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Chiefs Take LI Title, Topping Babylon 8-3

Last week, the Massapequa Chiefs conquered the world of Nassau County Class AA baseball. And now, they are Long Island champs. In both cases, it was the fourth straight title for Long Island’s high school baseball dynasty.

On Monday, June 8, the Chiefs traveled to Farmingdale State, where they defeated North Babylon, 8-3 for the Long Island crown.

With Nassau County and Long Island titles under their belts, it’s on to Binghamton, where Massapequa will play in the state semifinals on Saturday, June 13. The game will take place at 10 a.m. at New York State Energy and Gas Stadium in Binghamton against the winner of the Mamaroneck-Vestal game. If the Chiefs win that contest, they play in the state finals at 4 p.m. that same day.

In the Long Island title game, Coach Tom Sheedy went with his two aces to win the contest and move Massapequa to the state title level. Ryan Scarisbrick started the game, allowing three runs in his four-and-a-half inning outing. Matt McCormick came on to pitch the final two frames to secure the win for his teammate.

The Long Island title game was closer than the final score indicated. In the fifth inning, the Chiefs appeared to break the game open. With the score tied 1-1, Massapequa scored three runs in the top of the fifth, paced by a key two-out, two-run triple by Vinny Caesar. Caesar drove home Rob Veltre, who had led off the inning with a triple and Mike Pagano who was hit by a pitch. Caesar then stole second and was driven home by another clutch two-out hit, this one by Mike Mauri.

However, North Babylon battled back in the bottom of the fifth, reaching Scarisbrick for two runs. McCormick relieved Scarisbrick. After a shaky start, one that left the bases loaded with only one out, McCormick hurled the biggest pitch of the game, inducing a North Babylon batter to hit into an inning-ending double play.

That play seemed to rob North Babylon of its momentum. The Chiefs then sealed the win in the seventh inning. Frank Colavito had a two-run double and Rob Veltre continued his hot hitting by driving home Colavito as the Chiefs built an insurmountable 8-3 lead.

“It was another great team victory,” said Coach Tom Sheedy. “So many people contributed. We had so many clutch hits, so many two-out clutch hits.”

Sheedy added that his players adjusted well to the North Babylon starter, who, he noted, was throwing in the mid-80s, with good breaking stuff. “They adjusted by hitting the ball to right field and going through the box instead of trying to hammer everything.”

Sheedy also praised his starter Ryan Scarisbrick for pitching brilliantly until he tired later in the game. He also lauded Matt McCormick for coming in and finishing up the game in equally brilliant fashion.

The Chiefs advanced to the Long Island title game by sweeping Carey High School in a best-of-three series. Massapequa started their amazing playoff run with a similar two-game sweep of Calhoun High School, and a thrilling best-of-three win over East Meadow. In the county semifinal contest, Massapequa lost the first game, 4-2. However, the Chiefs stormed back, winning the series with lopsided 11-1 and 13-0 victories.