The Medford Complex in Brookhaven, NY was the venue of champions on Thursday night. While the Varsity Championship was in full swing, Team Steel Gray hosted the LI Patriots White for the JV Championship.
Chris Feigel began the game on the mound for Team Steel Gray and Liam Adipietro started for the LI Patriots White. Both were solid early with a scoreless first inning. Then, disaster struck for Adipietro in the bottom of the second.
The strike zone seemed to disappear from sight, as Adipietro issued five walks in the inning that scored three before exiting after an inning and two-thirds. Angelo Veltri came in with the bases loaded and two away and retired Jason Schwarm to put the inning to bed, but it was Team Steel Gray ahead 3-0 after two.
That remained the score heading into the home fourth but the hits kept coming for Coach Sal’s squad. After Veltri got two quick outs, the inning unraveled. A two-out single by Chris Mancaluso drove in James Lubanski to make it 4-0. Then a passed ball by Jesse Dugan scored Jason Bermudez to extend the lead to 5-0. Then more insurance came on an RBI single by Mike Lomelo to score Mancaluso to push it to 6-0.
Meanwhile, Feigel was dominant for Team Steel Gray, pitching five scoreless to this point. Feigel rewarded his own cause, scoring in the bottom of the fifth on a one-out RBI single by Matt Stanish to make it 7-0 and push Veltri out of the game. John Keene was able to work out of a man-on-first jam and hold the score in place.
With the sky darkening, the rally caps came on for the LI Patriots White. Dugan hit into a fielder’s choice to score Tyler Olsen with one out in the top of the sixth to cut the lead to 7-1. With runners at the corners, Feigel’s day was done after allowing two hits through five and one-third. Jason Schwarm entered in relief and surrendered an RBI single to Mike Desando that scored Dugan before getting out of the inning with a 7-2 cushion still intact.
Schwarm was tasked with getting the last three outs in the top of the seventh and did so promptly, ending with a strikeout to seal the JV division championship title.
Emotionally reflecting on this season Coach Sal had some final thoughts, “We started off slow, we turned it around and I can’t be more excited for these kids.”