The Hudson Valley Westchester MSBL Season crowned three league champions, had no Covid-19 cases, and still managed to give more than $10,000 away to local youth leagues and other charities in 2020!

By Rick Stockfield, League President, Hudson Valley Westchester MSBL

With New York being the hot spot and epicenter for Covid-19 back in April and May, I admittedly did not think the 2020 baseball season was going to happen, but prepared for it like it was.  Our staff prepared for it with precautions which included team thermometers, Covid and social distancing guidelines, league provided thermometers, individual player league logo’d bandanas among other items…. As a result, the league got in all but ten games and more importantly zero-reported Covid-19 cases. 

I give credit to the managers and players for complying with all of the social distancing rules and regulations and respecting the parks we used this season.  Great town relationships were critical as the league lost five separate fields during the season and some municipalities stepped up!

Below are our Three 2020 Hudson Valley League Champions!!

45+ Division – Congratulations to the Hudson Valley Westchester MSBL 45+ Champion Carmel Sharks who defeated the defending champion New York Isotopes 8-5 to win their first HVMSBL championship at Kent’s Ryan’s Field in Carmel on Sunday October 10th. Starter Todd Gordon went the distance giving up just one earned run; JP Cunningham had what would be the game-winning RBI; and Andy Szostak had a key 2RBI single later in the game to provide insurance runs.

A season after going 7-11, the team added some key components in Ray Karst (.372), Paul Szostak (.370), and Andy Szostak (.636 avg. and 11SBs). The team finished 10-2 overall outscoring their opponents 151-71. After these additions, the Sharks were led by Mo Chavarria (.436), Chris Hicks (.412, 15 RBI*), Rick Stockfield (.417, 15RBI*, 12BB, 5 wins* on the mound), Lance Pliego (.538 average and .708 OBP), Greg Crouser (2.31ERA and a league leading 37K*).

This team was a team in every sense of the word. Contributions up and down the order, selflessness and both key hit after hit and play after play. Great job by Joe Bermudez catching the semi-finals, Dennis Carroscio for shagging down ball after ball in the outfield, Ken Buchler (.308, 11RBI), Michael Maruzella (.520), and special thanks to Bill Kean coming off a shoulder injury and to Tom Vaculik and Rick Zolzer who could not attend the final game, but were important parts of the team this season.  Great job and congratulations to Manager Michael Petrone on his first championship!!

35+ National Division – Congratulations to the Bridge City Athletics – who defeated the New York Mariners 7-2 to claim their fourth title in the last five years.  Jim Petrosino went seven strong innings giving up only two runs while striking out five; Dan Slate, Kris Anderson and Chris LaForge all that two hits while Nick DeMarco and LaForge had two and three RBI respectively.

Led by Demarco (.568, 15 RBI), Dan Slate (.500 and 23SBs), Mark Petrosino (.422 and 21RBI) the A’s hit a robust .337 on the season.  7-2 Jim Petrosino and 3-1 Alex Forster, the A’s shut down opponents on the mound.  Congrats to Manager Sven Jenkins on being organized and assembling a winning team during a crazy 2020.

35+ American Division – Congratulations to the 35+ American Division Champions Putnam Sharks who defeated the Hudson Valley Yankees 6-2 at Kent’s Ryan’s Field. Ryan Ball went the distance allowing just two runs (one earned) over seven innings while striking out 12. Ray Karst went 3-3 (with two doubles and and RBI), Mark Xifo 3-3 with 2 runs scored and 2SBs and Joe Mercurio 2-3 with two doubles and two RBI.

This marks the first championship for the 35+ Sharks and second in a week for manager Michael Petrone (45+ Sharks).

Charity and Giving Back, Still -In spite of the pandemic, the Hudson Valley Westchester MSBL was still conscious of its civic duty gave more than $10,000 back to the local community in the form of grants to ten local youth leagues and several organizations that support those with developmental disabilities.  The HVMSBL also gave a $500 donation to LS Warriors, the national MSBL Charity of choice as well.  You can view the HVMSBL’s work through its ‘3 Up 3 Down Foundation’ at www.3up3down.org

Post Season Tournaments – This fall the league sent two of its own teams to post-season MSBL tournaments this season: the Hudson Valley Westchester Sharks to Phoenix (World Series) AND the New York Isotopes to West Palm Beach (Fall Classic)

For more information about the Hudson Valley Westchester MSBL, visit the league at www.hvmsbl.com.