SHRUB OAK, N.Y.— Lakeland’s baseball squad swept a doubleheader against visiting John Jay-Cross River on April 28.
The Hornets won the first game 13-12, paced by Joe Vetrano (3 for 4, go-ahead 3-run homer in the sixth) and Matt Tuite (3 for 4, homer). In the second they won 1-0, as starter Matt Mikulski (9 strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched) shined with Evan Berta recording the win in relief.
The winning run in game two came on a sacrifice fly by Freddy Reichelt in the bottom of the sixth.
Lakeland defeated visiting Tappan Zee 11-10 on April 24.
“We showed a lot of guts and it was a great feeling to come back,” Lakeland senior shortstop James Houlahan said. “You don’t just score five runs in the bottom of the seventh as individuals—you have to do it together as a team—and that’s exactly what we did.”
Houlahan led the Hornets to the win, going 4 for 5, highlighted by a double, triple and three RBI, including the game-tying RBI, with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.
With the bases loaded, Houlahan hit a double to drive in two runs to knot the game at 10-10.
“I’ve always loved the pressure situations and I wanted to be the guy to get the job done for my team,” Houlahan said. “Whatever my team needs me to be is what I’m going to be. If they need me to deliver with the game on the line, I’ll do it. If they need me to bunt four times in a game, I’ll do it.”
Houlahan said that it was a great feeling, especially because this is his last year of playing baseball since he won’t play in college.
“It’s moments and nights like those that I’ll never forget,” Houlahan said.
Lakeland then won the game as, with runners on second and third, Austin Cassese hit a hard smash to short which Tappan Zee’s shortstop couldn’t handle, allowing Vetrano to score the winning run.
What made that extra sweet for Vetrano is that in the fifth inning Dutchmen center fielder Matt McGivney, lunging and falling over the fence, made a spectacular catch to rob Vetrano of a home run.
“It was a great feeling to be able to help my team win the game and we did a great job of battling back and not losing hope,” Vetrano said.
Lakeland lost road games to Roy C. Ketcham 6-0 and John Jay-East Fishkill 7-1 on April 29.
Yorktown was nipped by host Carmel 7-6 on April 24.
Senior center fielder Tom Cole stood out, going 2 for 4 with a triple, homer, four RBI and two runs scored.
“Coming off two big-league wins against Ossining, our focus as a team at the plate has been excellent,” Cole said. “I was able to be patient and selective and was fortunate enough to put some good swings on the ball.”
Cole’s big blast was a three-run homer in the fourth that put the Huskers up 6-2.
“It was a big moment in the game only being up by one, and I started that at bat going down 0-2 in the count,” Cole said. “I knew I had to expand the strike zone and come up big for my team. I got a pitch I liked on the inside corner and was able to drive it.”
The Huskers fell against visiting Valhalla 2-0 on April 27 before defeating host Arlington B 5-0 the following day.
Alby Ciufetelli threw a shutout, striking out seven, allowing just one walk while scattering five hits against the Admirals, with Joe Veca leading the way offensively with two hits.
The Huskers finished the week losing at John Jay-EF 7-5 on April 29 as Nick Farda recorded two hits.
Yorktown (4-8) will host Lakeland (7-3) at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 6 in the 36th Annual Sorrentino Cup Game. The game is played in memory of Joseph Sorrentino, Jr., a Yorktown athlete and star pitcher, who passed away in 1981.