Nyack Indians Win Playoff Opener

The latest summer recreation and sports in the area

The summer Patch season will showcase the Recreation Notebook each Friday. The College Sports Notebook will resume in September. Please continue to forward items of interest to Marc Maturo at marcmaturo@aol.com.


The Nyack Indians built an early four-run lead, and then held off the crosstown Nyack Yankees, 6-5 in a first-round game of the North Jersey Amateur Baseball League (NJABL) postseason playoffs.

Rich Baerga, one of three players on the team from St. Thomas Aquinas College in Sparkill, sparked the Indians with a leadoff homer, while Ted Broderick and Sean Siegrist added RBI singles, but the Yankees later pulled ahead with four unearned runs in the top of the seventh inning.

Baerga again stepped to the fore, leading off the bottom half with a single and scoring on a double to left field by STAC’s Joe Antenucci, who scored the winning run on an overthrow.

Indians pitcher Tim Tedesco threw 6 1/3 innings with 10 strikeouts. Vinny Romano settled down after early trouble and went the distance for the Yankees, who are coached by player/manager Mario Martinez of Garnerville.

The Indians are managed by Barry Simon of Valley Cottage, a 41-year-old alum of Nyack High, who formed the team in 1994 with fellow graduates.

“I’ve kind of retired as player,” laughed Simon, noting he has had only three at-bats this season

Simon lauded the efforts of 20-year veteran right-hander Ken Pommerencke--yet another Nyack High alum and the “ace of the staff” – but is nevertheless happy to have Baerga, Antenucci, and Steve Maio, also out of STAC, leading the team’s youth movement.

“We were getting kind of old,” said Simon, adding that Pete Recla of Valley Cottage, an assistant coach at Tappan Zee HS, is still pitching as he nears 50, and also plays infield and outfield positions.

Another key member has been Westchester Community College player Fabio Ricci.

Martinez, the Yankees skipper, said he is already looking ahead to next year following the team’s 4-0 elimination loss to Little Ferry, but he remains in action with the New City Outlaws, a club still alive in the Westchester Rockland Wood Bat League (WRWBL) playoffs.

Martinez, 26, is a catcher who played at North Rockland HS and later at Barry University in Miami Shores, FL. He said his brother Manny, a center fielder out of North Rockland HS, outfielder Evan Torrens of Nyack, and shortstop Pat Salerno, a graduate of Rockland CC, had solid seasons.

In another first-round game in the New Jersey league, Robert Minaya hurled the final four innings to earn the win as the Rockland Royals defeated the Rutherford Rays, 5-2.

Nick Barbalato, Danny Roeser and Joe Ferrara each had two hits. Ferrara chipped in three RBI, and JJ Giordano spun a spectacular three-hitter, striking out eight while walking just two and not allowing an earned run.


Wait ’till next year

The Rockland Rebels, who ended their fourth season in the New Jersey Amateur Baseball League without making the playoffs, are already looking forward to next season, and a new team under a new name.

“We had a rough year … in the process of rebuilding,” noted player/manager Chris Berretta, a Clarkstown South alum who also pitched and played the outfield at Rockland Community College. “We’re going to change the name next year, with a (partially) new roster.”

The 32-year-old Berretta, a left-hander who has taken to tossing a knuckleball –“The batters think it’s pretty good,” he said, when asked about its effectiveness—believes 37-year-old first baseman/third baseman John Ruffolo of Yonkers will be back.

Craig Robinson of Stony Point, a graduate of North Rockland HS and SUNY Cortlandt, is still throwing hard at 30, and was the ace of the staff.

Other key returnees are expected to be center fielder Bobby Villante, who throws right-handed but bats left-handed, and Pearl River HS graduates and brothers Carl and Bobby Holmsen. Carl mans the vital shortstop position while Bobby, who also throws right-handed and bats left-handed, pitches and plays third base.


Olympian effort

Lakeland High alum Melissa Gonzalez and the U.S. women’s field hockey team failed to capitalize on penalty corners, and missed a penalty stroke in the first half in a 1-0 loss to Australia in women’s field hockey action at the Olympic Games in London.

The U.S. had upended Argentina, 1-0, in its opener, as Gonzalez, a graduate of the University of Connecticut,, and Katelyn Falgowski of Landenberg, PA, were instrumental in keeping Argentine star Luciana Aymar silent throughout the match.

With the loss to Australia, the U.S. fell to 1-2 in Group B play with two games remaining. The team needs to be in one of the top two spots in the six-team pool in order to advance to the semifinals. The Americans are in fifth place heading into Saturday’s game against first-place New Zealand.

Some thought it was a fluke. Ranked No. 13 in the world, the U.S. was not expected to win the gold medal. But, they did.  

In the second match of the preliminary rounds at the Olympic Games, the U.S. and Argentina met again. With a lot on the line and something to prove, the U.S. repeated their performance from the Pan American Games and came out with a 1-0 win. 

Harking back on the win against Argentina, Gonzalez was quoted as saying, “It was incredible, sensational, so many words I can use. Knowing that we needed to win and continue to win and take it one game at a time especially after we got beat by Germany, coming out to play such a great team like Argentina. You know you have to give everything, every ounce of your body and soul out there so this was huge.”


This and That

  • The St. John’s University basketball programs are joining forces once again with the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF) for the 2nd annual “Dribble for the Cure” fundraising event. The event will take place on the St. John’s University Queens campus on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The proceeds will support Dr. Mitchell S. Cairo at the PCRF Laboratory at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at New York Medical College. Interested sponsors, volunteers and participants should contact Rosanna Capalbo at rcapalbo@pcrf-kids.org.
  • The Town of Orangetown’s Summer Concert Series continues tonight (August 3) at Veterans Memorial Park in Orangeburg, beginning at 6:30 p.m. with a special family movie night, The Uncle Brothers. The summer series concludes August 10 at 7:45 p.m. with the Mystical Majesty Band, touted as the East Coast’s Greatest Beatles cover band. Attendees should bring blankets and chairs.
  • Western New England University basketball standout Dennis Rinaldi of Harrison, who is overseas attending a college-sponsored study program, took time out to support the United States at the Olympic Games in London.
  • Tim Urban, an American Idol finalist, will be in concert on Friday, Aug. 24 at Germonds Park, 185 Germonds Road, West Nyack. The event, which is free to Clarkstown residents set to start at 7:30 p.m., is sponsored by the Clarkstown Parks Board and Recreation Commission.
  • If you’ve driven along Route 340 in Sparkill, hard by St. Thomas Aquinas College, and noticed a mass of construction equipment, and a field apparently being formed, you have seen a sign of the future for the college’s lacrosse, soccer and softball teams. The Spartans’ teams will now be playing on a state-of-the-art turf field, although the highly successful baseball team will probably retain Provident Bank Park (PBP) in Pomona as its home field.
  • Tonight’s 7 p.m. game at Provident Bank Park in Pomona features the Boulders against the Kansas City T-Bones as College Night kicks off Western Weekend, with $1 beer available from select locations. Present your college ID for $5 off your ticket purchase, and enjoy post-game live music with the Boulder Band in the Coors Light Bridge Bar. The Boulders are home again Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m., before traveling to Quebec for a three-game series. Rockland returns home on Thursday night at 7 to welcome the New Jersey Jackals.


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