SHRUB OAK, N.Y.— Lakeland’s baseball squad swept Brewster in a twin bill on May 1, blanking the visiting Bears 4-0 in Game 1, behind a complete-game, six-hit shutout by Eric Portella with Joe Vetrano (solo homer) and Matt Schenck (two-run double) doing the damage at the plate.
Game 2 saw the Hornets win in thrilling fashion, with Kevin Croce delivering the game-winning two-run double with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to give Lakeland an 8-7 victory.
“After a rough weekend of games we wanted nothing less than two wins against Brewster,” said Croce, a senior third baseman. “In the back of my mind I kind of knew that I may have to come up in a big spot and wanted nothing more than to deliver in a big spot. It felt really good knowing I was able to finish the game off and help our team get the win.”
Taylor Berta earned the win in relief in Game 2 against the Bears, hurling 2.1 scoreless innings.
The Hornets fell at Somers 7-1 on May 2 before being nipped at Byram Hills 4-3 on May 3, with the Bobcats winning on a walk-off homer by Matt Milone.
Bryan Petriccione pitched a complete game and Patrick Morelli homered against the Bobcats.
Lakeland (10-5) rebounded the following day with a 14-3 victory against visiting Somers, as Matt Mikulski went six innings for the victory, registering six strikeouts.
“Matt pitched so well yesterday because we defend our home field with great confidence,” Croce said. “We also put runs up so Matt was able to pitch with confidence.”
Vetrano (3 for 5) and Croce (3 for 4) led the Hornets’ hitting attack against the Tuskers.
“Me and Joey both didn’t have the best of days at the plate the game before so we were fired up and came out swinging,” Croce said.
Yorktown (5-11) fell to visiting Fox Lane 10-0 on May 1, with senior captain Joe Veca going 2 for 2.
Veca was 2 for 5, including a double and an RBI, in the Huskers’ 9-8 loss at Port Chester on May 2. Jake Bichler went 2 for 5 with a double, a run scored and two RBI.
The Huskers lost to host White Plains 8-2 on May 3, with Tanner Dyslin (2 for 2, RBI, run) and Nick Farda (2 for 3, RBI, triple), producing for Yorktown.
Yorktown was victorious, 9-2, against visiting Port Chester on May 4.
“This is a huge win for the team,” Veca said. “The season is not really going how we planned, and when you’re losing it’s easy to point fingers. This team doesn’t and we just decided to turn it around and start playing the way we know we can, so it’s exciting getting back on track and hopefully this will propel us in upcoming games.”
Veca (2 for 3, 2-run homer, 2 runs, 3 RBI) led the way at the plate, helping make a winner of Jon Kintish (6 innings pitched).
“I’m sitting in my zone and looking for pitches to drive,” Veca said. “Against Port Chester, we were tied 1-1 in the fifth and I knew someone had to come through with a big hit and I got the pitch I was sitting on and luckily was able to send it over, but overall just slowing it down at the plate has been very beneficial.”
The Huskers hope the win against the Rams was a sign of things to come.
“There has been no team this year that has made us think they are flat out better,” Veca said. “Every game it’s just one or two mistakes that we’ve made, and last game we were able to minimize them and play to the level we know we are capable of.”
The Sorrentino Cup between Yorktown and Lakeland was rained out last weekend and will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 13, at Yorktown High School.