By Anthony Damon ’18 and Michael Barone ‘18
In the interest of full disclosure, Anthony Damon is the manager of the baseball team
The crack of a bat echoed through the air as the boys’ baseball team opened its season on March 30. Opening day is exciting to all players, but it is extremely special to the seniors who will be playing in their last season as a high school athlete.
“It’s a bittersweet moment to step onto that field knowing that this will be my last season as a hornet,” said Peter Grabowski ’17. “I’m definitely going to miss these guys, but right now I’m focused on this season and bringing another championship banner to Midwood.”
Pitcher Greg Dorfman ’19 was on the hill for the Hornets as they took on their rivals, the Madison Knights. With this being the first game of the season, the team was looking to start off strong, and continue their winning ways from last season. The Hornets began the game slow, but jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Dorfman kept Madison scoreless, giving up 2 hits through 5 innings. The floodgates opened in the bottom of the sixth inning as the Hornets jumped out to an 8-0 lead. The team ended up winning 8-0, with Dorfman tossing a complete game shutout and striking out nine Madison batters.
“It was a great team effort,” said Dorfman. “We went out there and did what we had to do. We’re ready for the next game, and have to continue going 1-0 every day if we want to achieve our ultimate goal of winning another championship.”
The boys know that they have a long road ahead of them, but winning the first game of the season is a great feeling, and gives the team momentum that they can carry into their next game.
“Starting the season with a win always boosts your confidence,” said Nick Cardieri ’17. “It’s great to have a win under our belt, but we need to continue working hard and not take any team for granted.”
Coach Saverio Nardone said, “It’s always nice to get off to a good start, but we have a long way to go. We’re going to take things one day at a time, and the goal is to go 1-0 every day.”
The Hornets faced off against Millennium High School on April 5 in their second game of the season. The boys started slow, with pitcher Alan Sorokin ’17 getting out of a jam in the top of the first inning and again in the top of the third. Matthew Eng ’17 had five runs batted in (RBI), including a two-run home run, which put the boys ahead 3-0. The Hornets piled on four more runs in the fourth inning, putting them up 7-0. Steven Guercio ’18 came on in relief for Sorokin, and shut Millennium down, giving up no hits and no runs. The bottom of the fifth inning produced three more runs, which put the Hornets up 10-0, ending the game.
“It was great to get another win,” said Sorokin. “We need to continue playing hard, and working together in order to keep on winning. We played a great game, but our focus is on the next game, and how we can continue our success throughout the season.”
Eng said, “It always feels great to have a big day, but I wouldn’t be here without the support I get from my teammates. They push me to work hard every day in practice, and it’s great to see your hard work pay off. We need to continue making plays and working hard if we want to get back to Yankee Stadium, and repeat what we did last year.”
In their third game of the season the boys played New Dorp. The game started off rocky, with Nick Lopez ’17 walking a few batters, and then being taken out after only 1 1/3 innings pitched. Daniel Lentini ‘18 came on in relief with the Hornets down 3-0, and pitched great. In the bottom of the fifth inning Eng came up to bat with two on and 2 outs. He crushed a ball into the right-center field gap, scoring one run, getting the Hornets on the board. New Dorp came out in the sixth inning ready to get their run back, and they did just that with a single up the middle off Lentini, making the score 4-1. The Hornets had their chance in the sixth and seventh innings, but failed to capitalize with runners on base, resulting in their first loss of the season.
“It always hurts to lose a game,” said Lentini. “We have to come out next game and be ready to produce both offensively and defensively if we want to win the game. We just had an off day, and we need to forget this game, and move on to the next one.”
Cardieri said, “Losing a game isn’t the end of the world, but we must play better going forward if we want to achieve our goal of getting back to Yankee Stadium. As long as we play better next game we should be fine going forward in the season.”
The long-awaited championship rematch against the Tottenville Pirates will be played on Saturday April 22 at 12 PM at Tottenville’s home field. The Hornets then play two home games against Staten Island Tech on April 25, and Franklin K. Lane on April 26.