ARDSLEY, N.Y. – Eighteen of the top wiffleball teams in the county swerved, curved, slapped and slammed an elusive plastic ball through hot and humid conditions Saturday in a day-long battle to win the Fifth Annual Westchester County Wiffleball Tournament played at VE Macy Park.
"We all grew up in the Bronx playing wiffleball," St. Peter's School team player Danny Harrington said. "We all moved away from the Bronx to Yonkers, Eastchester and Long Island, but we've played here for two years as a Bronx representative. It's great to get the guys together to play again."
This year's tournament was sponsored by The Master's School of Dobbs Ferry and included 18 teams, including entries from from Croton, Cortlandt, Harrison and Eastchester. Teams played through the morning in a bid to qualify for the late-afternoon final rounds.
Mamaroneck's 64 Up, 64 Down topped White Plains entry Bru Ha Ha, 1-0, in the championship game. Dave Adler, Michael Adler, Joe Vanderpool and Sam Wallach were the wiffleball winners and Kevin Brunelle, Ryan Brunelle, John Kluz, Paul DeLaurentis and Mike Kach played for Bru Ha Ha.
Frank Romano of Yonkers was the Home Run Derby Champion and won a $100 Visa Gift Card.
"We're down from 25 teams last year due to some scheduling conflicts with another wiffleball tournament, but we have sponsorship from The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, so we have T-shirts for all the players, and the competition was tough again," County Recreation Supervisor Ike Kuzio said. "There are some very good teams here. And we have a home run derby this year for the first time."
Hendrick Hudson High School graduates Matt Dacher, Dan "Doc" Reiner, San Bocek and Mike Cruikshank were playing in their first County Tournament before heading off to their freshman year in college later this month.
"We have our own league in our neighborhood and we played a lot together," Reiner said.
Dacher stressed the importance of pitching in a game that requires the ability to pitch to a back-screen target while keeping the ball moving in flight.
"If you have good pitching you have a good chance of winning here," Dacher said. "There are some very good pitchers here, so we're just trying to wins some games."
Eastchester's Christian Schoerner, a member of an Eastchester/Harrison team called the Knuckleheads, tried his hand at the home run derby and was tied for the lead with eight late in the afternoon.
"I gave eight but I'm going to try again to see if I can beat that," Schoerner said. "The pitchers here are really good."