FEATURE STORIES

Q & A With Holy Trinity Head Coach Dan Luisi

(Photo Credit: 27east.com) During my days at Farmingdale State, I had the pleasure of playing for Coach Dan Luisi in 2011. Since then, he has moved up the coaching ranks to Div-I as an assistant at Stony Brook, then a Head Coach for the West Hampton Aviators of the HCBL and now as the Head Coach of his alma mater, Holy Trinity HS. I had the opportunity to speak with him, and here is what he had to say… How excited are you to be taking over a very storied and successful Holy Trinity program and taking over for a well-respected Head Coach? Being able to take over Holy Trinity HS is inspiring and self-rewarding for me. I have always been a Titan–even long after I graduated from there in 2005. I have a great deal of pride in the school and the program, an I’m honored to follo...

Who is Franklin Parra?

Every once in a while a kid will burst onto the scene and make a name for himself in a short period of time. While most of the elite players are identified as soon as they enter high school, others develop later or struggle to put it all together. Copiague LHP Franklin Parra fits this latter description. The flame-throwing southpaw has been the topic of discussion this summer ever since his dynamite showing in Georgia. He has since dominated Long Island hitters, averaging 2.5 Ks per inning on the mound while also compiling a 1.250 OPS at the plate. He certainly has a chance to get drafted next season. I had the chance to watch him play yesterday and it lived up to the hype. The Dominican-born pitcher struck out three over two shutout innings while hitting 93 MPH with his electric fastball ...

James Cardinale Commits to Hofstra

One of the top class of 2018 players on Long Island is now off the board with James Cardinale (Commack) committing to Hofstra University. They also received verbal commitment today from Ryan Paul Rue of Pennsylvania–a highly-regarded player. Hofstra did a great job identifying the top players in the class and they now have inked Cardinale in addition to Mark Faello (Plainview JFK) and Anthony D’Onofrio (Wantagh) I had the opportunity to speak with Cardinale and here’s what he had to say… Can you talk a little about the recruitment process and how the Hofstra commitment came to be? Ever since I was little I’ve always wanted to play baseball at a high-level and stay in the northeast area. I’ve always wanted to prove that northeast baseball can be just as g...

Q & A with Josh Shapiro, CEO of Baseball Lifestyle 101

All college athletes are faced with the rigors of maintaining their grades while also fulfilling their commitment to their team and performing to the best of their abilities. Josh Shapiro, who played for Farmingdale State College in 2016, had a unique circumstance that made his work-life balance even more difficult. As the founder of Baseball Lifestyle 101, he was tasked with building a company as a freshman in college. This company had enjoyed a tremendous growth during the same time that he was trying to get the Rams to win a Skyline Conference title. He wound up performing well on the field, batting .272 with a .337 OBP over 92 at bats, but ultimately decided that while his future involved baseball, it wouldn’t involve playing the game. Below is an exclusive interview with the CEO...

Up Next: Travis Honeyman

He might’ve only been in sixth grade at the time, but Travis Honeyman vividly remembers watching his older brother, Bobby, star for the Massapequa Chiefs in the early part of the decade. “I went to every home game and I just remember saying ‘I can’t wait for when it’s my turn,’ said the now-15-year-old. With the Chiefs taking home the 2017 Long Island Class AA championship this year, Travis–now in ninth grade but playing on the JV10 team–is closer to making that goal a reality. “I’m even more excited now,” he said. In fact, he was able to live vicariously through his two best friends who were called up. Both of them, Johnny Castagnozzi and Chris DeSousa, are supremely talented players that will be part of the next wave of el...

Puccio Brothers: The Story of Turning Tragedy to Triumph

“Are you sure you want to play today?” said Coach Pete Meehan. “I wouldn’t have it any other way,” said junior James Puccio, who was enduring the tragedy of losing his mother to cancer just one week prior and was also dealing with a pulled hamstring. Despite entering the game winless, Hampton Bays took the field with heavy hearts against a very strong Babylon team. James’ older brother, Louis, took the mound with his mother looking down on him and he came up aces. He fired 6.2 IP, struck out 11 batters and allowed only one ER. “He was unspeakably amazing,” said James. In the sixth inning, James led off with a single that ultimately allowed Hampton Bays to mount a comeback and turn a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead and their first and only victory...

