Friday, 25 June 2010 00:00
The Giants played five games during the week which included a rematch against the 2009 LICM champions LI Athletic Cougars. The Cougars knocked out the Giants last year in the semi-final round of the Connie Mack playoffs, and went on to capture the LICM championship. The Giants were eager for a rematch.
The Giants sent Pete Cappiello to the hill to face the Cougars. The Giants pitching and defense held the Cougars scoreless until the bottom of the third when the Cougars were able to score a run on two hits and a stolen base. Cappiello pitched three innings, picking up four strike-outs and giving up four hits. The Giants brought in Haydon “No-No” Taylor, for the next two innings. This was Taylor’s first appearance since he threw a no-hitter the previous week, and he immediately went to work, striking out his first Cougar that stepped into the box. Taylor went two innings, allowing two hits and striking out four.
In the top of the sixth, with two outs, the Giants put together a rally when Brandon Losee singled sharply to left. Frankie Gaudio singled to right, moving Losee to third. Will Brennan continued the rally by reaching first base on an error, scoring Losee. With runners on first and second, the Giants flashed a double steal. Third base Coach Testa said, “it was a curve ball count and I wanted to get something going. I put the steal sign on and both runners got a good jump.” Coach Testa, who has had a knack of getting the situation right all season, was proven correct once again. On the low curve, the Cougar catcher threw the ball into the sliding Will Brennan, which caromed off the third baseman’s glove and shot out into left field. When the ball got past the left-fielder, the Giants were able to score all the runners to take a 4-1 lead. With the Giants leading, the left-field bleacher section began to clear out, but many fans remained as this was still a close game between the top two teams in the LICM Central Division.
Taylor was now the pitcher of record. The Giants brought in sophomore Bobby “The Vulture” MacDonald who smelled a save situation. MacDonald, facing the ever dangerous Cougar first baseman Greg Mueller from Albany State, hit him with an inside fastball to start the sixth. Mueller timed MacDonald and stole second base. The next two Cougars grounded out to second where John Scuderi ate up the two grounders like a vacuum cleaner would suck up crumbs off a floor. A meaningless run crossed the plate for the Cougars. MacDonald then got the dangerous Cougar EH Zach Uher looking on a called strike three. MacDonald faced four batters in the seventh and held the Cougars scoreless for the Giant 4-2 victory. With the victory, the Giants advanced to 7-0 in the LICM league and the Cougars were given their first loss of the season and went home with a 5-1 record.
The Giants played the Astoria Crusaders on Saturday. June 19 in a double header LIBA League game at the Campy field. The Crusaders, from McClancy High School popped out of their shuttle bus ready to play a game. Stefan Schwartz took the hill for the Giants. Schwartz and the Crusader’s pitcher were equally brilliant as the game was scoreless through six innings. In the top of the seventh, Schwartz got the first out on a hard hit grounder to Maccarone at shortstop. The next two batters singled. After a hit by the pitch, the Crusaders sent up their hard hitting third baseman who worked out a 3-2 count on some very close pitches. With the next pitch, the Giants thought they had the batter looking, but the ump called it ball four, sending in the only score of the game The Giants went quietly in the bottom of the frame and received their first loss of the season giving them an overall 13-1 record after the first game.
The Giants sent Brandon Losee to the mound in game two. Losee pitched a beautiful 5-1 six inning victory. Bobby MacDonald closed out the game in the seventh. Richie Maccarone and John Scudieri had two hits apiece for the Giants.
On Sunday, June 20, the Giants had an LICM doubleheader against Great Neck. The Giants took game one 8-1 behind a two hit gem by Richie Maccarone. Maccarone did not let up an earned run, striking out nine. Maccarone also collected three hits. In the nightcap, the Giants sent MacDonald to the hill where he pitched six innings, giving up three runs and collecting seven strike-outs. Pete Cappiello pitched the seventh where he got the Great Neck batters one, two three picking up two strike-outs.
Through 17 games, the Giants have a 16-1 record with a 9-0 record in Connie Mack, 2-1 in LIBA and a perfect 6-0 in tournament ball.