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Mineola Baseball Cruises Past Great Neck North

Scott Berger’s one-hitter leads the way as Mustangs prevail 10-1

A one-hit shutout is as good a way as any to begin to climb the standings. Scott Berger starred on the mound for Mineola, as they took care of Great Neck North 10-1 in Conference A-IV/A-VI crossover action on Thursday, April 19.

The win ends a brief two-game skid for the Mustangs (3-5), as there’s little margin for error if they hope to see the post season this year.

If Berger can continue to pitch like he did last Thursday, that margin will grow wider. The sophomore kept the Great Neck hitters off balance with his breaking-pitches, striking out eight in 5 1/3 innings of work.

“His fastball’s not overpowering, but he can locate it,” Mineola manager Helms Bohringer said. “His secondary pitch is a big one for him, if he can throw that for a strike, he’ll be very successful.”

The Mustangs had their chances at the plate early, leaving four runners on base the first two innings. In the third, DH Nick Cerame’s long triple to center scored a run, and catcher Anthony Riccardi drove Cerame home with a single.

Berger received all the run support he would need in the fifth. Chris Ryan bunted for a hit, and with the defense not paying attention, Cerame scored all the way from second base on a ball that never left the infield. Ryan eventually scored on a double steal, as things quickly unraveled for the visiting Blazers.

With two outs, Tommy Breslin struck the final blow, smacking a two-run home run to make it 8-0.

The only suspense was if Berger could throw a no-hitter, but in the sixth, Kevin Polanco nubbed one in front of the plate, and Riccardi’s throw to first was a second too late, ending the gripping suspense on the mound.

“The ball didn’t even get ten feet past the catcher…tough way to lose a no-hitter,” Bohringer said.

Breslin was 2-for-4 with two RBI’s, and shortstop John Lusardi added a pair of hits and two RBI’s of his own for the Mustangs. Berger earned his first win of the year and Lusardi moved over from shortstop to finish things off on the hill.

Up next for Mineola is a three game series against Valley Stream North, who sits ahead of them in the standings.

“If we win at least two out of three, that puts us right back in the game,” Bohringer said. “We [do that], then we have to face [first place] Clarke, which would be very interesting at the end.”