Lab Museum Girls Basketball’s Delilah Kalle Earns All-City Honorable Mention Accolade


By Jerry Del Priore

D. KalleAfter leading the Lady Gators to the PSAL Girls Manhattan West A Conference title and a trip to the A Championship, News12Varisty.com bestowed Delilah Kalle with its 2017 All-New York City Girls Basketball Honorable Mention.

Unaware of the accomplishment, Kalle said, “That’s so sick.”

Her coach, Michael Lloyd feels the recognition is well-deserved, telling Kalle that nothing is out of reach for her if she completely dedicates herself to whatever she pursues.

“I’m extremely proud of her,” Lloyd said. “I always tell her the sky is the limit. ‘You can be as good as you want to be and achieve whatever you want as long as you focus and put your mind to it.”’

The five-foot-six-inch rising junior guard—who also plays shortstop and pitches for Lab Museum’s girls softball team—paced the Lady Gators with 15.35 points per game (ppg) and 5.4 assists per game (apg) in 14 contests.

Advertisements

Ex-Brooklyn Cyclones Shuffle Their Way Through Minor Leagues


By Jerry Del Priore

Paul Sewald

Pitcher Paul Sewald to start the 2017 season with Las Vegas.

With major league opening just a few days away, former Brooklyn Cyclones are finding the way into different levels of the minor leagues to start the 2017 season, including right-handed pitchers Paul Sewald and Akeel Morris, as well as catcher Kevin Plawecki.

The New York Mets reassigned Sewald to their minor league camp while optioning Plawecki to their minor league camp.

Sewald, chosen in the tenth round of the 2012 MLB June amateur draft by New York, went 0-2 with a 1.88 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 28.2 innings in 16 contests with Brooklyn in 2012.

The 26-year-old Las Vegas native played with Triple-A Las Vegas 51s (PCL) and posted a 5-3 record with a 3.29 ERA in 65.2 innings of work in 56 games in 2016. In addition, Sewald recorded an impressive strikeout to walk ration at 80/21.

Sewald’s number are even more impressive, given the hitter-friendly nature of the PCL, where balls fly out of the park are on a regular basis.

Plawecki, a former Mets’ first round pick in 2012, was sent to Las Vegas to start the season, losing New York’s backup backstop job to Rene Rivera.

The former Purdue Boilermaker hit .250 with seven homers and 27 RBI in 216 at-bats in 61 tilts with the Cyclones in ‘12.

Plawecki made his major league debut on April 25th, 2015, with the Mets. He has amassed a .211 average with four dingers and 32 RBI in 365 at-bats in 121 games at the major league level.

Morris, selected in the tenth round of the 2010 MLB draft by New York, was sent to the AAA Gwinnett (IL) Braves last week.

The St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands native, who had a minuscule 1.00 ERA with Brooklyn in 2013, reached “The Show” with New York on June 17, 2015. But he was shelled by the Toronto Blue Jays, surrendering five earned runs in 0.2 innings.

The Mets traded him to the Atlanta Braves for infielder Kelly Johnson and cash last year.

 

 

Former Brooklyn Cyclones Optioned to Minor League Camps


By Jerry Del Priore

Gavin C.

Gavin Cecchini.

As Spring Training nears conclusion, ex-Brooklyn Cyclones are filtering onto various minor league rosters throughout baseball.

Here are three players who’ve graced MCU Park in the past, and have been assigned to minor league camp.

The New York Mets have optioned outfielder Travis Taijeron and infielder Gavin Cecchini to minor league camp Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the New York Yankees have sent right-handed pitcher Luis Cessa to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (IL) and reassigned him to minor league camp Friday.

Taijeron enjoyed a solid first year of professional ball with the Cyclones, posting a .299 batting average, smacking nine homers, and driving in 44 runs in 194 at-bats in 56 games in the 2011 campaign.

The 28-year-old right-handed hitter has totaled 110 dingers in his pro career, but the Mets haven’t called him up yet. However, this could be his make-or-break year, so we’ll see how things shake out for him.

