Lourdes Star Signs with UConn

Our Lady of Lourdes High School senior Ryan VanDeWater signed a National Letter of Intent Nov. 23 to play baseball at the University of Connecticut.

The Hyde Park resident grew up playing in the Hyde Park Little League and with The Bronx Bombers travel baseball program. He pitched and played first base at Lourdes, and chose UConn after receiving offers from Georgetown, St. Thomas Aquinas and Pace.

VanDeWater plans to major in financial risk management at UConn.

“I plan to play the game of baseball as long as I possibly can,” he said. “If that takes me to professional baseball, I plan on playing at the highest level that I can. Eventually, when the game passes me by as a player, I hope to teach and instruct younger players in their pursuit of excellence in the game of baseball.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES HIGH SCHOOL

Yankees Call Up Velazquez

The New York Yankees recalled Fordham Prep graduate Andrew Velazquez from Scranton for the final two games of the regular and he’ll likely remain on the roster through the American League Division Series with infielders Luke Voit and D.J. LeMahieu being placed on the injured list in the final days of the regular season.

The Yankees play the Boston Red Sox in the American League wild-card game in Boston on Tuesday night with the winner facing the Tampa Bay Rays in the divisional series. New York just swept Boston at Fenway Sept. 24-26.

LeMahieu was placed on the 10-day injured list and can return for the American League Championship Series if the Yankees advance to that round. Voit is done for the season.

The Yankees closed the season with six infielders, including Tyler Wade and Velazquez. Wade is used as a defensive replacement on the infield, pinch runner and also is the team’s fourth outfielder with Giancarlo Stanton being used as the designated hitter. Velazquez adds speed and defense to the roster.

Velazquez finished the regular season with a .224 batting average, one home run, six RBI, 11 runs scored and four stolen bases. The 27 year old had two hits in his final 14 plate appearances with the Yankees this season.

Giants Draft Fordham Pitcher

Matt Mikulski, a former player at John F. Kennedy Catholic in Somers and Fordham University in the Bronx, was selected by the San Francisco Giants with the 50th overall pick in the second round of the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft.
Mikulski pitched four seasons at Fordham, finishing with a 21-12 record and a 3.17 earned run average.
It was after his sophomore season that his career reached new levels. He pitched in the summer of 2019 for the Brewster Whitecaps of the Cape Cod Baseball League, going 1-1 with a 1.86 ERA and earning a spot in the league’s all-star game.
In a shortened junior season due to Covid-19 in 2020, he was 2-1 with a 1.29 ERA at Fordham. As a senior, he was 9-0 with a 1.45 ERA, allowing 11 earned runs on 29 hits and striking out 124 in 68 ⅓ innings.

Iona Prep Grads Playing on Cape

Iona Prep graduates Anthony DeFabbia and Samuel Bello are both spending their summer competing in the Cape Cod Baseball League.

The Cape Cod Baseball League is considered the top collegiate wooden baseball league in the nation with many of its players later competing in Major League Baseball.

DeFabbia is playing for the Falmouth Commodores and has a 1-0 record with a 1.00 earned run average and 10 strikeouts in nine innings. He will be entering his sophomore year at Stetson University in Florida.

Bello earned a save for the Brewster Whitecaps by allownng no runs and no hits in one inning of work during a 2-0 victory over Cotuit. He will be a junior at the University of Maryland.

Santos Assigned to Fayetteville

Mount St. Michael Academy graduate Alex Santos was assigned last week to the Fayetteville Woodpeckers by the Houston Astros.

The 2019 second-round picks of the Astros is 0-1 with a 4.91 earned run average. He’s pitched in two games, one as a starter, and has allowed two earned runs and struck out five in 3 2/3 innings.

COURTESY PHOTO/ALEX SANTOS

Stepinac Varsity Baseball Raises Money to Help Beat Pediatric Cancer

The Archbishop Stepinac High School varsity baseball team raised over $8,500 for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s vs. Cancer campaign to defeat childhood cancer.

“Our team not only exceeded its goal of $5,000 but also placed first among the regional schools that participated,” Stepinac coach Keith Richardson. “We are ecstatic with the results that were made possible by the generosity of the Stepinac family comprising friends, family and fans and the community service spirit of the student athletes who mobilized for this great cause.”

The campaign funds are being used to help child life programs at local hospitals, assist families dealing with a pediatric brain tumor diagnosis and conduct research to cure pediatric brain tumors.

New York Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital’s pediatric oncology unit received a portion of the funds raised by the Crusaders.

PHOTO COURTESY OF ARCHBISHOP STEPINAC HIGH SCHOOL

CYO Leagues on Staten Island

CYO Staten Island is offering a parish-based outdoor basketball league, high school basketball league, baseball and softball this spring.

The parish-based basketball league opens April 15 and is for children in grades three through eight. Baseball and softball begins May 1 and is open to sixth, seventh and eighth grade boys and girls.

CYO Bowling begins April 12.

Click here to learn more and to register.

CYO Adding Outdoor Sports in April

CYO New York will begin outdoor sports activities in April after having its fall and winter sports cancelled due the Covid-19 pandemic.

CYO New York will offer spring/summer basketball, basketball clinics, cheerleading, track and field, baseball, softball and golf.

“This has been and continues to be a difficult year for thousands of youth who play CYO sports,” said CYO Director Seth Peloso in his letter on the CYO website. “We understand the loss this has been. We thank everyone for their patience and cooperation. We do look forward to re-starting some in-person programming this spring in accord with applicable
public health protocols and regulations.”

Peloso added: “School gyms continue to be used for classes in order to maintain proper social distancing and will
not be available for CYO sports for the remainder of the academic year.”

CYONY Planning for Spring Activities

CYO New York Director Seth Peloso announced in a letter on the CYO New York website that the program is planning outdoor activities for the spring that include track and field, outdoor basketball, cheerleading, baseball/softball and golf.

All indoor activities remain suspended until further notice.

“In the coming weeks, additional planning information and protocols will be shared among CYO parish/school coordinators,” Peloso said in the letter. “We remind everyone that any programming offered will meet all state, city and local health requirements and will look different than our traditional programming pre-COVID. We thank everyone in advance for their patience and cooperation as we move out of the winter months and into the new growth and opportunity that spring will bring.”

Legendary Fordham Baseball Coach, Dan Gallagher, Passes Away at 84

Fordham University is mourning the loss of former baseball coach Dan Gallagher, who died Oct. 15 at the age of 84.

Gallagher coached at Fordham for 21 seasons, compiling a 518-468-10 record and winning 11 championships. His teams competed in five NCAA tournaments.

“Coach Gallagher’s dedication and loyalty to Fordham baseball, even after his Fordham career ended, was second to none,” said Fordham Interim Athletic Director Ed Kull in a statement. “The men he coached held him in the highest regard and loved him like family. Coach Gallagher’s passion and sense of humor will truly be missed.”

Gallagher served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. He coached at Holy Trinity High School in Hicksville before coaching at Fordham and also served as a scout for the Philadelphia Phillies.

His son, Daniel, and daughter, Christine Maier, survive him, as do three grandchildren, Erin Gallagher, Charles Maier and Julianna Maier.

A Funeral Mass was celebrated this morning at St. James Church, Seaford. Burial followed in St. Charles Cemetery, Farmingdale.