Sunday, July 19, 2009

Banner day for Spring Youth Baseball

Spring Youth Baseball's nine-and-under team won the American Amateur Baseball Congress World Series in Tulsa, Okla. on Sunday, defeating New Jersey team 7-5 for the title.

Anthony Germinerio was named tournament Most Valuable Player.

Zach Ziter entered to record the final out and David Judge drove in Germinerio with a double for an insurance run in the sixth inning.

"We were kind of the Bad News Bears down there compared to some of the other teams," said Spring head coach Dave Judge, "but these kids from Troy, they were just phenomenal."

Our colleague at The Saratogian, Stan Hudy, covered Spring's 11-year-old team in a come-from-behind victory over Clifton Park. He was kind enough to send us his story and here it is:

Stan Hudy
For The Record

WILTON – Spring Baseball coach Mark Ruddy joked after his 11-year-old Cal Ripken Baseball team earned a 4-2 come from behind win over Clifton Park Green Sunday afternoon to advance to the semifinals of the Eastern New York State tournament Sunday that he didn’t know how much more he could take.

It wasn’t the baseball, the kids or the parents; it was the winning or more importantly how his Spring squad continues to make so many contests nail bitters.

“They never stop coming,” Ruddy said. “For two years they’ve been coming back in games. They just never give up.”

Spring earned the number one spot in the semifinals with a perfect 3-0 record, looking to face tournament host, Wilton 6 p.m. Tuesday at Gavin Park in Wilton. But the squad kept Ruddy and their parents in suspense throughout its Sunday finale, courtesy of a sharp Clifton Park defense.

“I thought we were playing against Willie Mays in the outfield, Brooks Robinson at third and Derek Jeter at short,” Ruddy said. “We just couldn’t get past them.”

Spring was limited to only two hits through the first four innings against Clifton Park starter Greg Waldek before taking advantage of hard-throwing reliever Matt Alverson in their final at-bats.

Ryan Ruddy, Spring’s number nine hitter, started the rally, leading off with a single to short right field. He moved over on a passed ball and stole third. Justin Luther singled through the left side and Bayley Haskin drove in Ruddy with an RBI single and Luther scored on Brian Seabury’s RBI single, knotting the game at two runs apiece. Mel Swartz drove in Haskin with his single for the eventual game-winner and Nolan Porcelli plated Seabury on his groundout to third in the top of the sixth and final inning.

“(Justin) Luther pitched lights out to keep us in it,” Ruddy said. “My number nine hitter, he got the rally going for us.”

Luther went the distance, six innings, allowing only one hit and two unearned runs on the afternoon, sending Clifton Park down in order in his final three innings, including striking out the side in the fourth.

“I felt good,” Luther said. “It’s the best I’ve thrown in my life. I have a two-seam fastball and a change-up, they both worked today.”

For Luther the loss, which didn’t eliminate Clifton Park from the tournament, but moved them down in the standings, was sweet revenge.

“We faced them last week and they hit me OK,” Luther said. “They won in the bottom of the sixth and I was determined not to let that happen again.”

While Luther won’t be eligible to pitch in Tuesday’s semifinal against Wilton due to Cal Ripken Baseball league pitching rules, he is ready for Wednesday’s championship game.

“I have two stars, Luther and Nick Porcelli,” Ruddy said. “Porcelli goes in the next game and Luther will pitch in the championship game. Let them know what’s coming at them, that’s how ready we are.”

Spring will face Wilton 6 p.m. Tuesday in the semifinal. A win would place them in Wednesday’s 6 p.m. title game against the winner of the Clifton Park Green/Queensbury contest with a bid to the Mid-Atlantic Regional in Indian Mills, New Jersey.

SPRING 4, CLIFTON PARK 2

Clifton Park Green 110 000 – 2 1 1

Spring 000 04X – 4 7 3

Clifton Park – Waldek, Alverson (5) and Drum. Spring – Luther and Houser. 2B – (S) Haskin. SB – (CP) Drum, Gregory, Collins. (S) Luther, Seabury 2, Houser 2, Swartz, Barnes, Ruddy.

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