By Nick Cardieri ‘17
In the interest of full disclosure Nick Cardieri is on the baseball team.
Despite the first official game being a couple of weeks away, the baseball team has already started practicing.. Since the first week of September, they have been practicing wherever they could find space. Players on the team agree that they have never felt so prepared for their season before and that practicing every week with only the occasional day off has made them both mentally and physically tougher.
“I feel great about this season, all of the hard work that we have put in up until this point should be nothing but beneficial to us in the long run,” said Mangeroo Eng ‘17.
After a winter inside of the gym, March 1 was the team’s first official outdoor practice. The team went through their normal practice routine and enjoyed being outside together as a unit.
“This feeling never gets old, I love the start of the season and being outside with some of my best friends,” said Tom Scarpaci ‘16.
Coach Sacerio Nardone, head coach of the team, put together one of the most challenging schedules in the team’s history. He loaded up the team’s non-league game schedule with enduring PSAL title contenders and a few nationally ranked teams. He believes that the tough competition will only inspire team chemistry and make the team better in the long run.
“This team has a lot of fight and dedication that can really make us an elite program,” said Nardone. Every player on this team has fight in them and they want to do what’s best to help the team win, I expect big things from them this year.”
On Friday, the Hornets lost a tough pre-season game to nationally ranked Poly Prep 6-0. The game, on Poly Prep’s home field, was close until the fourth inning when Poly Prep scored four runs to blow the lead open to 6-0. After the game, Nardone relayed the message to the players that this game was not as bad as the score indicated and that they would need to stay focused for another big game on Sunday. Nardone wanted them prepared as they traveled to the Bronx early Sunday morning to play the number one ranked team in the city, James Monroe High School.
The Hornets got the message and showed up with a positive attitude ready to play hard. Midwood scored two runs in the first inning and held tough through the fourth inning. In the fourth, Monroe scored two runs to even the score up.
Roy Wagner ‘16 pitched three strong innings before he turned the ball over to Alan Sorkin ‘17. Freshman pitcher, Gregory Dorfman ‘19, came into the game during the last innings with limited high school experience on the mound. Dorfman shut the city powerhouse down until the Hornets scored another run in the seventh inning to secure the win against a very tough opponent.
“I was really nervous because I knew how good of a team Monroe is, but I took a few deep breaths and realized how hard I’ve worked prior to this game and that I was ready to take on anybody,” said Dorfman.
After the game, Nardone was pleased after the huge win. He expected nothing less from the team.
“We are one of the best teams in the city, without a doubt in my mind,” said Nardone, “I am so proud of what my boys accomplished today, they played their hearts out and they helped move our program another step in the right direction.”
The Hornets will have their first league game March 28 against Grand Street Campus and the whole school will be rooting for them. After the Monroe win on Sunday, the team realizes what they are capable of and are looking forward to an exciting season.