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North Castle Daily News

Byram Hills Golfer Ally Steffen Goes to States
By Sam Donsky, Student Intern

July 15, 2015
Byram Hills High School raked in some state qualifications in sporting events this spring. On top of the BHHS Varsity Baseball Team winning the Class A State Championship, the girls Varsity Golf Team put its name on the map when sophomore Ally Steffen qualified for the state tournament in golf.

“It was really fun because you find out [you’ve made it to state] right as you finish playing because they have it all on the scoreboard,” Ally said. “I went right to the other girls [who qualified] because I knew a bunch of them from playing in the season. They were all really excited.”

Ally Steffen started golfing in 8th grade and quickly mastered the skill. “I spent the next two summers completely dedicated to golfing, playing and practicing almost every day I could,” she said.

She then moved on to play on the Byram Hills Varsity Team with other notable players, like Kim Bacon as well as Alex and Kristina Grimaldis. The season with the team was a dream come true for Ally and the girls on the team made it even better. “The golf team is different in the way that it is more individual so the team doesn’t have to be great,” Ally said, “but there were a lot of good girls on the team as well as girls who were there for the fun.” She wants to specifically thank senior Kim Bacon for making the year as successful as it was for Steffen.

Ally finished fourth in the section after the regular season matches. The top 40 players qualified for the sectional playoff day one, then the top 20 moved on to day two. From there, the top nine girls advanced as the Section 1 team for States, which included Ally.

The state tournament at The College Golf Course at Delhi was a two-day stroke play tournament that took place last Saturday and Sunday. The tournament’s results consisted of individual winners as well as an overall Section title. The top 8 out of 9 scores count for the Section Team total. The section Ally played for, Section 1, won the State Championship for the first time in the history of the Section.

One of the major takeaways for Ally was spending time with the girls. No other Byram Hills girls were there but Ally knew the other girls from section 1 from having played with them in the season. “Golf is different in the sense that you have three hours to really get to know the girl you're playing with.” Some of her favorite times during the tournament were actually in the college dorms hanging out with the other girls.

All in all, the experience is what Ally took away from the entire event. “I went into the weekend knowing that it was my first time ever in this type of tournament and just making it was a big accomplishment. I didn't go into the tournament with too many expectations. I just wanted to gain the experience and ultimately have fun.

“Although on Saturday I hadn't played great, I went into Sunday looking to improve,” she said laughing,  “and I had, so I took the small victory and used this year to gain experience, hoping to go back next year and once again improve.”


Community Celebrates State Champions

July 6, 2015
It has been a few weeks since the Byram Hills baseball team brought home the New York State Class A 2015 championship on June 14. The team is the high school’s first baseball section, regional and state champions. It’s an accomplishment that will bond the team members forever. The young men have shown that they are generous and humble as they share the glory of the championship with the community during this exciting time at Byram Hills.

There has never been a moment when any of them used the word “I.” They always say “we” as they showed their appreciation and pleasant surprise from all the community support. Basking in the glory of what stands out the most, is not only the hard work that the team displayed during the season, but the appreciation of their teammates, family, friends, coaches and community.

At first, senior Michael Aberman said he spent about 10 minutes a day asking, “Did this actually happen? After the sectional win, it sunk in that this is ours. This is not just a win for Byram Hills High School, it’s a great accomplishment to bring home the hardware for the whole town to show that all the hard work paid off because we love the game. And there’s no better way to show it than winning the state title.”

What advice does Aberman have for those who follow in the team’s footsteps? “Do your job, and believe in yourself because it’s infectious and you will work harder.”

Some senior team members spoke to the crowd from the Town Hall steps on June 19 after the community cheered the team as they paraded down Main Street.

“Thank you to the families. Without you this would not be possible,” said senior Jake Stuckelman. “Working all this year, we knew this was going to be tough,” he added. “But we knew from day one that this is what we wanted. Our goal was to win the section title, and then to win the state title. Everyone put in 100% and I’m proud of everyone who partook in the season at some point.”

“Thanks for being with us on such an incredible ride,” said senior Tommy Gagliardi. “It takes a special group of guys to do what we did. Every guy on that team did their job when their number was called and that’s why we were so powerful, why we went so deep into the playoffs, and eventually won the state championship. When we got deep into the playoff run, we realized we weren’t just playing for ourselves anymore, Thank you for celebrating our greatest triumph. The trophy that we got isn’t just our team’s trophy, it is Armonk’s trophy because we all earned it together.” Gagliardi plans to play baseball at Union College.

Coach Scott Saunders has coached baseball at Byram Hills High School for 12 years. “A big thank you to all the fans, the fire department and the police department who have been fantastic,” he said as the team was escorted off I-684 when they returned home after winning the championship game in Binghamton. Coach Saunders congratulated the entire baseball coaching staff: Levi Litman, Bill Scherf, Matt DeAngelis, Robert Jordan, Jim Moran, Mike Huffman and Ted Huffman. Saunders pointed out that “Kellen Hatheway leaves this program as Byram Hills’ best baseball player who holds numerous school records.” Hatheway plans to play at Williams College where he will face Gagliardi when the teams play against one another.

“What these boys have accomplished at this level is done as a team,” said Supervisor Michael Schiliro. “The training through Armonk Baseball League (ABL) involved so many people who had a hand in coaching them as young 5-year-old players”, he added. “It’s a terrific honor and an incredible ending that has given a sense of pride to the community.”

In the beginning of the season, the team had a list of goals in addition to the section title and state title. One of the goals was to become a family. That was accomplished through winning the state title, said senior Val Amorosana. Although the season is over and the final high school game has been played by the seniors, in many ways they are at the beginning of a new legacy, a new baseball tradition at Byram Hills. “Historically we are a soccer town. The 2015 baseball team joins the 2007 soccer team as the second state championship team in the history of Byram Hills, and more recently, the basketball team has seen some success. The little league has been strong for the past few years," he added, "and we really hope to turn Byram Hills into more of a baseball town. There’s enormous pride and a lot of love for the team, family, and community for being part of this and having something to show for all the hard work." What words of advice does Amorosana give to those who follow? “Beat us out! We were 22-5, go 27-0. Strive for the perfect season. I would love to come back next year and see Frankie batting .600.”

“It’s just great to bring this back to the community,” said Junior Greg Giuliani. Hard work that started in the fall got the team to where they are today. “Selfless and relentless, that’s our motto," he said. “Putting others before us and doing what’s best for the team. Doing the little things like bringing a ball bucket back, or doing what you do to help the team in the long run, leading the team on and off the field. This accomplishment gives us the motivation to get another championship!”

Rising junior John Spadafino advised younger players to “stay calm, put your heart into the game. Don’t try to do too much by killing the ball, and don’t try to make everything look pretty. Just do everything right, and that’s all you got to do.”

These young men's work ethic on and off the field is a great example for those who will follow in their footsteps. “Work hard,” said Stuckelman. “There is always a spot to fill even if it’s doing the clicker, or doing the book. Everything is important when it comes to a team.”

Rising senior Tommy Formicola is the team’s manager. He said he gave the team speeches and helped out by collecting bats, balls and helmets. “I’m very proud of them,” said Formicola. He also said he will miss the seniors.  

At the June 24 North Castle Town Board meeting, the Town Board further recognized the team. Guy Mezzancello, former commissioner and one of the founding fathers of ABL, said he remembered when some of the players were so small that they could barely throw the ball over the plate. "You put Byram Hills on the map," he said.

Coach Saunders thanked the Town Board for making the ride so special. “The public outcry of support and emotion has been unreal. The work that we have been able to do between ABL and BHHS has been fantastic. These boys are a great group of kids. They represented our community, our school, and our program well. They deserve every honor they get. I couldn’t be happier for them, and love these guys.”

