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Despite Great Effort, Mineola Baseball Swept At Home By Valley Stream North

Mustangs drop two heartbreakers to conference rival as part of three game sweep

For six innings, two days running, Mineola had Valley Stream North (VSN) right where they wanted them, either tied or winning outright on their home field. In high school baseball they play seven innings, and that proved to be a problem for the Mustangs.

Over a rain-soaked 24 hours, Mineola fell to the Spartans, 5-4 on Wednesday, April 25 and 3-1 on Thursday, April 26. The losses came on the heels of a 3-1 loss at VSN on Tuesday, putting the Mustangs at 3-8, and their playoff hopes in serious jeopardy.

Mineola will probably need to sweep third place Seaford and hope VSN does the same to them right after, if the Mustangs hope to enter postseason play.

Pitching is certainly not the problem. Scott Berger was having trouble locating his secondary pitches on Wednesday, but still gave Mineola three shutout innings. That allowed his team to carry a 4-1 lead into the final frame, as run scoring hits by Nick Cerame and Anthony Riccardi in the first stood up…for a while.

A two-run double by Joe Vasquez brought VSN within one in the seventh. Mineola reliever John Lusardi tried to close things out, but a Riccardi error allowed the tying run to score, and a Brandon Salem sac fly put the visitors ahead.

“[Lusardi] got the ground ball, we didn’t make the play, other than that it’s probably a tie game,” Mineola coach Helms Bohringer said.

Craig Weber led off the bottom of the seventh with a single, but the next three batters were retired, as VSN pulled out a win.

It was a similar refrain on Thursday. This time, both teams took the pitching up a notch, as Mineola’s Vinny Bieniek and VSN’s Anthony Martelli both went the distance. Bieniek struck out 11 while walking only two, and Martelli fanned 13 on the day.

VSN first baseman Pio Bonfitto opened the scoring with a solo home run in the second, and Mustangs third baseman Tommy Breslin tied it with a double in the third.  Bieniek worked his magic, stranding Spartan baserunners in scoring position in four straight innings. But with two outs and two strikes in the seventh, Martelli took matters into his own hands, crushing a two-run homer over the leftfield wall to make it 3-1.

“[Vinny] matched [Martelli] strikeout for strikeout, anytime the defense didn’t do its job or he gave up a hit, he got out of the inning…he pitched as good a game as I’ve seen in a longtime from a Mineola pitcher,” Bohringer said.

With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, back-to-back hits by Lusardi and Bienick put the tying runs on, but Breslin flied out to end it, as Martelli completed his gem for the win.

It’s a game of inches, and those inches seem like yards with a young team, according to Bohringer.

“We’re probably going to make the mistake when it’s not a good time to [do so],” he said.

“Is it frustrating? No, if it was from lack of effort, I’d be disappointed, but we work hard.”

And they’ll have to continue to do so to turn those yards back to inches, and those tough losses into well-earned victories.

News

Bank Robbery Suspects Arrested

Nassau County Robbery Squad detectives arrested two men in connection with a bank robbery that occurred on April 7 at 2:17 p.m. in Mineola.

Road improvement and storm preparation dominated the discussion of the Village of Mineola’s preliminary 2014-15 budget released last week. The proposed budget totals $19.33 million, a 1.38 percent increase from last year.

The tentative budget also represents a .34 percent tax increase from last year, when Mineola’s tax bump was .74 percent.

 

The village has budgeted almost $1 million for road and curb upgrades, Mayor Scott Strauss estimated. The road maintenance line in the budget received an $80,000 to increase to $580,000.


Sports

FC Mineola Wins Two

The BU10 FC Mineola opened league play with 3-0 win over the Hewlett Lawrence Blue Sonic on April 3. Mineola was led by Liam Going (two goals and an assist). The first goal came off a beautiful cross from Liam Russelman that Going sent to the back of the net.  Fifteen minutes later the Liam to Liam connection struck again when Russelman found Going open at the top of the box for another shot and score by the talented Mineola player.

 

Mineola’s final goal came midway through the second half as Gregory Kenney redirected a good cross past the Hewlett goalie. The back line of Peter Murphy, Luke Sommese and Brent Muessig controlled the defensive end of the field limiting the number of shots Hewlett took on goal and the few that made it through were gobbled up by keeper Andrew Pizzardi. Brian Heckelman, Phil Macchietto and James Teadore all contributed with stellar play at the midfield position.

Marissa Cotroneo

Senior Captain Marissa Cotroneo excelled at the Paul Limmer Invitation on Saturday, April 5, held at Mepham High School.  Cotroneo placed first overall in the 1500 meters in one of the most exciting, come from behind victories of the season.


Calendar

Village Meeting - April 16

Zoning Board Meeting - April 17

Egg Hunts and Fun Fairs - April 19


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