Saunders Sails to 200 Wins at Byram; Panas on Sick Pace

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Mahopac Upends RCK; Croton Rolling in Class C

By Ray Gallagher Examiner Sports Editor @Directrays, & Jonathan Martirano
Flanked by his family, Byram Hills baseball Coach Scott Saunders nailed down his 200th career win Monday over Edgemont.

BYRAM HILLS baseball Coach Scott Saunders isn’t a “me guy”. Heck, we had to pry his milestone victory out of him last week when the 16-year Bobcat veteran secured his 200th career win in a 10-2 win over host Edgemont last Monday. He tried to keep it under wraps but the folks at Byram Hills are pretty sharp and many were on had to acknowledge a coaching career that has produced a 2015 Section 1 and NYS championship, plus four sectional finals appearances (2012, 2015, 2018, 2021).

“We’ve worked hard to build a program over here over the last 16 years,” said Saunders, who will hang up his cleats at the end of the 2023 campaign as he becomes the assistant athletic director at Byram Hills. “We went through some tough times in the early years and had a lot of help along the way. I appreciate the milestone and it’s special for my family and I.”

There is nothing set in stone about his replacement just yet, but whoever takes over for Saunders has some big shoes to fill.

“My hope is that we are able to fill the position with someone from our current coaching staff,” he said. “The conversations have been ongoing and I hope there is as much continuity in the program as possible.”

Panas junior 1B Randy Wiesner is becoming a must-see at-bat with an amazing stat line of .434 BA, 28 RBI, 8 2B, 5 HR in just 59 at-bats.

Bobcat Bryce Baskind laid down the law in Byram’s 4-2 win over host PLEASANTVILLE  Saturday, driving home two runs off a pair of hits while adding a stolen base and a run. Michael DiPaolo added two hits and an RBI to support winning P Dylan Ettinger (7 IP, 2 hits, 9 K’s, 0 ER), who skillfully worked around five Byram errors the 14th-seeded Panthers (7-11-1) did not take advantage of.

If the 9th-seeded Bobcats (11-7) are going to make one of their patented runs in the Class B playoffs this season, they’ll need to clean up some things defensively, as three more errors led to an 11-5 loss at BRIARCLIFF where the 13th-seeded Bears (7-11) saw B Raphael drive home a pair of runs, score two more and go 2 for 3. Justin Barad knocked in four runs for Byram.

In other CLASS B action, CROTON (13-5) is currently the No.4 seed in Class B after knocking off Class A LAKELAND, Leffell, North Salem and Haldane, allowing just five runs in the four wins.

Sophomore P Harry Kahn (9 K’s) went all eight innings, giving up just one earned run in the win over host Lakeland. Kahn tallied nine strikeouts in the winning effort. Khan also tripled and scored two runs. Lakeland freshman P Ramzi Done fired another six sensational innings, allowing one earned run while Anthony Frobose went 2 for 4 with a triple and two runs.

CROTON has moved all the way to No.4, with No.7 PUTNAM VALLEY, No.8 VALHALLA and No.9 BYRAM HILLS rounding out the top 10.

Fox Lane sophomore shortstop John Czernyk gets set to fire to first after fielding a grounder during the Foxes’ 13-0 rout of Saunders late Saturday afternoon.

PLEASANTVILLE began a rough week for rival BRIARCLIFF with a 4-2 win for the Panthers (7-11-1). Jack van Sise drove home two for P’Ville while teammate Dermot McSpedon knocked in another to support P Jaden Lieb (4.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 K’s).

Putnam Valley ace Dylan Watson (6 K’s) worked six superb innings in a 5-2 win over North Salem before yielding to reliever Dom Benedetto (2 unearned runs, one strikeout and four walks) in a combined for the no-hitter for the Tigers (11-7). Watson, Ricky Meister, James Sanford and Sean Holzman each delivered a run-scoring hit for the Tigers, who also lost to Pawling to round out the week.

WESTLAKE and Briarcliff pounded one another before the Wildcats (7-7-2) worked a 14-11 decision over the Bears (7-11). The Bobcat offense was led by Devin Ryan (3 for 5, 2 2B, 5 RBI, 3 runs), who simply mashed all day along with Nick Castellano (3 for 3, HR, 3 RBI, 3 runs) and Robbie Ciliberti (2 for 4, 2 RBI).

