Temperatures continue to drop but Teaneck’s TBO 8U team stayed hot throughout the fall season. An 8U team generally has a lot of Fall baseball “rookies” as it’s the youngest grouping on the league circuit. This team was fortunate to have four players from last year’s fall team as veterans of the travel experience. Michael Green, Jack Ruditzky, Matthew Schwartz and Jordy Sheinfeld were back looking to improve on last year’s three win experience. Additionally, Joshua Markovitz and Judah Vogel had experience from working with the summer travel team. Five rec standouts filled out the remaining spots including Eliezer Kravetz, Liev Wolin, Jared Kinches, Jacob Mauskopf and Dani Grinfeld.
With a short eight game season, the team started strong right out of the gate. Week 1 vs the Woodcliff Lakers, Teaneck took a commanding lead and won 19-9 with good at bats. Jared Kinches had the first extra base hit of the season with a bases clearing double to break the game open in the second. Game 2 of the season was also the most exciting. After a high scoring game 1 this was a true pitchers duel. Ruditzky, Kravetz and Markovitz combined on pitching a one hitter with Schwartz calling a great game at catcher. Sheinfeld’s single drove in the first run of the game after singles by Ruditzky and Green. With the score tied at one going into the bottom of the sixth Markovitz led off with a walk. Ruditzky double ended the game with a 2-1 walk-off in dramatic fashion to bring the teams record to 2-0.
Game 3 quickly brought the team back to earth as Teaneck played a club team, the NJ Stampede. Teaneck jumped out to an early 3-0 lead with Sheinfeld hitting a bases loaded single in the first. Jared Kinches made a nice outfield catch to hold the stampede scoreless after one. The stampede then put on a hitting display with multiple long shots to the fence for a 15-4 pounding. Although the team lost they took the game as a great learning experience of how solid top to bottom aggressive hitting as a key to growing as players and winning games. The team hit the cages. Game 4 Teaneck put runs on the board in every inning highlighted with a triple by Green and singles by Wolin, Vogel, Grinfeld and Markovitz. Jacob Mauskopf made a great play in center throwing out a runner at first base on a grounder up the middle. With the game tied at 7 after six the Clarkstown Stars called the game as a tie to bring the record to 2-1-1.
Game 5 against upper saddle river was a rout. Ruditzky pitched a perfect game with 6 strikeouts to the first 6 batters and hit a double and a home-run. Sheinfeld had 3 hits, Green and Ruditzky 2 hits, and Mauskopf, Schwartz, Kravetz, Markovitz and Wolin each had base hits. Next up were the NJ Red Sox. After a pep talk by the coach about not losing to a team called the Red Sox, 3 Teaneck pitchers Ruditzky, Wolin and Markovitz threw a shutout. Teaneck took the lead for good in the fifth off of hits by Kravetz, Vogel, Mauskopf and Kinches leading to a 6-0 Teaneck win and a 4-1-1 record. Game 7 was against a yet to win Paramus team who is always the toughest nemesis of Teaneck travel. This year proved no different as Paramus pitchers were pumped up and held Teaneck to 2 runs through 4 innings. Teaneck pitchers were never comfortable on the mound and gave up a number of runs in the late innings. After 2 hits by Kravetz and a home-run by Markovitz Teaneck took a 10-9 lead to the bottom of the sixth. Teaneck couldn’t get the final out and Paramus scored the winning run on an infield hit.
The final game of the regular season was a rematch vs. the Woodcliff Lake Lakers and once again Teaneck put runs on the board winning 15-4 after 4 innings. Sheinfeld and Kravetz had multi hit games and Wolin had another good game on the mound. Teaneck ended the regular season at 5-2-1 and were in second place heading into the playoffs. After an odd ruling by the league that provided the Red Sox with a forfeit win on a game not played. Teaneck was dropped to 3rd place and had to travel for their playoff game and shot at the championship. In a high scoring game Teaneck took an 8-6 lead behind multi hit games by Ruditzky, Green and Kravetz. One tough inning saw Teaneck give up the lead for good. Final score was 18-13. Players fought hard until the final out just as they had all season.
Special thanks to head coach David Ruditzky who gave lots of his time in coaching and mentoring the kids, running practices and scheduling games. Additional thanks to the asst coaches and parents including Norm Blumenthal, Yudy Sheinfeld, Phil Green, Allan Schwartz, Eric Mauskopf and Avi Vogel.
The players, parents and coaches were thrilled with the progress the team made throughout the season. Players had a great time at practices and games and are thankful to the fans that showed up to the games throughout the season to support the team. After the final out the players were most excited to get a cup of hot chocolate as it was freezing out there!