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No.1 Panas, Hen Hud to Clash for League Bragging Rights

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By Ray Gallagher, Examiner Sports Editor @Directrays
Yorktown senior IF Nick Jacoby slides in safely at 2B ahead of tag from Fox Lane’s Feingold in Huskers’ 14-10 loss to Foxes Sunday.

In one of the coldest and wettest springs we’ve ever seen in this neck of the woods, the baseball Gods are going to allow our local teams the opportunity to finish the regular season with a blast of warm temps and sunny skies this week; baseball like it ought to be (at least that’s what forecaster are calling for after Monday).

Despite the chill in the air, WALTER PANAS remains as hot as anybody in Section 1, including a potential No.1 seed should Coach Anthony Fata’s Class A Panthers (15-1) – the only one-loss team left in the section – finish strong. But they are tailed closely by the likes of current No.2 Rye (15-2), No.3 Eastchester (12-2-1) and No.4 BYRAM HILLS (12-4-1).

Panas will close out the regular season with four huge tests, including a pair where the league title is on the line with HEN HUD (10-7), defending Class AA champion CARMEL (10-7) and Eastchester (the trio are a combined 32-16).

Panas wrapped up the week with a 7-1 win over Class AA New Rochelle when winning P Alex Enea (3-0, 2.33 ERA), just a soph, pitched three innings and Anthony Jaeschke pitched the final four.  Panas C Danny Witters continued to scald the ball, stroking two doubles and driving home five while upping his average to .500 on the year. With just five runs scored, though, the Panthers need to do a better job of plating the Stetson-bound Witters in the playoffs.

Carmel senior SS Kevin Dall drove home four runs in Rams’ 12-3 win over visiting Brewster Wednesday.

Panas also nipped Lourdes, 2-1, behind P Aidan Cohall, who improved to 5-0 (0.78 ERA) after a tidy three-hitter, which included seven strikeouts. Senior CF Tony Humprey had Panas’ only RBI, so the bats best get hot. The sweet-swinging St. John’s-bound Cohall is also batting .422 with a team-high 16 RBI.

HEN HUD senior P Josh Shea is a man on a mission this spring. Despite harrowing weather conditions, Shea is having a whale of a season, including picking up his sixth win in a 2-1 triumph of vastly improving LAKELAND, which has now played in six-straight one-run games, going 3-3, including losses to Panas (2X) and the Shea-led Sailors (10-7).

Shea had a day, firing a complete game while sending 12 Hornets down K-way. He allowed one run, walked two and scattered five hits to hold until Matt Bronner poked a game-winning, bases loaded, two-out, two-run single to take the lead.

Through 41 innings this season, Shea is unbeaten while pitching to the tune of a 1.19 ERA, having allowed just 24 hits while fanning 65 with a WHIP of 0.80. He has one more start on tap this week (vs. Panas possibly) before leading the Sailors into the postseason.

“He puts the team first,” Sailor skipper Van Vourliotis said. “He’s a tremendous leader, and he’s the perfect role model for our other five other pitchers, who are all sophomores. Hopefully, they see how he conducts himself everyday and implement it in their own baseball careers going forward.”

Hen Hud, with two left against Panas and another with Lakeland, will likely need to win two of three for a home game in the playoffs as the current No.11 seed. The 19th-seeded Hornets (6-11) will be a tough first-round out should they survive the mean streets of the outbracket round (only the top 20 will qualify in Class A).

YORKTOWN, the current No.14 seed at 9-9 had a busy weekend up at the RCK tournament after knocking off MAHOPAC, 10-5, last Thursday, and a 1-0 win over SOMERS earlier.

Yorktown P Derek Patrissi has been a mainstay on the bump for the Huskers this spring.

Against Mahopac, Husker reliever Cole Haddock chucked the final four frames to shut down the Indians (5-12), who are in the No.24 spot among the Class A seeds and will have to go the outbracket route to crack the field of 16 in what has been a very un-Mahopac-like campaign. Haddock struck out six Indians and drove home a pair of runs, getting additional support from Dylan Koch (3 for 3, 3 RBI, run) and Nick Jacoby (2 for 4, 2 runs, RBI).

