Baldwin, East Meadow battle for playoff seeding


Two teams headed to the Nassau Class AAA baseball playoffs but jockeying for seeding took turns beating each other in the first two games of last week’s series before East Meadow got the best of Baldwin in the May 2 finale.
Senior Christian Brennan allowed two runs and scattered five hits over five innings to earn the win on the mound for the Jets, who broke open a close game with three runs in the top of the sixth inning of a 6-2 road victory.
Sophomore leadoff hitter Trevor Smith went 3-for-4 and scored three runs and junior Owen Smith and freshman Dom Longardino both had a pair of RBIs as East Meadow improved to 5-8-1 and secured any possible tiebreaker over the Bruins, who enter the final week of the regular season at 6-7-1.
“This was the cleanest of the three games this week,” East Meadow coach Vin Mascia said. “We played a pretty good game all around. Christian gave us five good innings and we hit the ball well one through nine.”
Baldwin trailed 3-0 after Longardino’s two-run double in the first and senior shortstop Kevin Canto’s run-scoring single in the second, but cut the margin to one with a pair of runs in the home half of the fourth. Senior catcher Mario Garcia singled with one out and sophomore third baseman Ryan Healey followed with a double. Sophomore Jacob Lopez drilled a two-run single to make it 3-2, although it was a close as the Bruins could get.

“We’re either up or down, there’s no in between for us,” Baldwin coach Frank Esposito said. “We played a nice game at East Meadow a few days ago [April 30] and won it in the seventh inning. Today we couldn’t get the bats going with any consistency.”
East Meadow, which won the series opener April 29, 15-4, with junior catcher Joe Lanza (four) and Longardino combining for seven RBIs to back the strong pitching of junior Alec Coelho, put an exclamation point on the finale with three runs in the top of the sixth. Senior Mason Martinez pitched the last two innings to earn the save.
“We’re going to be underdogs no matter who we meet in the first round of the playoffs,” Mascia said. “But the guys know if we pitch and play defense and get some timely hits, there’s no reason why we can’t compete with anyone.”
The road team won all three games in the series. The Bruins took the middle game, 6-3, with senior Michael Jazylo starring on the mound and at the plate. He was the winning pitcher and provided the difference with a tiebreaking bases-clearing double in the top of the seventh.
The Jets, currently in the No. 8 seed spot, close the regular season with a three-game set against winless Valley Stream Central. If they sweep the Eagles, Baldwin would be forced to do the same against Plainview to hold onto the No. 6 seed.