As the New York Collegiate Baseball League’s regular season casts a reflection in the rear-view mirror, it is time to move on to the playoffs, and Dave Brust’s Webster Yankees will appear in the post-season for the second time in as many years.
The 2011 NYCBL West Division Regular Season Champion Yankees take on the Geneva Red Wings for the right to play in the league championship. Game one’s first pitch of the best-of-three series is scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight at Basket Road Field in Webster, New York.
“We are going to do what got us here,” said head coach Dave Brust. “It’s our time to enjoy playoff baseball.”
Webster won five of the eight meetings between the two teams this season with the rivals splitting four games at Webster.
“You don’t want any regrets,” Brust added. “Let’s play stress-free baseball.”
Matt Jimenez (Mercyhurst) will get his third start of the season for the home nine. He is 3-0 with an E.R.A. of 3.38. Jimenez has fanned 30 while walking eight in 32 innings of work for the summer.
Sean White (Dickinson) gets the ball for Geneva. The lefty is 3-2 in nine appearances for Dave Herbst’s Red Wings with an E.R.A. of 3.05.
Geneva defeated the Niagara Power, 6-4 in a one-game playoff to advance to the divisional championship series. Dave Saluga (Youngstown State) and Skyler Barnett (East Tennessee St.) each drove in a pair of runs, and Jeff Croteau (Bentley) held the Power to three runs over six and two-thirds for the win.
Webster fell to Allegany County in last year’s divisional semi-final. The trip to the post-season will be the third for the organization. In 2006, the Yankees (then known as the Rochester Royals) fell in the opening round of the playoffs to the Genesee Valley Riverbats.
“Winning 30 games is a great accomplishment,” Brust commented. “Anything we can tack on is great.”
Webster will be without Chris Bostick who signed a contract with the Oakland Athletics Tuesday night. He will join the A’s affiliate in the Rookie Arizona League. Bostick is one of five former Webster Yankees now playing minor league baseball. Patrick Urckfitz (’08) in his fourth season in the Houston Astros system. Urckfitz has made 29 appearances out of the bullpen for the Corpus Christi Hooks of the Double-A Texas League. Marcus Nidiffer (’07) has 14 extra-base hits and 18 RBI for the Anaheim Angels Single-A affiliate Cedar Kernels of the Midwest League. Both Cory Brownsten (’08) and Dan Jurik (’09) were drafted by the Atlanta Braves and are currently playing Single-A for the Braves.
Including Bostick, Webster has had six draft picks in the organization’s history. The Chicago Cubs took Jordon Herr (’06) in the 2007 draft and Jordan Petraitis (’06) in the 2008 and 2009 drafts. The Cincinnati Reds chose Bryan Gardner in 2008 while the Braves plucked Brownsten and Jurik in 2009.
The Red Wings have had nine former players drafted including Travis Ozga (New York Mets 41st round -2009 draft), Ashton Mowdy (Houston Astros 19th -2008), Kyle Bellamy (Chicago White Sox 5th-2008), Dusty Odenbach (Kansas City Royals 8th-2009), Jeremy Kehrt (Boston Red Sox 47th-2008), Tim Crabbe (Cincinnati Reds 14th-2009), Matt Perry (Detroit Tigers 41st-2010), Will Harford (Cincinnati Reds 45th-2010) and Doug Elliott (Milwaukee Brewers 35th-2011).