Surging Panas Sweeps Hen Hud, Carmel Splits with Yorktown

White Plains Hands Mamaroneck 1st Loss, Foxes Avenge Byram Hills Loss

By Ray Gallagher Examiner Sports Editor @Directrays
& Rob DiAntonio @RJD_Photos
Sophomore Jackson DiLorenzo
Walter Panas sophomore P Jackson DiLorenzo (19) has emerged as a “must-see” prospect as the 5’11” 210-pound 15-year-old righty tips the scales in the Panthers’ direction each time out

Sophomores throwing fastballs at 90 MPH never used to be a thing, ‘twas rare indeed. Once upon a time, it took a 15-year-old until he was 17-18 to hit that kind of velocity. Those days are seemingly gone if you were to head on over to WALTER PANAS High to catch a glimpse of stud RHP Jackson DiLorenzo. Just a 15-year-old sophomore, ‘DiLo’ touches 90 MPH regularly and torques a slider that has overmatched opposing hitters all season, including the better part of visiting HEN HUD’s lineup last Friday when DiLorenzo went the distance in a 4-1 win over the visiting Sailors, allowing one earned run while whiffing 12. He was also the beneficiary of RF Aidan Cohall’s gorgeous, diving catch in the sixth, which stalled a Sailor rally in its tracks.

“Once I settled in and found my stuff I felt more comfortable,” said DiLorenzo, who was also intentionally walked three times after hitting a game-winning seventh-inning grand slam in the opener of the home-and-home set with the Sailors.

“Again, I just trusted my boys. Cohall’s catch is honestly one of the best catches I’ve seen and couldn’t have come at a better time.”

CLASS AA/A

Cohall raked all day for Panas (11-2), the No.1 seed in the A-2 bracket, going 3 for 3 with two doubles and two runs in front of slugging sophomore SS Sam Stafura (2 for 2, 3 RBI). Shane Finch added an RBI single for the Panthers, who saw Stafura (.474 BA, 15 RBI, 12 runs) and St. John’s-bound Cohall (.538 BA, 13 RBI, 13 runs) pad their gaudy digits.

The unit has progressed as expected, coming along since their Cortlandt American Little League heyday and whatnot.

“We’ve been waiting for these years since we were all 9-10 years old playing little league together,” DiLorenzo said. “With Aidan being a junior and with Sam Stafura, Daniel Witters and I all being sophomores, we think there’s a chance we may be contending for section titles in the near future as well.”

The Sailors (9-6) battled but failed to come up clutch against DiLorenzo.

With Section 1 athletic directors thinking outside the box this spring, the Panthers, who have never won a sectional title, are considered the favorites to challenge for the Class A-2 (small school) title. The winner of the Class A-2 bracket would then meet the winner of the Class A-1 (large school) bracket for the overall Class A section title winner in what promises to be a wildly competitive scenario. Neighboring Yorktown is the current No.1 seed in A-1.

“I’m extremely happy with where we are now,” veteran Panas boss Anthony Fata said of the Panthers, who have purportedly never won a sectional title. “We’re just trying to get better each and every game. I knew we had a great bunch of talent, just didn’t think it would take off like this. I love the way the whole team is playing, love the energy each and every day and we’re having fun coaching these guys. We still have a lot of work to do. Just need to take it one day at a time and not get ahead of ourselves.”

The Panthers, winners of nine in a row, escaped Hen Hud’s Sunset Field with a 4-3 win last Tuesday when DiLorenzo (14 RBI) mashed the grand salami to plate both Carlucci brothers — Gavin and Travis — and Ben Faraca as the Sailors dropped their third in a row.

“Coming off four consecutive losses, this coming week will show what type of mental toughness we have and will determine how we fare going forward,” Hen Hud Coach Van Vourliotis said. “I have total trust and belief in this group of young men that we will right this ship and begin playing our best baseball once again.”

Carmel’s Anthony Febo and Yorktown’s Kyle Zaslaw share a light moment in Rams’ win over host Huskers last Wednesday.

After splitting with Class AA CARMEL last week, Class A-1 YORKTOWN is also viewed as a viable sectional title contender, what would be the Huskers’ second such title ever (1995). Baseball is the most unpredictable sport on the planet, but wouldn’t be something else to see these two title-starved programs — Panas, which has never won a sectional crown, and Yorktown (separated only by McDonlad’s and A.J’s Pub) taking on one another for the Class A crown, which is currently stored due north at bordering Lakeland #CartB4TheHorseWeGetIt.

“Yorktown is very, very good. What a great series we had with them,” Carmel Coach Joe Hackert said after Yorktown IF Nick Jacoby’s three-run yard-bomb blew the doors off a 5-4 game to hand the Huskers a 9-4 triumph Friday.

