Written by Vinny Messana Thursday, 20 March 2014 00:00
All school athletic programs deal with losing star seniors, when high school graduation rolls around. And each season, they rebuild in the hope of rebuilding the team to its former glory.
This couldn’t be truer for the Farmingdale boys baseball team, which will be forced to rebuild its program after 16 seniors graduated, last season. That group finished with a 10-8 record last season and qualified for a playoff berth as the No. 10 seed before being eliminated by Syosset with an excruciating 1-0 loss.
The Dalers starting pitcher, Anthony Galanoudis, tossed a three-hitter, but was bested by Jake Laine who tossed a two-hit shutout.
Now, the Dalers will look to their next crop of ballplayers to find their way to the top of the ultra-competitive Conference AA-1 that includes familiar foes Massapequa, Oceanside, Syosset and the recently-added Hicksville. Uniondale has left the conference, which strengthens the quality of opponents.
There is no doubt the conference is loaded with talent, but Head Coach Frank Tassielli is intrigued by his new group of ballplayers.
“Our JV team was undefeated last year and, even though it’s JV, we’re counting on some of those guys now,” said Tassielli.
One of the stars of that JV team was starting pitcher Sean Turturro, who was 7-0 on the mound. He will join a rotation led by Brian Kauffman, who compiled a 2-1 record last season with an ERA in low 2.00s, including a one-hit shutout of West Babylon.
“I see defense being our strong point right now,” said Tassielli. confident with his double-play tandem of Anthony Pentano and returning All-Conference shortstop Anthony Speelman, who batted .390 and will be counted on this year to be one of the leaders of the team. Joining Speelman on the left side of the infield will be Mike Catanzaro at third base.
Behind the plate, there will be a battle between Scott Hilbrant and James Boria, a sophomore that played on the JV squad in 2013.
Although the team lost so many seniors from last year’s playoff team, Tassielli expects there to be “upwards of six seniors” on the team, along with a “contingent of sophomores and juniors.” There’s no doubt the team will be relying on players to step up that have yet to make an impact at the varsity level, but opportunity often yields unexpected success.
The Dalers will open up their conference schedule on April 7 at Oceanside, who had their season end in the Nassau County Quarterfinals against Massapequa.