the PAL program, the 14U team completed its final spring season together before they head to high school in the fall, with a 3-2 win over Lincoln Park. The 14U won the National North division of the USABL, finishing the spring season with a remarkable 9-1 record. This team also went undefeated in the Mt. Olive Memorial Blast Tournament. The team took a Championship win against Belleville, 5-1. The team completed the season with the annual double header played at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, NY where they also toured the Baseball Hall of Fame. Players on the team are: Matthew Bove, Michael Cassels, Dylan Church, Jalen Fulton, Chance Garguilo, Owen Hagstrom, Jason-Lamont Jackson, Malachi Jones, Ty Kelly, Andrew Merklinger, and Noah Stennett. Coaches of the 14U team are Rob Kost, Edwin Johnson, Mark Bove, Rob Parisi, Jr, and Todd Church.
Congratulations to all our West Orange PAL teams on your dedication to the PAL program and your hard work this past Spring season. The West Orange PAL program has received many compliments on our level of play, the way the teams and coaches carried themselves, and our sportsmanship towards our opponents and the umpires. It was great to see players and families coming out to support all of our teams at each age level; players on the benches or outside the dugout of their peer players, siblings waiting outside the dugouts, and parents enjoying the company of one another – it is what the PAL family is all about. The level of commitment, the dedication of the parents and players, and the desire to play competitive baseball is truly appreciated and the PAL thanks you for that support. The 8U, 9U, 10U, and 14U teams will be recognized by the West Orange Town Council on September 4thfor their Championship wins this spring season.
The PAL would also like to recognize and especially thank the West Orange Recreation Department and Department of Public Works for your continuous support of the Travel Baseball program. Having the fields coordinated for practices and games is not an easy feat and always having the fields prepped for games did not go unnoticed. The PAL family thanks you for your hard work. The PAL would also like to thank the WOPD and WOFD for stopping by the fields to support our teams at the games!
Up next: Summer Travel League Playoffs beginning the week of July 22!
Football and Cheerleading Registration:
New season – new league! The PAL will hold registration at the PAL Field (28 Prospect Place) for the 2018 fall Football and Cheerleading teams. Registration forms are available on http://www.wopal.org. Deadline to register is July 22!
Fall Travel Baseball Tryouts:
Tryouts will take place Tuesday through Friday, August 14-August 17 at Degnan Field. Ages 6-10: 6-7:30pm; Ages 11-14: 7:30-9pm. Please come prepared with your baseball equipment. Players must attend 2 tryouts to be considered for one of the teams. Make up date: All ages, August 21 & 22 7:30-8:30pm at Degnan Field.
PAL Spring & Summer Travel Baseball Pool Party:
Sunday August 5thfrom 6-8pm at Ginny Duenkel Pool for all players and families of the spring and summer travel baseball teams.
Mountain Top League Summer BBQ:
All current, former, future and prospective MTL families are invited to come out to Stagg Field from 1-3 pm on Sunday, August 19! Bring your own chairs and blankets to enjoy some music, good company, food and fun. Burgers, hotdogs and fixings will be provided, grilled up by MTL trustees. Players are encouraged to wear their MTL uniforms. A cleat donation/exchange will held (soccer, baseball, softball, etc.), and we will also be collecting old uniforms and used shin guards, mitts, and other sports equipment.
Registration for the MTL fall season is open through September 11. Programs are available for children from age 4 through 9thgrade.
Annual PAL Golf Outing:
Come join the PAL for a great day of golf, food, and fun at the Brooklake Country Club on Monday August 27. If interested in sponsoring or playing, contact the PAL at email@example.com check our website (www.wopal.org)for more information.
Interested in volunteering with PAL? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in volunteering with MTL? Email email@example.com(sport-specific emails are available on the MTL website.
Jennifer Buesser has lived in West Orange since 2005. She is a long-time MTL volunteer and current trustee. Cheryl Merklinger is a life-long West Orange resident. She is a second- generation PAL volunteer and current trustee. We Are West Orange highlights youth sports in town, including the kids they benefit and the volunteers who make them all possible.
For more information about MTL programs: http://www.mountaintopleague.com/.
For more information about PAL programs: http://www.wopal.org.
For information about WO Recreation Dep’t Programs: http://www.westorange.org/index.aspx?nid=87.
Logo designed by Andrew Mazurek, WOHS Class of 2002: http://www.andrewmazurekart.com.