Yorktown P Kevin Weitman did not allow an earned run over seven frames, and Pat Ryan got down a squeeze in the top of the seventh for the Huskers (13-2). Carmel 2B Jon McIntyre homered and knocked in three runs to keep the Rams close, but a spirited Yorktown club can never be counted out, according to first-year Coach C.J. Riefenhauser.

“It was an awesome baseball game,” the coach said. “Our kids know they are never out of the fight, and against a really good Carmel team it was good to see the fight in our kids from the first pitch until the last.”

Weitman improved to 7-0 on the season, beating one of the best teams in the area while continuing to emerge as one of the top chuckers in the section. Weitman did not allow an earned run and scattered seven hits and kept Carmel’s industrious hitters off balance all day. Yorktown scrapped their way to nine runs with Tyler Pugliese, Jon Sica, Kyle Zaslaw and Patrick Ryan with one RBI apiece.

It was a similar scenario in the series opener, but Carmel senior C Anthony Febo was the difference when the Rams (12-3) posted a 6-3 victory last Wednesday. Febo supported winning P Jack Sullivan by going 3 for 3 with four RBI, a clutch solo homer and a double. Sullivan fanned 11 batters over 6-2/3rd innings. Yorktown pitchers Matt Alduino, Scott Weitman and Sal Piccola did a good job of keeping the potent Carmel offense in check, minus Febo.

With three games left against Somers (2X) and North Salem, Carmel needs to stockpile wins to improve upon its current No.4 seed, which, in all likelihood, would pit them against current No.1 Mamaroneck should the two reach the semis. No.2 RCK, No.3 Arlington and No.5 Suffern currently round out a ripped top five.

In a battle of Class AA title contenders, WHITE PLAINS and Mamaroneck split a league series last week.

“I loved the way our boys competed,” White Plains Coach Marcel Galligani said. “It’s always a heated and contested rivalry between us. My boys know that it’s where I went to high school and that I played for their coach (Mike Chiapparelli), and I enjoy taking it to them.”

White Plains won the first meeting in thrilling walk off fashion, earning a 6-5 eight-inning victory over visiting Mamaroneck last Wednesday, handing the Tigers (15-1) their first loss of the season. Cooper Lang scored the winning run after a fortuitous bounce on a ground ball by Declan Bruton (2 hits, RBI, run).

Derek Diaz went 6.1 innings while allowing one earned run, four hits and striking out three. Mark Kent registered the win in relief. Chris McGuire had two hits and a run scored while Jake Dorchak added an RBI.

White Plains went on the road the next day and was blanked 4-0 in the Kittle Cup. Kent pitched admirably in defeat, tossing a complete game while giving up eight hits and four earned runs.

“It’s always an honor competing in the Kittle Cup in memory of a great man, friend and neighbor in Dick Kittle,” Galligani said.

White Plains defeated Harrison in an 18-13 slugfest in the first round of the Dave Basso Memorial Tournament at Harrison on Friday. Bruton (3 hits, 3 RBI, 2 runs), John Myers (2 hits, 3 RBI, 2 runs), Edgar Muniz (2 hits, 2 RBI 3 runs) and Dorchak (2 hits, 2 RBI, 2 runs) sparked the offense. Michael Grande picked up the win in relief.

White Plains lost to Tappan Zee 15-6 in the championship game of the tournament to drop its record to 11-5.

The Tigers began the week with a 13-10 loss to Scarsdale on Monday. McGuire went 4 for 5 with a double, triple, two RBI and two runs scored. Teddy Hauser (3 for 4, RBI, 3 runs), Diaz (3 RBI) and Lang (3 runs) had strong games offensively.

White Plains wraps up the regular season with a league series with New Rochelle (June 1-2) and then will head into the Class AA sectionals this weekend.

“I like the way we are pitching and putting competitive at-bats together,” Galligani said. “An injury in the infield has hurt us a bit defensively and forced us to move some guys around in an effort at patching some holes. But the boys have bought into the next man up philosophy. If we can clean up our infield D and make the routine play, I like our chances.”

Byram players await arrival of Michael Ascanio (31) after he stomps on plate in 8-0 win over Greeley.

FOX LANE (9-6) gained some revenge against BYRAM HILLS with a 3-2 league win last Monday. Logan Matson and Panos Sinis each had an RBI for the Class AA Foxes. Nicky Cutaia had two hits and one run scored while Jack Williamson notched two hits. Brady Karp had an RBI for the Class A Bobcats.

Michael Lombardi pitched the first four innings for the Foxes. He allowed three hits, one earned run and fanned four. Matt Antolino went 2.1 innings in relief for the win, striking out four while letting up two hits and zero earned runs.

The Foxes couldn’t build off this win, suffering a pair of league losses to John Jay-Cross River (2-1, 5-4) on Tuesday and Wednesday. Fox Lane rebounded with an 11-3 victory over Clarkstown North on Thursday. Cutaia launched a home run and finished with two hits, three RBI and two runs scored. Bruno Spadaora (2 runs) and Williamson added two hits and two RBI each. Lombardi tallied three hits, three runs scored and an RBI.

