BABE RUTH LEAGUE Semifinals kick off Monday


Four teams will square off in two best-of-three series.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Youngstown Babe Ruth League will begin its 14-15-year old playoffs on Monday.
Two best-of-three semifinal series will be played at Borts Field and Ipe Field.
No. 1-seeded Line Drive Academy is coached by Jim Satterlee and will face No. 4-seed Commercial Neon, managed by Ron Palowitz.
Line Drive features a mix of strong 14-year old players, including outfielder Jared Bartholomew, infielder Marc Rossi, and pitcher David Patrick. The team also has 15-year old veteran leaders in first baseman John Foty, shortstop Brian Daugherty, and outfielder Grant Sevek. Pitcher Andy Todor has been solid.
Commercial Neon has been paced by the all-around play of Dan Balog and the hitting of Tom Ivany, Ron Palowitz, Andy Kopper and Adam Hoops.
The No. 2-seeded Youngstown Sluggers are led by Mike Kopachy and will take on No. 3-seeded East Side Kiwanis, coached by Al Franceschelli and Bob Iacobucci.
The Sluggers have had fine pitching from right-handers Josh McKenney, Tyler Stanley, Greg Sansone, Adam Miller and left-handers Aaron Pollack and Calvin Clayton. Lou Kopachy is a leader behind as well as at the plate.
Jim Gromada has been a pleasant surprise as a 14-year old and outfielder Ryan Hamilton and infielder Bryan Boyce are steady. Dave Piersante is a solid shortstop.
ESK features a strong rotation which features John Warren, Derek Baker and Jim Kriebel. Matt Backes and Jim Hlebak lead ESK at the plate. Catcher Ben Detwiler proved to be a good midseason pick-up.
The championship series, which also will be played at Borts, will begin the day after the semifinal series are decided.

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