VALHALLA’s  Leo Dragone smashed three hits, including a grand slam and five RBI in a 14-6 win over Briarcliff, which the Vikings (11-7), who ran their win streak to three games in a 2-1 win over Westlake, who failed to solved Viking P Jake Sekinski (complete game, 0 ER, 11 whiffs). Jaco Cusmano stroked the game-winning hit for the Vikings, who had their three-game streak come to an end against White Plains.



Ossining’s Brian Hoffman can’t avoid tag of Greeley IF Ben Falk in Pride’s 3-1 loss to host Quakers Saturday.

WALTER PANAS is putting up historical numbers during its current 16-1 campaign, which puts Coach Anthony’s Fata’s Panthers at the top of the pecking order and places a bulls-eye squarely on their back.

Panas will get everyone’s best pitcher whenever possible, which will make life difficult; even for a team that is hitting at a collective .397 clip with six regulars hitting .351 or better, including seniors Jackson DiLorenzo (.591 BA, 20 RBI), Sam Stafura (.588 BA, 24 RBI, 30 R, 3 3B, 7 HR), Dan Witters (.512 BA, 14 RBI, 14 R), Tony Humphries (.392 BA, 19 R) and junior slugger Randy Wiesner (.434 BA, 28 RBI). That is Section 1’s equivalent of a Murder’s Row.

If the Panthers don’t win it all in 2023, some will call it a collective choke, but remember, everyone is gunning for Panas, which seems to be handling the pressure much better this season after a quarterfinal elimination in 2022. Coaches across the section know that Panas is the team to beat and they will do everything in their power to eliminate the most glaring threat Class A has seen in quite some time. P.S. The Panthers may have found their No.2 hurler behind the ECU-bound DiLorenzo, who watched from 3B as sophomore RHP Nick DiMaso dazzled onlookers against visiting YORKTOWN in Saturday’s 11-1 Panas triumph. DiMaso worked six frames of two-hit ball, sending six Huskers down on strikes without allowing an earned run.

“The kid did an awesome job, settling nicely into his role,” Fata said.

This, against a Yorktown team that has gone 10-8 while holding firm to the No.8 seed. Wiesner homered, doubled and drove in three. Stetson-bound Witters doubled home a pair of runs. Clemson-bound SS Stafura scored three runs and stole his 25th base in 25 tries and could factor prominently in the first round of the upcoming MLB draft.

“The combination of my speed, good reads and confidence makes it really hard to throw me out right now,” Stafura admitted. “At the plate, we’ve got a lot of confidence and we have quality approaches. Nobody is trying to do too much and we’re executing the game plan.”

Are they ever!

In the Panthers’ 7-1 win over Yorktown, P Jackson DiLorenzo lasted six innings, and permitted one hit with six whiffs. DiLo (2-for-3) did major damage at the dish with a double, home run and three RBI. Stafura (3-for-3, 2B, 3B, HR, 3 RBI, 3 runs), missed the cycle by not singling. Panas CF Tony Humphrey had an RBI while Yorktown SS Dylan Koch poked an RBI double.

DiMaso was also on the hill in an 11-0 win over BREWSTER. Wiesner (2-for-4. 2B, HR, 4 RBI), Stafura (2-for-3, HR), Witters (two 2B, RBI), Travis Carlucci (2 RBI) and Derek Hawley (RBI 2B) all mashed. The Bears fell to 7-11.

In a wild week at MAHOPAC, the Indians (9-7-2) began the week with a 10-7 loss to rival CARMEL when Ram P Nevin Scaperotti went 6.1 innings, allowing with four earned runs and 11 hits while while working out of numerous jams with 11 whiffs. Scap went 2-for-4 with two runs scored to support his cause. Simon Bakker (2 RBI, 2B),  P.J. McGrory (2B, RBI). Alex Luppino (2 RBI) and Noah Jettelson (2 hits, RBI) and Jade Gutierrez (2 RBI) came up clutch for the struggling Rams (6-11-1), who are 1-7-1 in the last nine. Scaperotti also went 6.1 innings in a 1-0 hard-luck loss to John Jay EF with no earned runs and seven hits allowed.

