MSO U15 Baseball Players Star in ‘Fall Ball’

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Ever since Roger Kahn wrote his classic 1972 book about the Brooklyn Dodgers, baseball players have been known as “the boys of summer.” But hundreds of kids in Maplewood and South Orange could be known as the “boys and girls of summer, fall, winter, and spring” for their year-round dedication to the game.

Nine high school players have had a busy and exciting fall season with their club team, the U15 Strike Zone Cardinals. The team includes Columbia High School sophomores Seth Brand, Daniel Cotler, Reid Evans, and Thomas Fetner; and freshmen Daniel Lawall and Will Nomura. Other local sophomores Myles LeAndre (The Pingry School), Jake Sasfai (Montclair Kimberly Academy), and Jordan Stennett (Seton Hall Prep) also played for the team, which is based out of East Hanover. Chris Henry, a South Orange native and assistant coach for the Newark Academy baseball program, coaches the team.

The players play many positions and the pitchers don’t generally throw too many pitches, so they can avoid arm injuries, but Nomura got more work than expected on Sept. 20, when he pitched a no-hitter against the Complete Player Reds from Mt. Olive.

“Will was dominant,” Henry said. “He did an excellent job in attacking batters, locating and mixing up his pitches. Jake called a great game as catcher, and Fetner, Cotler, and Stennett made the plays on offense and defense to help Will in this special game.”

The U15 players are among a growing group of SOM baseball and softball players who are devoting themselves to fall ball. “It’s great to see from first grade and up,” Henry said. “There are more than 100 youth players in the fall rec program in addition to five local travel teams (10U, two 11U teams, 12U and 13U).”

Henry continued, “Fall baseball is a great way for players to hone their skills in a more relaxed atmosphere, all while continuing to get extra repetitions. All the extra reps these young men get in the field and at the plate during the fall help them improve when they play games in the spring.”

The Cardinals finished second in the South Wall Line Drive Classic II, a tournament in Ocean County. The team, with a record of 5-6-1, and will play next against the Complete Players Reds, a team from Mt. Olive, at 7:30 Friday night on Cameron Field in South Orange.

Editor’s Note: Parents, coaches, fans can support all of these SOM Fall Ball players by taking photos and providing information about the other teams’ games. Send them to and they will be posted to the site as quickly as possible.

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