Cecchini, who played with Team Italy in the World Baseball Classic and with Brooklyn in 2012 and ’13 (.273, 14 RBI, 41 BB), could figure in the Mets’ infield at some point in the season, or as trade bait because of their depth at the position.

The 23-year-old shortstop, a former first round Mets’ pick in 2012, played in four games with New York last season.

Cessa inked a contract with New York as an international free agent in July 2008. The 24-year-old right-handed pitcher posted a 5-4 record with a 2.49 ERA in 72.1 innings of work in 13 games with Brooklyn in 2012.

Cessa spent five years in the Mets’ system before landing with the Yankees’ organization last year, in which he went 4-4 with a 4.35 ERA in 70.3 innings in 17 contests with the big club.

NYU Baseball Splits Doubleheader with Haverford College


By Jerry Del Priore

NYU Baseball

NYU Baseball is 10-4 in the 2017 season.

The Violets baseball team took the first game of the doubleheader, 11-9, against Haverford College. But failed to complete the sweep as it went down in defeat, 7-4, in the second tilt of the day Saturday at MCU Park in Coney Island, Brooklyn.

Haverford – 7, NYU — 4

In the second tilt, the Fords (8-6) jumped out to a 2-0 advantage and swelled its lead to 6-0 in the top of the third en route to a comfortable three-run triumph over NYU (10-4).

Junior third baseman Spencer Sohmer pace the Fords to victory with four RBI.

Freshman Dylan Livingston (2-1) earned the win for Haverford, surrendering five runs, 3 earned, with two whiffs and two bases on balls over five innings. Senior Jarred Deveau recorded his first save of the season with a workman-like effort, pitching four innings of scoreless relief with five strikeouts.

Starting pitcher Coleman Hendershot (1-1) took the loss for the Violets, allowing six earned runs in two innings. But the sophomore did enjoy a solid game at the plate, going 2-4 with three RBI while freshman second baseman Max Juang went 2-4 with a run scored in the defeat.

NYU – 11, Haverford – 9

In the first game of the twin bill, comeback was on the menu for NYU, as it battled back from 4-0 and 7-4 deficits to overtake Haverford College, 11-9, to kick the afternoon off to a good start.

Sophomore centerfielder Jack Walter went 2-5 with three RBI, including a booming bases loaded triple that broke a seven all tie in the bottom of the seventh while junior infielder Jonathan Iaione posted a 3-4 game with two RBI and a run scored.

NYU coaches

The Violets Baseball Team watches the action from the dugout.

Hendershot, who played first base, went 3-4 with three runs scored and a walk.

Senior Matthew Wells (1-0) picked up the win in relief for the Violets. Junior closer Matthew Millus notched his third save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning.

Junior starter Cam Serapilio-Frank gave up four runs, three earned, with a strikeout and didn’t surrender a walk in four innings of work.

NYU returns to action Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. versus SUNY Maritime at MCU Park.

Former Brooklyn Cyclones Land with New Minor League Teams


By Jerry Del Priore

Nicco Blank

Nicco Blank with the Columbia Fireflies.

As the 2017 baseball campaign quickly approaches, ex-Brooklyn Cyclones continue to find brand new places to call home. Among the players are Nicco Blank, Michael Katz and Luis Allen—all of whom landed with teams over the past week.

Blank, 24, who played with Brooklyn during the 2015 and 16 seasons, has signed with the independent Souix Falls Canaries of the American Association.

Selected in the 25th round of the 2014 MLB amateur draft by the New York Mets, the five-foot, nine-inch, 170-pound hurler recorded a 0-5 record with an impressive 2.40 ERA in 41.1 innings of work in 20 games with the Cyclones in 2015.  

In 2016, though he didn’t post a win, nor a lose loss, he registered another solid ERA at 2.45 in 3.2 innings in two tilts with Brooklyn.

Katz, an infielder, outfielder and designated hitter, has inked a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles during the week.

Chosen in the ninth round out of the College of William & Mary in the 2014 amateur draft, the six-foot, three-inch Arlington, VA, native batted .275 with 18 RBI in 153 at-bats in 42 games in his first professional season that same year.  