Brian McLaughlin Caps Decorated Career With a Legion of Awards

Coming out of St. John the Baptist, Brian McLaughlin was more than capable at playing at many major baseball programs. He spent four years playing under one of the brightest baseball minds on the island in John Habyan and had the type of power that coaches fawn over. He knew, however, that someday baseball might not always be there for him. He decided to go to the school that not only offered him the best chance to pursue a career in engineering, but where he could also play baseball so he chose SUNY Maritime. “I don’t regret a single day that I spent there,” he said in regards to his decision. “There was some good schools but Maritime represented something different. I knew it was the best option,” he added. He is coming off a decorated career in which he re-...

Tyler Badamo: My Message to MLB Draft Hopefuls

(Tyler Badamo is a 2014 graduate of Dowling College. He was selected by the New York Mets in the 24th round of the MLB Draft. He was named All-American for his tremendous season in which he compiled a stretch of 72.1 consecutive innings in which he did not allow an earned run. The following words are his own.) The biggest thing I think everyone needs to realize before I go into what I tried to focus on personally, is that the MLB draft is one of the biggest crap shoots in the world. There are thousands of potential prospects eligible for the draft each year and now only 40 rounds. You can do everything right 99% of the time and still not get drafted. There are plenty of outstanding college seniors every single year that don’t get the call to postpone the real world for a little while...

Charles Galiano: My Letter to the Game of Baseball

(Editor’s Note: Charles Galiano was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2012 MLB Draft out of Commack high school and again by the Milwaukee Brewers out of Fordham University. He recently announced his retirement from the game of baseball after two seasons in the minor leagues due to a persistent shoulder injury. The following words are his own, as he bids farewell to the game he loves) Dear Baseball, Sitting here on the plane right now back to New York thinking about what baseball has done for me, I have nothing but immense gratitude and love towards this game. This game has given me damn near everything since I picked up a ball and a bat heading to my first tee ball game at Commack South Little League. I remember sitting on the floor with my brother nervous as can be about ...

JJ McLaughlin Opens Up About Dealing With Life’s Unforeseen Tragedies

(Editor’s Note: JJ is a pitcher for Nassau Community College. He was forced to deal with the tragic loss of both his mother and father just over one year apart) by JJ McLaughlin Baseball has been my therapy through it all. I’ve been playing since I was little and I don’t know if I would be here without it being a major part of my life. I have gone through so much within such a short period of time and at such a young age, many people question how I am still in school and how I am even still playing baseball. I graduated high school in 2011 and went onto play at Monroe College for my freshman year. When I left for school everything was fine, but before I knew it, my whole world started to fall apart. My dad was diagnosed with Melanoma cancer in the fall of 2012. That was when I knew m...

Who Is Joe Wozny?

It’s easy to get overlooked playing in League 9 of Suffolk County. The overall level of competition is not on par with Class AA or A, so college coaches will have a hard time seeing the value in sitting through games in hopes of finding a diamond in the rough. Except sometimes there is that diamond out here. Enter Joe Wozny. The 15-year-old freshman at Stony Brook HS is turning heads with his 88-MPH fastball and 74 MPH curve. I watched him pitch in the Dominican Republic and he fired three shutout innings with 4 strikeouts against some of the most talented amateur baseball players in the world. His performance bypassed the “he’s good for his age”  and went right into the category of “this is the real deal.” In his first start of the season yesterday, he ...

Half Hollow Hills Little League Providing Unparalleled Experience for Young Ballplayers

Over the years, many elite ballplayers have graduated from the Half Hollow Hills high schools.  Some recognizable names are John Mincone, Alex Aurricchio, T.J. Pecoraro, Tommy D’Alessandro, Adam Brown and Stephen Woods. They all played in the Half Hollow Hills little league program at one point, according to the President of the league, Steven Muraco. The league has been home to a tremendous amount of kids in general–peaking at 1,700 in 2000, but has since leveled out around 1,000 since that time. They have spring, summer and fall leagues. Despite many kids playing other sports through out the season, they have been able to maintain their numbers in the fall when football and soccer are in-season. A big reason for this, according to Muraco, is the league’s reputation for ...

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