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Sunday, February 23, 2020

While the World Series ended for the Giants and Royals on October 29th, the Teaneck 11U baseball team still had the PBI playoffs to contend with. So, on the night of Election Day, Tuesday, November 4th, the team was out practicing at Clubhouse under the lights, enjoying a surprisingly warm night in autumn.

Two days earlier, the team had earned a spot in the playoff semi-finals after defeating another playoff-bound team, Stony Point, by a score of 12-1. It was a game that completed a 5-3 winning season and was a strong showing for 11U in the PBI tournament. Ace Eli Zaretsky managed to pitch the entire game, needing no relief from Caleb Wolin or Abie Schwartz, who took turns in the pitching rotation during the regular season.

The 11U team’s defense was impressive throughout the eight-game season, holding opponents to a total of only 26 runs; just over 3 runs per game. Even the top-ranked Nanuet Knights, who were second best in this category behind Teaneck, allowed 36 runs–4.5 runs per game. This phenomenal stat is to the credit of the strong pitchers and talented defense on the Teaneck team.

On the offensive end, Teaneck was right in the middle of the pack, and was able to score runs even against the best teams in the league. Ultimately, though, Teaneck couldn’t get the hits to fall in a hard-fought game on Sunday, November 9th, to put an end to their hopes of playing for the championship.

Traveling out to Clifton as the third seed, Teaneck knew the second seed would be a tough match. Clifton had scored 81 runs during the regular season (10 runs per game) and had a three-game winning streak coming into the playoffs. In the 2nd inning, after getting one man on base with a walk, Clifton’s number 5 in the lineup connected with a hard fastball and sent the ball over the fence in left field for a home run. Teaneck remained mentally tough and made sure those were the only two runs Clifton scored all game. Unfortunately, it was not enough to win the game, as Teaneck was only able to score one run, even with plenty of solid contact and loading the bases earlier in the game.

While the defeat was not the way the 11U team wanted to end its season, it was clear to coaches, parents, and players that the season was a success because of the impressive development of the players individually and as a cohesive unit, and we are all looking forward to another great season next year!

The team’s roster included Akiva Boyarsky, Netanel Eckman, Aaron Epstein, Yis Kaminetzky, Jacob Rothman, Abie Schwartz, Natan Solomon, Yehuda Teitelman, Dovid Uretsky, Yair Wall, Caleb Wolin, Eli Zaretsky, and Joey Zelig.

Team manager Adam Wall was joined by coaches Ira Zaretsky, Matt Wolin and Howard Teitelman. Many thanks to the team parents and others who helped cheer on the team, to Ari Eckman and Josh Zelig who spent extra time helping out with team practices, Benny Zelig, the team bat boy, and especially all the players for making it a fun season.

By Adam Wall and Howie Teitelman