Byram Hills lost to HORACE GREELEY, 6-4, in a league game on Wednesday. The Bobcats (8-8) bounced back on Friday with an 8-0 shutout win. Michael Ascanio pitched a two-hit shutout and struck out eight. He also received the Heart and Hustle Award in honor of late coach Bill Casey. Ascanio and Karp also homered in the win.

The Class A Quakers also defeated John Jay-CR, 5-4, in eight innings last Monday but lost to Suffern in five the next day by a 14-4 final.

MAHOPAC (5-11) hopes to have turned a corner after sweeping a vexing SOMERS (7-8) club last week. Mahopac 3B Nick Angeloni (2 RBI), IF Nick Moeller (2 RBI), Chris McKeon (2 RBI) and LF Craig Brandstetter (2 RBI) were the catalysts for the Class AA Indians, who put up six runs over the first two inning to support winning P Mike Ambrosecchia (4-1/3 IP, 8 K’s).

Mahopac C Roberto Pennella set a mean table in the Indians’ 10-7 win over Somers earlier in the week, getting three hits, scoring twice and driving home a pair. Angeloni (3 for 5) also drove home two. Somers’ PJ Rossetti had two hits and two RBI for the Class A Tuskers, who led 7-6 going into the seventh when the Class AA Indians rallied for four runs.

LAKELAND, has come on of late behind P Ray White, who went five innings in a 3-2 win over OSSINING Friday, sending nine batters down K-way in the win. Adam Picardi chalked up the save while Dom Toscano went 2 for 3 with two RBI for the Class A Hornets (5-9). The Class AA Pride fell to 4-11, a day after Gino Manicchio earned the MVP award in a 12-3 win over CROTON (6-9) as the Pride retained the coveted Casey Cup.

The Examiner-area Class A playoff breakdown, which opens Saturday, June 5th, is as follows: A-1 Group (Large Schools) Greeley, Somers, Yorktown, Brewster, Lakeland; A-2 Group (Small Schools) Panas, Hen Hud, Byram Hills. Winner of A-1 will face the A-2 survivor for the Section 1 Class A title on Sunday, June 13.

The A-1 and A-2 finals will be played on June 12.

The Class AA tournament will open on June 5th and conclude on Saturday, June 12th, weather permitting.

CLASS B

BRIARCLIFF and VALHALLA split a competitive league series with each team winning on the road. Both teams will be very much in the mix for a Class B section title as the playoffs begin this weekend.

Jake Sekinski tossed a two-hitter and struck out 10 Bears in Valhalla’s 4-1 victory last Tuesday. He also had two hits. Jason Rodriguez went 2 for 4 and notched the go-ahead RBI for the Vikings.

Briarcliff bounced back, winning a 14-9 slugfest over host Valhalla (8-7) two days later. Kevin Demilia picked up the win for the Bears, who improved to 11-3.

WESTLAKE swept a league series with Blind Brook, recording a 12-2 five-inning win and an 8-0 victory.

In the first contest, Marc DeNunzio pitched all five innings and fanned 13. Nick Mulvey paced the Wildcats (8-7) at the plate, going 3 for 3 with four RBI. Justin Silva and Tommy Schutt added two hits apiece.

Mulvey (2 for 3, 2 RBI) tossed five innings and struck out 13 to pick up the win in the second game. Ray Lubrino and Anthony D’Armiento came on relief to finish off a combined no-hitter. DeNunzio cracked a two-run homer.

Westlake lost to Tappan Zee 9-3 in the first round of the Harrison tournament on Friday and had its consolation game against Harrison postponed on Saturday.

PUTNAM VALLEY crushed HALDANE behind junior IF Joey ‘Ropes’ Maloney’s prime effort (3-5, two 2B, 3B, 4 RBI), completing a sweep of the Blue Devils (1-10). Teammates Matt Jacobson (2-3, 2B, 3 RBI), Michael Langdon (2-3, 2 RBI) and Antonio Truglio (2-4, 2B, RBI) also chimed in with clutch hits. The Tigers (6-10) opened the Haldane series with a 6-2 win behind solid pitching performances from starter Sean Holtzman (6K, 5IP) and Truglio and RBI hits from Maloney, Dylan Watson and Tyler Fritz.

The Tigers have one more regular season test left with Croton and must also conclude a 6-6 tie with Croton, in which Bryson Fritz has already tripled and drove home three. The winner would get a much-needed bump in the playoff seeds.

PLEASANTVILLE suffered a 2-0 loss to Croton-Harmon and a pair of league setbacks to Rye Neck (5-2, 6-5). Matt Satriale went 2 for 3 in the first game with Rye Neck while Anthony Palma and Joseph Reich netted two hits each in the second meeting.

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