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Mineola Baseball Wins One For The Seniors

Mustangs salvage finale against Seaford to end losing streak

Mineola broke through with a win…or, to be more accurate, they walked through for a win.

It wasn’t pretty, but the Mustangs took advantage of some wild Seaford pitching, drawing 12 walks en route to a 9-8 win on Thursday, May 3. The victory ended a six-game losing streak, including the first two against Seaford earlier this week.

The win in game three was special, as it came on Senior Recognition Day at Mineola. Every senior on the roster got a chance to play, and the chance to enjoy a win, despite the fact that the Mustangs (4-10) have mathematically been eliminated from postseason contention.

Mineola dropped the opener on Monday, 2-1, just the latest in a series of close losses. Game 2 on the road started out well enough, as Tommy Breslin led off the game with a home run, and starter Scott Berger looked sharp early.

The third inning would be Mineola’s undoing, as the Vikings scored seven, capped off by Chris Trotta’s bases clearing double. Berger departed soon after.

Mineola tried to chip away, but ended up leaving runners on in each of the last five innings. Matt DePalma drew a bases loaded walk in the sixth with one out, but the Mustangs couldn’t get the one big hit to get back in it. Seaford prevailed 9-4, behind a complete game effort of Nick Gunder.

“We get a little nervous and we forget the things that we’re taught,” said Mustangs coach Helms Bohringer. “With two strikes, you have to expand your strike zone and not let the umpire make a borderline call [of] strike three, you have to be aggressive.”

Well, usually. In game three on Thursday, both teams could afford to sit back and take their free passes. Mineola and Seaford pitchers combined for a whopping 20 walks. There were pitching changes aplenty, and there was precious little light left when the game finally ended.

Vinny Bieniek started and he too looked good early on, giving up only one run and striking out four through the first three innings. At the plate, Mineola was finally getting the big hit as they scored a run in each of the first four innings, all coming on two-out RBI singles.

Then the game slowed to a crawl; or a walk, to be exact. Mineola pitching give up seven walks in the fourth, as Seaford put up a seven spot, once again highlighted by a Trotta bases clearing double, making it 8-3.

Fortunately, Seaford returned the favor in the fifth, walking six Mustangs, as the home team plated five. Breslin drove in two with a triple, and Thomas Behan tied it with a two-run single. Dom DeRosa wound up drawing the walk that put Mineola ahead.

Nick Cerame started the game at first, but ended up making the most impact on the mound. The junior pitched two shutout innings in relief and most importantly, walked no one. Cerame struck out the side to close out an ugly, but much needed 9-8 win.

“We haven’t had the season we would like to have, [but] we don’t quit no matter what,” Bohringer said. “Yesterday we had a chance to tie the game, all we needed was a big hit, today we got the big hits.”

Along with Breslin, the other seniors on the roster include Chance Bonne, Brendan Gunshinan, Kevin Lang, Anthony Riccardi, Chris Ryan and Craig Weber.

They will try to help the Mustangs do what only they did last year, and that’s defeat Clarke to end the season. Bohringer says beating them would be a great end for the seniors, and a new beginning for their teammates.

“Why can’t we do it again this year?” the coach said. “All it takes is one win and that will be good for our underclassmen to understand that we can compete with the best teams.”