Mahopac C D.J. DeMatteo (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI) began a torrid week while Tyler Castrararo (2 for 3, 2B RBI), freshman Drew Lichtenberger (2B, RBI) and Joey Koch (RBI) contributed for the Indians, who bounced back nicely with a 4-4 tie against the Rams (called on account of darkness) and a 2-0 win over previously undefeated RCK, the reigning Class AA champion.

Mahopac P Tyler Castrataro walked five but did not allow a hit against RCK through six innings, He fanned seven and continues to be the straw that stirs the drink at Mahopac.

“Ty has been so important to our team,” Mahopac Coach Anthony Nappi said. “Offensively, he gets us started and produces so much for us with his legs, bat and energy. Defensively, he’s rock solid and makes plays that not many in the section can make, and I haven’t even mentioned what he’s done on the mound. People don’t know this but he started the year with a little bit of soreness that we wanted to manage and be careful with, so it was a bit of a slow start on the mound and has taken him a bit to get in rhythm. This is what we expected him to do: Simply compete out there and be the athlete he is. We’re going to keep our heads down and try to work to make this the norm for our program.”

Indian freshman Nate Mascoll provided a glimpse into his future with two hits and an RBI. DeMatteo provided a run and a rib-eye.

“Obviously it’s a big win, especially for us. The last few years, being down, not really meeting expectations of what people believe Mahopac baseball should be,” said Mahopac Coach Anthony Nappi.

Castrataro started for the Indians, giving up no hits and striking out seven in six innings. Ketcham P Brendan McGowan was also solid, striking out five, only allowing two runs.

In the bottom of the third, Mahopac got two men on base with a double to center field by junior Robert Keller, and the first of two successful bunts by freshman Nate Mascoll, but three consecutive strikeouts left Keller and Mascoll on base without returning home.

In the fourth inning, things started to heat up as Kectham had a runner in scoring position, and junior Ryan Mealy ripped one to center field, but senior Joey Koch made a great sliding catch to end the inning for Mahopac. Mahopac then scored two runs in the fourth. Junior Tyler DeBrocky got on to lead off the inning after an error on a grounder, as junior DJ DeMatteo came up to the plate. After a ball that looked to be fair was deemed foul, DeMatteo singled to center field to drive the runner home to make it 1-0. Keller then reached first base after an error by the shortstop, and Mascoll followed by another successful bunt to drive the runner home to make it 2-0.

“That was a good battle. That was a good game, and if we play good baseball, we’re capable of winning a good ballgame,” Nappi said.

Castrataro continued to dominate at the mound the next two innings, with several flyouts and only allowing one man on base from a walk. At the end of the sixth with the runner on second after a steal, Castrataro walked off the mound fired up after striking out the batter for the final out of the inning. Mahopac would get a double in the sixth from freshman Drew Lichtenberger.

Keller replaced Castrataro in the seventh, and things did not start the way as planned. He hit the first batter Mealy, and then he advanced to second after a passed ball. After a strikeout by the second batter, junior Luke Picone singled to center field to end the no-hitter and RCK had runners on the corners with one out as junior Riley Weatherwax came up to the plate with a chance to do some damage. With a 1-1 count, Keller induced a grounder to third base, and Mahopac turned the 5-4-3 double play to hand Ketcham their first loss of the season in upset fashion.

“I thought we had a lot of lulls the last few games where we lost our focus,” Nappi said, “and in practice we really concentrated on keeping focus for a full practice, and I think we showed that when we have full focus for a game, you can win against a really good team. I hope that’s how we build and I hope we learn from that and use that moving forward.”

The following Saturday, on May 6, Ketcham got their revenge on Mahopac only two days later, defeating them 5-2.

LAKELAND was beginning to play Lakeland baseball again with a pair of wins over HEN HUD and another over Yorktown, but losses to Croton, Ossining and Yorktown brought that to a halt as the Hornets (6-11) cling to the 19th seed in Class A. In the win over Yorktown, Frobose (8 IP, 3 ER, 7 K’s) went the route for the win before Logan Crilly walked the Hornets off with a yard bomb. Hornets Anthony DeCesare (3 for 4, run) and Dom Toscano (2 runs, RBI) were clutch as well.

HEN HUD couldn’t score a run in a pair of losses to defending Section 1 Class A champion SOMERS, who notched 4-0 and 6-0 wins and seems to be playing better of late.

