Long Island MSBL, 45+ Division
La Piazza Yankees 2, Panthers 0 (game two of best of three sweep)
‘Manfredo Shuts Out Panthers in Title Game’
Submitted by Joe D’Andria, Yankees manager
The Yankees went through a very different type of season under the new rules for COVID-19, finishing the Long Island MSBL 45-over campaign with one regular season loss. The Yankees got behind their four starting pitchers, John Manfredo, Rich Gorecki, Nelson Lewis and Mike Bass, as well as relief pitcher Ed Sparrow. Sparrow and Manfredo both finished the year with ERA’s under 0.30.
The Yanks first playoff opponent were the always tough Cardinals, with the Yanks winning a high scoring game one, 15 to 13. Game two was a 14 to 1 Yankee win with Manfredo going the distance. Usual great defensive plays from Joe Henry in right helped to hold off the Cards in game one. Our offense always goes as Paul Simorella and Chuck Korn go at the top of our line up with hits, walks and six stolen bases. The middle of the Yanks order was paced by Bruce Grossman with five RBIs, Ed Dewalter 6 for 6 and five RBIs, Rich Gorecki with five RBIs, Gary D’Ambrisi with a 3-hit game, and then Jim and Ed Sparrow with a combined six RBIs.
In the finals the Yankees faced the first-place Panthers. Game one was played on a very tough, sunny field for the outfielders, making what is usually a low scoring match up. The Yanks held on for a 12 to 8 victory. With starting catcher Chuck Korn out with a knee injury, Bob Rizzo caught his second game of nine innings on the same field back to back. He also stepped in and gave the Yankees what they needed to get the win while chipping in with two big hits. The hitting stars were Simorella, Gorecki, Grossman, Dewalter, Manfredo and D’Ambrisi.
In game two, I went with our number one pitcher, John Manfredo. John did not disappoint! He faced a very tough pitcher in Jeff Hinman. Manfredo was just a little bit better, throwing a 3-hit, five strikeout shut-out, winning 2 to 0. His battery-mate was Chuck Korn, who caught a great game on one healthy leg.
We played great defense, led by Gorecki with 10 put outs at short and a perfect defensive game from first baseman Jamie Schwartz. The Yanks first run came on back-to-back doubles by Grossman and Dewalter. The second run the Yanks played small ball, as Jerry Diliberti led off getting hit by a pitch on an 0-2 count and was bunted over by Simorella. He then scored on a Grossman hit.
I want to thank both the Cardinals and Panthers for great games and sportsmanship.