Tommy Gagliardi said the team appreciated what the Town Board has done for the baseball team and overall support of the Byram Hills athletic teams. He said that the team is thankful and honored that the Town Board is considering to place a sign in front of the eagle that will recognize the team as state champions. “It’s not only great for Byram Hills athletics, but it’s also an inspiration for kids who may be young athletes who aspire to be great one day. They look up at us and maybe see themselves in a few years.”

Senior Matt Gertz said the biggest thank you needs to go to our Coach Saunders. "He has really been such a role model and mentor for all of us. We could not have asked for a better coach to lead us to the state championship.”

Byram Hills NYS Class A Baseball Champions
Byram Hills Captures Class A State Championship
 
June 14, 2015
The Byram Hills Baseball Team arrived in Armonk after 10 p.m. on Saturday after a long bus ride home. They were escorted by a convoy of  Police and Fire Department vehicles, and followed by dozens of private cars that waited off of I-684. Lights flashing, horns blaring, the joyous team and coaching staff disembarked to the chant of "State Champs" by parents, friends, and fans.

After playing five hours of championship ball in two tight games and a six-hour round trip bus ride, the boys arrived back at Byram Hills High School as State Champions. The accomplishment was still being absorbed, but perhaps had not yet fully sunk in as to what it would mean beyond the team to the entire town and the BHHS alumni.

With hard work, constant focus and unyielding determination, and sheer grit in late inning pressure-packed situations, as they did all season, the team bore down one game at a time as they played a morning-afternoon double header for the championship at Maine-Endwell High School. Their first game was against Levittown-Division Avenue High School, which was ranked No. 1 in NYS Class A in the most recent NYSSWA poll. It was a tough game, and the Bobcats were the underdogs as they were ranked No. 3. The thrilling extra-inning win ended in the bottom of the tenth inning, 4-3, with a walkoff RBI by senior Jacob Stuckelman.
 
Junior Frankie Vesuvio was hurling a no-hitter into the sixth inning. He threw about 120 pitches in the semifinal game that started at 10:00 a.m. “After the Sectionals, we were just focused on this, and we got it,” stated Vesuvio.

Rye High School was the defending Section Champions and State Finalist last year. Rye and Byram split the last two games of the regular season, but the Bobcats beat them in the rubber game in the Section Finals, 4-3. Vesuvio declared, “The defeat of Rye was our biggest game because it was against our greatest rival. The remaining games after the Sections were against teams that we don't know.”

The Bobcat championship season ended at a lofty 22-5 which was the most-ever wins by the baseball squad and the best-ever win percentage. Their post season’s total seven games were impressive with a cumulative 54 runs scored, and merely 11 runs allowed, and included three shutouts.

Junior Kevin Wietsma caught for 17 innings in the two final games. He said he loves catching because he’s in on every defensive play. Wisely he cooled off in an ice bath between the two games. “We've been waiting for this for three years,” he said. “This is the hardest group of working guys. The seniors are ending their high school career on a win which is something that not many people can say they have done.”

Eight team members on the roster are seniors. Vesuvio and Wietsma will return next year.

The Bobcats knocked off Division in their most challenging game of the day. While Vesuvio was taken out in the top of the 9th, lefty Jonathan Kaiser came in as a reliever for only his third appearance of the season. Kaiser walked his first batter, followed by three straight outs. In the top of the 10th, Saunders brought in Matt Gertz. That was a gutsy move by Saunders since Gertz was starting in the second game. But you don’t become Champions without guts and Byram Hills had plenty of that all season long. Gertz unfortunately loaded the bases, but was able to get out of the inning, enabling the Bobcats to score and to advance onto the next and final game.

In the second game on Saturday, Gertz pitched seven innings against No. 2 ranked Queensbury. Byram Hills Junior Anthony Russo came in the 7th with one out and men on first and second. This was Russo’s first appearance on the mound this season due to an injury. He loaded the bases and then hit a batter. Queensbury scored in the bottom of the 7th as Byram Hills held the lead, 3-2. Byram Hills John DiMarco came in with bases loaded and two outs. Queensbury’s Justin Troelstra leaned into DiMarco’s pitch and in a rare call, the umps ruled an intentional lean-in and not a hit batsman. Troelstra hit the next pitch deep into center. Vesuvio, who plays centers when not on the mound, made a backpedaling game-winning catch; Queensbury would have won the game if he had not snared it. In a day of rare events, Vesuvio started the day with the game's first pitch and ended it with the second game's last catch. Byram Hills won 3-2 to become NYS Class A Champions.

Coach Scott Saunders
“We all really wanted this. It's been a goal for these guys since they lost last year,” said Coach Scott Saunders earlier in the postseason. The work they put in, from the beginning of the school year was a winning formula. They practiced two times a week, lifting weights in November, throwing and hitting in January. Saunders said, "These guys have worked hard to get to this point."

About the State Championship, Saunders said, “It’s awesome. We're going to reflect upon it and enjoy it. The kids earned it.”

One day later, Tommy Gagliardi said it felt amazing to be State Champions because “it’s something that the team has been working towards and dreaming about since we were kids in Little League and freshmen in high school. Many of the teammates have played together since Armonk Baseball League 12U and earlier.” The force that got the team to the championship, said Gagliardi, is their work ethic and chemistry. “We have worked harder than any other team out there. We always tried to push each other to be the best we could be. The Championship is an accomplishment that nobody can take away from us.”

Ira Schulman, Byram Hills Board of Education President and an avid Bobcat sports fan, said there cannot be a finer send off for Mike Gulino, Byram Hills Athletic Director, than to award him a State Championship in Baseball. Schulman said there are certain things he thought he’d never see at Byram Hills: a baseball state championship and a basketball sectional championship. Now they both came to pass in Class A which is by far the most competitive in New York High School sports, he concluded.

The 2015 Byram Hills Baseball team now joins the 2007 Soccer Team as the only two Byram Hills High School State Champions across almost 50 years of athletic history.

BHHS Spring Sports, Scores & Schedules

BASEBALL, Boys Varsity: record 22-5-0 -- NYS Champs!
03/29, Sun.; Tappan Zee @ BHHS, 9-2 WIN
03/30, Mon.; John Jay CR @ BHHS, 10-1 WIN
04/06, Mon.; BH @ Albertus Magnus, 3-0 WIN
04/10, Fri.; Nanuet @ BHHS, 3-1 loss
04/14, Tue.; Port Chester @ BHHS, 8-0 WIN
04/15, Wed.; Westlake @ BHHS, 10-1 WIN
04/16, Thu.; BH @ Port Chester, 13-1 WIN
04/20, Mon.; Eastchester @ BHHS, 3-2 WIN
04/22, Wed.; BH @ Eastchester, 9-2 loss
04/24, Fri.; Roosevelt @ BHHS, 2-0 WIN
04/25, Sat.; BH vs. Scarsdale, 4-3 WIN
04/26, Sun.; BH @ Ossining, 1-0 loss
04/28, Tue.; BH @ Harrison, 8-0 WIN
04/30, Thu.; Harrison @ BHHS, 10-0 WIN
05/01, Fri.; Pearl River @ BHHS, 9-5 loss
05/04, Mon.; BH @ Nyack, 3-1 WIN
05/07, Thurs; Pelham @ BHHS, 9-4 WIN
05/08, Fri.; BH @ Pelham, 15-5 WIN
05/12, Tue.; BH @ Rye, 15-2 WIN
05/14, Thu.; Rye @ BHHS, 8-2 loss
SECTIONAL 05/21 Thu; #15 Somers @ #2 BH 10-0 WIN
SECTIONAL Quarters 05/23 Sat.; #7 Nyack @ #2 BH, 9-3 WIN
SECTIONAL Semis 05/27 Wed.; #3 Lincoln @ #2 BH, 15-0 WIN
SECTIONAL Finals 05/30 Sat.; #1 Rye / #2 BH, 4-3 WIN
REGIONAL Finals 06/06 Sat.; Sec. 1 BH vs. Sec. 9 Saugerties, 9-0
WIN
STATES Semis 06/13 Sat.; Sec. 1 BH vs. Sec. 8 Levittown-Divison, 4-3 WIN
STATES Finals 06/13 Sat.; Sec. 1 BH vs. Sec. 2 Queensbury, 3-2 WIN

