Author: Empireproleague

RIVERPIGS ARE EMPIRE LEAGUE CHAMPIONS

TUPPER LAKE, NY  –  The series everyone has been waiting for has finally arrived. After the Plattsburgh Thunderbirds beat the Saranac Lake Surge in the Wild Card game, the Thunderbirds moved onto the Empire Baseball League finals to face the Tupper Lake Riverpigs. 

Game one saw fans packed to the brim at Municipal Park in Tupper Lake as the Riverpigs Jordan Warecke faced off against Rancys Nunez. Warecke had a solid start for the Riverpigs, going seven strong innings, allowing three runs on nine hits and one walk while striking out five batters. He was relieved by Zach Goree who struggled to get outs, going only 0.2 innings allowing two runs on one hit and two walks. Randy Alcantara entered the game for Goree and gave Tupper Lake a scoreless 1.1 innings in relief to solidify the Riverpigs 7-5 game one win.

For Plattsburgh, Nunez went 6.2 innings, allowing five runs on two hits and five walks while striking out eight batters. Andrew Bielicky relieved Nunez and allowed two runs in 1.1 innings, earning the loss for the game. 

For the Thunderbirds, Brandon Russo went 1-3 in the game with a double, one run scored and two RBIs. For the Riverpigs, Malik Blaise was on offensive force, going 2-5 with four RBIs. Mikey Edie also had himself two RBIs, going 2-4 with a triple.

Game two was the complete opposite of game one, being a lopsided affair in favor of the Thunderbirds. The Plattsburgh offense put up an offensive barrage against Tupper Lake pitching scoring 15 runs in the 15-2 win. Katsuya Arai and Derrick Pyles each had three RBIs while Hanley Acevedo tacked on two of his own. Plattsburgh was also led by starting pitcher Kyung Min Han, who went six innings, allowing two runs on six hits and six walks, while striking out eight. He was relieved by Hunter Davis who closed out the game with a scoreless inning of his own.

For the Riverpigs, Mikey Edie and Hector Martinez had an RBI each for the quiet Riverpigs offense. Dimitri Nunez got the start and struggled, only going one inning allowing three runs on three hits and two walks. The Tupper Lake relievers did not do much better allowing nine runs in five innings of work.

Game three was a back and forth affair with neither team being able to pull away. Plattsburgh started the game putting up five quick first inning runs, but the Riverpigs answered with three of their own. This trend would continue up until the ninth inning when Riverpigs designated hitter Sean Guida ripped an RBI infield single to walk-off the 11-10 game and lead Tupper Lake to a 2-1 series lead and one win from the title. 

Walner Espinal had five RBIs in the game and Mikey Edie and Hector Martinez had two RBIs each for the Riverpigs. For Plattsburgh, Marcos Estevez had two RBIs, while Olivber Moreno, Derrick Pyles, Brandon Russo, Jake Sisto and Hanley Acevedo had one RBI apiece. 

Hiroto Yasuda had a rough outing for Plattsburgh, allowing 10 runs in 5.2 innings pitched. Emmanuel Brantley entered in relief and was rock solid until the ninth when he allowed the game winning run.

Jared Dingus started game three for the Riverpigs, allowing five runs in 3.1 innings before being relieved by Jose Mieses who allowed four runs in four innings of work. He was relieved by Randy Alcantara who shut the door for Tupper Lake securing the victory. 

With the series on the line, the Plattsburgh Thunderbirds came to play. Although they went down early in the first inning as the Riverpigs scored two, they cut the lead in half in the bottom of the first then rode a three run fifth inning to take a 4-2 lead.

Thunderbirds starter Hunter Davis twirled a much needed strong start going six innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and four walks while striking out two batters. Davis had his curveball working, keeping the Riverpigs lineup off balance throughout his outing. He was relieved by Andrew Kramer who was able to hold the two run lead into the ninth inning before being replaced by Andrew Bielicky. 

In the ninth, the Riverpigs were able to rally to tie the game at four, and gave the team a chance to send the game to extra innings on a single to centerfield by Bramdon Perez that was misplayed by centerfielder Hanley Acevedo. 

The Riverpigs would lose the game on a walk-off walk at the hands of Olivber Moreno. Randy Alcantara came in for the Riverpigs to try and send the game to extras, but to no avail. 

Joseph Brennan started the game for Tupper Lake, going 4.2 innings allowing four runs on four hits and six walks while striking out three. Zach Goree relieved Brennan and bounced back from his previous shaky outing, going 3.1 innings, allowing one hit and striking out five. 

Olivber Moreno was the Thunderbirds main offensive force, going 1-3 with a run scored, two RBIs and the walk-off walk. For the Riverpigs, Bramdon Perez went 2-4 with two RBIs and a stolen base.

It all came down to a decisive game 5 situation. Both teams threw their aces out on the mound, Jordan Warecke for the Riverpigs and Keyvan Grenald for the Thunderbirds. The pitchers duel was as advertised as both starters had strong starts, Warecke going 5.2 innings allowing two earned runs, and Grenald allowed four runs in 6.2 innings. Grenald’s one mistake in his start was an early three-run home run by Hector Martinez.

Although Warecke had a strong start, Plattsburgh was able to come back to tie the game at four. But not all hope was lost, as in the bottom of the eighth inning with two outs, Sean Guida stepped up to the plate and delivered the game winning run on a sacrifice fly off Hiroto Yasuda, cementing the series with a 5-4 victory.

