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Play Ball, But Bring a Wood Bat

The latest summer recreation and sports in the area

The summer Patch season will showcase the Recreation Notebook each Friday. The College Sports Notebook will resume in September. Please continue to forward items of interest to Marc Maturo at marcmaturo@aol.com.

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Gordon Pellegrini played center field at Tappan Zee High School, then Franklin & Marshall in Lancaster, PA and is now patrolling the position for the Rockland Cavaliers—when it’s not raining.

The Cavaliers, featuring players from the New City area, have managed to get in a few games between raindrops in the 14-team Westchester-Rockland Wood Bat League (www.WRWBL.com).

“We’ve had so much rain it’s been hard to get the games in; it’s frustrating,” Pellegrini said. “We don’t have the maintenance of our fields like they do in the pros, so we need better weather.”

This weekend looks promising for the Cavaliers, who are scheduled to meet the unbeaten (9-0), league-leading Harrison Patriots on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Manhattanville College in Purchase. On Sunday, the Cavaliers (0-3) have a doubleheader scheduled at noon against the Peekskill Tides (3-2) at Purchase College.

The WRWBL is comprised of players still in college and some who played in college who want to keep competing in a high-level recreation league.

“The quality of players is pretty good,” Pellegrini said, noting that former Hastings Lookout pitcher Willie Gabay of Mahopac was drafted last week by the Tampa Bay Rays (the right-hander was chosen in the 15th round, 482 overall).

According to the league’s website, Gabay pitched in one of the more recent memorable duels in WRWBL playoff history when he faced off against Andrew Hargadon (a current Lookout) and the Pleasantville Red Sox.  Gabay fired a three-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts to lead the Lookouts into the next round.

Gabay originally committed to Austin Peay State University, but transferred to Herkimer County Community College after his first semester.  In his freshman year, Gabay threw 37 innings, with 50 strikeouts and a 3.35 ERA.   Gabay set the Herkimer school record for strikeouts this season with 91 in 58.1 innings. He posted a 6-1 record, with a 2.62 ERA and only 37 walks and 28 hits in gaining Mountain Valley Conference Player of the Year honors.

Pelligrini, who squeezes in time for baseball between his passion for photography and a job at the 9W Market in Palisades, prefers the wood bat to the metal bats used in other league, including those at the collegiate level.

“The (wood) bat gives you more of a true read of how good a player really is,” said Pelligrini, who is hopeful of being able to play at least one of the Cavaliers’ three games this weekend.

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Flip a coin—Flaherty’s—at Provident Bank Park

The first 1,000 fans attending Saturday night’s contest between the Rockland Boulders and the Worcester Tornadoes at Provident Bank Park in Pomona will receive a John Flaherty commemorative coin. The gates open at 6 p.m. with first pitch slated for 7:05. This collectible is the second in as many years offered courtesy of Clarkstown Coin and Jewelry of Nanuet, which also distributed last year’s coin in recognition of the Boulders’ inaugural season. Flaherty, who grew up in West Nyack, is part-owner of the Boulders franchise and currently on the broadcast team of the Yankees, for whom he played in the final three of his 14 Major League seasons. The distinctive bronze coin features a helmeted Flaherty on the front and lists his teams and accomplishments, while the reverse displays the phrase “Roll, Boulders Roll.”

“The good news is when the fans flip this coin they win no matter what side it lands on,” Flaherty quipped

The coin giveaway is only part of a fun-filled night against former big-league slugger Jose Canseco and his Worcester Tornadoes. It’s 80s night at the par, with fans encouraged to dress in their most fashionable 1980s garb for a chance to win a prize in a costume contest. The WHUD tent will be back, Hi-Tor Animal Care Center will once again have loveable pets up for adoption in their weekly “Pet Parade,” and no Saturday night home game would be complete without the post-game Fireworks Extravaganza show, sponsored by RSSM, LLP.

Saturday night’s affair is the second in a season-long 10-game home stand for the Boulders. For info and tickets call 845-364-0009 or visit www.rocklandboulders.com.

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Family Day at Yankee Stadium

The Orangetown Recreation Department notes that a limited number of tickets are available to a “Bagels and Baseball” trip featuring the Yankees against the Angels game on July 14 at 1 p.m. The cost for the trip is $55 per person, which includes a breakfast at Veterans Memorial Park in Orangeburg prior to departure. Also included are upper level reserved seats, bus transportation and soda. Children must be accompanied by an adult on this alcohol-free excursion. For information call the recreation office at 845-359-6503.

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This and that

  • The 52nd annual Journal News Little League Baseball and Softball Tournament of Champions is scheduled June 16-23 at the Haverstraw Little League Field.
  • NFL stars and brothers Devin and Jason McCourty, both of Nyack, will be hosting a free clinic at their old high school, St. Joseph’s Regional in Montvale, NJ, on June 23. Open to children ages 7-14, the clinic runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition to Devin, a defensive back with the New England Patriots and Jason, a DB with the Tennessee Titans, many of their former college teammates from Rutgers, who are playing in the NFL, are expected to be on hand. For information contact Pat Capra at 973-228-5500 or PCapra@lunarsportsgroup.com.
  • Registration ends today for the Sound Shore Summer Lacrosse League, with five games guaranteed for Rockland high school varsity and junior varsity grades. Contact Chuck Cohen at 845-398-1468 or 914-490-8446.
  • Rockland Community College standout Colby Lewis of Monroe placed a strong second, just three strokes behind two-time defending Division III champion Shane Dobesh, at the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Golf Tournament at Chautauqua Golf Club. Lewis, coached by famed Howie Pierson of Nyack and Tom “T-Bone” Craffey, carded 293 on rounds of 72-76-70-75. Dobesh, representing fourth-place Monroe CC in New Rochelle, fired 73-74-72-71 to top Lewis with a 290.
  • Members of the Sparkill History Project will meet on Tuesday night at 7 o’clock at the offices of Bauer Crowley Insurance, at the corner of Main and Union. Everyone is asked to be prompt as several important matters are on the agenda.

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