Somers P Jay Creighton notched a four-hit shutout, which included a career-high 13 strikeouts in the 4-0 win. He also went 1-for-3 and scored. Eddie Baranowski (2-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI) and Stefan Swee (HR, 2 RBI) provided the pop for the defending Class A champions Tuskers (8-9), winners of three in a row, including and 11-2 win over Eastchester.

Sophomore P Andrew Kapica (6 K’s) lasted 4.2 innings against the Eagles, allowing one earned run and one hit. Creighton (3 for 4 , 2B HR, 3 RBI) was scalding. Somers IF Tommy Tan (3 for 3, 2B RBI, Nick Conti (2 for 3 , 2 2B , 2 RBI), Pat Bracel(2 RBI), Evan Carway (RBI) and Swee (2B, RBI) had their strokes going.

It was Swee who dazzled Hen Hud in a 6-0, two-hit shutout with 10 Sailors going down on strikes. Bracelin (2 RBI), Alex Kuchinsky (2 for 2, 2 RBI), John Robinson (2B, RBI) and Evan Carway (2B, RBI) provided the thump.

Sailors Michael Tucci (2 for 2, HR, 2 RBI) and Tyler Muranaka (2B, RBI) provided just enough pop in a 3-1 Hen Hud win over Nyack when P Michael Gagliardi went deep into the fifth inning without allowing an earned run off four hits. Gags fanned seven in the win and doubled as the Sailors improved to 7-11, the No.17 seed.

FOX LANE is creeping up the standings after beating HORACE GREELEY, 10-0, behind St. John’s-bound ace Tyler Renz, who dealt a two-hit shutout, fanning 10 Quakers (7-8-1), the No.13 seed, just ahead of the 15th-seeded Foxes (7-10), who will need some help from Ossining if they are going to catch WHITE PLAINS (13-5) for the league title.

Logan Mammola had two hits and three RBI. Nick Dellorso had two hits and a RBI. Will Rudolph added a double and a RBI.

The Foxes also fattened up on Saunders in a 13-3 win behind the hot stick of Logan Mammola (2B, 3 RBI) and Jack Shurgin (2 RBI). P Logan Provost (RBI) supported his own cause to notch the win.

Greeley shot back from the Fox Lane loss to sweep Ossining, 2-0 and 3-1.

Cole Stein’s (6 K’s) three-hit shutout was a pristine effort. Ben Falk (2 for 3, run) set a mean table for James Monica (RBI) while Ben Schulman doubled and scored before taking the mound in the 3-1 win over the Pride. Schulman worked into the sixth, allowing an earned run and nary a hit while fanning nine and working out of some self-inflicted damage (6 BB).

BREWSTER has worked its way to the top 16, improving to 7-11 after a 3-2 Senior Night win over John Jay CR. Bears P Trevor Ottly (6IP, 2 earned runs, 4 K’s 6 hits) chucked a gem for Brewster turned it over to ace Collin Brennan for closure. Antonio Galizia’s two-run triple was the difference. John Jay evened the series with a 2-0 win over the Bears.


WHITE PLAINS has won seven in a row, including a 3-0 win over Harrison, a 17-4 win over Class B VALHALLA and an 11-2 win over Saunders.

In the Harrison tournament, White Plains beat the hosts 3-0 when P Sean DeBernardo scattered eight hits for the shutout victory.

Dan Cocciardi (2 for 3, RBI), Ronnie Casanova (RBI), Felix Morales (RBI) provided the offense.

And there was plenty more where that came from in the win over Valhalla when Nick Vendola (3 for 4, 2B. 3 RBI), Ronnie Casanova (2 RBI) and Gavin Townsend (2 RBI) and Felix Morales (2 for 3, RBI, 2 runs) hammered the Vikings.

Ossining recovered from a rough week with a 10-0 win over Port Chester when Joe Post and Tristian Robinson-July each drove home a pair and P Owen Brennen dazzled behind a one-hit shutout. The Pride finished with an impressive 10-8 win over Lakeland behind P Chase Kaplan’s first varsity W. He worked into the sixth, striking out eight Hornets while Mike Lebenson (3 RBI) delivered at the plate. Dylan Amster (RBI) and Alex Lenaghan (2 RBI) cashed in as well.


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