2022 Yankees ‘Walk-Off’ for 45+ Ed Jusino Division Title at Long Island MSBL/MABL

Long Island MSBL/MABL, 45+ Ed Jusino Division

LaPiazza Yankees 7, Dix Hills Dodgers 6

‘Yanks Capture ‘3-Peat’ Championship’

Submitted by Joe D’Andria, Yankees manager

The Yankees went into the season with the hopes of winning their sixth Championship out of the seven years in the division. The Yankees have the oldest team in the division with an average age of 61.

The Yanks went 13 and 3 through the regular season finishing in first place.

The regular season started with a huge loss, not the game, but our team’s catcher and two hitter, Chuck Korn, pulled a hamstring trying to beat out an infield hit and we lost Chuck for the first 12 games.

With Korn down the Yankees went to Bob Rizzo to fill the gap. Rizzo has played games at almost every position. Without Rizzo the Yanks would never have won the division. Bob is one of the best team players you will ever meet. He has been a long stay in the league, winning batting titles, gold gloves, RBI titles, all with a quiet leadership.

This regular season was very similar to most of them. The Yanks pride themselves on their defense. No team can play defense well without a strong infield. Mike Bass, John Manfredo, Rich Gorecki, and Gary D’Ambrisi played the season with minimal errors and as always, it helps when you have the soft hands and big frame of 6’4” lefty first baseman, Jaime Schwartz. Jaime makes us all look good. In addition to battling injuries all year, Joe Henry continued to play a stellar right field.

After sitting out round one of the playoffs with the bye, the Yanks drew the always difficult, keep coming at you Cardinals. We tapped Manfredo for game one, and as usual, Manfredo did not disappoint, going all nine, giving up four hits and racking up 12K’s. Yanks bats were led by Drew Seccafico with a huge double in the sixth to put the Yanks on top. Other Yankees that pitched in with big hits were Ed Sparrow and me with two apiece.

In game two the Yanks tapped big game Nelson Lewis, who pitched eight innings, giving up two runs on seven hits with 5 K’s. The ninth inning was closed out by E. Sparrow rounding off his season again with an ERA of 0.00. In the last four seasons, Sparrow has thrown 31.2 innings pitched to an ERA of 0.00!

Yankees bats were led by Manfredo with a 2-run bomb, leadoff hitter Paul Simorella with three hits, three runs, one RBI, Bass with two hits, Korn with a big double and something you don’t see often, I put myself in the game and collected a single, double, a run, and an RBI.

The Yanks advanced to the finals against the Dodgers, two teams that like and respect each other. Going into the series both managers, me and Mike Petit, knew this would be a test for each of their teams.

We tapped Rich Gorecki for game one and did he ever come through! Gorecki gave up one run in the first and that was it. Throwing all nine, he gave up one run, four hits, and three K’s with his defense playing flawlessly.

Yank’s hitters in game one were paced by Ed Dewalter and Jerry Diliberti with two hits each and Gorecki, Korn, and Seccafico swiping multiple bags.

In game two, Manfredo got the nod. With the Dodger’s back against the wall, we knew it would not be easy.  Manfredo kept the Yankees in the game but the Yankee bats were being kept at bay after the first inning when they scored four runs.

The Yanks finally took the lead in the top of the ninth by one run.

The Dodgers were not going to go quietly into the night. They came back with two in the bottom of the ninth to win game two.  The Yank’s bats were paced again with two hits each from Jim Sparrow, Seccafico, and Bass.

Game three was all or nothing so Gorecki got the nod!  This time the Dodgers came out with a quick three runs in the first. This was a game where the usual strong ‘D’ faltered with the Yanks making three errors.  This time for the Yanks they came up in the bottom of the ninth down three runs.  I brought the team together with a little pep talk, “we have the top of the order, five hits in a row this game is ours.”

The inning started with a walk to Simorella, a Seccafico bunt single, and a Manfredo single to right, resulting in one run in.  Dewalter then singled to left to knock two runs in, and then a wild pitch and an intentional walk to J. Sparrow loaded the bases. After an infield fly, that brought up Bruce Grossman.  On the second pitch to Bruce, a right-handed hitter, he did his thing, driving a rope line drive about five feet fair down the rightfield line.  YANKEES win!!

La Piazza will be back again in 2023 to try to defend their title!