Optimistic start for youthful Baldwin


Baldwin had a difficult time keeping up with the competition in Nassau Conference AA-2 baseball last spring, especially when it came to putting runs on the board.
The Bruins suffered nine shutout losses, including five of the last six games of a trying 2-16 campaign. They managed an 11-7 win over East Meadow and a 6-5 victory over Plainview, and it was no coincidence Michael Jazylo was smack in the middle of both.
Jazylo got his senior year and Baldwin’s off to a nice start with a 5-2 decision over Syosset in the March 26 opener. He was the winning pitcher and also helped his own cause with a homer whilst sophomore third baseman Ryan Healey knocked in three runs a bases-loaded double.
“He’s our best pitcher and our best hitter,” Baldwin coach Frank Esposito said of Jazylo, who last spring earned All-Conference honors after an All-County 2022 season. “He doesn’t think he has to overpower every hitter,” he added. “He knows situations and knows when to attack. He’s also an excellent fielding first baseman, but due to an injury he’s played some center field and made some big plays out there.”
Esposito is trying to remain optimistic senior Giancarlo Estevez can return to action and patrol center after suffering a shoulder injury in the second game of the season March 28 at Oceanside. He’s also Baldwin’s leadoff hitter. “Giancarlo was a backup middle infielder last year and now he’s an everyday player either in center or first base,” Esposito said. “We’re going to be scrambling if he’s out for any length of time.”

Senior Mario Garcia is off to a strong start both at the plate and behind it. He’s an experienced catcher and clean-up batter. “He has a great arm and we’ll even use him as a relief pitcher,” said Esposito, who noted junior Jayden Peralta would move from the outfield to catch Garcia.
Sophomore Chris Marano had some success on varsity a year ago and will serve as the No. 2 starting pitcher and play left field. “He’s scrappy at the plate and working to be a more consistent hitter,” Esposito said. “On the mound he’s got a heck of a slider and can bring the heat.”
Junior Ryan Jazylo is following in his older brother’s footsteps and made his pitching debut April 10 against Port Washington and impressed with a 2-1 victory. He’s moved into the leadoff spot and is expecting to be the program’s starting shortstop for the next two years, Esposito noted.
Healey is a returning starter at the hot corner and could return as the No. 3 starting pitcher based on arm health. Freshman Ryan Nunez has taken over at second base with freshman Gabriel Estevez also contributing. Up from JV, sophomore Liam Mugford plays first base and outfield, and sophomore Jacob Lopez is getting time in right.
“We’re a young team with only four seniors and two juniors,” Esposito said. “We have five sophomores and four freshmen, so we’ll see how it goes and how well everyone comes along.”
Baldwin (2-4-1) faces Valley Stream Central in a three-game series this week.