LACROSSE, Boys Varsity: record 9-7-0
; season over
03/23, Mon., Nyack @ BHHS, 9-7 WIN
03/26, Thu.; BH @ North Rockland, 12-3 loss
04/07, Tue.; Clarkstown S., @ BHHS 12-6 WIN
04/11, Sat.; Nanuet @ BHHS, 9-3 WIN
04/13, Fri.; BH @ Suffern, 13-7 loss
04/15, Wed.; Rye @ BHHS, 12-5 WIN
04/17, Fri.; White Plains @ BHHS, 11-10 loss
04/21, Tue.; BH @ Mamaroneck, 11-7 loss
04/23, Thu.; Eastchester @ BHHS, 7-6 WIN
04/25, Sat.; Westlake @ BHHS, 11-6 WIN
04/27, Mon.; BH @ Harrison, 11-7 WIN
05/01, Fri., Tappan Zee @ BHHS, 12-10 WIN
05/04, Mon., BH @ Pelham, 11-10 loss
05/05, Tue., BH @ New Rochelle,
05/07, Thu., Scarsdale @ BH, 12-5 WIN
05/09, Sat., BH @ Pleasantville, 7-6 loss
SECTIONAL 05/14,#11 Somers @ #6 BH, 10-7 loss

LACROSSE, Girls Varsity: record 9-5-1; season over
03/27, Fri.; Ursuline @ BHHS, 11-9 loss
04/08, Wed.; BH @ Pearl River, 11-11 Tie
04/14, Tue.; BH @ Eastchester, 15-8 WIN
04/16, Thu.; BH @ Pleasantville, 17-13 WIN
04/18, Sat.; Pelham @ BHHS, 14-3 WIN
04/20, Mon.; Albertus Magnus @ BHHS
04/22, Wed.; Rye @ BHHS 11-10 loss
04/24, Fri.; BH @ Pelham
04/28, Tue.; Harrison @ BHHS, 15-9 WIN
04/29, Wed.; BH @ Nanuet, 14-7 WIN 
04/30, Thu.; Eastchester @ BHHS, 16-10 WIN  
05/01, Fri.; Tappan Zee @ BHHS, 12-10 WIN
05/04, Mon.; BH @ Harrison, 12-7 WIN
05/05, Tue.; Bronxville @ BHHS, 15-6 loss
05/08, Fri.; BH @ Rye, 8-6 loss
05/09, Sat.; BH @ Nyack
SECTIONAL 05/14, Thu.; #11 Brewster @ #6 BH, 11-7 WIN
SECTIONAL 05/16, Sat.; #6 BH @ #3 Rye, 14-10 loss

SOFTBALL, Girls Varsity: record 4-14-0; season over
04/06, Mon.; BH @ Albertus Magnus, 12-4 loss
04/08, Wed.; Riverside @ BHHS, 12-7 loss
04/10, Fri.: Nanuet @ BHHS
04/11, Sat.; BH @ Nyack, 11-8 loss
04/14, Tues.; Port Chester @ BHHS, 11-9 WIN
04/14, Tue.; Briarcliff @ BHHS, 16-3 WIN
04/16, Thu.; Eastchester @ BHHS, 6-0 loss
04/17, Fri.; Nanuet @ BHHS, 13-9 loss
04/20, Mon.; BH @ Harrison, 19-4 loss
04/22, Wed.; Pelham @ BHHS, 11-1 loss
04/24, Fri.; Saunders @ BHHS, 15-3 loss
04/25, Sat.; Keio @ BHHS, 13-6 WIN
04/27, Mon.; Pleasantville @ BHHS, 21-11 loss
04/28, Tue.; BH @ Rye, 19-4 loss
04/30, Thu.; BH @ Port Chester, 12-2 loss
05/01, Fri.; Yonkers @ BHHS, 16-10 WIN
05/02, Sat.; BH vs. Pelham, 14-7 loss
05/06, Wed.; BH vs. Eastchester, 9-1 loss
05/08, Fri.; Harrison vs. BHHS, 10-0 loss
05/11, Mon.; BH @ Irvington
05/14, Thu.; Rye @ BHHS

Boys Tennis: record 11-3-1
03/27, Fri.; BH vs. Keio, 4-2 WIN
03/27, Fri.; BH vs. Harrison, 3-3 Tie
04/09, Thu.; BH @ Nyack, rain out  
04/13, Mon.; Suffern @ BHHS, 7-0 WIN 
04/15, Wed.; New Rochelle @ BH, 7-0 WIN 
04/16, Thu.; H. Mann @ BHHS, 2-5 loss
04/17, Fri.; BH @ Blind Brook, 6-1 WIN         
04/21, Tue.; BH vs. Scarsdale, 2-5 loss 
04/23, Thu.; BH vs. Edgemont, 5-2 WIN 
04/27, Mon.; BH @ Fox Lane, 7-0 WIN 
04/28, Tue.; Harrison @ BHHS, 5-2 WIN
04/30, Thu.; Mamaroneck @ BH, 2-5 loss 
05/01, Fri.; John Jay CR @ BH, 6-1 WIN 
05/02, Sat.; BH @ H. Greeley, 4-3 WIN
05/04, Mon.; BHHS vs. Rye, 4-3 WIN
05/05, Tue.; BH @ Pelham, 7-0 WIN
Highlights - #1 singles, J. Eisenberg (jr.) 11-2;
Capt. W. Bohrer (sr.) & G. Wolfe (jr.) at #1 doubles
10-1 record; M. Blattman (so.) & Z. Berkman (so.)
at #2 doubles 7-1 record. All to be seeded in Tourney. 
05/11, Mon.; Conference Tourney @ White Plains

Track & Field: record 0-0-0
04/08, Wed.; Harrison @ BHHS
04/13, Mon.; Eastchester @ BHHS
04/21, Tue.; BH @ Port Chester
04/28, Tue.; BH @ Rye
05/04, Mon.; BH at League Meet/ Westchester
05/05, Mon.; BH at League Meet/ Westchester

Games are subject to change, check with sportspak online for updates

NY Baseball Championship This Weekend

June 9, 2015
In Class A baseball on Saturday June 13 at 10:00 a.m., Byram Hills High School (20-5) plays Levittown Division (26-4) at Maine-Endwell High School (Binghamton) in the semifinal game. The winner of that game, plays the winner of the 1:00 p.m. game between Queensbury (20-5) and Hamburg (19-4) for the New York State Championship at 4:00 p.m.

This season, Byram Hills Varsity Baseball Team has gone the deepest in the post season play in the history of the school’s baseball program. The 2015 team has also the most ever wins at 20 games, the best ever win percentage of .800 ball, and their highest ever poll ranking by the New York State Sportswriters Association. The final four teams are ranked among the top five Class A teams in New York State.

Maine-Endwell High School is a three-hour drive from Armonk. The address is 750 Farm-To-Market Road in Endwell, NY.

Driving directions to Maine-Endwell Senior High School are here.