Katz returned to Brooklyn in 2015, and hit .219 with two home runs and 11 RBI with a slugging percentage of .438 in 32 at-bats in 10 contests.

Alen, a catcher and first baseman, has signed a deal with the York Revolution of the Independent Atlantic league.

Alen, 31, played in six games with the Cyclones in 2008, without picking up a hit in 22 plate appearances. However, he is known for his cannon-like arm, throwing out 45 percent of would-be base stealers at three levels during the ’08 campaign.

A native of Venezuela, the Marlins originally signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2002. He made it as high as Triple-A New Orleans in the Mets’ farm system in 2008 and played with mid- A Savannah (SAL) in 2009 before spending his last seven seasons in the Northern League and American Association, where he combined to bat .305 with a .374 on-base percentage.

Get the Most Out of Your Spring Break Road Trip with Travel Tips from Max Warehouse


By Jerry Del Priore and Max Warehouse

KidsAre we there yet?

Yes, the ever-loving battle cry from your children while road-tripping it with the family during Spring Break.

But you don’t want to miss out because taking the time out over the spring break holiday allows families to reconnect and create lasting, enjoyable memories, whether you’re driving to a warm weather destination or just visiting family.

With Spring Break just around the bend, here are six tips from Maxwarehouse.com—the one-stop online shop for all your home, garden and auto needs—that will help make your family road trip organized, safe and stress-free (for the most part).

  • Schedule a Service Check on Your Car.

Before you take off on a car excursion with the family, take your automobile for a trip to the service station for a tune up.

A well-maintained car will be more reliable and safe. Check the oil, power steering fluid, windshield wiper fluid, transmission fluid, and brake fluid. Also check your tires’ air pressure, have the them aligned and replaced if necessary.

While you’re at it, have your brakes checked and get brake pads replaced if needed.

Lastly, check your lights to make sure all are working properly—including headlights, high beams, brake lights, turn signals and reverse lights. It’s not only safe, but it may also help you avoid unnecessary tickets, which is a real vacation bummer.

  • Pack Emergency Items.

In the event of an emergency, make sure your car is well-stocked. Start with a first aid kit. Also, make sure to pack extra water and cell phone chargers.

Keep the following items stashed in your trunk: jumper cables, flairs, blankets, water, fire extinguisher, mini tire compressor, basic tools, rope/bungee cord, and a flashlight.

Your trip will likely go off without a hitch, but it never hurts to act like a boy scout: be prepared.

  • Plan Your Accommodations in Advance.

Always book hotels or make overnight arrangements ahead of time. Spontaneous travel can be fun, but usually not when traveling as an unprepared family.

Spring Breaks are a busy time and many hotels book full occupancy during this time. Planning ahead gives you the opportunity to research the area a bit and make sure you’re staying in a safe part of town. You can also make sure you get the amenities you’re looking for, such as a pool for the kids, gym for youtself or a continental breakfast for all.

  • Bring Healthy Food & Snacks Cooler

Pack a small cooler with lots of healthy, easy-to-consume snacks, so you’re not at the mercy of overpriced gas stations, convenience stores or fast food chains. Depending on where you are in the trip, you can go many miles without hitting a store and end up with hungry, cranky kids, which can make a long road trip even longer and more miserable.

  • Road Tripping with Kids.

Schedule plenty of restroom breaks along the way. Allow the kids to get out and stretch. Focus on the journey, not just getting to the destination. Make it fun by stopping at points of interest to snap photos and learn about the sites along the way.

It doesn’t have to be the Statue of Liberty; kids love seeing the World’s Biggest Ball of Yarn or the Corn Palace. In addition, take along travel games, audio books, movies, art supplies, electronics, and tell stories or sing to make the time pass more quickly. The kids can also scrapbook or write about the trip when they return home.

  • Childproofing for Your Destination. 

Whether your destination includes staying at a hotel, friend’s house or with family, bring along electrical outlet covers and travel baby gates to protect your child in a new environment.

