MAHOPAC, N.Y. – Mahopac’s 16U fall ball team drew the No. 3 seed (out of 17 teams) and was set to open the playoffs Friday night with an 8 p.m. home game at Crane Road.
The winner moves onto the quarterfinals, set for Sunday or Monday.
After a recent four-game losing streak, the Indians came back to win their next four games and close out their regular fall season at 8-5.
Coach Paul Mante said he likes the way his team has been clicking heading into the fall post-season.
“With our team, when they show up and play baseball, they can pretty much beat anyone,” Mante said. “We’ve been hitting well, our pitching and defense have been doing well, and if we do all of those we’ll be in good shape. This is a young team, and even with COVID, a lack of practice, etc., between the summer and the fall, I think they’ve done really well.”
Last Saturday, the team beat Mount Pleasant on the road, 10-2, behind the strong pitching of Matt Bilichuk, who went six innings and allowed two runs in his season debut.
“That was Bilichuk’s first pitching performance of the season,” Mante said. “He was phenomenal, really outstanding. He’s our regular catcher, and he asked to pitch, so I let him. I think some pitching could be in his future.”
Anthony Mante had a monster day at the plate, hitting a grand slam and collecting a career-best eight RBI. Steven Perrone also went 2-for-2 at the plate.
“Anthony has been one of our solid hitters, and that was an amazing performance,” the coach said of Mante’s career night. “He hit the ball hard in all three at-bats.”
The prior Tuesday, the team handed Shrub Oak a 14-10 loss, also on the road.
Perrone picked up the win on the mound, going three innings and allowing two runs.
Ricky Tardio drove in two runs for the Indians and went 2-for-3 at the plate. Robert Tissier had an RBI and scored twice, and Bilichuk went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.