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  Bronx Times Articles: Bronx Times / June Recap  

Bronx Times / June Recap
Bronx Highlander June Recap
Reported by Mike Pisaniello
(for all editions)

13-Year Olds
Memorial Weekend Tournament

The Bronx Highlanders kicked off the 2003 season with impressive victories in a Memorial Day Tournament held in Ossining, NY. The weather was uncooperative shortening the schedule but the Highlander 13’s were able to complete 2 games. Game 1 saw Michael Wolovich face a strong Ossining team and take control on the hill going 6 strong innings allowing just 3 hits with 7 k’s and 2 walks. Luis Alicea helped the cause with strong base running swiping 2nd, 3rd, and home tying the game at 1. Two batters later Anthony Hernandez walked and stole second giving Frank Guarascio a chance to come up big. Frank came through with a 2 out hit putting the Highlanders on top 2-1. Greg Caruso came on in the 7th shutting down the Ossining offense and earned the save.

Game 2 matched the Highlanders against a tough Shrub Oak team. Once again the Red and White rose to the occasion jumping out to a 5-0 lead after 3 innings. Mark Skrapits drew the mound assignment and had the Hornets baffled for 3 innings. Shrub Oak whittled away and battled back to tie it at 5 putting pressure on the offense to score. Chris Primiani responded to the pressure with a key hit in the 6th followed by a Michael Walsh blast to right center clearing the bases and putting the Highlanders on top with a 7-5 win.

The Bronx Highlander 13’s finished the Memorial Day Tournament held in Ossining, NY on Sunday, June 8th   and walked away as Champions. The Highlanders reached the Championship round and played a strong Somers team for all the marbles. Mark Skrapits drew the pitching assignment and came through with 3 sound innings of work allowing 1 hit and 1 run. The offense came alive in the 3rd when Skrapits and Chris Cerbone drew walks followed by a Chris Primiani RBI single. Frank Guarascio came up big with a hit scoring 2 and putting the Highlanders up 3 to 1. Luis Alicea took over the mound duties and pitched impressively. With the help of great defense by Thomas Falciglia and Chris Motta, he was able to shut down the Somers offense the last four innings. The Highlanders added 2 more runs late in the game coming away with an electrifying 5 to 1 victory and the Championship.      

After 5 rainouts in a row the Highlander 13’s finally played their first WBA game at Lehman HS on June 23. The layoff seemed to prompt a slow start with the Eastchester Eagles taking a 4 run lead in the first inning. Relief was on the way as Luis Alicea and Chris Primiani stymied the Eagle offense over the final 6 innings allowing just 3 hits. Alicea who doubled and tripled knocking in 2 led the offense. Frank Guarascio, Mike Walsh, Mark Skrapits and Primiani all contributed key hits in the 7-5 Highlander comeback. The defense came up strong on 2 late inning DP’s that had the fans on their feet. Right fielder, Chris Motta made a nice running catch and gunned down the runner going to 3rd. The second DP was a 1-5-3 (Primiani to Skrapits to Tom Falciglia, who made the scoop) preserving the lead and the win.
15-Year Olds

Opening game for the Bronx Highlander 15’s was played on June 9th at Taft HS against the NY Gothams. They played a near perfect game with big defensive plays netting a 4 to 1 victory. Joey Feichtl was extraordinary on the hill going the distance and gaining the win on just 73 pitches. The Highlander offense scored all 4 runs in the first when Michael Echevarria led off the game with a walk. Ryan Conolly followed with a double and Josh Mendez plated Echevarria on a infield out. The Gothams walked 2 runs in and Frank Tinelli scored on a wild pitch to round out the Highlander scoring. Great defense from Echevarria at SS and Tinelli in center kept the Gothams off stride. Feichtl picked off a runner and Glenn Wyss gunned down 2 would be stealers crushing any chance of a Gotham comeback.

