Written by Michael Florio Thursday, 22 May 2014 00:00
The streak of consecutive playoff appearances for the New Hyde Park Gladiators varsity baseball team has been snapped at four.
Despite finishing the season with a 9-9-1 record, the Gladiators fell just one game short of a postseason berth.
“It is disappointing not getting in the playoffs,” said Head Coach Doug Robins.
This year may have been the most competitive the league has ever seen and having such a young team presented an uphill battle for the Gladiators. This was evident as they struggled to close out games, losing four games, in which they had a lead after the sixth inning.
“Our seniors worked hard from day one though and I am very proud of that,” said Robins. “None of the kids ever gave up and they continued to develop throughout the year.”
Cody Campos and James Messina were named all-conference, while Brennan Scanlon was all-league. Chris Ferlazzo, Reed Schweitzer and Evan Clark were honorable mentions.
While making the playoffs is something the Gladiators have become accustomed too, (eight of the last nine season), this year was still a step in the right direction.
Robins had a roster that consisted of 14 first year varsity players, possessing only six players with varsity experience. Robins said he saw growth as the year progressed; this was capped off by his team winning each of their final three series, taking two out of three games each time.
“The kids played lose and enjoying themselves even in difficult situations,” he said. “They played much more relaxed then they did in the beginning of the year.”
Robins believes that having this year under their belt will certainly help them out next season. It is too early to say if a lot of these first year varsity players will be starters next year, but they all will be in competition.
Robins feels the junior varsity team has some good hitters that will help solidify their lineup next season.
It will be a tough task for these young players to replace the seniors, but Robins will be scouting his players over the summer and is already planning for the 2015 season. Most the Gladiator squad will compete in summer leagues, which will only help them as ball players, Robins said.