In an unprecedented streak of Little League World Series tournament victories, the local Peter Stuyvesant Little League (PSLL) recently brought home three Manhattan and New York City championship banners. The wins included, for the first time in PSLL’s history, a New York City championship, simultaneous Manhattan championships for the 11 and 12-year-old and 9 and 10-year-old baseball squads, and the second consecutive year in which the PSLL 9 and 10-year-old tournament team secured the Manhattan championship.
“Thanks to some very talented and dedicated players, these players’ parents, and improved coaching opportunities in PSLL, we’ve started to produce winning teams over the past three to four years,” said Jeff Ourvan, the PSLL president.
Ourvan added that winter clinics the players got to participate in the Courts at Stuy Town were “a particularly huge boost,” as was Con Edison’s support of the league’s field requests through the spring and summer.
“It really takes a large community effort to support so many kids in this way,” Ourvan said, “and we’re so grateful we can respond to that support with what’s now becoming a winning tradition.”
First, the Adrenaline – a 14-year-old juniors division all-star girls’ softball team – won the Section 3 South/New York City championship this past Sunday, in Staten Island, with an extra-inning 7-6 victory over South Ozone Park/Howard Beach. The division is comprised of a majority of PSLL players with support from two other local Manhattan Little Leagues. The championship game was tied 4-4 in the last inning, and although the Adrenaline gave up two runs in the top of the 7th, the young women roared back with three runs in the bottom of that frame to take the NYC championship.
The Adrenaline then went on to the New York State round in Commack, Long Island, winning a first game against a Buffalo-area team, but ultimately fell short of the state championship. Still, it is the deepest any PSLL team has ever played in Little League summer tournament play.
The local players who led the Adrenaline include Sarah Acocelli, Julia Fabrizio, Amanda Haspel, Jordan Hayduk, Dorie Levine and Olivia Sheh.
“I am so proud of these girls,” said Adrenaline head coach Rich Acocelli. “The team worked extremely hard, came together, and in no time were operating as a seamless unit. Softball at this level is fast and exciting, with little margin for error. The girls played tough and executed brilliantly throughout the tournament, and they got the big hits when we needed them. We’re working hard to continue to develop Manhattan softball at the highest levels.”
Next, PSLL’s 12-year-old majors division baseball team took the District 23 Manhattan/West Bronx championship at Riverside Park with a 10-4 win over Downtown LL. The game was tied after five innings, but in the top of the sixth a pinch-hit single by Stuy Town resident Christian Tan initiated what became a six-run rally. Eleven-year-old pitcher and Stuy Town resident Terence Jennings then shut down DLL in their half of the frame for the win. The 12-year-old squad ended up finishing third in the New York City championship round.
“What I see from these boys this year is tremendous dedication,” said tournament team head coach Al Borrelli. “Several of our older players were on our team last year, as 11-year-olds, and we came very close to winning the championship then. These boys, and the entire team, re-determined this year, honed their skills all through the fall, winter and spring, and are extremely focused.”
Not to be outdone, PSLL’s youngest baseball team, comprised of 9 and 10-year-olds, also clinched the District 23 Manhattan/West Bronx championship, in extra innings, by a score of 9-1. That game, also against PSLL’s rival Downtown LL, was tied 1-1 in the bottom of the 6th, with DLL at bat and the bases loaded, but pitcher Noah Mizrahi, after a gutsy pitching performance by Max McElroy, shut them down. Then, in the top of the 7th inning, PSLL exploded for eight runs and the win. This team finished as the runner-up for the New York City championship.
“We had players returning from last year’s championship team – Jesse Diaco, Declan McAnaney, Max McElroy, AJ Pino and James Barnes – and so this core had some experience going into all this,” said head coach Joe Diaco. “The practice schedule can be intense, but all the parents have been incredibly supportive, and we’re all just having so much fun. It’s a blessing that we have so many young, quality baseball players living in Stuy Town.”
Peter Stuyvesant Little League registration for all players (ages 4-16) for the spring 2017 season, and the winter 2017 clinic, will open sometime in October, 2016 at their website.