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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

In a typical Long Island community packed with houses and backyards, there are a couple of acres of open land of community gardens where people are growing basil and dahlias and roses and cabbages—people like Terry Dunckey of Westbury and Peg Woerner of Great Neck, tending their small plots and helping to promote sustainable and organic practices.

East Meadow Farm, off Merrick Avenue, is owned by Nassau County and operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Nassau County. Previously it was a family-owned farm that was purchased by the county through the Environment Bond Act Program, a $150 million program that called for, among several mandates, the preservation of 400 acres of open space. In 2009, CCE of Nassau was awarded the lease to the land and in January 2012 took possession of the property. East Meadow Farm is a place where we can get the best advice on how to make our gardens grow without harming the earth. Part of the CCE’s original proposal was the establishment of a farmer’s market and, now, the market is open two days a week, a place to purchase organic vegetables and flowers during the growing season.

Drivers—get ready to slow down. Nassau County is currently in the process of installing school zone speed cameras in an effort to enhance safety by encouraging drivers to travel with caution, as well as support law enforcement efforts to crack down on violators and prevent accidents caused by speeding.

Nassau County officials say they’re still investigating locations in the Mineola School District, while leaning towards installing cameras near the North Side or Willets Road schools in the East Williston School District. Cameras could begin operation in September.


Sports

Nobody wants to make excuses, but sometimes when the injury bug hits, it’s impossible to overcome. Mineola Mustangs football head coach Dan Guido, entering his 28th season at helm, knows the injuries were the cause for their first-round defeat at the hands of the West Hempstead Rams last November.

“There was too many injuries on the offensive line last season,” said Guido. “It was supposed to be our strength and it ended up being a weak link by the end of the season.”

Even with those injuries, the Mustangs went 4-4 during the regular season.

The BU15 Mineola Revolution were crowned champions of the Roar at the Shore Tournament 2014 in West Islip on Aug. 10. After dropping the opener 2-0 against North Valley Stream, Mineola bounced back to beat Freeport Premiere 2-1.

The Revolution’s offense exploded in the third game as they beat West Islip 7-0. Mineola’s final game pitted them against Quickstrike FC, which entered the contest without a loss and within a point of winning the tournament.


Calendar

Zoning Meeting

Thursday, Aug. 28

Mineola Village Meeting

Wednesday, Sept. 3

School Board Meeting

Thursday, Sept. 4



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