Be aware that cribs or play yards provided by hotels may not meet current safety standards. If you have any doubt about the safety of the crib or play yard, ask for a replacement or consider other options (for example: put a mattress on the floor).

Wherever you go, have a safe and fun road tripping adventure!

 

 

 

 

Madison Proves Too Much for Lady Gators in 59-40 PSAL A Basketball Championship Defeat


By Jerry Del Priore

20170318_170755

Lab Museum junior guard Delilah Kalle holds up her Sportsmanship award after the PSAL Girls ‘A’ Championship game.

The top-seeded Lab Museum United girls hoops team played with the No. 3 Lady Golden Knights throughout the first half, trailing by just two points, 22-20, going in the locker room.

But the third quarter is where things fell apart for the Lady Gators, as they only scored two points, to put them in a 38-22 hole. From there, Madison cruised to a 59-40 victory and the PSAL ‘A’ Girls Basketball Championship Saturday at Baruch College in Manhattan.

Lab Museum had trouble with the Lady Golden Knights’ size advantage, which, head coach Michael Lloyd said, altered its shots, caused an offensive rebounding disadvantage, and often had its opponent at the foul line.

“We struggled making shots, and they got a lot of offensive rebounds,” Lloyd explained. “We got killed on the boards. So, we knew that coming in, so we knew we had to stop and defend that. And they got a lot of points off of free throws. So, that was a tough combination (to overcome)—making free throws, offensive rebounds and missing our shots. I think that was the key to the game.”

Madison added to its lead with four points early in the fourth period, to make it 43-22. But freshman guard Nina Hennessy drained a three-pointer to inch the Lady Gators a bit closer.

The Golden Knights followed with a bucket of their own, while junior guard Delilah Kalle scored four straight points to narrow the gap at 45-30 with 4:26 remaining in the tilt. But every time Lab Museum battled back, Madison responded to keep the game out of reach.

While the Lady Gators fell short of their ultimate goal of a title, Lloyd and the rest of the coaching staff said they have no reason to hang their heads.

20170318_171134

Madison junior center Ketsia Athias displays her MVP award.

With the graduation of seniors Rianne John and Jamie Feinman, though hard to replace, the fourth-year coach said Lab Museum will regroup for next season and be one of the top squads in the A conference.

“I know we’re losing two seniors, but those are two big pieces of the puzzle,” Lloyd told BrooklynSportsWorld.com. “They bring a lot of intangibles. Those are our two locker room girls. We’re going to miss them on and off the court. You do not replace a Rianne John or Jamie Feinman. But we’ll be all right. We’ll still be one of the top programs (in the A division).”  

Lady Golden Knights junior center Ketsia Athias took home the game’s Most Valuable Player award, while Lady Gators Kalle and junior guard Wei Jing Zang captured Sportsmanship and Outstanding Student accolades, respectively.

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping Up with Former Brooklyn Cyclones: Chris Flexen Undergoes Orthoscopic Knee Procedure


By Jerry Del Priore

Chris Flexen

Chris Flexen with the St. Lucie Mets.

Right-handed hurler Chris Flexen, who pitched with the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2015, recently underwent orthoscopic surgery on his right knee to remove bone chips, according to MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo.

The former New York Mets’ 14th-round draft selection in 2012 will likely miss two to three weeks, the article reported.

Flexen, 22, posted a 10-9 record with a 3.65 ERA in 25 games for Class A Advanced St. Lucie during the 2016 campaign. He was ticketed to start the season in the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies’ starting rotation, but Mets’ personnel will reassess him after his convalescing period.

New York thought enough of him to place him on their 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft.

Flexen’s first sign of pain started when he said he felt a measure of soreness in his right knee a little over three weeks ago, on Feb 25th—his first scheduled spring training start.

Ensuing tests discovered a loose bone chip. The 6-foot-three-inch, 230-pound Mets’ 26th-ranked prospect will likely wind up spending time in extended spring training while he recuperates.

