Rye Neck Baseball
By Mitch Silver
Image this: it’s April 13, and you’re looking for your first win of the season against a struggling Mount Vernon baseball team. You started the game off slowly, falling behind by 2-0 at home. But you pulled even in the 5th, stealing your third, fourth, and fifth bases of the game in the process.
Then you broke things open in the bottom of the sixth when — thanks to Section 1’s new, more stringent pitch counts — the Black Knights had to remove their starter, C.J. Spence. Junior catcher and co-captain Jack Sheldon walked and stole two more bases for your Rye Neck team. Then a base on balls to classmate Kevin Tamucci put runners on first and third. Another pitching change and an intentional walk to sophomore Brian Scott loaded them up. A walk to freshman Michael Colasanto forced in a run. Senior Chris Cefaloni drove in two more with a line single to center, and took second on the throw home. Junior Anthony Miceli stroked another single to left, plating two more and taking third on an overthrow.
Yet another pitching change, a walk, more stolen bases, and a single through the middle by sophomore Colin Kelley had you up 9-2 by the time Scott lined out on a nifty diving catch by the Knights’ centerfielder. So you’re up by seven runs with just three outs to get, and you can start packing up the bats.
Uh ... not so fast.
Incredibly, after you scored seven runs, they scored seven right back. Shortstop Scott threw out the first runner. What came next was calamitous: walks, errors, a hit batter that forced in a run, a sharp single, a long sacrifice fly, and finally a three-run homer to left that tied things up at 9-9!
When two more walks threatened a devastating loss, junior lefty Tony Leone came in to end the madness by picking up the final two outs. He would get another three outs in the extra 8th inning before his teammates plated their 10th score of the game in the home half-inning for the victory.
Manager Joe Carlucci was relieved to have this first win under their belts. “I thought we played well for six innings. Despite our struggles in the 7th, I was proud of the team for fighting back. Be sure to mention our catcher Jack Sheldon. He threw out a runner at third to save the game.” Consider it done.
Thanks to the snow in March, this week the Panthers were scheduled to play a brutal four games in four days against Tuckahoe, Valhalla, and league foe Bronxville twice, all post-press time. Then Monday and Tuesday they hit the road again versus Dobbs Ferry and Palisades Prep.
Shortstop Brian Scott steals yet another bag for the Panthers.
Jack Sheldon proves a catcher can run the bases.
Tony Leone finally puts out the fire.