FIRST PERSON STORIES

Max Nielsen: What I’m Thankful For

UCONN-commit Max Nielsen in to pitch for Motus pic.twitter.com/tBziUcLSt6 — Axcess Baseball (@axcessbaseball) October 13, 2017 (Editor’s Note: Max Nielsen is a 2019 graduate of Ward Melville HS. He committed to UCONN during his sophomore season and he followed that up with a dynamic season for the Patriots. He is among the top LHP in the state. The following words are his own.) Thanksgiving to me is all about thanking all the people that make my life so special and meaningful. I am thankful for all my coaches; they always push me more and more everyday. Some coaches that I am very blessed to have in my life are Matt Marsh, Chris Lemorocco and Lou Petrucci; they had such a big impact on the baseball player that I am now. They all have really pushed me to get better whether it was earl...

Jason Diaz: What I Am Thankful For

(Editor’s Note: Jason Diaz is a 2019 graduate of Kellenberg HS. He fired a CG shutout of St. John the Baptist to clinch the CHSAA championship earlier this year. He has a fastball that sits 90-91 MPH and tops at 93 MPH. He is committed to the University of Miami. The following words are his own.) Thanksgiving really brings out the positivity in people and it makes me think about what I’m thankful for. To me baseball is the greatest thing on this earth and it’s not even close. What kid growing up didn’t want to throw a ball as hard as they can and what kid didn’t want to hit bombs over the fence? The game of baseball has showed me that success isn’t just given to you and it makes me thankful for when the times are tough because it just encourages me to ov...

Veterans Day: Brandon Stahl On Deciding to Join the Army After Baseball

(Editor’s Note: Brandon Stahl is a 2010 graduate of St. Dominic HS, where he was an Under Armour All-American and three-time All-League selection. He attended Div-I Old Dominion in Virginia before transferring to Adelphi, where he enjoyed a breakout season in 2013 with a .309 AVG and .356 OBP. The following words are his own.) By Brandon Stahl Deciding to join the military was definitely one of the harder decisions I have ever had to make in my life to this point. Many people talk of a “calling” when it comes to this line of work and one day that calling hit me and I never looked back. In my personal opinion, serving and defending this country is one of the most honorable endeavors a person can immerse themselves in and my passion for this has stuck with me since I was a young kid. S...

Will Kennedy: Why I Committed to Hofstra

Editor’s Note: Will Kennedy is a 2019 LHP from Smithtown East. He plays his summer ball with the HDMH Titans. After a terrific summer season in which he went undefeated, he also dominated down in Fort Myers, FL where I watched him throw 4.2 shutout innings with six strikeouts in a victory. He committed to Hofstra University last Friday. The following words are his own.) The recruiting process started for me when Titans recruiting coordinator Tom Downey met with me and my family to go over what I needed to do to prepare for being recruited. He advised to me to figure out a major I was interested in, how far away I was willing to travel for college, and when I should be taking standardized tests. He also outlined how important my GPA would be in getting aid from schools. He was very in...

Chris Cappas Reflects on Successful 2017

(Editor’s Note: Chris Cappas is a 2017 graduate of Kellenberg Memorial HS. He just led the Firebirds to a consecutive CHSAA championship and he was named Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year. He batted .438 with 2 HR, 22 RBI and struck out only once. On the mound, he compiled an ERA of 0.18 with 53 strikeouts in 39 innings. He did not allow a run over his final 25 innings of the season. There was much-speculation that he would be selected in the MLB Draft in June, considering the southpaw’s velocity had touched 90 MPH at times. Although he was not, he is now at the University of Pittsburgh and figures to be a major factor right away. The following words are his own.) Winning the NSCHSAA baseball championship my senior year at Kellenberg is something that I think about alm...

Matt Seelinger on His First Pro Season

(Editor’s Note: Matt is a 2017 graduate of Farmingdale State College. He capped off a stellar career by getting selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 28th round of this year’s MLB Draft, becoming the first player from FSC to get drafted since 1978. He performed incredibly well in pro ball; he compiled a 1.80 ERA over 30.0 IP with 0.87 WHIP and 37 strikeouts. He allowed only 19 hits. The following words are his own.) Coming out of a “D3” school has its challenges to get drafted. Not many players get the opportunity. I certainly heard a few times that it was “near impossible” to get drafted out of a “D3” school. I was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in my senior year at Farmingdale State College. It has been a whirlwind for sure. I graduated in May. At that time, I was not ...

Jonathon Mulford on His Second Pro Season

(Editor’s Note: Jonathon is a 2012 graduate of Massapequa HS. He pitched four seasons at Adelphi University, where he was named to our All-Long Island team in 2015. He participated in our Battle of the Border in 2016, and he was drafted later that week by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 34th round. Over two seasons, he has compiled a 3.59 ERA. The following words are his own.) For the first time in four years, I wasn’t at Long Island Storm Academy giving ready for the beginning of the Adelphi season with my teammates. Even though I miss playing at Adelphi, I finally was preparing for my first spring training. Baseball was finally back and it was time to grind out the hot dog days of Florida spring training. Walking into the facility seeing Yadier “Yadi” Molina catchi...

Michael Rizzitello on His First Year in Pro Ball

(Editor’s Note: Michael Rizzitello is a 2012 graduate of Connetquot HS and 2016 graduate of Dowling College. He was named to our All-Long Island team last year and he participated in our Battle of the Border. He is currently playing professional ball in the Pacific Association. The following words are his own.) The hardest part about playing the game of baseball is knowing when to hang it up–something that I thought I would have to do at the end of my senior season of college baseball. It was January of 2017 when I was trying to figure out where I would shift my attention to, now that baseball didn’t consume my life. Let me tell you something, I have never been so miserable. I knew that I couldn’t play forever, but I didn’t think it would end so soon. One night, after a long da...

Last Licks for Kevin Kolesar

by Joe Morris After coming off of a career year for the Queens College Knights in 2016, making 1st team All-Conference, batting .350 with an on-base-percentage of .442 while swiping 31 bags, adversity struck for senior shortstop and captain Kevin Kolesar. In 2016, Kolesar felt some pain in his left shoulder, but was willing-and-able to play throughout the season and go on to be one of the best players in the conference.  Unfortunately, the dynamic shortstop felt some discomfort in his left shoulder again on a swing during an intra-squad scrimmage early in the 2017 season, and this time he knew it was trouble. “It happened during practice, the extension and the finish of my swing was where I felt the pop and I was in extreme pain.” As he attempted to play through the injury again, Kolesar f...

Tommy Ziegen: Reflecting on Derek Jeter’s Career

(Editor’s Note: Tommy Ziegen is a 2017 graduate of SUNY Old Westbury. He has twice been named to our All-Long Island team and will make it this year as well. He batted .408 with 6 HR, 40 RBI, 39 runs scored, 13 doubles, 3 triples, .692 SLG, .446 OBP and 19 stolen bases. He will be participating in our Battle of the Border All-Star Game on May 30 at Hofstra University. The following words are his own.) I was never into comic books growing up.   I did have a bunch of posters on my wall though, and as far as I’m concerned there was a superhero on every single one of them. However, this superhero didn’t wear a mask, and he didn’t wear a cape. He wore a jersey, with pinstripes, and he wore the number 2. That’s the best way to describe my admiration for the captain. I looked up to him...

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 ...

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