Category: Empire Media


PLATTSBURGH, NY  –  The Plattsburgh Thunderbirds have continued their early season success, taking three of four games versus the Japan Islanders. Runs came in troves, as the pitching on both sides had a hard time containing the opposition’s offense.

Game one was an extra innings affair that ended in a 10-7 Islanders victory, the Islanders first win of the season. Starter Kyung Min Han, went 8.0 innings for the Islanders, allowing them to save pitchers as they headed into extra innings. In those eight innings, Han allowed six hits, four runs, two walks, and struck out three batters. Kazunori Takebayashi entered for Han and gave the Islanders a clean inning, only allowing two hits and striking out two batters. Hirota Yasuda entered after Takebayashi, giving up one run, but did not let the game get away from him.

Takuto Hasegawa was the Islander’s top hitter in the game, going 4-6 with a double. He also knocked in three RBIs.

The Thunderbirds had pretty solid pitching throughout the game, but they were not able to keep the Islanders offense from staying on top. David Ortiz started the game for the Thunderbirds, allowing three runs in three innings. Frank Giuliano had a great outing, following up Ortiz with 4.0 solid innings, giving up two hits, walking one batter, and only allowing one run. He also struck out three batters.

Emmanuel Brantley had a clean two inning outing, striking out three batters. But the final pitcher for Plattsburgh, Rancys Nunez, put the nail in the coffin allowing four runs in his two innings of work. 

The most notable hitter on Plattsburgh was player of the week, Jamiel Orozco. Orozco went 4-5 with two runs scored, one RBI and a stolen base. 

Game two had a much different outcome. Although Plattsburgh pitching still had trouble keeping Japan from scoring, the Plattsburgh offense exploded for 23 runs, beating out the Islanders who had 11. 

Starter for Japan, Ken Watanabe, could not find the strike zone at all, walking 12 batters, and eight straight to start the game. He also allowed three hits and thirteen runs in only 1.1 innings pitched. Things started to balance out after Kenta Tanaka entered the game for the Islanders, going 2.2 innings and only allowing one run, but that was quickly thrown away after Oto Amagai allowed seven runs in 1.1 innings. Kazunori Takebayashi ended the game only allowing one run.

Katsuya Arai was the Islanders top offensive producer in this game. Arai went 3-4 with one run scored, two stolen bases and five RBIs. But, it was not enough to keep his team in the game.

Thunderbirds starter Hennry Civil did not have success either, allowing eight runs in 4.0 innings pitched. Civil walked eight batters and gave up four hits, while also striking out six batters. The Plattsburgh bullpen of Brandon Madero and Nick DiBenedeto was much more efficient than their starter, only allowing three combined runs in 3.0 innings. 

Brandon Russo was one of the main sources of offense, going 3-4, with three runs scored, three RBIs and four stolen bases. Aside from pitching a scoreless inning in relief, DiBenedeto also went 2-4 with four runs scored, four RBIs and two stolen bases in the win.

Game three featured yet another rough start for Islanders pitchers. Shinya Yamauchi started the game and went 4.2 innings, allowing 13 runs, and walking four batters. The three pitchers that came out of the bullpen, Kenta Tanaka, Ken Watanabe and Hirota Yasuda, allowed five runs in their 3.2 innings of work, but only one was earned. 

Daiki Hirabayashi gave the Japan offense its spark, going 2-5 with three runs scored, a double and three RBIs. Takuto Hasegawa also went 2-5 with a double, two runs scored and two RBIs.

Three pitchers for the Thunderbirds combined to allow 15 total runs. David Ortiz started and gave up the most runs, six, while Andrew Bielicky and Emmanuel Brantley each gave up four each. 

For the offense, AJ Pollack, Brandon Russo and Marcos Estevez all had three RBIs. Pollack went 1-2 in the game with three walks, three runs scored and five stolen bases. Estevez went 3-5 with three runs scored, a triple, a home run and two stolen bases in the Thunderbirds 18-15 win. 

The fourth and final game of the series was a shortened seven inning game, due to the Empire Baseball League’s run rule. The Thunderbirds were up by eight or more runs by the end of the top of the seventh inning, so the game concluded in a 14-6 Plattsburgh victory, securing them the series. 

Japan’s starter Rui Akagawa allowed all but one run in his 4.0 innings of work, and Oto Amagai followed up only allowing one run in his 2.0 innings of work. Akagawa allowed five hits and 14 walks on top of the 13 runs allowed.

Katsuya Arai was the Islanders offensive player in the game, going 2-4 with two runs scored, a double and two RBIs. The rest of the lineup for Japan was held in check allowing foe the first easy victory of the series for the Thunderbirds.

Nick DeBenedeto had a shaky start, allowing five runs in his four innings of work, but three Plattsburgh pitchers were able to come in and throw three clean innings en route to the win. 