Against Fox Lane, Koch added three more RBI and two hits but the Huskers and Foxes combined for eight errors in an otherwise ugly game. Jacoby (3 runs, 3 hits, RBI) got on, got over and scored often while Jon Munoz added two hits and two runs. Starter Derek Patrissi was victimized by several errors and deserved a better fate, working into the fourth while allowing just two earned runs and touched up for eight overall.

Mahopac was in the win column earlier in the week, taking an 8-6 decision from Greeley behind starter Chris Watts, who pitched six-plus innings and smacked a two-run home run. Gianluca Santoro also homered for Mahopac.

SOMERS had a huge 8-7 win over John Jay CR, which saw the current 13th-seeded Tuskers (8-8) even their record and procure a win against a solid Wolves (10-6) club. The catalyst, as often is, was junior OF Ravi Dass, who went 3 for 4 with two runs scored, an RBI, a walk and two steals, giving him 22 base swipes for the year. The table-setting Dass has been the epitome of the ‘get-on, get-over, get-in’ philosophy.

“Ravi is fun man,” Somers Coach Anthony Nappi said. “He hit .400 last year as a sophomore and he’s just getting better and better. He plays excellent defense and is a menace on the bases. The second he’s on, all attention is on him and people play tight. I was talking to another coach about him, and he said he would rather Ravi hit a triple than get on first base. So much energy and attention has to be allotted towards him, or he will be off to the races. I’m lucky to have him because he’s instant offense.”

Somers P George Creighton battled through 5.1 IP, allowing four earned runs while whiffing nine.

“We had some misplays behind George that allowed Jay to come back and tie it 7-7,” Somers Coach Anthony Nappi said.

But the never-say-die Tuskers rallied in the top of the seventh. With nobody on, and two out, senior SS  Matt Kapica laced a double to right on a 1-2 count to provide some life. John Roublick followed with a run-scoring double for the go-ahead run.

BREWSTER won two of its last three but the 21st-seeded Bears (7-9- 3-4) have had trouble stringing wins together over the long haul until P AJ McBride worked five-plus innings and allowed one earned run to earn in a 3-2 win over Greeley, giving way to Justin Parodi for the save.

Perhaps more impressive was Brewster’s 7-6 extra-inning win over John Jay CR, who failed to contain John Gerfen, who provided the highlight of the season with a first-pitch, walk-off bomb in the bottom of the ninth. The Bears will wrap up the regular season with a pair against Somers and another with Greeley in the hopes of holding on to the No.20 seed and an outbracket playoff venture.

CLASS AA

CARMEL cruised to a 12-3 win over Brewster when senior SS Ryan Dall knocked in four runs to support winning P Michael Youngman while improving to 10-7 overall. Patrick Kiernan knocked in two runs for the Rams, who hold the No.8 seed as they enter a very tough stretch with two games against current No.2 RCK this week. The Indians will be seeking some payback on the Rams, who ended RCK’s season in the Class AA finals last spring. Leading up to the win, the Rams were swept by front-running Arlington and fell on the road to Clarkstown South. Carmel is also scheduled to face Panas, so the Rams will be battle-tested and possibly on the road throughout the playoffs if they can’t hold on to No.8.

OSSINING, on the other hand, has the potential to host a pair of playoff games if the Pride (11-6) can continue this current stretch, which has them as the current No.4 seed after taking five of the last six games, including a win over Fox Lane and a sweep of White Plains. In the series finale against White Plains, Lucas Rodriguez (3 for 4 with a home run) aided the cause of Pride ace Nolan Sniffen, who allowed one earned run over seven frames and poked a two-run single for a lead he would not relinquish. The Pride stand at 11-6 overall, 6-3 in league play, and will find it tough to catch a streaking FOX LANE (12-5, 8-2) club that has won 11 of its last 13 and holds the current No.5 seed. Coach Scott DeIeso’s Ossining club is not to be slept on, though, with wins over the Foxes, Byram Hills, Mamaroneck, Briarcliff and two over White Plains.

Ossining took home the Casey Cup in Sunday’s 1-0 win over CROTON behind a career effort from sophomore Brian Griffin, who threw a complete game one-hit shutout.

Good luck this week, boys… And down the stretch they come!

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