August 2, 2012
Hoboken RBI hopes third time is the charm
Angie Nieves and the Hoboken Shockers are in the RBI World Series for the third time. (Photo: Jason Bernstein)
By Jason Bernstein Editorial Director
The Hoboken Shockers RBI squad is quite familiar with what to expect when it arrives in Minnesota for its third-straight trip to the RBI World Series in Minnesota.
After falling just a bit short the previous two years, there's an added sense of confidence for a group that certainly isn't short on experience.
"They're very, very determined. They're excited. They feel like this is their year," head coach Vinny Johnson said. "A lot of these girls who were there the first time, this is their last chance. This is their last shot at getting this tournament. They want to get there and start playing."
Four players - Jade Bracero, Natalia Estremera Sybil Lynch and Angie Nieves, have been a part of all three Hoboken teams. Three others in Amanda Casillas, Desiree Rivera and Jayla Vega return to a squad which went to the semifinals before bowing out to eventual champion Los Angeles.
With the two-time defending champions out of the tournament, Johnson believes this year's title is truly up for grabs.
Hoboken has plenty of reason to believe it can be them who takes the throne after going steam rolling through the Northeast Regional with a 4-0 record. Nieves, a former High Tech and Union City standout now at Iona, is the shortstop and leads a powerful Hoboken offense.
Joining Nieves in the infield is third baseman Sabrina Reyes (North Bergen), Alize Sarmiento (North Bergen) at second base and Estremera (McNair) at first.
Lynch, center fielder from Hoboken, is a sparkplug at the top of the order and leads an All-Hoboken outfield with Rivera in left and Bracero in right. Former Union City standout and current Monroe College player Amanda Casillas is at catcher. North Bergen's Nerylix Cerda, the reigning Hudson County Player of the Year, is the team's designated hitter.
Jessica Feria (North Bergen) and Vega (Hoboken) have been a strong 1-2 combination in the circle for the Shockers.
Kayla Morrissette (Hoboken), Naomi Olacio (Hoboken), Dysheka Burrell (Dickinson) and Amanda Zielinski (Lodi Immaculate) provide added depth for the squad which opens the 2012 RBI World Series on Tuesday, August 7 with a double header against Boys and Girls Club of the Big Island RBI and Cleveland RBI.
The RBI World Series concludes with the championship game on Sunday, August 12 at 1 p.m. It will be aired on MLB Network on Friday, August 17 at 12 p.m.
Jessica Feria was the winning pitcher in the Northeast Regional title game. (Photo: Jason Bernstein)
2012 Hoboken Shockers RBI Under-19 Roster
|Amanda Casillas||Monroe College*||C|
|Nerylix Cerda||North Bergen||DH|
|Jessica Feria||North Bergen||P|
|Sabrina Reyes||North Bergen||3B|
|Alize Sarmiento||North Bergen||2B|
|Amanda Zielinski||Immaculate Conception||IF|
|Head Coach: Vinny Johnson|
|Assistant Coaches: April Bracero, Rick Bracero, Johnny Rivera|
|*Played for Union City High School in 2011|