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Seaford enjoys 10-game win streak

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Seaford is headed to the Nassau County baseball playoffs for an 18th consecutive season under coach Mike Milano.

The Vikings broke out of the gate with a 10-game winning streak that came to a halt at the hands of defending Nassau Class A champion Clarke on May 25. “It’s our first loss since May of 2019,” Milano said. “It’s one game and we’ll learn from it. We knew our last six would be a challenge and we’re looking to finish strong heading into the playoffs.”

The Vikings are locked into the Conference V playoffs and a big finish could earn them a first-round bye. This spring, the top six teams in each conference will qualify for the playoffs and play its own tournament resulting in multiple county champions. Nassau’s conference titlists will face Suffolk’s conference champs for Long Island supremacy on June 20.

“We’re in a great baseball community and surrounded by other great baseball towns,” Milano said. “The feeder program in Seaford is tremendous. I’ve been able to coach a lot of talented players.”

Assembling a pitching staff was priority No. 1 for Milano this spring. The Vikings lost a top-of-the-rotation starter when senior Dennis Lynch was ruled out for the year with a knee injury. Four juniors and a pair of sophomores managed to pick up the slack, Milano said. “They’re all learning to pitch at the varsity level,” he said. “It’s tough to be without Dennis but we’ve built a competitive staff. It’s exciting they’ll all be back next year.”

Junior Jack Kellner and sophomore Sean Costello have been fixtures in the starting rotation and have three wins apiece. Juniors Evan Block and Ryan Robins are also contributing and each has a victory. Robins dazzled in his first varsity start May 24 with a complete-game shutout against East Rockaway with seven strikeouts. Junior Ryan Reeves and sophomore Nick Apollo are providing quality relief.

Milano said he has the rare luxury of three strong backstops. Juniors Joe Bello and Jared Brown as well as sophomore Stephen Ierides are all working behind the plate and chipping in with the bats.

The offense, which put up some gaudy numbers in May, is sparked by senior shortstop Anthony Ippoliti from the leadoff spot. He had a solid sophomore campaign, Milano noted, batting .300 and playing center field also. Prior to the loss at Clarke, Ippoliti was rocking a .500 average.

Brock, who also plays third base, is hitting .480 in the 2-hole with no strikeouts. Senior first baseman Tom Hartmann (.333), senior left fielder Mike Fader (.429) and Costello, who flashes the leather at second base and is raking with a team-leading .583 average, comprise the middle of the order. Senior center fielder Mike Scimeca is hitting .429, while junior Brian Fader emerged as the starter in right field.

Milano said the Vikings will honor the 2020 seniors and this year’s seniors on June 8 when they face Locust Valley at home (Seaford Middle School) at 4:30 p.m.