The story and success of the Moriches Bay Red Devils


When a group of local dads started a travel youth baseball program more than a decade ago, they may have never imagined its success or the positive impact it would have on players, families, and the community as a whole.

Some 10-plus years later, the Moriches Bay Red Devils Baseball/Softball Organization is still going strong, growing from a small grassroots effort to a thriving enterprise that offers competitive baseball and softball opportunities for children ages 8 to 14.

The Moriches Bay Red Devils started from humble beginnings in 2012, with just one team. Founder, Center Moriches resident Ed Morris Jr., was a former all-star high school baseball player from Eastport, who grew up playing baseball in school as well as with the Moriches Bay Little League. When his children came of age to play, Morris, along with some other dads, decided they wanted to branch out to establish a more competitive program that would include travel tournaments. They formed the Moriches Bay Tides, comprising players from Center Moriches and East Moriches.

After a few seasons, Morris and fellow coaches realized there was an opportunity to start a viable program with multiple teams, and under their leadership, the Moriches Bay Red Devils organization was born. In their first year, the Red Devils consisted of an 8U and 9U team. 

“Moriches Bay Little League was the perfect way to introduce a child to the game of baseball,” reflected Dave Kaloski, coach of the original Red Devils 8U team. “It gave every child, regardless of their athletic ability, the opportunity to learn the sport.” 

To that end, tryouts were held with teams selected upon performance. Uniforms were ordered and regular practice schedules established to get ready for the upcoming season when teams would compete in the Town of Brookhaven’s summer baseball program.

“The kids worked hard,” he said. “They would practice for and play Little League games during the week and then have practices and games for the travel program. We were a new organization with new coaches and players. We really had no idea what to expect.”

But the hard work paid off, and in the first season, the 8U and 9U teams won many games, and by their second season, clinched championship titles. The organization flourished under its leadership and its reputation grew throughout the community, and before long, multiple teams were added as the original players got older. In 2023, the first softball teams were introduced to the Moriches Bay Red Devils.

“When the girls finished their eighth-grade season, they wanted to keep playing, but many leagues are located out west, are high pressure, and have big costs,” said Moriches Bay Red Devils softball coach Kerry Coonan.  “We worked with the Red Devils program to bring back softball locally as a travel program.”

Fellow coach and Red Devils Softball director Jennifer Juers added, “Boys have always had the medium to go to the next level from Little League and girls didn’t.”

Coonan and Juers approached the Red Devils about starting a softball team and said they were welcomed with open arms. The program has achieved great success in a short amount of time, said Juers, with a total of five participating teams, which includes an anticipated 14U team for the fall season, along with 12, 10 and 8U teams. 

“The goal of the organization was—and still is—to bring high-quality baseball and softball instruction and play to the kids of Center Moriches and East Moriches at a price that is affordable to our residents,” explained Josh Foster, an original 8U coach, who now serves as organization president and is coach of the 11U team.

These philosophies took root when the decision was made to send the 12U team to Cooperstown in August 2019, a rite of passage for many young baseball players. Knowing the cost would be significant between tournament and hotel fees, coaches and parents banded together to create fundraisers that would help offset costs. These included a fall leaf-raking initiative, where players and coaches raked countless yards in Center Moriches and East Moriches, for a donation. Fundraising efforts have continued over the years with clambakes, football pools, and car washes, all of which support the overall program.

Another important goal, Morris said, was to bridge the gap between youth baseball and JV and varsity high school baseball programs, so there would be a natural and easy transition for players. Many of the Red Devils travel players have gone on to play in high school, and some even at the college level. This year’s CMHS varsity baseball team includes members of the original Red Devils travel team.

The Red Devils isn’t just about playing baseball, said coaches: the organization is also committed to community service projects, led by Red Devils secretary, treasurer, and social media manager, Jessica Curtin.

“I love the sense of family that each team has,” said Danielle DeRosa, former Red Devils treasurer. Her son Gavin has graduated through the program and is a member of the high school varsity team. Her daughter Grace is on the U14 team. “I love having other parents who want their kids to be good humans first and have fun playing ball. I love the coach and athlete relationships; my kids have great role models to look up to.”

For more information about the Moriches Bay Red Devils, contact Foster at 516-680-7356; Curtin at 631-603-6514; or visit (20-plus) Moriches Bay Red Devils Baseball/Softball Organization | Facebook, or @moriches_bay_red_devils. 


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