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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

As the night sky fell on Memorial Park last Thursday, Mineola residents and officials paused to remember the almost 3,000 lives that were lost in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

 

Mayor Scott Strauss, a former NYPD EMS worker and 9/11 first responder, was one of the many who rushed into Manhattan after the attacks, searching the rubble for survivors. He was part of the rescue effort that saved the lives of Port Authority Police officers Will Jimeno and John McLoughlin.

Swaths of nearby and local residents flocked to the sixth annual Mineola Street Fair on Sunday, Sept. 14. With vendors lined up and down the streets featuring local businesses and restaurants, live performances and various entertainment for kids, the Mineola Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event didn’t disappoint Mary Cheung of Great Neck.

 

“These fairs are always fun,” she said. “It’s not too hot, not too cold. The music is the best part.”


Sports

Though it had already hosted the series of lacrosse games during the regular season this past spring, Chaminade High School’s new Gold Star Stadium was officially christened on Saturday, Sept. 6, named in honor of the 56 alumni who had perished during combat.

 

“Tradition holds that when one dies in the service a gold star is given to the family,” said Chaminade President Bro. Thomas Cleary. “Our 56 Gold Star Alumni are honored for their selflessness, courage, and integrity.”

Although the expectations for the 2014 Mineola Mustangs boy’s varsity soccer season may be somewhat measured, the team enters the season with the goal of a berth in the Nassau County playoffs. The team is young and inexperienced but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

 

There is considerable talent on the horizon. There are only four starting seniors and five sophomores on the roster. Four year starting senior forward Daniel Pardo returns (19 goals in three seasons) as does senior standout goalkeeper Andrew Pereira.


Calendar

Town Zoning Meeting - September 17

International Night - September 18

Bereavement Support Group - September 19


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