Written by Michael Florio Thursday, 08 May 2014 00:00
For a team to succeed it needs a player who will do the little things; for the New Hyde Park Gladiators varsity baseball team, that player is Chris Ferlazzo.
Ferlazzo, a senior, is the starting second baseman and number nine hitter for the Gladiators.
He is not a power hitter, but his teammates and coaches can rely on him to work the count, move the runner over and play sound defense. Ferlazzo describes himself as a contact hitter that simply looks to get on base and move the runners over, even if he has to sacrifice himself.
“He is a very intelligent player,” said head coach Doug Robins. “He is one of the better bunters that we’ve had in my 15 years here.”
Teams know he is going to bunt and he still beats it out, said Robins. This has contributed to Ferlazzo’s .270 batting average this season.
Ferlazzo certainly looks to make opposing pitchers work.
“He has great plate discipline and his bread and butter is his eye,” said Robins. “He runs up the pitch count and gets on often due to walks and bunt hits.”
Once he gets on base he isn’t any easier on opposing pitchers. He has successfully stolen six bases this year without getting caught stealing.
This is key for the lineup, said Robins. Ferlazzo turns over the lineup.
“He really is our second leadoff hitter,” Robins said.
Ferlazzo has been playing baseball since he was 4 years old and has always been a middle infielder. He has played in the Gladiators program since seventh grade and played at the varsity level the past two years. Being in the program for so long taught him the ins and outs of baseball and how to be a better competitor, he said.
Ferlazzo is certainly a competitor as his goal for this season is to win as many games as possible and make the playoffs.
“It is way more fun when we are winning,” he said. “We have to play our hardest every game and hopefully we will get wins.”
As a returning senior, Ferlazzo views himself as a role model for the younger players on the team.
“Its up to us [returning seniors] to make sure everyone is doing the right things, working hard everyday and no one is slacking off,” he said. “As long as everyone has the same goal, to win the game, and no one worries about their stats.”
After this season he hopes to play club ball and intramurals in college. The team camaraderie is one thing he will miss after this season.