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Infinity And Beyond

Levittown ball player takes team to a new altitude

 

Baseball might be a game of inches, but not for Levittown outfielder Jon Cruz, who is looking to launch the Dowling College Golden Lions up a couple of light-years. Recently named ECC player of the week, Cruz said that his ideal career would be to become an astronaut. How’s that for a lofty goal? 

 

Dowling is off to a terrific 9-6 start, much of it due to Cruz’s torrid hitting. Through 15 games, Cruz is leads the Golden Lions, with a with a .404 average [18 hits in 45 at bats], and is second in the entire ECC. He also has an unbelievable .491 on-base percentage to accompany it, which he attributes primarily to one improvement he has made.

 

“My work ethic has really improved,” said Cruz. “I started to take baseball more seriously. High School to college is a big jump and I really focused on improving the mental part of my game,” he added. Thus far it is working as planned; Cruz, who was a standout player at Division High School, earning him the distinction as All-County in his junior year, is proving how much maturity can benefit a player.

 

Last year the Golden Lions scuffled and finished with a 22-20 record. Much of that was due to the team’s .236 cumulative average. Only one player finished with over a .300 average. It was surprising considering the level of talent on the team. Dowling fell to St.

Thomas Aquinas in the 2013 ECC conference playoffs. They had won the tournament the previous season, and won 31 games.

 

This year, the team is feeling confident and is playing well against strong teams. Dowling has already beaten perennial powerhouses in LeMoyne, Southern New Hampshire, Franklin Pierce and the up-and-coming Stonehill. For that reason, the team has big aspirations.

 

“Our goal is to enter the conference tournament and make a statement by winning it,” said Cruz. “We have a very knowledgeable coaching staff and a very talented team,” he said. He did not stop there, mentioning that the team wants to win the regional tournament as well.

 

The first order of business would be to begin the conference schedule. The Golden Lions will take on Molloy this weekend in a big three game showdown. They will face Bridgeport the following weekend. 

 

They will have a chance to be in every game with a strong rotation that features three senior pitchers; Tyler Badamo, Tom Bammann and JJ Bessell. It is for that reason the team can play with anybody, although it doesn’t hurt to have two players batting over .350 in the lineup as well.

 

Cruz, despite his great start, is not satisfied. “There is always room for improvement,” he said. “I still need to work on my mental part of the game. I need to stay focused and as positive as possible. It doesn’t matter if we’re up by 10 or down by 10,” he added.

Keep an eye on Cruz and the Golden Lions as the season progresses. Despite the parity in the ECC, they remain a potent team under the guidance of Head Coach Tom Caputo. 


News

U.S. Air Force Veteran Mario Dell’aera, 80, of Levittown said he first volunteered for service in 1952, during the Korean War.

 

“They called volunteers ‘regulars,’” he said, reflecting back to when he first enlisted.

 

From 1952-1956, Dell’era called the Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nev. home. The base, he said, operated 24 hours, 7 days a week, training pilots to fly overseas into Korea.

Something about the warmth and sunshine of summer makes it the perfect season for lounging around. 

 

On July 26, the Levittown Community Council hosted its 17th annual Lazy Days of Summer Picnic at the East Village Green Park for families to take advantage of this season of relaxation and laidback fun free of charge.  

 

The DJ played Latin songs as children shook neon colored macarenas and followed the dance moves of a Zumba instructor. Other children enjoyed pony rides, shooting hoops, playing Can Jam and

Tug-of-War, petting farm animals, jumping in a bouncy castle, and fishing for plastic fish in a kiddie pool. 


Sports

Those looking to take swimming lessons and exercise classes at a nearby aquatic center can register for the fall 2014 session at Eisenhower Park, 1899 Hempstead Tpke., East Meadow.  

 

On Friday, Aug. 1 is the last chance for open registration. It begins at 8 a.m. for any remaining spots.  The availability of remaining classes will be made public the day before at 5 p.m.

 

On Monday, September 8 the first day of classes for the fall session begin.

 

Swim lessons will be offered for all levels: 

Eric Haslbauer of Levittown scored fourth overall in the 11th annual Heart & Sole 5 Kilometer Run held on the streets of Plainview on July 20. 

Haslbauer, 21, who has done  most of his running lately for Molloy College, crossed the finish line in 17 minutes, 53 seconds, earning him the second place award in the highly competitive 20-24 age group.

 

A near record field of 531 runners and walkers completed the run, only ten less than the record set last year. The Heart & Sole has clearly become an important summer road race in Nassau County.  The

Run benefits programs at Plainview and Syosset Hospitals.  Race management was handled by the Greater Long Island Running Club. 


Calendar

Erik's Reptile Edventures - July 30

Rich Vos At Governor's - August 1

Worship Without Walls - August 2 


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com