ISLANDERS ELIMINATED FROM PLAYOFF CONTENTION

TUPPER LAKE, NY –  The Japan Islanders have officially been eliminated from playoff contention as the top 3 seeds have clinched playoff spots.

Islanders did not compete to their potential this season but there is a lot to look forward to as the team begins preparations for next year. Players like Hiroto Yasuda who dominated on the mound,  Katsuya Arai who was an All Star and reinforcement selection by the Plattsburgh Thunderbirds, Takuto Hasegawa who showed a   tremendous amount of adjustments are some of the many Islanders who will make this team better next year.

The team is eliminated from playoff contention so they will be the team that will serve as reinforcements by the other contending teams at the end of the regular season.

Article by Empire Media

Empire Baseball League Features Leagues Top Talent in All-Star Game

TUPPER LAKE, NY  –  The Empire Baseball League All-Star Game featured the top players so far during the 2022 season. Players from all four teams were selected to participate in the game and the teams were split into East and West squads. The East squad included players from the Saranac Lake Surge and Plattsburgh Thunderbirds, while the West squad included players from the Tupper Lake Riverpigs and the Japan Islanders. 

In the end, the West All-Stars took home the 6-1 victory over the East. The pitching on the West team was too much for the East to overcome, scoring their only run late in the contest. 

The player named MVP of the All-Star game was Tupper Lake’s own Khalyd Cox. Cox went 1-2 in the game with a lead off home run to start the game, two walks and three runs scored. He also had a stolen base. 

The pitcher of the game also came from the West All-Stars, starting pitcher Mizuki Akatsuka. Akatsuka started the game going two perfect innings, not allowing a single baserunner to reach from the East All-Stars. He struck out one batter in his two innings of work.

Fans from around the Tupper Lake area as well as fans of the EBL came out to make the 2022 All-Star festivities special for every player. Now, all eyes look towards the upcoming EBL playoffs that are looming right around the corner. 

Article by Ben Diamond

GUIDA, TAKUTO COMPETE IN 2022 ASG HR DERBY

TUPPER LAKE, NY  –  One of the staples of any All-star weekend is the Home Run Derby. It is no different for the Empire Baseball League.

This year had many strong participants set to put on a show for the fans in Tupper Lake. Yordi Francisco, Takuto Hasegawa, Sean Guida, Taisei Shinmen, Zack Fowler, Jake Sisto, Olivber Moreno and Bramdon Perez, all got a shot at the title of EBL Home Run Champion.

Ultimately, Yordi Francisco took home the title beating out Taisei Shinmen in the finals. Francisco hit six home runs throughout the contest. 

The Home Run Derby led into the main event, the EBL All-star game which featured many of the leagues top stars and those with aspirations with moving to the next level.

Article by Ben Diamond

Surge Outlast Islanders in Close Series

SARANAC LAKE, NY  –  In a battle between the bottom two teams in the league, the Saranac Lake Surge had the edge over the Japan Islanders. Although the Islanders looked good in game one, they were unable to obtain the elusive first series win.

Game one of the series was a full on pitchers duel, with both starters giving their offenses chances to take the game. But that would never be the case as the Islanders would win the game by a score of 2-1. Islanders starter, Hiroto Yasuda, had a very strong outing going seven innings and only allowing one run on four hits and one walk while striking out nine batters. Yasuda was relieved by Kenta Tanaka and Kazunori Takebayashi who both threw scoreless innings to close out the game. 

The Surge got a very solid start from their starter Cairo Selden as well. Selden also went seven innings allowing four hits, but he walked six batters and allowed two runs, which would be the winning runs. Jordan Rhodes and Ryan Evans came in in relief and each threw one scoreless inning.

Ryosuke Ohashi was the top offensive producer for Japan in the game, going 2-4 with a run scored, an RBI and a stolen base. For the Surge, Johampher Arrendol and Ben Gravel both went 1-3 in the game and Dominiq Moore went 1-2 with two stolen bases.

Game two was yet another pitchers duel, ending in a 3-2 Surge victory. Shawn McFeggan started for the Surge and threw all seven innings in the shortened game. His final line included five hits, six walks, two runs allowed and three strikeouts. For Japan, Mizuki Akatsuka threw the entire game, going six innings, allowing three runs, on nine hits, while striking out four. Akatsuka did not walk any batters in his start.

