By Alicia Dziak
Last week, the SYI Braves ended their rec baseball season with a big win in the championship game against the Cardinals.
The Braves, made up of 12 boys, were coached by Dave Nannen and assisted by Jim Murphy, Brad Glass and Jason Blidy. At the end of the regular season, the team, who was one of four Springville teams who also played interleague with Arcade, had a record of 10-6, and tied for first place with the Cardinals, coached by Chris Brown.
Adding to the friendly competition of the final game of the season was that Nannen and Brown were neighbors growing up in Springville. “As a result, we always had kids in the neighborhood and with adjoining backyards, we converted the yards into our version of sandlot baseball,” Nannen explained. “Whether it was organized baseball teams or just backyard baseball, we truly enjoyed playing and today it’s great that he and I get to continue working with SYI baseball to ensure the game remains fun for our kids and future kids.”
Nannen, who has coached for eight years in various SYI baseball and softball divisions, as well as modified baseball, said his favorite part about it is seeing all the kids in the community smiling and enjoying the game. “A great number of local kids return every year with expectations of working harder to get better and understanding the fundamentals is always enjoyable,” he noted. “I’ve learned over the years that seeing a team come together to become one is the most enjoyable as the players themselves begin to take leadership and lift a teammate up after a mistake and appreciate their teammate’s success. Our team motto this year was ‘one play won’t lose or win the game.’”
The two top Majors division teams went face to face last Tuesday night.
“The Championship game against Cardinals was a great game with both teams utilizing their talented pitchers as well as defensive playmakers,” Nannen said.He cited some of the game highlights:
• Brodie Glass pitching to his maximum pitch count and allowing only three hits (with an infield error) into the 6th inning and Gabe Murphy (age 12) closing out the last out/game.
• Batting: Kotalik Mundt batted 2 for 2 with a triple, along with hits from Jack Nannen, Gabe Murphy, Sam Blidy, Tristan Hammer, Lennon Murphy and Brodie Glass.
• Defensively, Sam Blidy, Lennon Murphy, Gavin Bunch,Tristan Hammer, Nate Roberts, Colin O’Kelly, Cullen Baker and Kyle Hearn were stalwarts in the field of play.
• Utility players were Jack Nannen and Gabe Murphy sharing the position of catcher and 1st base.
Congratulations to the Braves, Cardinals and all the SYI rec teams on a great season!
Signups for next year will start in early 2019 at www.syionline.org.