The Port Boys Baseball spent the off-season contemplating. They worked out hard in the gym, had open gym tosses and even some early batting practice in the cold of winter. Now as the heat has gone up, so have the hopes of Viking baseball, in their quest for a Nassau County championship. With a very respectable 3-2 record, the Port boys have gotten off on the right foot against very talented opponents, which illustrates the strides the team has made over the course of one year.
The first game of the season was played on March 24th against North Shore. Kenny Seligson, Port's number one pitcher, pitched masterfully in his first start of the year. Port struggled mildly on defense, misjudging some balls and not always throwing accurately. However, playing in their first game of the season, it is expected that the team will not play up to their full potential just yet. The boys still managed to pull out a gutsy win even with some misplays in the field. Second basemen Adam Carron drew a crucial walk, and Eddie McCabe pinch ran for him and scored the winning run. Port got their first win of the season and ready to build on a fast start.
The next game was played the very next day against a very talented Division team. R.J. Voelker started for Port and pitched the game of his life. Voelker used some off speed pitches, especially his curve ball, as Port cruised through a tough Division lineup. Jared Isaacson hit a two run double in the first to get the team started offensively. Port went on to win a very well played game by the score of 3-0 as Voelker went the distance on a two-hitter and struck out four.
On March 29, Port opened up a series against a talented Plainview JFK team, the defending Long Island champs. Port opened up the first game on their home field at Guggenheim. Jared Isaacson took the hill as Port's starter and pitched valiantly. He seemed to struggle, however, after he had gone though the Plainview lineup the first time. Meanwhile Port was being dominated on offense, stymied by pitcher Tom Hopkins. Eventually Plainview broke through for 6 runs, and Port couldn't solve Hopkins. The score ended in a 6-0 defeat for Port, and worse, they were no-hit by Hopkins. This definitely was a wake-up call that they needed to play better. They got their chance to redeem themselves the very next day, with Voelker getting the nod as the starting pitcher. Once again, Voelker displayed his wide array of pitches, and handled the talented Plainview offense for most of the game. However, Port managed only one hit against pitcher Ben Green, who struck out eight. The score ended in another Port defeat by the score of 2-1.
After all the rain outs during the early part of April, the Vikings finally got in a game last Friday against Hicksville. R.J. Voelker started the game for Port as they looked to make up for the struggles they had been having against Plainview. Voelker struggled through the first four innings, and finally was lifted for Seligson at the start of the 5th inning. Meanwhile the hitting has finally awakened. Matt Levering hit his first homerun of the year, and Port scratched out a few more along the way. Seligson pitched no-hit ball for three innings to close out the game. Port won by the score of 7-3 and are now primed for a good run of games coming up.
It has been an interesting start for Port baseball already, but they've managed to play well enough to have a 3-2 record going into the tougher part of their schedule.
However, with a senior short stop Chris Pieper, Port's best offensive threat seeming to emerge from of a slow start, Port's offense will definitely be much improved. Never having won a playoff game in school history, the 2004 team will try to right the ship this year, and so far, they are looking pretty good.