07/11/2017 2:31 PM
The 50’ 70’ divisions are always something we look forward to. The transition from Little League rules to real baseball can be challenging for some, but it definitely brings additional excitement to a field loaded with talented teams.
In this years U11 division there are a lot of new faces looking to make a splash in this years Cup race. As for Pool A all these teams are ready to take their shot at the Cup. St. A’s has the pitching to make a run at the pool but they should watch out for the Latin Souls because these young men can really swing them. It will be an interesting thing to keep your eye as the Cup develops.
Over in Pool B, a familiar name that the Borough Cup fans should remember is the Raiders. Coming off a great season so far, the Raiders are the reigning U10 Borough Cup Champions and currently sit at #2 in our Big Apple Power Rankings. Their route to the City Playoffs won’t be an easy one though, as their bracket is full talent. Bayside LL Rebels were undefeated in LI Hot Stove this spring, while the NY Bandits were the U11 Runner Ups at the Perfect Game Northeast Invitational. And don’t forget about the Forest Hills Bombers and the Spartans, as both teams have displayed dominance in local leagues and tournaments. Safe to say, Pool B is going to be a tough one.
Pool C brings a lot of fresh new faces to the U11 division with the three Staten Island teams; the New York Prospects-Yadoli, New York Prospects-Sanfillipo, and the Staten Island Bolts. Two Prospects teams advancing to the City Playoffs would make for a good story line, but were sure the Bolts will have other plans.
The only other team to be ranked ahead of the Raiders is the New York Phenoms in Pool D. The may have come up short in the U10 Championship Game last year, but they plan for 2017 to be a different story. To say these boys are hot is an understatement. So far this year they have won the BBH LI Ducks Invitational, the Perfect Game Mid-Atlantic Super Qualifier, East Coast “Bring The Heat” U11 tournament, and were the Ripken Baseball MD Bases Loaded Tournament U11 Runner-Ups. If their resume is any indication, anything but raising the cup will be a disappointment for these boys.
As for the U12 division, it is the only one of the few this year with only two pools. With only two squads from each advancing to the City Playoffs, there will be little room for error.
In Pool A, your eyes go to the Bonnie Robins and BBA Blue Jays. They come in at #3 and #5 respectively in the Big Apple Rankings, and for good reason. The Bonnies have had great success in tournaments this year, winning the BBH Frank Catalanatto Classic and LI Hot Stove Father’s Day Tourney. The Blue Jays, on the other hand, flexed their muscles in league playing, going undefeated in route to the NY Travel Bantam Saturday Championship.
Meanwhile, Pool B feature the powerhouse Bronx Bombers who come into the tournament ranked #1 in the Big Apple Rankings. The reigning U11 Champions have had a great spring, winning Perfect Game Northeast Invitational U12 division, the Ripken MD “Turn Two” Tournament U12, and were runner ups at the Diamond Nation Easter U12 and the Diamond Nation Battle at the Turf. If they keep this momentum up they will be a very dangerous team in Pool B. They will have some competition in pool, though, in the form of Grand Slam, who were runner ups in the Williamsburg Sports League’s Spring Fever Tournament and reached the City Playoffs in 2016.