Poughkeepsie team heading to NJ for baseball tournament

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3rd baseman Joseph Battista (on right) making a play against Highland.

TOWN OF POUGHKEEPSIE – A team of young Poughkeepsie baseball players are heading to New Jersey to continue playing after breezing through a regional tournament with four wins and one loss.  The Poughkeepsie Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken team of 8-year-old and under players outscored their opponents 63-21 in the five-game tournament.  The team overcame their only loss during the double-elimination tournament by defeating the Highland team 14-2 to lay claim to the championship.

Coach Tom Marshall is excited about the team’s potential for the upcoming tournament.  “If we play like we have been playing, we should be able to have a good showing at regionals this week and be a good representative of our league.”  The boys have never played together as a team until late in June.  More than 20 kids tried out for the team based on recommendations from their Spring recreational league coaches.  Marshal put the team together and they held their first practice after Father’s Day.  The team was forced to cancel many of the practices due to the almost daily rains that drenched the Hudson Valley.

The champs after defeating Highland in a recent tournament.

The practices were scheduled so the team could get ready for the Southern NY State Tournament.  The Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken League has New York divided into three regions; Western, Northeast, and Southern.  “About a week ahead of the tournament I had no idea how we would do,” said Coach Marshall.  ” We only had three weeks to prepare and we did not look good at practices.  I was pleasantly surprised and very proud of how they came together as a team so quickly.”  The exuberant coach added, “We went from not knowing what to expect to and have become the favorite to win states in a very short period of time.”

The boys and their support staff of parents, families, and coaches have all been impressed with the team’s performance.  “This team loves to have fun and play around like 8-year-olds should, but once they got on the field for games they are all business,” Marshall boasted.  Third baseman Joseph Battista’s mom, Laila Fakhoury, has been to every game, cheering for the team with her family.  “Watching these kids play for the first time together has been amazing,” said the proud mom.  “The comradery they have built thanks to the amazing leadership by all three coaches, and the support from the parents, families, and friends are unforgettable.”

The team is heading to Mountainside, New Jersey to begin the Babe Ruth Middle Atlantic Regional Baseball Tournament on Thursday, July 29.  Coach Marshall, in preparing for the upcoming games said “If we play like we have been playing, we should be able to have a good showing at regionals this week and be a good representative of our league.”

The team roster for the upcoming tournament is listed as follows:

  • Joey Battista #44 3B-LF  
  • Derek Brenner #10 CF  
  • Marco Cardoso #2 2B-P  
  • Aiden Curtis #8 OF  
  • Jordan Diamond #15 OF  
  • Nathan Koretsky #12 1B-P  
  • Rahmell Lawrence #9 P-C  
  • Nicky Lombardo #32 OF  
  • Brenden Marshall #17 P-C-1B 
  • Brayson Sickler #23 SS-C  
  • Connor Simon #16 LF-2B  
  • Robert Zilinski #7 OF