Hornets Strike Out of Playoffs After Tough Season

By John Rolon ’19

In the interest of full disclosure, John Rolon ’19 is on the Baseball team.

The varsity baseball team played and lost their last two games against Bronx High School of Science on May 23 and Abraham Lincoln High School on May 25. Despite a valiant effort, they weren’t able to step up to the plate as they had in their winning game against Grand Street High School on May 18. However, their spirit and their sense of teamwork is the testament to their hard work and is an example of how they win in the eyes of our school.

Looking to get back into their rhythm, after their defeat to Grand Street on May 5, Midwood put up an intense fight. Gregory Dorfman ’19 was on the mound and gave up one run in four innings pitched, punching in two strikeouts. Steve Guercio ’18 came in to pitch the rest of the game, and despite giving up four runs, he threw four strikeouts in two innings pitched. Although Midwood put up runs, both scored by Jared Ramos ’18, Midwood was handed the loss, by a score of 5 to 3.

Following the bitter defeat, they sought to regain their momentum when they played McKee/Staten Island Tech, their second game on a three game stretch on the road. Alexander Muchnick ’19 pitched two innings, tossing one strikeout and gave up four runs. Jason Goldblum ’19 came in to relieve Muchnick, giving up one run, but also throwing two strikeouts in one inning pitched. Finally, to finish the game was Christopher Kelly ’20, who finished strong, giving up no more runs and tossing four strikeouts in four innings pitched. Key runs by Mark Uritsky ’18, Antonio Digrigoli ’21, and Julian Lightburn ’19, however, were not enough to give Midwood the win.

“We failed to execute in so many aspects of our game that we normally succeed in,” said Ramos. “We should have been more hungry at the plate, looking to square up the first fastball we saw in the strike zone.”

The next game was their last away game of the three game stretch against New Dorp, and Midwood was looking to snap their two game losing streak. Daniel Lentini ’18 was on the mound and tossed three strikeouts in only four innings. To add on to this pitching performance, Dorfman finished the game with three strikeouts in three innings pitched. Runs scored by Mark Barrett Jr. ’19, Tylor Martinez ’19, Ramos, and Lightburn sealed New Dorp’s fate, as Midwood beat them by a score of 4 to 0.

“We knew going in that we needed to get momentum back from the last two games,” said Daniel Pero ’19. “We know the stakes and everyone did whatever it took to win.”

Midwood was looking to win as they faced Susan E. Wagner High School. Guercio started the game and, although he gave up six runs in four innings pitched, he punched in three strikeouts. Goldblum came in to relieve Guercio and gave up two runs in three innings pitched, punching in three strikeouts. Runs scored by Martinez were not enough to give Midwood the win, and the Hornets lost 8 to 2.

Back on the road for their home game, since Midwood field was still closed for renovations, Midwood faced Tottenville on May 17 as the home team without a home field. Dorfman was on the mound, and he pitched five scoreless innings in six innings pitched, punching in four strikeouts. Muchnick came in to relieve Dorfman in the sixth inning but gave up on run. Guercio closed the game and struck out two batters. The only key hits in the game were Pero, Jalen Robinson ’18, Ramos, and Lightburn. Despite these hot at-bats, Midwood was handed their second loss in a row, by a score of 1 to 0.

The last game of the season was on May 18 against Grand Street, as they looked to finish the season strong on Senior Day. Lentini was on the bump, and he punched in four strikeouts in six innings pitched, giving up only one run. Guercio came in to relieve Lentini, and despite giving up three runs, he punched in four strikeouts in two innings pitched. Ramos closed the game strong, as he struck out two batters in one inning pitched. Key runs by James Shea ’18 and Ramos, as well as a walkoff by Shea, gave Midwood the win with a score of 5 to 4.

“The energy was great the entire game,” said Anthony Damon ’18. “The score didn’t matter because we felt as though we were in the game the whole time, and the energy definitely contributed to our comeback and eventful walkoff win.”

The first round of the playoffs started off well and allowed for optimism to blossom. A win of 2 to 0 against Bronx High School of Science because of Dorfman pitching a complete game, allowed for no runs as the Hornets conquered.

“Based on our first playoff game we could have improved on our energy and focus in the start of the game,” said Lightburn, “We lacked focus which let a team that was not on our level stick around.”

Looking to move past the second round, the Hornets faced Lincoln in an away game with Lentini, Guercio, and Muchnick on the bump. Despite a late homer by Shea, they lost to Lincoln by a score of 7 to 5, which ended the season for the  Hornets.

“It was really a privilege to be a member of the Midwood Baseball team and I have learned so much from the guys and the coaches that can’t be taught in a classroom,” said Shea, “The adversity we faced made each and every one of us stronger and we are better now because of it.”

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