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Byram Hills Baseball Team Regional Champs

June 6, 2015
For the first time in Byram Hills history, the baseball team won the Class A Regional Championship. On Saturday June 6 at Gruner Field in Lake Katrine, Byram Hills shutout Saugerties 9-0. Saugerties came into the game as Section 9 Champs with a record of 13-8 against Byram Hills 19-5.  

Byram’s ace pitcher Frankie Vesuvio was consistent on the mound as he pitched for a complete game shut out. He struck out two in the bottom of the first, three in the second, one in the fourth, and one in the fifth.

In the top of the first inning, Byram Hills’ Tommy Gagliardi reached on a hard hit to third. The Bobcats put up two runs with a RBI triple from Kellen Hatheway that scored Gagliardi, and a sacrifice fly by John Spadafino.

In the sixth inning, Gagliardi led off with a single to left and Hatheway was hit by a pitch. In a gutsy move by Coach Scott Saunders, he pinch hit Nick Schaefer who laid down a perfect bunt to load the bases. Nick Contillo then went deep with a grand slam. Byram led 6-0. In the seventh inning, Contillo hit a two run triple to make it 9-0.

Byram Hills plays next in the NYSPHSAA Baseball Championship in Binghamton. The semifinal game is on Saturday June 13 at 10:00 a.m. The winner of that game goes onto the finals at 4:00 p.m. Tickets are $8 per session. Two tickets must be purchased to attend both games. Purchase tickets online here.

Photos: Harry Malles

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Byram Hills Baseball Wins First Ever Sectional Title
By Rich Monetti
Photos Harry Malles 


Updated May 31, 2015
After Byram Hills went 1,2,3 in the first inning of yesterday’s Section One, Class A Final at Provident Bank Park against top seeded Rye, Bobcat starter Frank Vesuvio came out with blazing fastballs. But he found himself behind 3-1 in the count to leadoff hitter and Rye's starting pitcher Tim DeGraw. The advantage had DeGraw teeing off on Vesuvio’s heater, which found the gap in left center for a double. After Tim Hale dropped a sacrifice bunt, Sam Lubeck lined another fastball into right for a 1-0 lead. Vesuvio’s problems were not over as in the second after a walk and a hit batter, Rye went up two runs when a Bobcat threw wildly into right on a pick off play at first. From the Bobcat side, it looked like it was going to be a long day. But Vesuvio, the Tournament MVP, soon settled down, began mixing his pitches, and the second seeded Byram Hills squad brought home the trophy.

Still, the Bobcats might have been stopped in their tracks had it not been for a defensive one-two punch at second and first to end second inning rally. On a DeGraw one hop line drive to second, Tom Gagliardi made a diving stop, and when his throw pulled Nick Contillo off the bag at first, he was able to make the swipe tag for the out.

Riding the fielding gem momentum into the third, Mike Aberman lined a single into right, and with two outs Vesuvio took a first pitch fastball over the left fielder’s head to cut the lead in half.

After Rye went quietly in the bottom half, Kellen Hatheway doubled to deep center to lead off. However, the Bobcat fans roar that began with the blast seemed headed for a disappointed whimper after John Spadafino struck out swinging and Contillo flied out. But Jake Stuckelman was able to slap a bloop hit into right to tie the score 2-2, and he got to second when the ball got past the leftfielder.

An easy ground ball to second seemed to have DeGraw out of the inning until Brendan Cassano booted the ball and allowed Kevin Wietsma to reach. A wild pitch scored Stuckelman, and a single to right by Aberman knocked in Wietsma and knocked out pitcher DeGraw from the game.

Up 4-2, Vesuvio didn't let Rye answer back in the fourth, but a perfectly executed hit and run with two outs in the fifth by Lubeck almost undid the Bobcats and the three man umpire crew. Lubeck’s single rolling under the glove of Nick Sapone in right, DeGraw scored all the way from first. Hatheway taking the relay and the second base ump holding his position, the home plate ump didn't slide up the third base line to make the call on the throw.

No call was made, and the fiasco had the three umpires looking at each other, and the crowd booing the glaring indecision. The displeasure clearly became localized to the Rye side of the crowd after the umpires conferenced and subsequently the out call on their team's runner was made.

But while the Rye faithful lost their composure, the Garnets didn't. Ryan Anderson, who replaced DeGraw, got the Bobcats in order in the fifth and was assisted by some great defense at short and first to keep within reach. After Stuckelman reached on an error, Shortstop Ryan Ciardiello went deep into the second base hole to get the out at first, and when Aberman tried to score all the way from second, on the relay first baseman George Kirby gunned him down at the plate.

It wouldn't be enough though. Vesuvio confidently took the mound seemingly oblivious to what was at stake. Following a fly out to left, Vesuvio didn't miss a beat after he and the catcher collided on a foul pop up that fell to the ground. Simply retaking the mound, he got George Kirby to pop to second, and Rye was finally toast as Campbell Schulz’s easy fly ball to left made Byram Hills the Section 1 champs. Rye was ranked #1 in the State in Class A and the Bobcats were at 9th in New York State in the most recent writers poll. BHHS will assuredly move up in the next poll.

The Sectional Championship for Byram Hills baseball was its first ever in nearly 50 years of Bobcat baseball history. In other historical and record-setting situations, the 2015 Baseball team has the most ever wins at 19, and will finish with the best ever win percentage, and have already gone the deepest in post-season ever as they have qualified for the Regional Finals next up.

Byram Hills will play the Regionals Finals in Cantine or Grunner on June 6 at 4:00 p.m. as they received a bye in the Regional Semifinals.

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#2 Byram Hills Faces #1 Rye for the Section Title After Shutting Out #3 Lincoln  

May 28, 2015
Both Byram Hills and Lincoln pitchers came off a three-day rest as they advanced their teams in the Class A quarterfinal round of the sectionals on Saturday to face one another at Byram Hills High School in the semifinals on Wednesday.

As thunderstorms threatened from a distance, Byram Hills starting pitcher Matt Gertz heated up against third-seeded Lincoln. Gertz had no hits against him in the last three innings against Nyack on Saturday and extended the no-hitter through six innings on Wednesday, as Byram Hills shut out Lincoln 15-0.

Gertz, pitching his last game at Byram Hills High School, had great stamina, as he was coming off 112 pitches from Saturday’s game. He’s a great athlete, said his teammate Nick Contillo, who went one for two, with a sacrifice bunt and 3 RBIs.

Lincoln’s first batter of the game was hit by the first pitch. Gertz settled down, struck out the next three batters, leaving one man on base, and never looked back.

Lincoln’s ace pitcher, Bryan Acala, had a great season, Contillo said.

But today’s game was all Byram Hills, as the Bobcats’ first inning started off with four walks, two stolen bases and a pass ball on a walk to third, with one run.

The bases were loaded with no outs as Nick Contillo came up to bat. “I wanted to get runs on the board, and get them early,” said Contillo, “to give the pitcher the lead and confidence with a safety net.” A fast ball came in with a two-strike count. “I wanted to hit the ball hard to do whatever I could do to get my teammates to score.” Contillo’s line drive went into the left center gap and made it to the wall, scoring 3 RBIs on a stand-up triple.

Byram scored five runs in the first inning, while Lincoln had faced nine batters to get the first three outs.

Contillo’s triple in the first opened things up for us, said Byram Hills Coach Scott Saunders.

“It’s always nice to play with a lead when you get a charge like that early in the game,” said Contillo. "It makes your defense relax, and it helps your pitcher relax."

Byram’s bats continued to be hot. They played aggressively on stealing bases with a 6-0 lead in the second. Nick Sapone got a hit, then stole second base. Frankie Vesuvio was hit at the plate. Sapone was then tagged out stealing third.  

