SOM Red Cougars 12U win championship
Congratulations to the 12U Red Cougars team who defeated Chatham for the Central Jersey All Star league A Flight championship last night. Playing an incredibly intense schedule with league play and tournaments, last night's 11-2 win over Chatham put the Cougars at 31-7-1 for the season and gave them their 7th championship in little under two seasons. The Cougars continued their strong play with dominant pitching, defense and sealed the victory in the 5th inning when Casey Thompson hit the team's 51st home run of the summer. "When this team is on, they can hit as well as any team I have seen at this level." said Coach Doug Sasfai. The team continued that hitting when last week they took their District 12 championship to compete at the States highest level in the Cal Ripken Northern New Jersey State tournament. The winner would represent NNJ in the Mid Atlantic regionals this weekend in Troy NY for the right to go to the Ripken World Series in Aberdeen MD.
After a tough loss in their opening game, the Cougars then went on to finish pool play with a 3-1 record earning a spot in the playoff rounds that put them face to face again with their cross town rival Millburn White. "Our boys had a lot to prove against this team", added Coach Sasfai. Even after beating them for a second consecutive year in Districts, the feeling among many was that the Cougars couldn't beat Millburn at the next level. "We believed in our hearts that we were every bit as good as them and our boys went out and put all those doubts to rest." Behind a stellar no hit pitching performance by starter Palmer Krais, the Cougars put up timely hits including home runs by Casey Thompson, Reid Evans and Jake Sasfai.
With the win, the boys advanced to the semi finals vs. a tough Mt. Olive team and continued their hitting ways with a 14-5 victory advancing to play the five time District 10 champion Flemington Raptors for the NNJ State title. The formidable Raptors came into the game with a big semi final win over reigning Mid Atlantic champions East Brunswick. Flemington came out fast and got up on our Cougars 6-1 after the first inning. SOM fought back to make it 8-4 but in the end couldn't get the big hits and fell 9-4. "Giving an elite team like Flemington a five run lead early is very tough to overcome." said Sasfai. "But our boys never quit. I am so proud of each of them and will never forget this team and the run they made." Even with the loss, the 12U Red Cougars went further than any other SOM baseball team in its history of Ripken state playoffs.
NAMES FOR TEAM PIC
Back Row: Coach Chris Nomura, Coach Doug Sasfai, Coach Gary Evans, Coach Les LeAndreMiddle Row: Miles LeAndre, Reid Evans, Joe Borello, Danny Boehmer, Jake Sasfai, Casey ThompsonFront Row: Josh Watson Lewis, Will Nomura, Daniel Cotler, Palmer Krais, Peter Nolet, Christian Pierre