This isn’t the first time Flexen underwent the knife. In 2014 he had Tommy John surgery. However, he touched 96 mph on the radar gun last summer.

The Newark, CA. native went 0-2 with 5.11 ERA in 12.1 innings of work in three games with Brooklyn.

 

 

 

Former Staten Island Yankee Pitcher Jonny Drozd Rejoins Affiliated Ball


By Jerry Del Priore

Jonny Drozd, former Staten Island Yankee, in minor league camp with the Minesota Twins.

Jonny Drozd, former Staten Island Yankee, is now with the Minnesota Twins’ minor league camp.

The Minnesota Twins organization signed hurler Jonny Drozd, who played with the Staten Island Yankees of the New York-Penn League in the 2015 season, during the week. Drozd is currently in the Minnesota Twins’ minor league camp in Ft. Myers, FL.

 

Drozd posted an impressive 3-2 record with 1.85 ERA 43.2 innings of work in 24 games with Staten Island in 2015.

Last season with Tampa Yankees of the Florida State League, the 25-year-old went 0-1 with 3.13 ERA in 17.1 innings pitched in 11 tilts. In addition, the six-foot-seven-inch, 200-pound left-hander appeared in 21 games for the Lancaster Barnstormers of the independent Atlantic League in the second half of the season.

Drozd didn’t record great numbers (0-1, 5.59, 19.1 innings, 21 games) with Lancaster, but current Barnstormer manger Ross Peeples said the southpaw is solid on left-handed batters.  

“Drozd is a sneaky lefty who can be tough against left-handed hitters,” said Ross Peeples, current former Brooklyn Cyclone and Mets’ minor leaguer, on the team’s website. “It’s great to see him get another opportunity with a Major League organization.”

In total, Drozd has put up a 3-4 record with 1.88 ERA in 76.2 innings in 48 contests in affiliated baseball, all with the Yankees’ farm system.

 

Lady Gators Advance to Championship Game with 56-44 Semifinal Win Over Summit Academy


D. KalleThe top-seeded Lab Museum United girls’ varsity basketball team didn’t reach its destination at York College for its PSAL Class ‘A” semifinal matchup against No. 12 Summit Academy Sunday on time due to its driver showing up late.

Head coach Michael Lloyd said the Lady Gators arrived approximately 30 minutes before game time, impacting their performance in the first quarter, which resulted in a 9-6 hole. But Lab Museum gradually chipped away at the lead, and came from behind to convincingly beat the Lady Eagles, 56-44, Sunday to advance to the finals.

The Lady Gators were able to exact revenge on Summit Academy for a 54-46 non-league loss in December, as they made key adjustments to their postseason game, which led to their impressive victory.

“I told them we did a good job against them the first time, in certain areas,” Lloyd explained to BrooklynSportsWorld.com after the contest. “But to lose the game by eight, and we went 15 for 33 from the line. So, I said if we can take care of that, and shoot the ball a little bit better and get a few more (defensive) stops, I think we’ll should be fine.”

Lloyd’s game strategy paid dividends, as it contained the Lady Eagles’ two best players–Charity Barnes and Daysiah Smith–to 11 points each. Though Lab Museum sputtered out of the gate, the second period told a bit of a different story, as it posted a 16-12 advantage, helping them take a 22-21 lead at the half.

The Lady Gators created distance from Summit Academy with a dominant 17-6 third quarter and subsequent 39-27 lead.

Much to Lab Museum’s dismay, the Lady Eagles started to climb the peak, and cut to deficit to 43-39 with 3:16 remaining in the tilt.

But sophomore guard Dasha Goodman, just like she has done so many times during the season, came through in the clutch, draining a three-pointer with 2:45 left on the clock. It was the proverbial dagger in the collective heart of Summit Academy.

“It was a big moment, and they were kind of getting their momentum back,” Goodman said. “So, I felt that we just needed that moment and just kind of that spark to get back into the game. And I just let it go.”

The Lady Gators face the third-seeded Madison Lady Golden Knights for the ‘A’ Championship Saturday at 3:00 p.m. at Baruch College in Manhattan.