TM Baseball Academy 12U Select Wins Yorktown Tournament

Hanks Yanks T M Baseball Academy 12U Select Team. Photo Credit: T M Baseball Academy

Hanks Yanks TM Baseball Academy 12U Select Team. Photo Credit: TM Baseball Academy

By Rich Mancuso/Sports Editor

TM Baseball Academy 12u Select team won their first major tournament under the Hanks Yanks banner this past weekend at the annual Yorktown Tournament up in Putnam County. Manager Joe Werner won his third tournament with the 12 & U team since taking over the last year.

Hanks Yanks, an initiative of New York Yankees executive Ray Negron and founded by Yankees co-owner Hank Steinbrenner, enables youngsters to play organized baseball in tournaments and leagues in the New York Tri-state area.

“Most important aspect of this team winning the chip was their character,” said Werner, a coach with 40 years of experience guiding youngsters in their goals with the game. “Their ability to stay together when they are struggling is huge. Then when they smell the chip they are at their best.”

Coach Joey Giardino, Director of Player Recruitment , his son Nino Giardino and Nelson Rodriguez assisted Werner. In the first game, TM lost to Yorktown 8-2, striking out 7 times and gathering 4 -hits. Giardino stressed the importance of changing their approach at the plate on the two-strike pitch.

Game two was a different tune. “I am very proud of the adjustments our boys made,” Giardino said. “Like our Parent Coordinator Liz Figueroa told them before the game, this is a chess match. They put the ball in play and hit four home runs. By accident.”

The second game went to TM, 7-6 in pool play over Cortland. Ahmed Brown threw 5 ⅓ innings, struck out 5, on 3-earned runs. Home run balls were hit by Brown, Johnny Robles, Ronald Pena and Andrew Ortiz. Robles on eight pitches recorded the save and Aiden Cough Coughlan went 3-for-3 at the plate.

In the semifinals, TM defeated Cortland 10-5 as Joey Gorgolione went 2-for-3, a home run and 4 RBI, Ortiz went 2-for-3 and drove in two runs, also recording the win with two innings of relief that included two strikeouts, and Joseph Marano made some all-star plays on the field and got the assist nailing a tying run at the plate with a throw from left field.

In the championship game, won by TM over Yorktown, Robles earned the win on the mound and was named tournament MVP. He went six innings, allowed a run on three hits and struck out 10. Robles, Andrew Ortiz, Jeff Padilla and Joseph Torres had one hit to lead TM to the championship win as they did not commit an error.

They were at their best when the chips were down.The three age groups of  TM Hanks Yanks are the first teams represented from the Bronx. The 16U Team will travel to the greater Orlando Florida area later this month and participate in a tournament with other teams from that region.

A fundraiser to assist the team is open to those interested and will be held at TM Baseball Academy this Saturday evening, July 8 from 6:30-10PM. The “1980s Bingo Night” will include 3-game cards, a raffle ticket, dinner and beverages for $25.00  and other prizes.

Support the cause. For more information contact TM Baseball Academy (347) 657- 0052, 1371 Seabury Avenue, Bronx, NY 10461  www.tmbaseballacademy.com

Comment Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com  Twitter@Ring786  Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso

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