Derek Yormack, left. and Ryan Yormack of Bellmore JFK pose at...

Derek Yormack, left. and Ryan Yormack of Bellmore JFK pose at the school on Monday. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

The identical Yormack twins are just freshmen on the Bellmore JFK baseball team, but it would be difficult to find a more impressive duo.

Pitchers/infielders Derek and Ryan Yormack, both Duke commits, had monster varsity seasons as eighth-graders. The twins do not fret over little things like which one is better, but the competition between two elite talents will only elevate their game — and the Cougars.

“We make it a competition between ourselves,” Ryan said, “but we all know we’re our best friends in the end.”

“It gets competitive,” Derek said. “At the end of the day it’s all fun.”

Derek batted .420 with a .547 OBP, 25 RBIs and two home runs last year. He had two wins, 32 strikeouts, a 2.15 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP.

He primarily plays third base when he’s not pitching.

Ryan batted .402 with a .542 OBP, 28 RBIs and four homers last season. He had one win, two saves and 18 strikeouts.

He primarily plays first base when he’s not pitching.

“Physically, we’ve matured a lot,” Derek said. “The mental side of the game we’re always improving on, and that’s a big tool to have.”

Here’s a look at the rest of Long Island’s baker’s dozen of sophomores and freshmen:

Jagger Adamo, Connetquot, MIF/P, So.

Adamo batted .438 with 21 hits and 19 RBIs as a freshman on JV. Coach Rob Burger said he has “freakish power to all fields.” Adamo is progressing as a likely bullpen arm.

CJ Alfano, St. Anthony’s, 1B, So.

Alfano batted .256 with three homers, 11 RBIs and 13 stolen bases as a freshman on JV. He is expected to start at first base and bat in the middle of the order. Coach Paul Parsolano said Alfano’s batting approach is “off the charts” with “real, genuine power.”

JT Bonventre, Center Moriches, IF/P, Fr.

Bonventre batted .300 with 10 RBIs in 30 at-bats as an eighth-grader. He will play both shortstop and third base and be used as a relief pitcher. Coach Paul Gibson said Bonventre has a “good head for the game” and is expanding his power as a hitter.

Luke Coats, St. Anthony’s, P, So.

Coats went 1-0 with a 3.23 ERA, a save and seven strikeouts in 8 ⅔ innings as a freshman relief pitcher. Coach Paul Parsolano said Coats boasts “senior stuff as a sophomore” and will be in the Friars’ top-four pitching mix.

Jaden Grose, Whitman, P/INF, So.

Grose was Whitman’s ace as a freshman, going 5-1 with a 1.60 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 39 ⅓ innings. Coach Keith Barrett said Grose is “not afraid of the moment.” Grose will also play first and second base.

Joseph Leftwich, Glen Cove, IF/P, So.

Leftwich batted .408 with five homers, 21 RBIs and 10 extra-base hits as a freshman. He pitched to two wins and 20 strikeouts in 20 innings. Coach Tom DeCarlo praised Leftwich’s calmness at the plate and his addition of a changeup and a slider on the mound.

Keegan McElligott, St. John the Baptist, SS, So.

St. John the Baptist shortstop Keegan McElligott throws to first...

St. John the Baptist shortstop Keegan McElligott throws to first base to complete a 4-6-3 double play against Chaminade. Credit: James Escher

McElligott batted .267 with a .439 OBP and nine stolen bases in 11 games before a broken thumb derailed his freshman season. He leads by example and makes players around him better, assistant coach Travis Quattrini said. McElligott has become more physical, stronger and faster over the past year.

Brady McGowan, Eastport-South Manor, SS, So.

McGowan had three doubles, a homer, 11 RBIs and nine stolen bases as a freshman. He enters his second full season as the Sharks’ starting shortstop. Coach Jimmy McGowan said of his son: “Down the stretch, he was probably our most consistent hitter.”

Taylor Nitsch, Plainedge, P, So.

Plainedge starting pitcher Taylor Nitsch throws from the wind-up during...

Plainedge starting pitcher Taylor Nitsch throws from the wind-up during a Nassau Conference A-IV baseball game against host Wantagh on April 4, 2023. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

Nitsch started his freshman year as Plainedge’s No. 3 starter but became its ace, posting four wins, 43 strikeouts and a 2.51 ERA in 39 innings. Coach Colin Fratrik said Nitsch, who threw a 10-strikeout complete game in an elimination game at Carey, is “pretty impressive from a confidence standpoint alone.”

Aiden Ruiz, Stony Brook School, SS, So.

Ruiz batted .378 with a 1.006 OPS and 33 RBIs as a freshman. The switch-hitter also stole 22 bases last season. Coach Jon Brewer called him a “unicorn-type player” and a “max effort, passionate baseball player who is just different.”

Everett Zarzicki, Kings Park, OF/P, Fr.

Zarzicki had a 3.13 ERA with seven strikeouts and a save in six innings as an eighth-grader. Coach Andrew Abreu said Zarzicki has an “elite work ethic” and a “real, evident passion for the game.” He will be a starting pitcher and a corner outfielder.


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