Jose Mieses entered the game in the late innings for the Riverpigs and shut the door, earning the victory. Sean Guida earned the title of Finals MVP hitting a walk-off single in game three and scoring the game winning run to seal the finals victory. 

That wraps up the 2022 Empire Baseball League season! Congratulations to the Riverpigs on their first ever EBL title.

Article by Ben Diamond

THUNDERBIRDS TAKE WILD CARD GAME AND ADVANCE TO FINALS

TUPPER LAKE, NY  –  On Tuesday, the #3 seed Plattsburgh Thunderbirds faced off against the #2 seed Saranac Lake Surge. Heading into the matchup, the Surge had a 1.5 game lead on the Thunderbirds with a record of 18-19 while the Thunderbirds sat at 18-22. Both teams came off of losing the final series of the regular season, the Surge to top seeded Tupper Lake Riverpigs and Plattsburgh to the #4 seed Japan Islanders.

Both teams threw out their best pitchers with the Surge relying on Cairo Selden and the Thunderbirds relying on Keyvan Grenald, and as expected both pitchers kept their teams in the game. Grenald came out firing, going seven strong innings in his start, allowing three runs on three hits and four walks while striking out 11 Surge batters. Selden also had himself a strong start going five innings, allowing two runs on four hits and four walks while striking out seven batters. 

Unfortunately, Selden needed to leave the game in the hands of the bullpen. Kenta Tanaka, a player picked up from the Japan Islanders, came in and gave the Surge 1.1 scoreless innings before handing the game to Levi Parker, who was also picked up from the Islanders. However, Parker did not have the same success, allowing three runs on three hits and one walk, while striking out four. He would be credited with the loss. For the Thunderbirds, Emmanuel Brantly came into the game and led Plattsburgh to the Empire Baseball League finals with two scoreless innings in relief. 

On the offensive side, Katsuya Arai, one of the Japan Islanders pick-ups on Plattsburgh, showed why he was one of the more valuable players on the Islanders roster. Arai went 2-3 with two runs scored, two RBIs and three stolen bases. Marcos Estevez also gave the Thunderbirds some offensive production, going 1-2 with two RBIs. For the Surge, Taiga Sato was the main offensive force, going 1-4 with one run scored and two RBIs. 

Although their season is over, we congratulate the Surge on a fantastic season. For the Thunderbirds however, still have one more obstacle to overcome, the top seed Tupper Lake Riverpigs. They will face the Riverpigs in game one of the finals starting on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.

Article by Ben Diamond

RIVERPIGS CLINCH #1 SEED AND BYE INTO FINALS


TUPPER LAKE, NY – The Tupper Lake Riverpigs have clinched the number one seed in the Empire Baseball League standings.

What does that mean?

That means that the Riverpigs have clinched a first round bye directly into the Empire Baseball League Finals and will face the winner of the single elimination Wild Card Game between the numbers two and three seed!

The Empire Baseball League is currently a 4 team league in which the top seed advances to the finals, the 2nd and 3rd play a one playoff Wild Card to see who advances to the Finals to face the number one seed, and the 4th seed is eliminated from playoff contention.

The finals is a best of 5 series. The team that wins 3 games out of 5 will win the series and be crowned champions of the Empire Baseball League.

Finals will begin on July 27, 2022 at 7:00pm ET. Tickets will be available at the Gate. The games will all be played at Municipal Park in Tupper Lake as they are the #1 seed! However the teams will alternate from home and away.

Article by Empire Media

Empire Baseball League Features Leagues Top Talent in All-Star Game

TUPPER LAKE, NY  –  The Empire Baseball League All-Star Game featured the top players so far during the 2022 season. Players from all four teams were selected to participate in the game and the teams were split into East and West squads. The East squad included players from the Saranac Lake Surge and Plattsburgh Thunderbirds, while the West squad included players from the Tupper Lake Riverpigs and the Japan Islanders. 

In the end, the West All-Stars took home the 6-1 victory over the East. The pitching on the West team was too much for the East to overcome, scoring their only run late in the contest. 

The player named MVP of the All-Star game was Tupper Lake’s own Khalyd Cox. Cox went 1-2 in the game with a lead off home run to start the game, two walks and three runs scored. He also had a stolen base. 

The pitcher of the game also came from the West All-Stars, starting pitcher Mizuki Akatsuka. Akatsuka started the game going two perfect innings, not allowing a single baserunner to reach from the East All-Stars. He struck out one batter in his two innings of work.

Fans from around the Tupper Lake area as well as fans of the EBL came out to make the 2022 All-Star festivities special for every player. Now, all eyes look towards the upcoming EBL playoffs that are looming right around the corner. 

Article by Ben Diamond

YORDI FRANCISCO WINS 2022 EBL HOME RUN DERBY

TUPPER LAKE, NY  –  One of the staples of any All-star weekend is the Home Run Derby. It is no different for the Empire Baseball League.

This year had many strong participants set to put on a show for the fans in Tupper Lake. Yordi Francisco, Takuto Hasegawa, Sean Guida, Taisei Shinmen, Zack Fowler, Jake Sisto, Olivber Moreno and Bramdon Perez, all got a shot at the title of EBL Home Run Champion.

Ultimately, Yordi Francisco took home the title beating out Taisei Shinmen in the finals. Francisco hit six home runs throughout the contest. 

The Home Run Derby led into the main event, the EBL All-star game which featured many of the leagues top stars and those with aspirations with moving to the next level.

Article by Ben Diamond