The Garden City 9U Bombers have qualified for the fall season playoffs in Nassau County’s Youth Baseball League, despite a fourth of the team now on the disabled list.Garden City, having played 50 games before autumn, tensely await the playoff seeds to discover their fall opponent. The situation is tense because three Garden City players suffered broken bones the last week of the season. Power pitcher Matthew Mohen, middle infielder Sam Betit and right fielder Ryan Krieg showed up to the last game wearing casts and splints, to the dismay of home town fans. All three are out for the rest of the season.
Garden City’s offense starts with Luke Sibblies, himself averaging two home runs per game. Another right-handed power hitter has been the muscular Micky Walker; he does not have the batting average of Sibblies, but all his hits have been for extra bases, and his last home run was massive. Gabe Elmokian has also hit for high average.
Garden City has some excellent pitchers. The loss of Matt Mohen hurts. Still Sibblies has been outstanding, and fans have been thrilled with the surge of Kensil Flores, who has put together a string of masterful performances against the Long Island Indians and Massapequa Cyclones, fulfilling the promise he has shown since he was 7 years old. Southpaw Johnny Kwiatkowski was brilliant last week with a scoreless inning in a non-league game versus Ozone Howard. Another reason for playoff optimism is the continued improvement of the Bomber’s Dave Debusschere; Debusschere, whose grandfather pitched for the White Sox, has always had pinpoint control but surprised coaches by gaining another 10 miles per hour on his fastball since the season started.
Defensively, Joey Abbate has been a gem at second base, allowing the Bombers to more consistently turn the 6-4-3 double play. Lefty center-fielder Justin Bailey, with his speed, has also improved throughout the year and is expected by his coaches to become a star outfielder next summer.
TJ Krieg and Tim O’Hare alternated behind the plate this fall becoming consistently better as the season wore on, the two of them providing depth at the position, something Garden City needs to overcome so many injuries in the 9U fall classic.
UPDATE: Friday Night Garden City defeated East Meadow 12-0 in the opening round of the Nassau County playoffs.