On offense, Javon Martin went 1-3 with two RBIs for the Surge and Enyerberth Ascanio went 2-3 with a run scored and three stolen bases. For Japan, Sean Guida went 1-2 with an RBI and two stolen bases.

Game three saw the most offense in the entire series, as the Surge were able to put up ten runs on Islander’s pitching. Kenta Tanaka got the start for Japan and allowed four runs in six innings of work, Rui Akagawa allowed one run in his inning of work and Kazunori Takebayashi allowed five in his inning. 

Jay Palais had a decent start for the Surge, going eight innings, allowing four runs on ten hits and four walks while striking out two batters. He was relieved by Ryan Evans who pitched a scoreless ninth inning.

Cory Alexander, Enyerberth Ascanio and Johampher Arrendol all had two RBIs in the game for the Surge. Alexander and Arrendol combined for five stolen bases as well. For the Islanders, Katsuya Arai went 3-4 with two doubles a run scored, an RBI and a stolen base.

On Wednesday, Japan will head to Plattsburgh to take on the Thunderbirds and the Surge will head to Tupper Lake to face off against the top seeded Riverpigs.

Late Breakdowns Spoil Japan’s Chances at First Series Win

TUPPER LAKE, NY  – The Japan Islanders and the Tupper Lake Riverpigs faced off for the third time this season. However, the Islanders seemed to be able to put up more of a fight in this series compared to the previous two. 

In game one, both teams were evenly matched throughout the entire game. Both starters, Kenta Tanaka for Japan, and Joseph Brennan for Tupper Lake allowed four earned runs, although there was a fifth unearned run allowed. Tanaka’s final line was 4.1 innings pitched, four earned runs, five hits, four walks and three strikeouts. He was not handed a decision after the outcome of the game. 

Brennan’s final line was similar, going 4.2 innings, allowing four earned runs on four hits, and two walks while striking out six batters. Two of the three relievers to enter the game for him, Zach Goree and Randy Alcantara were strong, combining for three scoreless innings, allowing three hits, one walk and striking out six to close out the game. However, Jesus Rosario’s efforts in relief was the difference in the game. Rosario two runs on five walks and a hit in 0.2 innings. The Islanders would win the game 6-5.

The top hitter for Japan was Takuto Hasegawa. He went 2-4 in the game with a run scored and two RBIs. On the Tupper Lakes side, the scoring production came off the bat of Taisei Shinmen, who went 1-4 with two RBIs and a walk in his first game with the team.

Game two came down to the wire as the Islanders came within two outs of taking their first series win of the season. Behind a strong start by Shinya Yamauchi, the Islanders were able to take a 3-2 lead into the ninth inning. Shinya ended his start with a line of 8.0 innings pitched, six hits, two walks, two runs allowed, while striking out seven. He handed the game over to the closer, Kazunori Takebayashi who has had some control issues that have been seen throughout his outings. Although Takebayashi did not walk a batter in this outing, the constant falling behind in counts gave Riverpigs hitters an better counts to hit in. Takebayashi was only able to record one out while giving up four hits and two runs.

Jared Dingus had a strong start for the Riverpigs, going six innings, giving up one run on four hits, and two walks. He also struck out five batters. Relievers Austin Henson and Randy Alcantara had strong outings in relief, combining to go three innings, allowing three hits and two runs, while striking out four.

The offensive production for the Islanders came off the bat of Yun Chang Gyu. Gyu went 1-3 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored. On the other side, Mikey Edie had a day for the Riverpigs, going 3-4 with two RBIs and two stolen bases as well as the walkoff hit in the teams 4-3 win. 

With another chance to win their first series of the season, the Islanders came out firing taking a 3-1 lead into the fifth inning. However the Riverpigs would score 11 unanswered runs in a 13-3 seven inning affair. 

Riverpigs starter Zach Goree was solid, going six innings, allowing three runs on one hit and seven walks while striking out eight batters. Catch Juan De La Cruz came in to pitch the final inning in relief, only allowing one hit.

Japan’s starter Kyung Min (Peter) Han had a shaky start, only going 4.1 innings allowing three runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out five. Rui Akagawa and Ken Watanabe came into the game in relief and the Riverpigs offense jumped all over them. In two innings, they allowed a combined 10 runs on eleven walks.