Next, the Thunderbirds are set to face the Tupper Lake River Pigs, at Municipal Park for the first clash between the top two teams in the EBL. The first game is set for 7:00 p.m. on Thursday. The Islanders will play their first home games of the season at Lyon Mountain in a four game set versus the Saranac Lake Surge. The first game is scheduled to start at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday.

Article by Ben Diamond


TUPPER LAKE, NY  –  After taking two games from the Japan Islanders in the first series of the season, the Tupper Lake River Pigs took three out of four games from their rival, the Saranac Lake Surge. 

The first game of the series came down to the wire as the Surge brought the score within one at 8-7 in the top of the eighth inning. However, they were unable to get any momentum going against River Pigs closer Randy Alcantara, who shut the door striking out one batter in the process.

The River Pigs were led offensively by Khalyd Cox, who went 3-4 with an RBI and a run scored, and Mikey Edie who went 2-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs.

On the pitching side, Jared Dingus led the way with a strong start, going 4.1 innings, allowing only one earned run, and striking out two batters. He was followed by Zach Goree who put in a strong 0.2 inning outing, striking out both batters he faced. Jorge Hurtado however had a hard time getting outs in the final two innings allowing three runs and allowing the Surge to comeback and make the game close. 

On the Surge side, Christian Naccari got on base in all five of his at-bats, going 3-3 with two singles, a double and two walks. Yordi Francisco followed up Naccari’s performance with a 1-4 day cashing in two RBIs.

The starter for the Surge, Jay Palais, gave the Surge the length they needed in order to preserve their depleted bullpen. Palais went 6.0 innings, and struck out five batters, he allowed eleven hits and five earned runs, but his defense was not his best friend during the game, committing four errors.

Game two of the series was a different story, towards the end of the game, the Surge pulled away to complete their first win of the season, 11-5. This game was Christian Naccari’s final game with the Surge as he went 4-6 with a double, a home run and five RBIs. After this game, Naccari was called up to the Empire State Greys.

The Surge got another lengthy start from their starter, Jessel Soto, who, like Palais, went 6.0 innings. However, Soto only allowed four runs, and was able to strikeout seven River Pigs batters. 

On the River Pigs side, their offense was led by Mikey Edie, who went 3-4 with three RBIs, yet another game in which he dominated to help keep the River Pigs alive. However, their pitching let them down in this game. Jose Mieses, Joseph Brennan, Austin Henson and Jose Zacharias were all unable to put out the hot Surge offense. 

Just like the first game, the third game of the series ended in a close one run 6-5 River Pigs victory. The River Pigs were led by a fantastic start by Daniel Rojas, who went six innings, allowed only three hits and struck out four batters. Jorge Hurtado came in to relieve Rojas and failed to get an out as he allowed two runs on three walks. Fortunately, Zach Goree came in and threw two strong innings, striking out five batters. 

In his first game, Randy Alcantara had a very strong outing. In this outing however, he almost handed the Surge their second straight win. But, he was able to win the game for the River Pigs, allowing three runs and striking out two batters.

Walner Espinal provided the spark for the River Pigs offense going 3-4 with an RBI and three runs scored. All three of his hits were singles, but he was able to score off of each of them, helping to pad the River Pigs lead.

The Surge’s starter, Cairo Selden, was mostly ineffective and had a hard time throwing strikes against the River Pigs offense. Selden was able to pitch 4.1 innings, but he walked eight batters, gave up two hits and three earned runs. Shawn McFeggan entered for Selden and put in a smooth 1.2 inning outing. Mark Berryman, the pitcher who entered for McFeggan surrendered two earned runs to the River Pigs, giving them the lead for good. 

The starting pitching for Saranac did not look much better in the final game of the series. In the game that would decide either a series split or a Tupper Lake series win, the Surge sent Ryan Evans to the mound. In his outing, Evans went 4.0 innings, he gave up nine hits, nine runs, two walks, while only striking out three batters. Jordan Rhodes, who relieved Evans, did not get help from his defense as he allowed four runs to score, but only one was earned. Steven Adamson entered after Rhodes to finish off the final two innings and was much better than the two before him, allowing two hits, a walk and one unearned run.

Yordi Francisco led Saranac in the offensive category, going 2-4 in the game. He hit a single and double with two RBIs. Nine hole hitter Dominiq Moore went 1-4 with a solo home run.

For the River Pigs, Brandon Camargo had a big game, knocking in four RBIs and going 1-3. Walner Espinal, Hector Martinez and Chandler Kazele each had two RBIs en route to the Tupper Lake victory.

Starter and two way player, Jose Zacarias, did not have his best stuff on the mound, going 4.1 innings, allowing all six of the Saranac runs to score. He also allowed nine hits and struck out four batters.

The River Pigs welcome the Plattsburgh Thunderbirds to Tupper Lake for the first time this season also marking the first matchup between the top two teams in the EBL. The first game of the series is set to take place on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at Municipal Park. The Surge are set to face the Japan Islanders in Lyon Mountain for the first game of a scheduled four game set at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday.

