Indians Blank Vikings in Quarterfinals

John Ravoli tossed a gem in an opening round win over Clarkstown South. Credits: Deena Bell

WEST NYACK, N.Y.— Mahopac’s baseball team did not expect to play its first round playoff game on the road, but the ninth-seeded Indians squashed the eighth-seeded Clarkstown South Vikings 8-0 on Saturday morning.

Not only were their bats flexing in full form, but senior pitcher John Ravoli tossed a complete-game shutout while striking out two hitters.

“We knew they were a good hitting team,” Mahopac coach Chris Miller said. “[John] was hitting his spots all day long with his fastball, his curveball and his changeup. They hit the ball in play, but defensively we made all the plays.”

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Mahopac drew first blood in the third inning when Anthony Simeone smashed a double and scored off a wild pitch to the next batter. The catcher’s throw to third sailed into the outfield and Simeone high-tailed it home for the first run.

The next inning, senior right fielder Matt Montera tracked down a soaring fly ball into the gap and made a spectacular catch to keep the Vikings at bay.

Simeone was clunked by a pitch with the bases loaded in the fourth just before junior second baseman Tom Krasniqi drove home a run off a groundout to second.

Adding another pair of runs in the fifth inning, senior first baseman Matteo Avallone connected for an RBI double after a base-hit by Steven Daly. Senior catcher Chris Montuoro followed with an RBI double to score Avallone.

In a pickle with the bases juiced and two outs in the bottom half of the fifth, Ravoli induced a groundout to third as Joe Usewicz made a solid play to his left and helped the Indians escape unscathed.

Montuoro smacked another RBI double in the seventh while Montera’s single knocked in two runs to put the icing on the cake of a sweet road victory.   

The Indians (14-7) hosted neighboring No. 16-seeded Yorktown on May 23 in the Class AA quarterfinal, a round they haven’t made it past since 2005.

“We have been pitching well all year,” Miller said. “Our defense has been great, but offensively some days we’ve hit and some days we haven’t. You’ve got to hit in the tournament—everybody has got pretty good pitching. It really comes down to who hits better.”

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