Monte Irvin Giants take second place in MJBL Inner City Classic in Richmond, Va.

The Orange Monte Irvin Giants pose after finishing runner-up in the MJBL Inner City Classic in Richmond, Va. From left: MJBL representative Ronaldo Espinal, Jose Marte, Max Morillo, Sebastian Bundy, Aaron Puryear (hidden), Howard Brown, Justin Anthony, Allendy Lluberes, Jose Gomez, Nelfi Fortuna, Expedi Mendoza, Miguel Cerda, Arianel Ysiano, Juan Gomez, head coach Wally Boyett and MJBL representative Jimmy Williams.
Pictured are the Monte Irvin Giants. Back row, from left: Jose Marte, Aaron Puryear, Juan Gomez, Arianel Ysiano, coach John Boykin, Nelfi Fortuna, Expedi Mendoza, Justin Anthony, Jose Gomez, Allendy Lluberes, Max Morillo and head coach Wally Boyett. Front row, from left: Ronaldo Espinal, Sebastian Bundy, Howard Brown and Miguel Cerda.
Allendy Lluberes and Nelfi Fortuna holding the holding the Runner-up Team and Player trophies.
Max Morillo is at the plate hitting while Miguel Cerda waits on deck.

ORANGE, NJ – The Monte Irvin Giants baseball team, based in Orange, finished runner-up to the Greensboro (N.C.) Bison in the 2019 MJBL Inner City Classic held July 30 through Aug. 4 in Richmond, Va.

The championship game was a hard-fought affair, but in the end, the Bison outlasted the Giants by a score of 13-9.

“We hit the ball really well, but made a few mistakes and mental errors that cost us the championship game,” said Wally Boyett, Monte Irvin head coach. “It looked like we were a little spent having played five games in the three days leading up to the championship game.  But our kids played well in the tournament with a lot of grit and determination.”

After going 2-2 in pool play games, Monte Irvin entered the playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the western division. In the first quarterfinal game on Saturday, Aug. 3,  the Giants defeated Detroit, 7-5.

In the semifinal game, directly after the quarterfinals, the Giants beat Rocky Mount, N.C., 7-5, to secure their place in the championship game. “Saturday was a good day for us,” said Boyett. “We hit the ball well all day and played really good defense.”

For the tournament, Miguel Cerda (.619 batting average, 8 RBI, 4 runs, 2 doubles); Aaron Puryear (.556, 7 RBI, 5 runs 3 doubles); Expedi Mendoza (.476, 6 runs, 4 RBI, 11 stolen bases, 4 doubles) and Max Morillo (.438, 3 runs, 2 RBI) led the Giants’ offensive attack.

“We had great chemistry with this team,” said Boyett. “In addition to playing some great baseball, we had a team bowling outing, which everyone really enjoyed. Other nights, players just relaxed at the hotel pool.”

In all, Monte Irvin should be proud of what they accomplished, finishing in second place out of 10 teams from around the country. Great Job GIANTS!!

Photos Courtesy of Wally Boyett