Another championship summer for the Kids at TM

There are moments when those who learn and play the game of baseball have reason to reflect. There is the patience and dedication for improvement, learning and respecting the coaches and parents who are involved, and of course there is teamwork and the ultimate goal of winning a championship.

And once again, a team of 10-year olds representing TM Baseball Training Academy in the Bronx achieved a goal this summer of learning and taking home a championship by winning the WBA (Westchester Baseball Association) crown. It was a team effort that begins with the organization and efforts of TM founders Tony and Jesse Melendez.

“We are very proud as we are with all our youngsters for winning a championship,” Said Jesse Melendez who has a full slate on the schedule which has also included the travel from New York to Texas as the Bronx based organization continues to expand. This summer there have also been continued expansion plans with another facility in Orlando Florida.

However it all begins with the youngsters, coaches, and of course the parents. Joey Giardino and his son Nino took over the 10-year old and under team and the kids responded. There are many techniques to guide youngsters in learning the game of baseball, and the most important tool is the guidance which the coaches provided.

This was the second consecutive year the kids took home the coveted prize of a championship, and of course there is anticipation of a third one next summer.

Said Giardino: “”This was my first time coaching and I can’t tell you how happy I am that Jesse and Tony Melendez believed in me. I’m looking forward to a three-peat!” Last year the team had a perfect 14-0 season and a returning of a Yankees “Core Five” returned this summer and were instrumental in winning another title on the diamond.

That core included Chase Sisto who batted .486 with 12 runs batted in, Darrius Brown was a good compliment knocking in 15 runs and hit at a .429 clip. AJ Mitchell had a team leading 27 hits, Allan Monroy compiled 14 walks and scored 10-runs, and Aiden Coughlan with a .565 average led the team with 60 at bats and scored 31 runs. Added to the offense and contributing to the wins was Siarra Silva, and Richie Figuero.

Ronald Pena completed a .609 average at the plate with five home runs and 30 RBI, Joseph Panza hit .447 with 16 RBI, Valentin Berishaj, Andrew Ortiz, and Ethan Maduro also got on base and played errorless baseball on the field. After the team lost an opening round of the Yorktown Tournament, it was all team chemistry and a winning formula from there.

So it was more about the winning. Team chemistry and the learning that is established at TM Academy was in place after the adversity of a tough loss. At this level of the game, learning they say is more instrumental than losing, and the kids said this was definitely a summer of learning more as they move forward with the game.

The playoffs culminated with a 15-2 championship win as Ronald Pena on the mound got the win.Chase Sisto, Aiden Coughlan, Joseph Panza, Darrius Brown, AJ Mitchell and Jhonathan Torres combined to go 16-16 with 12 RBI, as TM successfully defended their title. It’s back to school and more baseball with four tournaments in Fall Ball, that will end with a tournament in Delaware on the weekend of Halloween.

So it continues and more importantly, the youngsters, and there have been many over the years, continue to progress with their skills on and off the field. “These kids are all heart, being part of this organization is exciting, and watching them play fills my heart with joy,” said parent coordinator, Elizabeth Figueroa, “It’s not the team with the best players that win. It’s the players with the best team that wins!”

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About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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