The Bronx Highlanders (15u) paired up against the Condors at Lehman HS on June 20. The Condors took an early lead in the 1st inning on some shoddy Highlander defense but came back quickly in the bottom half. A leadoff single from Mike Echevarria and a walk by Anthony LoBianco allowed Glenn Wyss to earn a RBI on a fielder’s choice. Frank Tinelli followed with a 2 RBI double off the right field fence and later scored on a passed ball giving the Highlanders a 4 –2 lead. The Condors knotted the score at 4 on an error and back-to-back doubles. In the bottom of the 4th Sebastian Maldonado K’ed but took first on the wild pitch, was balked to 2nd and went to 3rd on a passed ball. Mark Alicea drove him home on an infield out. After Echevarria walked Ryan Conolly launched a massive HR over the center field fence to cap the scoring. Highlander pitcher, Joe Feichtl pitched a strong game with little help from his defense, but the offense came through giving Joe the 7-5 win and his 2nd on the season.

On June 29 the Highlanders (15u) played the Cortlandt Outlaws in Yorktown. Both games were come from behind affairs as the Highlanders handed the Outlaws their first losses of the year. Game one saw Tommy Maio go the distance picking up the 7-3 victory. The Highlanders were being had no hits for 3 innings until Sebastian Maldonado lead off the 4th with a perfect bunt single. Two walks later Glenn Wyss collected a RBI single and Anthony LoBianco plated 2 with a hit up the middle. Frank Tinelli and Maldonado added RBI singles in the 6th and 7th to ice the win.
In game 2 Joe Feichtl earned his 3rd win of the year with a gutsy complete game performance. Once again the Highlanders were shut down for 4 innings and then exploded for 7 runs in the 5th. The big blasts coming from Tommy Maio with a clutch 2 RBI single and a bases loaded triple by Feichtl completing the 8-5 win.   

16-Year Olds

On June 15, at Lehman HS the Highlander 16u took on Eastchester. Ramon Guzman had the mound and earned the complete game win with a powerful performance. Eastchester’s miscues led to a 12-2 runaway win as the Highlanders took advantage throughout the game. Gino Matias had a 2 out RBI single in the 2nd putting the Highlanders on top 4 to 1. In the home half of the 3rd the Highlanders blew the game open with a 7 run outburst capped by a mammoth 3 run dinger by Mike Ferrera. Vinny Prestopino collected a sac fly RBI to round out the scoring.   

The Highlanders (16u) faced off against Orangetown on June 17 at Lehman HS. The WBA matchup was one sided as Gino Matias shut down the Orangetown offense with an assortment of pitches. The Highlanders scored early when leadoff hitter Justin Smith began with a double to left followed by a Loius Annunziata single. Matias helped his own cause with a RBI single followed by a Ramon Guzman ribby. The big blast came from Richie Weiss who doubled plating 2. The scoreboard read 5 to 1 and the lead never changed hands. Mike Ferrera added a RBI single in the 4th and Stephen Valentin, who singled earlier in the game, had an RBI triple late in the game to cap off the scoring. Final tally read Highlanders 11, Orangetown 3.

18u –Wood Bat

On June 10 at War Memorial Park in Yonkers the Highlander 18u defeated Pacoy of Yonkers with a convincing 13 to 3 victory. Iona bound Rich Conolly earned the win with a fine pitching performance. Manny Quintana and Pete DeOrtentiis collected 3 ribbies apiece and Bryan Beniquez, who is headed to Rockland CC, had 2 RBI’s including a 400 foot solo HR.   BCC’s Frankie Rivera clubbed 2 doubles and JT Pizarro had 2 hits in the win.

On June 15 at Clinton HS the Bronx Highlanders (18u) took on the Bronx Cubs in a WBA doubleheader. Game one saw Richie Conolly master the hill with a 1 hit 10 k pitching performance that was simply brilliant. Conolly went the distance in a 2 to 0 Highlander win.
Game two was a different story as the Highlanders found themselves in a deep whole. With a 5 to 1 deficit in the 5th   the wood bats came alive to the tune of a 9 run inning. JT Pizarro and Manny Quintana belted RBI doubles and Bryan Beniquez came through with a timely blast. Pete DeOrtentiis, Beniquez and Michael Daversa shared the mound duties. The win put their record at 4 and 1 in the WBA.

On June 25 at Lehman HS the Highlander (18u) took on the Bayside Yankees. Elliott Ruiz pitched a gem going 6 strong innings to earn the 9-3 Highlander win. The Highlanders scored 3 in the bottom of the first with Manny Quintana, Pete DeOrtentiis and Wayde Anderson picking up the RBI’s. Hitting star, Robert Governale blasted two 2 run homers and Frankie Rivera added a RBI double.

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