There’s a new front-runner in League II-B, and it’s the team that resides in White Plains. The Tigers beat the Tigers (Mamaroneck) for the second time in three days on Friday, this time with a 5-1 win in which WP controlled the game throughout.
I’d say it’s about time that we start considering White Plains a contender in Class AA.
“A sweep against a great program like Mamaroneck is huge,” senior RF Cameron Crabbe said. “Especially for a team that’s trying to be an up-and-coming team in the section, we’re trying to make noise. Taking them game one, obviously we were confident that we could win, but taking game two is huge.”
Mamaroneck had been on a tremendous run, losing just one game to a league opponent since 2007. I wrote in the preseason that I thought teams like White Plains and New Rochelle were catching up, but with its sweep, WP is now in prime position to capture the first league title won by a team other than Mamo in seven years.
“We definitely had a lot of confidence,” senior catcher Kyle Adams said. “Many people may have thought that we weren’t going to win, but we always have to believe in ourselves and pick each other up when we’re down. Getting that first one on the road was huge against a real good team and a good pitcher, and we just had to keep that momentum rolling into today and play clean baseball.”
• I picked White Plains today for a couple of reasons, but my rationale was largely based on the pitching matchup. Lukas Repetti (pictured to the right) has pitched in a few big games for WP this season and performed well, while Mamaroneck appears to still be searching for a No. 2 pitcher behind ace Will Hofmann, who threw on Wednesday. Repetti certainly brought his good stuff, throwing a complete game without allowing an earned run. “I give a lot of credit to Kyle. He knew about every batter. What we were throwing – inside, outside – he knew what to throw to every batter,” Repetti said. “In the beginning of the game, I had control issues and a lot of stuff was up. It was even happening in warm-ups, but then towards the end of the game everything really got in sync and all of my pitches were feeling great.”
• White Plains had its first potential run thrown out at home on Chris Medeot’s double in the second, with Mamaroneck LF JC Ruggerio hitting SS Mat Marino, who made a great relay throw to the plate. WP would end up scoring in the inning on a sac fly from Mike Lotito, but Mamaroneck tied it in the third on an RBI infield single from Andres Makarem. Mamo could have scored more, but Crabbe made a brilliant diving catch in right field to end the inning and strand runners on the corners. “I saw (Richie) Barrella was up, and he’s a good hitter who hits well to the right side,” Crabbe said. “Coach shaded me over to that side a little bit to help me out. I saw it sinking and I just tried to get my glove under it.”
• Crabbe’s catch was one of several impressive defensive plays from White Plains in the series. I’m told that they had three similar catches in the outfield on Wednesday at Mamaroneck to help maintain the lead in their 3-2 win, with one particular web gem coming from CF Sean Johnson to prevent Mamo from taking the lead. “Double plays, diving catches – those are the best feelings in the world,” Repetti said. “I’d rather have a clutch catch like Cam or a double play than a strikeout. You know when the ball is hit in play, people are going to back you up.”
• White Plains carried the momentum from Crabbe’s catch that kept the game tied at 1-1 into the bottom half of the third, with the first two batters reaching safely to chase Mamaroneck starter Michael Adler from the game. There was a lot of speculation as to who would get the start for Mamo — they have used about three guys in the No. 2 role so far this season — but coach Mike Chiapparelli gave Adler the ball. The lefty wasn’t particularly sharp, which prompted Chap to take him out before an out was recorded in the third. Adler’s final line was: 2 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 2 HBP, 1 K, 36 pitches (18 strikes, 18 balls). “He had already walked two and hit two, and that was supposed to be an outside pitch, and he hit the guy, so he wasn’t even close,” Chiapparelli said. “His location was bad all day, and that was why I made the move.”
• Adler was replace by fellow lefty Kumar Namibar, who seemed off from the get-go. A passed ball allowed Johnson to score to give White Plains the lead back, and then Adams greeted Namibar with a laser double that went to the right field wall to make it 3-1. “He tried to come inside with a few curveballs at first and I took them,” Adams said. “Eventually, he came in with the fastball – I think the count was 2-2 – and I just jumped on that one and got a good piece.”
• This White Plains’ lineup is deep, but the meat and potatoes is from 3-6. Adams, Crabbe, Juan Payero and Medeot have all been productive, and Crabbe (pictured to the left) came up big following Adams’ RBI double. He crushed a two-run homer over the left-center field wall to make it 5-1 in what would turn out to be the crushing blow. “Coach told me right before, ‘Sit curveball and then just react,’ ” Crabbe said. “I sat curveball first pitch and he threw it high, and then he came back into the zone with a fastball. I just tried to do whatever I could with it.”