In the top of the 4th, Byram Hills’ Kellen Hatheway lead off with a walk. John Spadafino singled to left. With a man on first and second, the coaches gave Contillo the bunt call. He put one down to move both guys over into scoring position. Jacob Stuckelman then singled to left, and Hatheway scored on a RBI single infield hit. Kevin Wietsma’s hit to left field was dropped and Wietsma advanced to second on the error; Stuckelman advanced to third. Lincoln changed pitchers for the second time. Stuckelman then stole home on a squeeze play on a missed bunt, but Lincoln’s catcher dropped the ball. Stuckleman’s hustle was able to advance Wietsma to third. Byram’s lead was 10-0.

Gertz looked strong as he struck out three batters in the top of the fifth, with a total of nine strikeouts. Byram’s Frankie Vesuvio hit a home run over the left field wall and got 2 RBIs. Byram was now up 12-0.

In the sixth inning, in a classy effort by the coaches, the second string of Byram Hills fielders, with the exception of right and left outfielders, were put in.  

In the seventh inning, Gertz still had a no-hitter on about 90 pitches. He walked the first batter. Saunders went out to the mound and told Gertz if he walked another batter he was coming out. “I knew I had to bear down and not walk another batter,” said Gertz. Lincoln is a good team; they beat Beacon last week, he added. “I had to pound the zone. I had to do my job as the pitcher as the team gave me a huge lead.

“When you are feeling it like I was today, it’s easy to go out there and pick the guys up behind me. I felt like I was in total control, everything was working. The curve ball was nice, the fastball was obviously there. There were a couple of location mistakes when the ball ended up in the dirt, giving up a couple of walks, but I was able to pick myself up.”

With a man on first, Gertz faced the last three toughest outs of the game. “I made a quality pitch, right on the outside corner and he just got his bat on it with a little flair that dropped in shallow center field.”

Coach Saunders wanted to see Gertz close it out. As a senior, it’s the last time he might pitch for a while. “It would have been special for him to get the no hitter, but we are happy he battled and gave us the effort today as he did on Saturday.”

Byram’s Gregory Giuliani took to the mound. Lincoln’s runner was thrown out at second and the final out was a strikeout.

We all really wanted to get to the finals this season, said Saunders. The team worked hard and it’s been a goal for these guys since we lost last year. Under Saunders, Byram Hills last went to the section finals in 2012 when they lost in extra innings to Harrison. This will be their first trip back to the finals since then. The record books show the 1970 Bobcats baseball team also made it to the finals.

“This is a rubber match,” said Assistant Coach Ed Huffman. “To the victor goes the championship.”

Junior Frankie Vesuvio will take the mound for Byram Hills in the sectional finals against Rye at Provident Bank Park in Rockland County on Saturday May 30 at 2:30 p.m.

Top-seeded Rye and second-seeded Byram Hills split the final two regular season games. The Bobcats took the first game at Rye 15-2, and Rye closed out the final regular season 8-2 over Byram Hills. Byram Hills’ record this year is the best Bobcat baseball season on file: 18-5. Rye’s record is 21-2.

“It was an exciting game and everyone was happy for the boys that they made it this far,” said Saunders. “These guys are ready. We are excited for the chance to play in the final round.”

Photos courtesy Harry Malles

Strength & Endurance Shown at Track & Field Championship

May 24, 2015
The Byram Hills Track and Field Team had a successful day at the Section 1 Class Championship Meet this Saturday at Byram Hills High School. Team members set many personal records, and the girls team placed in third overall with 68 points.

Taylor Davis tied a school record in pole vault with a 9'03" jump, previously set by Kristen Hasselgren on May 4 2009. Davis also received the silver medal in the competition for that height. Also in pole vault, Michael LaGravinese placed third on the boys side with a jump of 10'6", which is a personal best for him. Emily Resnik won two gold medals, for a 92'07" discus throw, and a 29' 09 1/2" shot put throw.

On the track side of things, Carly Schwartz won two silver medals in hurdles, first with a 16.35 in the 100 meter hurdles--her best time this season--and right after with a 1:09.41 in the 400 meter hurdles.

Sam Mayers also won a silver medal, in the 100 meter dash with a time of 13.44.

Maddy Berry, Sam Mayers, Carly Schwartz, and Ally Tuzzo won the bronze medal in the 4x100 meter relay with a time of 52.95.

Section 1 Class B Championship Meet


Byram Hills Baseball

Byram Hills Defeats Nyack 9-3
By Rich Monetti 

May 23, 2015
Saturday morning at the high school, Byram Hills cruised to a 9-3 victory over Nyack in the quarterfinal round of the sectionals. Bobcats all-time hit leader Kellen Hatheway opened the onslaught with a run scoring triple in the first. But while Hatheway didn’t close out the Bobcat’s offense in the boxscore, the shortstop did go front and center to finish off the Nyack Indians.

Getting the call, Hatheway relinquished his spot at short, took the mound, and recorded the final three outs.

In a more familiar spot at third base after his first inning triple, Hatheway would score on John Spadafino’s single to extend the lead to 2-0. After a single by Nick Contillo moved Spadafino to second, Jake Stuckelman hit into a force out at second, and then deliberately got caught in a run down to give Spadafino the chance to score from third. Nyack was unable to execute with both runners in motion, and Spadafino slid in ahead of the throw from second baseman Jordan Correa.

In chip away mode, Nyack would answer back with one in the third off Byram Hills’ starting pitcher Matt Gertz. Jordan Correa walked and runners reached the corners with one out after Hatheway couldn’t handle a bad hop off the bat of Devin Sampogna. But Gertz refused to let the inning get away from him and yielded only a sacrifice fly to Brian Sampogna before getting the last out on a comebacker to the mound.

Undeterred, the Bobcats set out to win the inning again. Ninth place hitter Nick Sapone lined a breaking ball to left, stole second and scored on Frank Vesuvio’s ground rule double to deep center.

After Tom Gagliardi struck out looking, Hatheway reached after being hit by a pitch, stole second and Spadafino provided a two out clutch double to make the score 6-1 after two.

Nyack wasn’t quite ready to yield though.  Tim Cuozzo’s bloop found space between Hatheway, Leftfielder Mike Aberman and Vesuvio in Center, and Riley Brown touched ‘em all after Vesuvio had the ball pop out of his glove upon falling over the fence in centerfield.

The Bobcats would concede the third inning without crossing the plate but had some power stashed away in the fourth to answer Brown’s blast.  Playing fundamental ball first, Vesuvio lined a single to left, stole second, and moved to third on Gagliardi’s sacrifice bunt, which he beat out for a base hit.  Hatheway then lifted a sacrifice fly to left for a 7-3 lead, and Spadafino made his case for the record books with a two run homer to center.

Gertz allowed only a single and walk in the 5th and 6th before giving way to Hatheway and Nyack went  on their way for good.

The Bobcats face Lincoln High School in the Semifinals on Wednesday May 27 at Byram Hills.


Kevin Wietsma
Strong Pitching, Big Bats and Solid Defense
By Monica D'Ippolito

May 21, 2015
Second-seeded Byram Hills did not disappoint Thursday, as it handled 15-seeded Somers with relative ease in its first round of the sectional tournament.

“Thought we performed great and I’m happy it’s out of the way,” Byram Hills Baseball Coach Scott Saunders said after the 10-0 opening round win.

Byram scored in its first three innings at bat, as it totaled ten hits off Somers. The Bobcats started the game off with a little ounce of luck, as Kellen Hatheway’s deep shot to center field clearly hit the outfield grass before taking a bounce over the fence, but both umpires must have taken their eyes off the play for a split second and just saw the ball clear the fence, which in-turn allowed them to rule the hit a home run.

