The Mineola varsity baseball team began its season in very non-baseball-type weather. Through cold and windy conditions, the Mustangs got going outside with a string of four scrimmages and a non-league contest to open its 2006 season.
The Mustangs began at Uniondale with a strong effort in a scrimmage. Big hits from the start came from Nelson Lopes, Mike Santopetro, Justin Gonzalez, Rob Maloney and Kevin Tiseo. Later in the scrimmage, Chris Lang, Joe Melito and Nick Tonini made the most of their opportunities while the big blow came from Mick Oswald, who smacked a homerun onto the roof of Uniondale High School. Tiago Rodrigues and Oswald were also strong on the mound, while the Mustangs played well defensively, committing just one error.
Within a few days of each other, Mineola played a scrimmage and the first non-league game against New Hyde Park. Mick Oswald, Mike Santopetro and Kevin Tiseo performed well on the mound. The Mustangs took an early lead on hits from Mike Vansconcelos, Mark Levy and Chris Orlando. Errors while Santopetro was on the mound allowed New Hyde Park to get back in the scrimmage and win 4-3.
Then, in another game against New Hyde Park, coach Helms Bohringer called it a playoff-type atmosphere. Mineola emerged victorious 3-1. Tiago Rodrigues started his final season by fanning six and gave up two hits and walked just one. The Gladiators scored in the first inning. The No. 2 batter walked. A hit-and-run along with a missed cutoff man allowed New Hyde Park to put runners on second and third with one out.
"Tiago showed why he is a top notch pitcher. He got the clean-up hitter to pop up to shortstop Nelson Lopes. But, a passed ball allowed the runner on third to score," said Bohringer.
Rodrigues then pitched four consecutive perfect innings. Mineola tied the score in the second inning. Junior Mike Vansconcelos got his first varsity hit with an opposite field double. With two outs, junior Rob Maloney reached on an infield single (his first varsity hit). Vasconcelos was attempting to steal on the pitch and just kept running. He scored when the shortstop bobbled the ball in the hole. With the score tied at one, junior Mick Oswald took over on the mound in his first varsity game. He allowed just one hit and struck out three in two innings of work. Meanwhile, Kevin Tiseo hit an inside-the-park homerun in the sixth. The Mustangs pushed across another run when Nick Tonini drew a walk with the bases loaded. Oswald earned the win in relief.
Mineola then beat Carle Place 10-1 in a scrimmage, but lost another scrimmage to Garden City 8-6. In the Carle Place outing, Vasconcelos took the first pitch out of the park for a homerun. Chris Lang, Chris Orlando, Nick Tonini and Joe Melito also connected for hits to support the pitching of Mike Santopetro. "Mike looks like he has won the third spot in the rotation behind Rodrigues and Oswald," Bohringer said.
Kevin Tiseo and Mark Levy pitched well in relief. In the next scrimmage, Mineola and Garden City were tied at one. But, in his final inning of work, Nelson Lopes struggled and gave up two homeruns. The Trojans went ahead 6-1. Mineola got back to within three, behind timely hitting from John Rovegno, Justin Gonzalez and Mick Oswald. Garden City added another run. Mineola came back with two runs, but couldn't complete the comeback, allowing the Trojans the scrimmage victory. The two teams will face each other again in a crossover game.
The Mineola boys track and field team took second place at their second quad meet of the season at North Shore. The 50 points the Mustangs accumulated bested their total from the first meet.
According to coach Mike Santa Maria, the highlights of the meet included the sweep of the discuss competition by Dave Gouveia (118'7''), Rob Kiss (116'2'') and Rob Olszewski (107'3.5'') and the first place finish of the 4X800 relay team made up of Claudio DeMatos, Chris Vera, Danny Sanches and Joe Wellbrock. Olszewski also took first in the shotput with a throw of 44'5.5'' while Kiss and Gouveia took second and fourth. DeMatos also finished first in the mile with a personal record time of 4:58.2. Others who scored in the meet included:
Claudio DeMatos - second in the 800 meters
Danny Sanches - third in the 1,600 meters and third in the 3200 meters
Joe Wellbrock - second in the 3,200 meters
Tobin George - third in the 400 meters and second in the high jump
Chris Vera - fourth in the 3,200 meters
Tiago Barbosa - third in the high jump and second in the triple jump
The Mustangs will be competing in the Derrick Adkins Invitational at Mitchell Field on April 17 and the Baldwin Fresh/Sophomore Meet on April 19. The next quad meet will be at Oyster Bay High School at April 24 against Seaford and Oyster Bay. Mineola record thus far is 2-3.