Uniondale baseball finishes 9-6-1


Created to keep games competitive between programs of close to the same ability level, the Nassau Countywide baseball conference has been an ideal fit for Uniondale as well as others.
Over the past three years the formula for coach Ciro Gentile’s Knights has been simple: if they play well enough to win, they usually do. Dating back to a Covid-shortened 2021 campaign, they’re combined overall record is 23-23-1.
“We had a mix of seniors and juniors along with some young kids and they meshed well,” Gentile said after Uniondale concluded this spring with a 9-6-1 record against Countywide foes with a shutout loss to Valley Stream South May 11.
Uniondale played a couple of wild games down the stretch, including a 12-11 extra-inning victory over Valley Stream South in the series opener between the teams May 8. Senior catcher Kevin Calderon singled home junior Jaden Acosta in the bottom of the eighth inning for a thrilling walk-off win. All nine batters in the Knights’ lineup recorded at least one hit, led by senior and winning pitcher Lexter Jiminez (4-for-4, two RBIs and two steals), Calderon (3-for-4) and senior Arismendy Almonte (3-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs.)
Almonte led the team with 21 RBIs and 15 runs and earned All-League honors. Calderon batted .444. Junior leadoff hitter and center fielder Pineda set the offensive tone all year, Gentile said.

That win took a little sting away from a blown six-run lead four days earlier when Uniondale was forced to settle for a 12-12 tie with Valley Stream Central. The teams ended up splitting the three-game set as a result. “We had the winning run on third base but couldn’t get it home,” said Gentile, in his 15th year at the helm. “Then it became too dark out to continue.”
The Knights opened the campaign with a sweep of each of the four Countywide 2 opponents (Hempstead, Westbury, Lawrence and Roosevelt) and were able to rebound from being swept by Malverne to finish over .500.
Jiminez, who played shortstop when he wasn’t on the mound and has an All-Conference resume, had a five-inning no-hitter with 14 strikeouts against Riverhead. He led a starting rotation that included freshman Carlos Vasquez and junior Jesther Lara.
“These kids love playing baseball and I love being around them,” Gentile said.