Pitching dominates as Nassau tops Suffolk
Farmingdale, NY – Pitching, pitching, pitching.
That was the name of the game when it came to deciding the winner of the 8th Annual Ryan T. Caulfield Grand Slam Challenge.
Behind the pitching of Alex Robinson, Frank Ziegler, Alex Katz, Joe Siringo, Kevin Cashman, Cody Johnson, and Joe Chiaramonte the Nassau All-Stars topped the Suffolk All-Stars, 4-2, at Farmingdale State.
Although the game highlighted some of the best talent on Long Island, it was also a night to celebrate the life of Ryan T. Caulfield and raise money for the battle against Lupus. On February 13, 2000, Caulfield succumbed to complications with the disease after a five-year battle, he was just 23 years old at his passing. Ryan excelled in sports, especially baseball, which was a major reason why this game was created in memorandum of his life and to raise money to find a cure.
To start the game, Robinson (Holy Trinity) pitching a stellar first two innings. The senior struck out four after allowing a leadoff walk to Rob Moore in the first. Moore advanced to third immediately after Robinson threw the ball away on a pickoff attempt, he would later settle down by striking out the side.
That type of a performance by the Maryland-bound Titan was a precursor to the type of success that Nassau would have from the mound all night.
However, it was not all smooth sailing for Nassau.
In the top of the third, Bayport-Blue Point’s Steve Longo blasted a ball to centerfield, but when the ball got past Will Cheshire, Longo was off to the races. The Suffolk third baseman hustled all the way for an inside-the-park homerun to give his team a 1-0 lead.
Nassau would have an answer in the bottom half of the fourth inning.
A hit-by-pitch and two walks to start the inning loaded the bases for MacArthur outfielder Will Cheshire. He would smoke a single into rightfield that would plate Doug Kraeger (Kellenberg) and Vin Maietta (St. Mary’s). Two batters later, Holy Trinity catcher Chris Hardardt produced a run with a groundout that would score Seth Noreman (Plainview-JFK), to give Nassau a 3-1 lead.
From there the pitching would dominate.
The outstanding “relievers” for Nassau would combine to give up a paltry four hits and one earned run over the next five innings, as Nassau would hold on for the 4-2 victory.
Robinson would claim the Nassau MVP of the game, while East Islip’s John Dondero (outstanding catch and base-hit) took home the Suffolk MVP plaque. The awards for best pitcher would go to Alex Katz (Herricks), best catcher – Mike Rizzitello (Connetquot), and Will Cheshire would take best hitter.
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