The top hitter for Japan was Sean Guida, who went 1-2 on the day with a walk and a stolen base. Bramdon Perez was an offensive powerhouse for the Riverpigs, going 3-5 with a home run, one RBI, three runs scored and three stolen bases. 

The Islanders will look to put this series behind them as they head to Saranac to face the Surge and hope they can put together their first series win. The Riverpigs will host the Plattsburgh Thunderbirds in a battle for the top spot in the standings trying to defend their turf and their spot at the top of the league.

 

Article by Ben Diamond

ISLANDERS IMPROVEMENTS FALL SHORT IN PLATTSBURGH

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

ISLANDERS DOWNED BY RIVERPIGS ON FIRST SERIES OF THE YEAR

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

ISLANDERS DROP FIRST GAME OF THE SEASON

TUPPER LAKE, NY  –  The Japan Islanders got a first hand taste of the skill in the Empire Baseball League in their 12-3 loss to the Tupper Lake River Pigs. The game seemed to be closely matched early in the game, the Islanders even took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning due to defensive miscues by the River Pigs. But just an inning later, the River Pigs tied it up and then another inning later, in the fifth inning, they took a commanding lead and never gave it back.

The starter for the Islanders, Shinya Yamauchi, had a bumpy start. Although there are only two earned runs on his statline, he gave up six hits and three walks in only 4.2 innings pitched. He also gave up a home run. Yamauchi had a hard time throwing first pitch strikes which was a part in why his start was so shaky. 

Relief pitcher Ken Watanabe entered the game to get the final out of the fifth inning for  Yamauchi. But, in the sixth inning, he lost the strike zone, leading to four walks and four earned runs against him. Hiroto Yasuda was solid in his inning of relief, striking out two, walking one, allowing two hits and one run.

Kenta Tanaka had the cleanest night of the Islanders pitchers, going one inning, walking one and striking out two. The final reliever of the night for the Islanders was Kazunori Takebayashi who got roughed up a bit in the eighth inning, giving up four hits including a home run, three earned runs, while striking out one.

The batting was not much better for the Islanders, as they only amassed six total hits throughout the game. Yun Chang Gyu, Ryosuke Ohashi and Taisei Shinmen were the recipients of the teams RBIs. Shinmen had the biggest blast for the Islanders, smacking a solo-home run off of the top of the outfield wall in the top of the ninth inning. 

The Islanders are looking to avoid two straight losses to start their first EBL campaign tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. at Municipal Park in Tupper Lake.

Article by Benjamin Diamond

ISLANDERS TO REPRESENT JAPAN IN 2022

TUPPER LAKE, NY- The Islanders Baseball organization which represented Puerto Rico for 3 Empire League seasons will represent the country of Japan in 2022. The Empire League which is known as a Professional Baseball Developmental League for the MLB Partner leagues, announced today that it will avoid dealing with any ongoing Covid-19 restrictions that would make it very difficult for teams to travel back and forth and be housed out side of the country this year. For that reason, a team made up of Japanese players will be put in place to be a travel team in the Empire League for the 2022 season.

With the Islanders previous manager Tony Rodriguez moving up to the higher level MLB affiliate League in Mexico, and the team now representing the country of Japan, the Empire league will continue to provide many opportunities to players from Puerto Rico that attend the Empire Showcase Camps and Tryouts. Nearly 100 roster spots will still need to be filled with the other teams in the league as usual, and it is always up to the players to show what they have at the tryout camps to earn those spots.

To Play in the Empire League for an opportunity to be moved up to an MLB partnered league, players must request invite to the Empire tryout camps, and attend if accepted. Visit empireproleague.com

Article by Empire Media

#4 PROSPECT RHP EDDY REYNOSO SIGNS WITH LAKE ERIE CRUSHERS OF THE FRONTIER LEAGUE

SARANAC LAKE, NY – Shortly after finishing the 2019 Empire League season, Eddy Reynoso was signed to play with the Cangrejeros de Santurce of the Roberto Clemente Puerto Rico Professional Winter League.

Reynoso had a stellar winter where he went (5-0) as a reliever and was a part of the 2019 Championship team in which ended up participating in the Caribbean World Series representing the Island of Puerto Rico.

Reynoso, a member of the Puerto Rico Islanders, has signed with the Lake Erie Crushers of the Frontier League. He  hopes that when the pandemic is over, that he can go back to trying to live his dream again.

Article by Empire Media