“We probably caught a break on that one,” Saunders said of the Hatheway home run that was the start of the Bobcats’ scoring spree. After getting on base with a walk, Kevin Wietsma stole second, which allowed Nick Sapone to hit him in the following at bat with a hard liner that snuck past the third baseman’s glove. Frank Vesuvio then dropped a blooper into shallow center scoring Sapone from second base, extending the Byram lead 3-0.

Hatheway opened up the top of the third with a leadoff walk, and then stole second during the following at bat. Nick Contillo eventually hit Hatheway home with an RBI double that dropped into deep center field. A wild pitch moved Contillo to third, which allowed Jacob Stuckelman to drive him home with an RBI single, giving the Bobcats a 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the inning.

The top of the fifth inning started with back-to-back singles from Hatheway and John Spadafino, forcing Somers to remove its starting pitcher Brendan Smith after giving up seven hits and three walks on 85 pitches. But Byram was able to tack on four more before the end of the inning, creating a 9-0-margin heading into the top of the sixth.

“We wanted to be patient,” Saunders said of Byram’s approach at the plate. “We wanted to make sure that he was coming in. We had good hitters’ counts, and we wanted to make sure we found balls to drive. Smith hadn’t pitched a lot this year so we really wanted to drive his pitch count up and attack when it was right there.”

Vesuvio started the bottom of the sixth with a hard liner out to left field, and then was replaced by pinch runner Anthony Russo. Russo was moved over to second after a wild pitch and then was knocked in with a sacrifice fly by Hatheway, giving the Bobcats its last point of the game and solidifying the 10-0 outcome.

“Again it was a product of being patient up at the plate, finding pitches that they knew they could drive and bring in runs,” Saunders said. “I just thought we had a great approach at the plate today.”

Vesuvio was brilliant on the mound, going six innings with six strikeouts, two walks and giving up just four hits in the shutout. At bat, he helped his own cause by going 2 for 4 with two singles, an RBI and one stolen base.

“He was outstanding,” Saunders said of Vesuvio’s performance. “He shut them out as he was real tough to hit. He stayed composed and trusted his defense today.”

Offensively, the Bobcats were led by Hatheway who did a little bit of everything as he went 2 for 3 with a home run, a walk, one stolen base, two RBIs and two runs scored.

“Our game plan going in was to be aggressive,” Saunders added. “We forced them to make plays and kept running until they could stop us, which fortunately they weren’t able to.”

Byram Hills plays 7-seeded Nyack (who beat Sleepy Hollow 4-0 in the first round) in the quarterfinals on Saturday May 23. 

Michael Aberman
Kevin Wietsma
Nick  Contello

League Leaders, BHHS and Rye, Split Regular Season Finale
By Monica D'Ippolito

Updated May 15, 2015
Intensity between Byram Hills and Rye was heightened to a new level Thursday, with the league title on the line between two heavyweight programs. Unfortunately the Bobcats couldn’t get the best of the Garnets twice in three days, and fell 8-2 in their regular season finale.

“We were prepared, we were excited, we had the energy level, unfortunately things didn’t bounce our way,” Byram Hills coach Scott Saunders said after the game. “Hats off to Rye they played well today.”

After handing Rye its first loss of the season Tuesday in dominating fashion, defeating the Garnets on their field 15-2, the Bobcats had a tough matchup against their top pitcher on the mound in George Kirby.

“We knew that Kirby was an outstanding pitcher, we would have been kidding ourselves if we thought we were going to score another 15 runs off him,” Saunders said. “The boys had a great approach today, he just pitched well, he hit his spots and he pitched himself out of trouble, so you know all the credit goes to him.”

Rye got on the board first in the top of the third inning when Sam Lubeck hit a double into shallow right center, scoring Brendan Cassano from second. Then a wild pitch allowed Tim Hale to score one batter later. The Garnets tacked on two more before they got out of the inning, getting the 4-0 lead.

But the Bobcats answered at the bottom of the third. First John Spadafino hit a sacrifice fly into deep left field, allowing Thomas Gagliardi to tag up and score. Smart base running from Jacob Stuckelman gave Byram Hills its second run of the day after Kirby threw a wild pitch, allowing Kellen Hatheway to score from third base.

However, that was all the offense the Bobcats could muster. Kirby ended up pitching six and two thirds innings, while getting his pitch count in the triple digits, as Byram did a good job fighting off some good balls from the junior right-hander. 

The Garnets tacked on the rest of their runs in the top of the sixth. Starting pitcher Matt Gertz put away two in the inning, but after a single by Keith Secon and intentionally walking Tim DeGraw, Gertz plunked the next batter to load the bases. Saunders then put in Gregory Giuliani in for relief.

But the junior right hander was given some bad luck to start off, as the first pitch he threw ended up going for a double after Lubeck knocked a liner off the third base bag, which took an awkward bounce over Cassano’s head. The hit ended up scoring two, while Rye added two more before the end of the sixth, extending its lead 8-2.

With two outs, Kirby was finally taken out in the bottom of the seventh inning. Hale stepped in for relief, but walked the first three batters he faced. First hitting Kellen Hatheway on the shoulder, then unintentionally throwing eight straight balls to Spadafino and Nick Contillo, loading the bases. But the Bobcats weren’t able to knock any of them home, as Ryan Anderson came in to relieve Hale and got the last out of the game.

Gertz finished the day in five and two thirds innings pitched, gave up seven hits, while striking out six and walking three.

“Matt did a nice job, and when things weren’t going well, he dug deep and he found composure,” Saunders said. “He was able to give us a couple more inning and give us some length, and he fought today.”

The loss most likely won’t give the Bobcats the top seed heading into sectionals, but there still is a possibility of a first round bye. If that is the case, the two teams may not see each other again unless both make deep runs into Section 1. But when asked if he thinks they’ll see Rye again in the playoffs, Saunders responded, “I hope so.”

The rivalry is fueled even more after Thursday’s game and as Saunders put it, he’s ready for the next round. The first Sectional game for the Bobcats is scheduled at home on Thursday May 21.

“There was a lot on the line. We know they are good. I think they respect that we are good. Round two was good and we’re looking forward to round three,” he said. “We’re just going to go out there and keep battling, and get back to work.  The playoffs start next week and we’ll be ready, we’ll be prepared.”


Kellen Hatheway
Kellen Hatheway Breaks Byram Hills All Time Hit Record
By Rich Monetti

May 14, 2015
On May 4 against Nyack, Kellen Hatheway reached first on a single, and Coach Scott Saunders suddenly stopped the game. Bewildered, the shortstop was taken aback. “I was like, ‘why are you calling for the ball,’” Hatheway asked. The answer was contained within the senior’s 77th career hit.
 
“You just broke the school’s all-time hit record,” Hatheway conveys his coach’s impromptu revelation.
 
The shortstop didn’t miss a beat either way. “Oh, alright,” Kellen says he simply took the news and his lead at first in stride.
 
A chance to reflect, though, did attach real significance to the achievement. “It was Jared Feldman’s record, and I played with him for a while,” he said. “I looked up to him so it has nothing to do with the record.”
 
A .414 career batting average, Kellen’s key spot in the number three hole means the team looks to him to clear the table, and if the game is on the line with runners on, he does the dishes like it’s any other day. “I think of it as any at bat. I get up there and do my job – maybe hit a sacrifice fly or put the ball on the ground to get the runners in,” he says. “Whatever they ask me to do.”
 
On the other hand, he’s not even waiting for the question when it comes to taking pride in being strong up the middle with second baseman Tom Gagliardi. “Me and Tommie are always practicing double plays, and we have our own little handshake we do,” he says.
 
Occasionally taken out by the runner on double plays, he’s says the collisions don’t compare with the hits taken over the middle as a wide receiver for the Bobcat Football and knows where his sports preference is. “I’m a baseball guy,” says Kellen.
 
