The 2000 NYC Stickball Classic - Semi Finals
Although the Latinos were last year's Stickball Classic champions, they could not be considered the favorites entering today's semi-final matches. Each of the four teams has shown they have depth and can win against a strong opposition. The Youngbloods, the Latinos competitors, recently won the NY Emperors League Stickball Championship and earlier this summer, came in second in field of 18 teams playing for the Stickball World Series. The Emperors were pitted against the Cavaliers, a highly regarded softball team who decided to apply their skills to the stickball field and won big in the Stickball Classic Manhattan competition.
The Latinos and Youngbloods were paired for the opening match. With both teams playing heads-up defense, and a steady breeze blowing in towards the plate, fans quickly realized they would see a low scoring game. One run was all that would be needed, but after 6 innings of scoreless ball, one run seemed like a lot to ask for.
In the top of the 7th, the Latinos put together their rally. Through a series of infield hits and hustle, a run snuck across the plate. The Youngbloods put a runner on in the bottom half but were unable to bring him around. While it didn't display the power traditionally associated with the team that run was all the Latinos will need to defend their title in next week's Stickball Classic finals.
In the second game, the rally happened a earlier. With a runner on first base Frank Sanchez Jr. hit a smashing line drive to maket it 2nd and 3rd, one out. Anthony Rosatto hit a drive that dropped in between the Cavalier outfielders, allowing two runs to score. Although the Cavaliers made a great play to throw out Anthony as he slid into 3rd, the damage was done. Those two runs gained in the second inning accounted for all the scoring for the second game as the Emperors defeated the Cavaliers 2-0
The Stickball Classic allows teams to play for the title of more than one boro. This year, four Bronx Teams went into the semi-finals. For the finals it will be last year's champs, the Latinos who represent the borough of the Bronx and the Bronx Emperors, one of the City's most well known stickball teams represeting Queens. Whoever wins, one thing is for sure. The Bronx was the dominant force in this year's Stickball Classic.