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All Hail the Champs!

Massapequa Juggernaut Rolls to County Title

The mighty Massapequa High School baseball dynasty rolls on.

Think of the New York Yankees in Major League Baseball, the Boston Celtics in the National Basketball Association, the Green Bay Packers in the National Football League, or the Montreal Canadiens in the National Hockey League.

Now you have the Massapequa Chiefs in Nassau County high school baseball.

On Tuesday night, the Chiefs defeated Carey High School, 3-1 to complete a two-game sweep of a best-of-three series, giving Massapequa its fourth straight Nassau County Class AA championship.

On Monday, June 8, the Chiefs will travel to Farmingdale State College to take on North Babylon High School in a 7:00 p.m. game, one that will decide the Long Island Class AA title. If the Chiefs prevail in that contest, it will be their fourth straight Long Island title.

On Tuesday, the Chiefs received another sterling pitching performance under a pressure-packed situation.

Senior lefthander Matt McCormick came through with a gem, allowing only two hits and one run, while on the way to the complete game victory.

Catcher Anthony Abruzzino supplied the punch on offense, going two for three with two runs batted in.

Needless to say, Coach Tom Sheedy is proud of his team’s championship run. Coach Sheedy broke a leg—-literally—-during the winning streak, forcing him to coach from the dugout, rather than from the third base coaching box. That condition hardly dampened the situation, but Coach Sheedy knows there are more challenges ahead.

“They’re playing their best baseball of the year,” Coach Sheedy said of his championship squad. “They are focused on what they need to do on the field.”

As they had in their playoff battles with East Meadow and Calhoun, the Chiefs won the first game of the best-of-three series with Carey. On June 1, the Chiefs fell behind 1-0 in the second inning, only to take the lead for good in the third frame. Mike Mauri led off the third with a double and scored on Anthony Abruzzino’s ground out. In the fourth inning, a lead off double by Greg Muller started a rally that gave Massapequa the lead for good. Matt Scarisbrick singled home Muller. But the Chiefs weren’t finished. Vinny Ceasar drove home a run with an RBI single. Later in the inning, Nick Famulare scored on a fielding error for the final run.

After giving up a run in the second, Joe Lipari hurled scoreless ball the rest of the way, allowing only four hits, while striking out seven on the way to an impressive complete game victory. Offensive stars were Vinny Ceasar, who went 3-4 and Mark Pagano who had a hit in both times at bat.

Advancing to the Finals

Massapequa advanced to the finals by winning another best of three series, this one against East Meadow High School. After losing the first game to East Meadow, the Chiefs stormed back to win the next two games in overwhelming fashion, thus advancing to the county finals against Carey.

The May 28 defeat to East Meadow was a close one, with Massapequa losing 4-2. However, the Chiefs won the series by taking the next two games by lopsided 11-1 and 13-0 margins.

In the May 29 game, Mike Mauri led the attack with two triples and three runs batted in, including a three-run triple that broke the game open in the bottom of the third inning. Other hitting stars included Tony Abruzzino who went two for three with two RBIs. Vinny Ceasar’s two-run single got the Chiefs rolling in the second inning, while Anthony Grassano’s pinch hit two-run single capped off the Chiefs’ six-run third inning. On the mound, Matt McCormick was superb, hurling five strong scoreless innings, allowing only two hits, while striking out four batters.

The Chiefs advanced to the finals on May 30 with a 13-0 shutout road win. Pitching ace Ryan Scarisbrick scattered six hits while on the way to a complete game victory. Of course, Scarisbrick got plenty of help from his mates. Rob Veltre was the hitting star of this game, going three-for-five, belting two home runs, and driving in five runs all together. Veltre’s three-run shot in the third inning extended Masssapequa’s lead to 6-0, putting the game away. Tony Abruzzino had another big day at the plate. His two-run single in the third got the Chiefs’ vaunted attack on track for another big day.

Starting Off With a Sweep

The rejuvenation of the Chiefs’ offense came as the playoffs started. After struggling their way through the end of the regular season, the Chiefs bounced back to sweep Calhoun High School in the Nassau County Class AA quarterfinals.

In the first contest against Calhoun, Matt McCormick held his opponents to just two runs, while the vaunted Massapequa offense got on track with Matt Hardy leading the way. Hardy went three for three, including a home run as the Chiefs prevailed, 6-2.

On May 25, the Chiefs traveled to Calhoun’s home field to finish off the two-game sweep. The Massapequa offense had an even better day, winning a 16-8 slugfest.

Ryan Scarisbrick was the winning pitcher. Leading the scoring onslaught was Frank Colavito, who went three-for-four with two runs scored and three RBIs. Matt Hardy continued his hot hitting with another home run, while Mike Mauri also went deep for the Chiefs.