A 15-4 record, he thinks the Bobcats can make a run in the sectionals, but inevitably graduation will land him at Williams College where he may study Math or Science.
 
However, he’s certain his sports career is not over and is committed to playing Division III baseball and football. “I’m hoping I can do well and win a starting job, but we’ll see how it goes,” he concluded.

Image: 
Byram Baseball Beats Pelham; Record Impressive at 13-4

May 7, 2015
As the regular season winds down, the Byram Hills Baseball Team will face their final two opponents, Pelham and Rye. On Thursday afternoon, the Bobcats dominated the game to chalk up a win of 9-4; another game against Pelham will be played on Friday, May 8. These games are important as Byram Hills focuses on the end of the season with a 13-4 record to date. The Bobcats will close out the season with two critical games against undefeated Rye next week on Tuesday and Thursday. The pressure will be on Rye as they are #1 in the Section, #3 in League A, whereas Byram Hills is ranked #9.

Byram’s bats were hot in the first inning as they scored five runs. The first three players up scored. Frankie Vesuvio started the rally with a triple. He was then batted in by single up the middle by Thomas Gagliardi. Gagliardi then scored from first on an RBI double by Kellen Hatheway. Pelham missed the cut-off guy, allowing Hatheway to score. Nick Contillo also had an RBI double, and Jacob Stuckelman had an RBI single.

Admittedly, Pelham graduated many of their seniors last year, including their star pitcher. This year the Pelicans are developing a young team who nevertheless played hard the entire game.

Matt Gertz was Byram’s winning pitcher through six innings. In the top of the third, with the score 6-0, Pelham had their first hit off Gertz. Byram’s center fielder Frank Vesuvio appeared to be blinded by the sun when the ball bounced behind him and over the center field fence, allowing a double. With no outs, Pelham had men on first and third when Will Fesjian hit an RBI double to center. Gertz held Pelham to a 6-3 lead going into the bottom of the third.

Byram’s Stuckelman bunted one down the third baseline, and beat it out for a hit, advancing John Spadafino to second. A wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third. With a comfortable lead, Byram’s Coach Scott Saunders called for a gutsy play of a suicide squeeze with Kevin Wietsma at the plate. But the bunt was not laid down, and the play went astray as Spadafino was tagged out at home.

Pelham’s pitching and coaching held Byram to a 6-3 lead in the bottom of the fourth, despite Mike Aberman’s second hit of the game, which was a line drive to center field, followed by an intentional walk to Hatheway, who stole second. But the inning ended with three ground-outs.

In the fifth, Byram’s Spadafino was hit by the first pitch and then got picked off at first. Contillo walked and Wietsma got on base with a single. Aberman’s RBI made it 7-3, as he went three for three.

In the top of the sixth, Pelham’s Kevin Coleman was on first with a single down the middle. Coleman stole second and then advanced to third on a fly ball. With two outs, Armando Martinez popped up in front of the plate; the ball unfortunately dropped, allowing Coleman to score, making it 7-4. Byram shut down the inning with a well-executed rundown with a second throw from Wietsma at the plate, to Contillo at first, to Gagliardi at second; Martinez was tagged out by Gertz.

With Kellen on first, DiMarco got a hit. With a man on first and third, Spadafino tripled in two RBIs. At the end of the sixth inning, Byram still comfortably held the lead, 9-4.

Hatheway took the mound for Byram Hills in the last inning. He struck out the first batter, walked the next batter, who he then picked off at first with a throw right on the money. Third baseman Brian Schoenfeld made the last out of the game when he stayed with a bobbled hard-hit ball and made the throw to first.

The Bobcats started the season off strong and they plan to end the season strong as they face Rye. If the Bobcats can beat Rye, they can win the league title. Last year, Byram Hills tied with Fox Lane for League winner. Either way, we’ll see Byram Hills in the sectionals where every game counts.

This has to be the strongest middle infielders in Byram’s history, said parent Mike Gagliardi. They have turned so many double plays in the last couple of years, he said, with grounders  hit to second baseman Thomas Gagliardi, then fed to shortstop Kellen Hatheway, and then on to Nick Contillo. “They played together for a long time, they work well together,” said Gagliardi. The Bobcats have a strong team up the middle from the pitcher to infielders to the center fielder.

Seniors Gagliardi and Hatheway will play ball in college, Union and Williams, respectively. Ironically, the colleges are in the same league and the two players will compete against each other and possibly play ball on the same field, albeit for different teams, as they have since they played as pre-teens in Armonk Baseball League.

Photos Courtesy Harry Malles

Image: 
Byram Hills Falls 1-0 in the Finals of the Christian Federico Tournament
By Rich Monetti
 
April 30, 2015
Sunday afternoon at the Anne M. Dorner Middle School in Ossining, Byram Hills defeated Scarsdale 4-3 in the semifinals of the Christian Federico Tournament. A Game Winning single in the eighth inning by Jake Stuckelman secured the win, and the Bobcats sought to ride the momentum into the final against Ossining. As such, Matt Gertz took the hill for the Bobcats and yielded only an unearned run in the third, but the gem proved not to be enough in a 1-0 defeat against the eventual tournament MVP.
 
Keenan Grimley mixed up his pitches, yielded five hits and set the Bobcats down on strikes seven times through the course of the afternoon. Gertz registered five and surrendered the single run when shortstop Kellen Hatheway couldn’t handle Kevin Wietsma’s one hopper on a steal attempt of second. On his toes, Aron Fried took off for home and scored easily for Ossining.
 
Byram Hills’ best chances would come in 2nd and 7th innings. John DiMarco reached on an error and made the turn around third on a Wietsma blast into the centerfield gap. The cutoff coming in to the shortstop on the outfield grass, DiMarco held – leaving it to Nick Sapone to break the ice.
 
An off speed breaking pitch sent Sapone down swinging, and the runners were stranded. The seventh had Mike Aberman dropping a perfect one out bunt down the third base line, but Grimley did not waiver without even waiting to throw a pitch.
 
Picking off Aberman, the Bobcats seemed left for dead but the Ossining infield took the game off life support with subsequent errors. Undeterred, Grimley bared down and got Tom Gagliardi to pop out to end the tournament.

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Girls Softball Completes Comeback in 13-6 Win
By Rich Monetti
 
April 27, 2015
Byram Hills and starting pitcher Ally Lichten got off to a pretty shaky start on Saturday afternoon at the high school versus the Keio Academy. Several walks, a throwing error by third baseman Skylar Sanders and a wild pitch had the Bobcats chasing four after the first half inning. But a chip here and a chip there eventually drew Byram Hills even before the entire foundation fell and flattened KEIO in a seven run sixth to complete a 13-6 drubbing.
 
Leadoff hitter Nanna Fiore wasted no time in started the comeback - even if she didn’t go very far to do so. Beating out an infield hit that dribbled a few feet past the catcher, she would then steal second and come in on Sabrina Mauro’s single.  
 
In the third, Mauro would again clear the table after Sarah Rose provided the setting. Keio sporting a shaky defense all game, Rose took advantage of a miscue at third, and Mauro cruised into second on a misjudged fly ball to left that cut the lead in half.
 
After Keio put up another donut in the 4th, Danielle Skelly lined a clean single to left, which Amanda Salazar followed with a walk. A passed ball put both runners in scoring position, and the score was tied when a Hayley Croke bunt turned into a three base throwing error.
 
Unfortunately, the Bobcats would revert to their giving ways in the 5th before Lichten allowed things to get away again. Erika Kojima reached on a walk, and would score on a grounder to second after stealing second and third.
 
