There have been many history-making moments so far this summer for the Marlboro Youth Baseball and Softball Association’s (MYBSA) travel program.
The MYBSA has seen its 9U and 10U baseball teams win regional championships for the first time and has seen each team qualify to compete in the Cal Ripken Baseball World Series.
“It’s exciting,” MYBSA President Marc Sussman said. “We are building momentum with our town program. It’s showing kids what they can accomplish when competing in their hometown leagues with their friends.”
Marlboro’s 10U squad was on the doorstep of making history and reaching the World Series two years ago as 8-year-olds. However, in the Mid-Atlantic Regional championship game, Marlboro lost to Pennsbury, 14-6.
This summer the players came through in 10U Mid-Atlantic Regional title game on July 19 in Waynesboro, Pa. Trailing by a run in the fifth inning, Marlboro came back to defeat Warrington, 3-2, to win the regional crown and earn a trip to the World Series.
“It was nice to win after what happened two years ago,” Marlboro 10U manager Matthew Granese said. “This has been a four-year build-up. A majority of our kids have played travel and all-stars together all that time. We survived pool play and continued to get better as the tournament went on.”
Granese, who played baseball at Seton Hall University, is joined by Phil Marchese, Adam Alexander, Joe Mecchi and Marc Ench on the coaching staff. Marchese played baseball at CUNY Staten Island.
The Marlboro 10U squad has won district, state and regional crowns this summer. The players are Finn Alexander, Jesse Ench, Julian Ench, Jordan Fahmy, Joseph Garofalo, Anthony Granese, Anthony Gruenling, Eli Kessler, Matthew Luchi, Vince Marchese, Ethan Mecchi, Kaydn Salfarlie and Joshua Zung.
In the regional title game, Alexander doubled in a run to tie the score, 2-2. Salfarlie drove in the game-winning run with an infield single.
Granese said Marchese and Alexander did a great job “steadying the ship” on the mound in the low-scoring contest. The manager said he is comfortable putting any one of eight of the team’s players on the mound.
“What has really helped us over the years is our pitching depth,” Granese said. “The growth in our hitting and pitching showed in these tournaments.”
Reaching the Cal Ripken Baseball World Series has been a long time coming for the 10U squad. Granese has coached the players to many highlights over the past five years.
The players have won four district championships, two state crowns, a regional title and a number of tournaments associated with the United States Amateur Baseball League.
“We have been at the top of our age bracket for the last few years,” the manager said. “Our guys have worked so hard over the last four years to be a good team. They are very mature and have the confidence to compete with great teams.”
On Aug. 4, Marlboro will travel to Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where the 10U Cal Ripken Baseball World Series will be held. The tournament will run from Aug. 6-13.
Granese said he is looking forward to seeing his players experience the “hard to match” thrills of competing in a World Series against outstanding teams from around the country.
No matter what happens in Florida, the manager said he wants his players to have fun and said he knows they will represent New Jersey well by playing hard in every game no matter the situation.
“It’s not just about winning games,” Granese said. “We try to develop our players into good people off the field. Playing teams from around the country will give them a chance to show how we compete on the field and see what we can do to get better off it.”