Seaford loses LIC heartbreaker to Babylon


One strike away from making more program history, Seaford baseball was unable to shut the door in the Long Island Class B championship game June 1 at St. Joseph’s University in Patchogue.
The Vikings, coming off their first-ever Nassau title six days earlier, held a three-run lead in the bottom of the ninth but Babylon staged an improbably two-out rally with a game-tying single and a walk-off walk for a wild 6-5 victory.
“We outlasted the toughest pitcher we’ve faced all year and certainly were in a position to win,” Seaford coach Mike Milano said. “We were unable to scratch out another run to get it done in seven innings and give Babylon credit for the comeback.”
Both teams entered the matchup with identical 22-1 records. Seaford swept Locust Valley in the county finals behind its four All-County honorees — seniors Billy Kind, Stephen Ierides, Nick Apollo and Sean Costello — marking the first time in the 67-year history of the program it reached championship status. Kind, Apollo and Costello led a dominant pitching staff handled by Ierides behind the plate.
Costello, who batted .700 in the playoffs, started the LIC and went the first four innings. He was staked to a 2-0 first-inning lead thanks to RBI hits by Apollo, who drove in Costello with a double, and sophomore Jason Berthel, who singled home Apollo. Berthel also had an impressive afternoon at the hot corner with several highlight-reel defensive plays.

Babylon scratched across a run in the bottom of the first when Costello’s counterpart, Daniel Madsen (4-for-5, 8 innings pitched) singled in John Harbins. The Panthers then tied it in the bottom of the third on a Harbins’ RBI single.
The rest of the day belonged to the arms. Madsen allowed no runs on three hits from the second through eighth innings, while Apollo matched him in relief for four innings.
With Madsen approaching his 125-pitch limit in the ninth, Kind ignited the Vikings with a leadoff triple on what would be Madsen’s final delivery. Costello brought home Kind with a bases-loaded sac fly to make it 3-2, then Ierides scored on a wild pitch and senior TJ Harrington on an error to up the margin to 5-2.
Madsen was lifted from the mound but remained in the heart of Babylon’s lineup and came to the plate in the ninth with bases loaded and two outs with Seaford clinging to a 5-3 lead. After fouling off the first two pitches he saw, Madsen delivered a game-tying hit to center. Two batters later, battery mate Nick Crone drew a bases-loaded walk to force home the decisive run.
“He put his team on his back,” Milano said of Madsen. “Our kids have a lot to be proud of, especially the 10 seniors.”