South Side finding its groove


Senior Matt Arnott pitched a perfect game Monday afternoon to lead South Side to a 13-0 victory over Hewlett, keeping the Cyclones undefeated (3-0-1) in Nassau Conference AA-III.

Arnott struck out eight in the team’s fourth straight strong performance. His effort came on the heels of a near sweep of Glen Cove, capped by a 9-5 victory behind stellar hitting from freshman AJ Magaraci April 11.

Magaraci had two big home runs and added four RBIs in the game. Junior Gavin Donoghue pitched 3 1/3 innings in relief with five strikeouts and at the plate amassed two hits and three RBI. Senior Griffin King added two hits and an RBI. 

That was the Cyclones’ second league win after mercy ruling Glen Cove 12-2 April 9, and playing until darkness postponed their first contest, ending the game in a 7-7 tie the previous day.

Heading into the season, South Side coach Thomas Smith preached one goal to his team,  

“Our goal is to be better than we were [before], even though we had such a great victory,” Smith said. “We were going come in and fix a couple little things that we could have done [better].” 

The Cyclones went 15-3 in league play in 2023, good enough to earn them the top seed in the playoffs. They were upset in the quarterfinals by No. 5 Garden City and look to bounce back and regain the top spot again this year.  

In their first win against Glen Cove, freshman Stellan Zangari, in his first game starting on the mound, threw four no-hit innings walking three batters and striking out six. 

“ It’s always fun when you get a player to get their first win on the mound as a pitcher or come up with their first big play, its really nice to see,” Smith said. 

Senior Will Lora went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, scoring a two-run double in the first inning to get the game off to a good start. From there the flood gates opened as the Cyclones began to find their offense. Senior Brady Callahan had two hits and scored two runs and senior Aidan Medeiros added two runs of his own.  

Senior Jack Bodkin went 1-for-1 in the game and hit a massive two run homer to give the team a 10-1 lead and essentially put the game away. 

A lot of the star players for Southside last year as juniors are expected to step up this year for the team with them now taking over the reins from the seniors that graduated. 

Callahan batted .409 last season and added 18 runs on the season, serving as the catalyst for the Cyclones. 

Medeiros batted .322 and collected 19 hits on the season with seven doubles and two triples driving in 19 RBIs with 18 runs scored.  

Arnott struck out 42 batters in 37 innings with an ERA of under 2.00. He’s the No. 1 starting pitcher with a big frame, standing at 6-foot-6 and 195 pounds.

“I actually got a pretty big team overall, I’m six feet tall and I feel short,” Smith joked. “I always tell these kids to write their legacy,” Smith said. “How do you want to be remembered, leave your mark on the program.” 

The Cyclones will look to continue their hot streak with two more matchups this week against struggling Hewlett.