Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 19 June 2009 06:59
This year, for the fourth consecutive time, the Massapequa Chiefs baseball squad won both the Nassau County and Long Island Class AA baseball titles. However, also for the fourth straight year, the Chiefs bid for a state title ended in disappointment. On Saturday, Massapequa traveled to Binghamton, only to lose in the semifinal game to Mamaroneck, 4-3.
The game was a particularly tough one to lose. The Chiefs jumped out to a 3-0 lead, only to see Mamaroneck tie the score in the fourth inning. The Chiefs knocked out Mamaroneck starter Andrew Benkwitt, but reliever Matt McGovern put down scoring threats in both the fifth and ninth innings.
The game went into extra innings. By then, Ryan Scarisbrick had relieved starter Matt McCormick. Scarisbrick, pitching in his final game as a Chief, pitched out a bases loaded jam in the ninth, aided by a terrific double play, where centerfielder Matt Campbell, after catching a fly ball, threw out a runner at home. In the 10th inning, Joe Lipari relieved Scarisbrick. Lipari, too, pitched out of a major jam, as Mamaroneck stranded runners on second and third.
However, the Chiefs good fortune couldn’t hold out. In the 11th inning, Mamaroneck won the game, as Michael Rosenfeld singled home Gabe Klein to give them the win.
On offense for the Chiefs, Mike Mauri was the big star, going 2-for-5 with an RBI.
In addition to Scarisbrick, other Massapequa seniors who ended their sterling careers on Saturday were pitching ace Matt McCormick, steady starter Joe Waterhouse, Andrew Riggio, hitting star Greg Muller, home-run slugger Mike Mauri, John Kelly, Anthony Bisignano, Nick Famulare, Patrick Friel, catcher Tony Abruzzino, plus clutch-hitting stars Frank Colavito and Vinny Caesar, and Matt Hardy, who like Joe Hardy of Damn Yankees fame, also starred at the plate. The Massapequa Hardy had three home runs during the season, while Mauri led the team with four round-trippers.
All of these players knew nothing but glory in the high school careers, and Coach Tom Sheedy praised them for contributing to Massapequa’s baseball legend.
“[They were] a tremendous group of seniors,” said Coach Sheedy. “Absolutely fabulous. You couldn’t ask for more from a group of seniors. They brought the team together. They led. We had excellent motivation from the seniors. They ran the team. Senior leadership was key.”
Sheedy noted that even though 14 seniors will be graduating, the squad will return 14 veterans of the playoff wars. “We’ll be in the hunt,” Sheedy said, looking forward to next year. Class AA teams throughout Nassau County can only hope that comment is an understatement.