Written by The Levittown Tribune Staff Thursday, 01 May 2014 00:00
After losing the first three games of league-play to Valley Stream North, the Island Trees Varsity Baseball Team has rallied, with a nine-game winning streak.
Although the Bulldogs had a rocky start, Island Trees Baseball Coach Joe D’Auria said, “they easily could have gone the other way for Island Trees.”
For D’Auria, the proof was in the pudding as the team showed its mental toughness and resiliency to win the following three games against Locust Valley.
But that was just the beginning, as the Bulldogs headed into another three-game series with their archrivals, the Clarke High School Rams over spring break. The Bulldogs responded to sweep the Rams in three tough games, winning by a score of 3-2, 1-0, and 4-2.
Taking the last two games from Cold Spring Harbor, the team’s overall record stands at 9-3 in the league, as of press time.
Led by first baseman Andrew Kramer, an Island Trees High School senior, the team has become an offensive force to be reckoned with at the plate. Kramer is hitting .487 this season, with 1 Home Run and 10 RBIs.
Left-fielder John Nicolino, an Island Trees High School senior, has been asset for the team defensively.
According to Coach D’Auria, Nicolino provides a spark at the top of the Bulldog lineup. He currently has a .390 average with six doubles, two triples, and twelve runs scored in league play.
Centerfielder Tom Gilmartin, a junior at Island Trees High School, has played “gold glove caliber” defense, D’Auria said. Gilmartin is hitting .351 with nine runs scored and five stolen bases.
Despite missing the opening series against Valley Stream North with a hand injury, second baseman Rocco Privitera would return, hitting .333 with five stolen bases this season. At third base, Island Trees High School junior Tucker Hahn has been a power hitter, batting .300 with 8 RBIs.
Behind the plate, Island Trees High School sophomore Mike Iacobellis has been a key component to the Bulldogs defense. Remarkably, Iacobellis has thrown out 44 percent of the base runners attempting to steal this season. He is also hitting .290 with eight runs scored and 5 RBI.
Pitching has been the Bulldogs’ greatest strength this season. Apart from his duties at first base, Kramer alternates at the mound.
In 35 innings, he has allowed only twenty-two hits and twelve walks. Kramer is 4-1 at the mound and has 41 strikeouts pitching to a 1.20 ERA.
T.J. Romano, an Island Trees High School junior, is 2-1 in the season, with a 1.19 ERA. After pitching nearly 30 innings, this year, Romano has allowed twenty-five hits and only three walks. Scott Nacovsky, a sophomore, is currently 2-0 on the mound; with nearly
20 innings pitched, Nacovsky has allowed sixteen hits and only seven walks for an ERA of 1.88.
With only six games remaining in the regular season, the Bulldogs will look to finish off a 9-3 season strong, with two upcoming three-game matchups against Seaford and Mineola.