Article by Ben Diamond


TUPPER LAKE, NY –  The Tupper Lake River Pigs put on another show on the Municipal Park diamond as they handled the Japan Islanders with ease in the 14-1 seven inning affair. Brandon Sattenfield got the start for the River Pigs and shut down the Islanders lineup in five strong innings. In those innings, Sattenfield only gave up three hits and one hit batter, while striking out four. He was followed up with Luis Pacheco who put in two strong innings, only allowing two hits and one walk, but he did allow the lone Islander run to score. All six outs Pacheco recorded were strikeouts. 

For the second game in a row, the River Pigs lineup was unstoppable. At the top, Khalyd Cox went 2-3 with 2 singles, and two walks while also scoring three runs. Bramdon Perez went 1-3 with an RBI, a stolen base and a run scored. Mikey Edie followed up his 5-5 performance with a solid 2-4 with three RBI’s, a stolen base and two runs scored.

Hector Martinez went 1-4 on the night with two runs scored and an RBI. Following him was Walner Espinal who went 1-3 with a triple, three RBIs and a run scored. First baseman, Chandler Kazele went 1-4 with an RBI as well.

On the other side of the ball, the Japan Islanders had a tough time in every aspect of the game. The Islanders ended the game with three errors in the field leading to the large River Pigs lead. The Islanders starter Johsson Arias, who came in from the Empire State Greys, had a very rough start. Arias was only able to complete two innings of work, allowing eight total runs with seven of them being earned. He allowed seven hits and two walks while only striking out two. 

Rui Akagawa followed him and didn’t fair much better. In his 2.1 innings of work, Akagawa allowed five runs, four earned, only two hits, but five walks and only struck out one batter. Oto Amagai faired the best of the Islanders three pitchers, only allowing one unearned run, one hit, with one strikeout, but he walked three batters. The lone Islanders run came on a late inning Takuto Hasegawa RBI single. 

Tonight, the Islanders will start a new series up in Plattsburgh versus the Thunderbirds. The game is set to start at 4:00 p.m. The River Pigs are set to face the Saranac Lake Surge at Municipal Park at 7:00 p.m. 

Article by Benjamin Diamond


PLATTSBURGH, NY –  The Plattsburgh Thunderbirds swept the two game series versus the Saranac Lake Surge with an 8-0 shutout on Thursday night. The pitching for the Thunderbirds was the story of the game which was able to hold the Surge off the board. Starter Keyvan Grenald, who was also named one of the players of the game, gave the Thunderbirds five strong innings, allowing five hits and two walks and struck out six batters. 

Second player of the game for Plattsburgh was Emmanuel Brantley who relieved Grenald. Brantley pitched two perfect innings, and struck out one batter. The final player of the game was Brandon Madero. Madero went 1-1 with three walks and a stolen base. 

After their two game sweep of the Surge, the Thunderbirds welcome the Japan Islanders for a three game set as they look to continue their hot start while the Surge head down to Tupper Lake for the first Rivalry Series of the season.

Article by Benjamin Diamond


TUPPER LAKE, NY  –  The Tupper Lake River Pigs opened the season with a strong display of offense and pitching as they took down the Japan Islanders 12-3. The River Pigs were led by a combined effort on the mound from starter Daniel Rojas, Joseph Brennan and Zachary Goree. Rojas went five strong innings, allowing only one unearned run and two hits, while striking out seven batters. Other than the third inning, when the River Pigs defense let him down, Rojas kept the Islanders lineup off-balance throughout his outing. 

Brennan followed up Rojas with two strong innings, only allowing one hit, and striking out one. Goree entered the game in the eighth inning, inheriting a large River Pigs lead. Although he was able to close out the game without giving up the lead, he did struggle a but, walking two batters and allowing three hits, one being a home run in the eighth and ninth inning.

Although the River Pigs pitching showcased its strength, it was overshadowed by the versatility of the teams offense. The most impressive game came from player of the game, Mikey Edie, a player out of the San Francisco Giants organization, who went 5-5, with three runs scored, a triple, a home run and four RBI’s. 

The top and middle of the River Pigs’ batting order impressed as well. Hector Martinez, the designated hitter who bat in the four spot right behind Edie, had himself a day as well, going 3-5 with one run scored, a home run and three RBI’s. After Martinez bat shortstop Walner Espinal who went 2-4 with a run scored and a double. Leadoff hitter Khalyd Cox went 1-4 with two runs scored, a double, a walk and three RBI’s, playing a big role in the River Pigs win.

With the win, the River Pigs start the season 1-0 and look to be one of the better teams in the Empire Baseball League this summer. It remains to be seen if the strong play showcased in the game can be sustained throughout the season. 

After a rainout on Thursday, the River Pigs will look to take the series over the Islanders tomorrow, June 10. The game is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. eastern at Municipal Park in Tupper lake.

Article by Benjamin Diamond