But a rope down third turned into a triple when the relay to the infield rolled through Croke’s legs at second. Another error at short by Fiore put the Bobcats down two, and an infield hit by Moe Yoshida poised Keio to blow the game open again.
 
However, Lichten snuffed the rally by going one-two on Yuki Kahama with a change to set her up, and a high heater to knock her down swinging.
 
Keio back on their heels, the Bobcats again didn’t wait to draw even. Kayla Vesuvio reached second when the ball drop between the outfielders, and a ground ball to short by Skelly brought in the fifth run on a dropped ball by first baseman Yuuka Kimura.
 
After stealing third, Skelly tied the score when pitcher Moe Yoshida fielded Salazar’s bunt, and threw to first rather than getting what appeared to be an easy out at the plate.
 
The visitors went quietly in the top of the sixth, and the writing was clearly on the wall. Rose and Maura reaching on walks and advancing on steals, Sanders was all set up to be the hero and did not shrink in the moment. Lining a clean double to left, Byram Hills took the lead for good, and the ensuing onslaught made the final three outs moot in the top of the seventh.

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Girls Lacrosse Routs Pelham 14-3
By Rich Monetti
 
April 19, 2015
Yesterday at the Byram Hills High School, the girls’ lacrosse game versus Pelham had a back and forth flow for a total of about three minutes. But after Pelham’s Sarah Dunbar tied the score at one with 22:34 remaining in the first half, the game was mostly forth, and it was the Pelicans that had their backs at the mercy of the methodically, patient Byram Hills offensive attack.
 
The great playmaking aside, the Bobcat 14-3 onslaught began with Noelle Love making an open break for the Pelham side of the field, where she put the ball past Pelham Goalie Jen Buckley. Byram Hills would regain the lead at 20:52 when Raquel Gaudio found Sarah Cummings in front, and the rout was on.
 
Nonetheless, Byram Hills Coach Gail Lozado praised the effort put up by the Pelham goalie. “She played a great game,” said Lozado.
 
The Pelican net minder was just no match for an offense led by Love slicing and darting through the scenery, while commanding Lozado’s game plan. “We try to create space, and our play is designed to find the second, third or fourth cutter to the net,” said Lozado.
 
Even so Lozado credited the victory to Byram Hills’ control of the middle of the field. “We won the game in transition,” she said.
 
The Bobcats swarming defense certainly did its share too, and in one sequence, had the Pelican goalie holding the ball a full forty seconds before she finally lofted the ball out of bounds. The game effectively over at that point, Lozado’s girls know they have to play until the final whistle. “They play 100% or there’s room for them on the bench,” she said.
 
The final left the Bobcats 4-1-1 on the season.

Byram Hills Falls 3-1 to Nanuet
By Rich Monetti

April 12, 2015
On Saturday April 11, Nanuet High School jumped out to an early 3-0 lead. All afternoon the Bobcats seemed a hit away, but unfortunately Byram Hills could just not produce the timely stroke to close the gap, eventually losing 3-1.

Nanuet didn't wait long after getting off their bus to grab the lead. Leadoff hitter, Nick Camporetto was touching them all before the rest of his team had hardly settled their gear and Bobcat starter, Frankie Vesuvio's pitch count had not gotten anywhere near double digits, yet already facing a 1-0 deficit.

Byram Hills would try to answer in the bottom of the inning, but failed to push one across for the first of many times. Speedy Nick Sapone reached on an infield hit. After Vesuvio's fly ball was dropped in leftfield, Kellen Hatheway bounced into 6-to-3 double play to end the inning.

Once again, Nanuet didn't wait long to get its wheels in gear in the top half of the second. Jason Zaro lifted a double over Sapone in center and Nanuet's Will Silverstone's bloop into short right put runners on the corners with none out. But Vesuvio settled down and got Benny Mendoza looking, and subsequently a grounder to a short seemed to have Byram Hills potentially out of the inning. Unfortunately, Hatheway never really secured the routine roller, and in trying to hurry the throw and step on second, he dropped the ball.

Nanuet was now up 2-0, and then Silverstone stole third. But the Bobcats proved to be far from charitable on the base paths. Vesuvio had the Golden Knights diving back to first on a number of pickoff attempts, and he finally got Tate Williams for the second out.

Byram Hills almost had a second pickoff, but first baseman John DiMarco couldn't handle catcher Kevin Wietsman's perfect throw behind the runner Terrance Rogers. Instead, Vesuvio followed by walking home the third run before striking out Chris Kelly to end the inning.

An inning later, Vesuvio would get the big outs with a rally-killing double play after a leadoff double. In the bottom of the third inning, Vesuvio then drove in Sapone on a short single to left. Down 3-1, Byram Hills could not convert in the fourth when Weitsman stranded John Stuckelman and John DiMarco with a grounder to short.

It was then Kellen Hatheway who would leave Michael Aberman on third in the bottom of the fifth inning. It was not the Bobcats' lack of clutch hitting that hurt next inning, but the Nanuet defense that would put the brakes on the next Byram Hills opportunity in the bottom of the sixth.

Tom Gagliardi reached first on a grounder into the hole at short. John Spadafino looked like he also found some open space in deep center, but Nanuet centerfielder, Jason Zaro, tracked the long fly, swallowed up the ball, and ended what would turn out to be the Bobcats' last real chance.

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Hickory and Tweed
Congrats to LAX Players Recognized

May 28, 2015
The 2015 Section 1 Lacrosse Coaches Association awarded All-Section to Byram Hills midfielder Payton Levine and defensive player Jon Oronzio. Goalie Wes Cutler, midfielder Matt Grotta and defensive player Ben Miller received All-Section Honorable Mention. Levine, Oronzio, Cutler, Grotta and Miller were recognized as All-League.

Track & Field Athletes Perform Best at Championship

May 20, 2015
The Westchester County Championship Meet was held at Byram Hills High School on Sunday May 17. Under the sunny and calm conditions, the home advantage proved favorable for many Bobcat track and field contenders as they accomplished some of their best season performances.  

Medals were awarded to the following Byram Hills athletes:

Sam Mayers finished 6th in the 100-meter dash with a time of 13.18.

Carly Schwartz finished 5th in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:08.94.

Victoria Parrish finished 4th in the 1500-meter walk with a time of 8:15.32.

The 4 x 800-m relay team of Zach Cogan, Kyle McCarthy, Jeff Asamoah and Jon Krog finished 6th place with a time of 8:30.88.

Emily Resnik placed 6th in discus with a distance of 89’04”.

Taylor Davis finished 4th in pole vault with a vault of 9’0”.

Chris Hadiono finished 6th in long jump with a distance of 20’0”.

Rebecca Cawkwell finished 5th in the 2000-m steeplechase with a time of 8:05.67.

Further Championship Meet highlights are here.

Bobocat Track & Field League Championship Meets

May 9, 2015
The League II - D Championship Track & Field Meet was held on two days: Monday May 4 at Byram Hills High School and Tuesday May 5 at Rye High School.

Monday’s track events were the 200m trial and finals, 800m run, 1500m run, 1600m run, 2000m steeplechase, and the 400m hurdles. The field events were Shot Put, High Jump, Discus, Long Jump and Pole Vault.

Tuesday’s track events were the 100m trial, 100m dash-final, 400m dash, 4 x 100m relays, 4 x 400m relays, 4 x 800m relays, 3000m run, 3200m run, 100m hurdles, and 1500m race walk. The field event was the Triple Jump. The Pentathlon is a combination of multiple events.

Congratulations to all participants who made it to the finish line.

Byram Hills All League performers with gold medals in their events were:
 
Emily Resnik -- Shot Put & Discus
Kevin Aronne --  Long Jump
Carly Schwartz -- 100m Hurdles
Taylor Davis -- Pole Vault

League results are here:

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5-05-15