Arms lead Carey's sparkling start


Two no-hitters. A grand slam. Three shutouts. A 13-run victory.
That’s what the Carey baseball team has accomplished so far…in the first two weeks of the season.
The Seahawks opened the 2024 campaign with six straight victories – four of them coming against Conference AA2 foes – to already establish themselves as early contenders for a division title. The team struggled out of the gate last spring before a 9-1 stretch run resulted in a 9-8 conference mark (11-11 overall) and a trip to the playoffs.
This year’s run was temporarily halted with a 10-4 loss in the three-game series finale against Division on April 11 despite the teams being tied at 3 in the sixth inning. But, unlike the inclement weather that plagued that game, the small setback didn’t damper the spirits of Seahawks coach Doug Robins.
“The boys really get along and they have great team chemistry,” he said. “They pick each other up. It’s great to see.”

Carey has been buoyed by a pitching staff that yielded just three runs heading into the last Division game for a 0.35 earned-run average and hadn’t allowed more than one in any of them. The loss still left the staff’s combined walks and hits per innings pitch (WHIP) at 0.98.
“It’s been experience,” Robins said. “My No. 1 pitcher Justin Babiak has been with us for four years. He’s worked hard in the offseason and the hard work has paid off.”
Babiak (3-0) has yet to allow a run in 13 innings with 27 strikeouts, including 12 during his no-hitter in a 13-0 win against Sewanhaka on April 1. He had four wins last spring and earned the start in that year’s postseason opener.
“He’s a lot stronger,” Robins said. “His velocity is up and his slider has been a very good out pitch for us.”
Nine days after Babiak’s no-no, sophomore Tristan Hickis hurled one himself in the middle game against Division, striking out five on 96 pitches. There has been no dropoff in the bullpen, with senior Matteo Tufano and junior Jack Degnan combining for three saves.
“The pitching has been strong,” he said. “We’re really throwing a lot of strikes and they’re working hard.”
Tufano supported Babiak’s no-hitter with a grand slam and is hitting .529 with a .706 slugging percentage and 1.386 on-base percentage. Sophomore center fielder Jayden Gigante, an All-Conference performer in eighth and ninth grade, is batting .476 with four doubles and a 1.379 on-base mark from the leadoff spot, including a 3-for-4 effort with two runs scored in a 5-1 victory at Floral Park on March 27.
“He’s a great leadoff guy,” Robins said. “He’s really a five-tool player. He’s very patient at the plate and when he gets his pitch, he hits it hard.”
Varsity newcomer Mark Vera is batting .294 as a sophomore and had two hits in a 6-1 win at Hicksville on April 5 and senior right fielder Joe Spano “is playing real well right now”, according to Robins, while hitting a respectable .273.