By Matthew Kipnis
On Mon., May 13, the boys’ baseball team got revenge against the Sewanhaka Indians, winning the Nassau County Conference championship game 7-3. “It is extremely difficult to beat a team three times in a season,” Coach Ciro Ambrosio explained. After having lost to the Sewanhaka Indians three times in the regular season by a combined score of 27-17, the Rebels won the game that counted. This was the Rebels’ third consecutive county title.
As the number one seed, the Sewanhaka Indians (14-0) entered the game as the home team at the neutral site of SUNY Farmingdale College. Rebels’ senior pitcher Teddy Z. squared off against Sewanahaka’s undefeated starter Nick Dempsey.
“They started the game more nervous than we were. We had been on this stage twice before, unlike them,” Ambrosio explained.
Teddy Z. gave up a run in the second inning; however, the Rebels tied the score at 1-1 in the third inning. Senior Aaron Brenner hit a one-run single to score junior Brett Alper from third.
The tides started to sway in the Rebels’ favor after junior Sam Weinbaum scored off an RBI single from junior Anthony Ortiz, giving the Rebels a 2-1 lead. With two outs and no one on base, Alper hit a single to shallow right field, senior Steven Farkas got on base by an infield error and Aaron Brenner was walked. Junior Thomas K. came to the plate with an opportunity to widen the Rebels’ lead. With a 2-1 count, Dempsey threw a fastball that was hit over the head of Sewanhaka’s right fielder, giving Thomas K. a three-run double and the Rebels a 4-1 advantage.
“When I got up to bat with two outs and the bases loaded, all I thought about was doing my job and getting my team some runs to gain a lead. When I was younger I hated those really pressured situations but now I love it more. I love being the guy to help lead my team to a win after a big hit. It really made my season to do my job,” Thomas K. said.
In the bottom of the fourth with two outs, Teddy Z. got into trouble, walking the bases loaded. Teddy Z. gave up a line drive single up the middle, narrowing the Rebels lead to 4-2; however, the Rebels got out of the inning with a 3-2 strikeout pitch. “Once I started throwing a few balls, I just wasn’t able to snap out of it for a while, but when I loaded the bases, I knew I couldn’t give up another run.”
Coach Ambrosio explained, “He started short-arming the ball and was getting tired and was up close to 80 pitches. The coaching staff and I were ready to take him out of the game. I told him ‘as soon as someone comes on base, you are done’ and after that inning he picked up his game.” Teddy Z. found his groove again in the fifth inning with a quick 1,2,3 inning.
Senior Evan R. helped the Rebels add insurance runs in the sixth inning with a two-run double, which allowed sophomore Mitch Cohen to come in and close the game for the Rebels. With their third consecutive countywide conference championship, the Rebels will move up to a new conference next year. The Rebels hope they can keep their success in this new conference.