By Anthony Damon ’18
In the interest of full disclosure, Anthony Damon ’18 is the manager of the baseball team
With the playoffs right around the corner, the boys’ baseball team looked to finish the regular season strong, and build up momentum to bring with them into the postseason.
“We need to keep a good mindset, and continue to work together on the field and in practice,” said Peter Grabowski ’17. “As long as we listen to coach, and work hard we will be fine come playoff time.”
After winning their last five games, the Hornets looked to improve to 10-2 on the season, as they took on Susan Wagner on May 9. Alan Sorokin ’17 started the game for the Hornets and had a stellar outing, giving up zero runs, and one hit through 5 innings. Nick Cardieri ’17 started the scoring for the Hornets, blasting a solo home run to left field. After that the floodgates opened, and the Hornets piled on six more runs, with multiple RBI from Dan Pero ’19, Brandon Losquadro ’18, and Jalen Robinson ’18. Jason Goldblum ‘19 came on in the sixth inning and sat the Wagner batters down in order. Nick Lopez ’17 came on to close out the game, and did just that, giving the Hornets a 7-0 victory.
“It’s always great to pick up a win,” said Sorokin. “My guys played great behind me, and we strung some hits together, giving me an early lead and making it easy for me to shut the door.”
Matthew Eng ’17 said, “Alan pitched great, and we were able to put some runs on the board. If we continue to outwork others, we’ll be prepared for any opponent that crosses our path.”
The team’s next two games were against Grand Street, and to clinch their division the Hornets would have to win both games. In the first game, Greg Dorfman ’19 was on the hill for the Hornets. After a scoreless first inning, the boys strung a couple hits together, scoring a run and loading the bases for Cardieri. With one swing of the bat Cardieri put the Hornets up 5-0, belting a moon shot to left-center field. Dorfman came on to pitch the bottom of the second inning with a five-run lead, and set Grand Street down in order. The Hornets plated another run in the third on an RBI for Robinson. Dorfman gave up three runs in the bottom of the third, but the Hornets got one of those runs back on an RBI from Eng in the top of the fourth. Dorfman exited the game after 4 2/3 innings pitched, and only giving up four runs. Pero drove in the team’s eighth run, and Steven Guercio ’18 pitched 2 1/3 innings, closing out the game, and giving the Hornets and 8-4 win.
“We’ve been playing good these last few games,” said Cardieri. “We need to continue playing hard, and trying to go 1-0 everyday. If we do this we will be ready come playoff time.”
Guercio said, “Greg pitched great, we hit great, and I just came in to close out the game and finish the job. We have to carry this momentum with us into the next game, and continue to put in work during practice in order to achieve our goal for the season.”
On senior day the Hornets took on Grand Street, with Sorokin on the hill. The Hornets started off slow offensively, and Grand Street jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. That all changed in the third inning, when an RBI from Jared Ramos ’18, Pero, and Losquadro put the Hornets on top 3-1. Sorokin was lights out for the rest of the game, coming out after a solid five innings pitched, and only one run given up. The Hornets offense scored another seven runs, giving them a 10-1 lead. Two more Grand Street runs came across in the seventh, but the Hornets held on to win 10-3.
The Hornets beat Madison, but lost to Millennium in the last two games of the regular season, finishing with a record of 13-3. The playoffs were set, with the Hornets earning the five seed, meaning they would play JFK on May 24.
Dorfman was on the hill for the Hornets and he came out firing, striking out the first three batters of the game. Eng drove in Cardieri in the bottom of the first, and Pero drove in Eng to give the Hornets an early 2-0 lead. The game was broken wide open in the fourth inning when Ramos drove in James Shea ’18, and Cardieri blasted a grand slam to deep left to give the Hornets a 7-0 lead. Dorfman finished the game with nine strikeouts, and the Hornets went on to defeat JFK 10-0.
“It’s good to get a playoff win,” said Cardieri. “We’re focused on the next game, and are looking to make a run in the playoffs, and get back to Yankee Stadium.”
Dorfman said, “My guys made plays behind me, which allowed me to execute and make my pitches. We’re poised to make a run in these playoffs, and as long as we work hard we can achieve great things.”
The Hornets will face off against Fort Hamilton in the second round of the playoffs.