• Namibar actually ended up settling in and did not allow an earned run after the third. He threw three innings, allowing two hits and two walks while striking out three, and flashed a nice breaking ball. He definitely didn’t look right in his first inning of action, and according to Chiapparelli, it’s because he didn’t have enough time to fully warm up. Apparently, what Chap saw after the third was enough for him to say he’s going to see Namibar as his No. 2 starter moving forward. “Right now, Kumar would be our next guy, but unfortunately he didn’t get loose enough,” Chiapparelli said. “He pitched really well after (his first inning), but when he came in, he wasn’t throwing hard at all. Next thing, he was throwing great, so we have to get him warmed up. I told him to get loose thinking that Adler was going to get through and get that kid out, but then he hit him, so we had to make a move. I guess Kumar wasn’t ready, but he’s definitely the No. 2. We have to find out who the No. 3 is, which I’ll need for sectionals.”
• While pitching is turning into a question mark for Mamaroneck, White Plains is set up very well. Medeot is the ace and threw well on Wednesday, Kevin and Sean Nicholson have each given the Tigers quality innings, and Repetti continues to come up big. His final line was: 7 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 87 pitches (59 strikes, 28 balls). “He’s been huge for us,” Adams said. “Me as a catcher, I always have to keep him in check, and as long as he’s getting ahead with that first pitch, it’s a lot easier for me to call the game. That’s what he’s been doing all year for us. He’s real good at getting ahead and letting our defense make plays.”
• Repetti wasn’t at his best early, as he left a few fastballs up that Mamaroneck hit pretty hard. But as the game went on, he really seemed to get stronger, and he now has two big wins over Mamaroneck and New Rochelle in the span of a week. I asked him if he feels like he’s becoming a big-game pitcher. “That’s what I would want to be,” he said. “I feel comfortable pitching in the big games. Of course, you get those little nerves, but after the first pitch, you’re just in your pitching groove.”
• While White Plains’ pitching staff and lineup is littered with talent, Adams (pictured to the right) is really the pulse of this team. Mamaroneck didn’t give him much to hit — walking him once and hitting him another time — but the two pitches that Mamo did leave in the zone, Adams hit hard. The first was the RBI double in the third, and he also missed a homer by a foot or two sixth. On top of that, Repetti heaped praise on Adams for having scouted the entire Mamaroneck lineup. White Plains coach Marcel Galligani told me that he leaves the calling of pitches up to his senior catcher. “I had actually seen them play a few times this year, and definitely on Wednesday I got a good feel for the lineup,” Adams said. “I was talking to (Repetti) before the game and going through each guy. I told him to trust me, and as long as he worked down at the knees, he’d be fine.”
• Here’s Chap on how much WP has impressed him in the past few days: “They’ve got pitching, they’ve got guys who can hit, a good catcher, and they played great defense against us all week – they did a good job.”
• While White Plains is rolling with four wins in a row (the Tigers beat Mahopac on Monday and New Ro last Thursday), Mamaroneck is now 7-6. They don’t look like the powerhouse that they’ve been in recent years, but there is still plenty of talent remaining. With two games coming against New Rochelle next week, Chiapparelli was clear about what he thinks the key to getting back on track is. “We hit the ball pretty hard for awhile, and then I talked to my kids about heart. (White Plains) scored four runs and they acted like it’s over. If they can score four runs in an inning, we can score four runs in an inning,” Chap said. “I just told them, ‘I don’t think the approach has been great.’ We’re going to get back, they’re good kids, and hopefully we can show them that we can still have some heart.”
• I’ll give the final word to Crabbe, who spoke about whether he thinks White Plains has gained respect around the section in the past week. At 3-1 in the league with four league games remaining against Scarsdale and Mount Vernon, the Tigers are in great shape to lock up a league title (unless, of course, New Ro sweeps Mamaroneck next week). “We hope so,” Crabbe said. “We’re not really concerned with what other people think of us; we’re just trying to do our business here and win games one game at a time.”
• To see the play-by-play action and full box score, click here to see how I scored the game on iScore.
Here are the rest of the results that we’ve received so far tonight:
Scarsdale 13, Mount Vernon 0: At Scarsdale, Jacob Aboodi threw a no-hitter with 13 strikeouts. He also had three RBI on a bases-clearing double.
Tottenville 5, Clarkstown North 0: In the first round of the Northeast Elite tournament at Clarkstown North, Kevin Kolesar went 2 for 3 with a double. Clarkstown North will play in a consolation game against Norman Thomas/Clarkstown North Saturday at 1 p.m.
John Jay 5, North Salem 0: At John Jay, Sam Mines struck out six in a two-hitter. Matt Albert and Anthony Patti each had two RBI for the Indians, who scored all five of their runs in the fifth inning.
Ossining 3, New Rochelle 2: At Ossining, Sean Trenholm plated Josh Almodovar for the game-winning run on an infield single in the bottom of the fifth inning. Kevin Haag allowed one earned run in the complete game. Anthony Mirabile allowed two earned runs for the Huguenots.
Saunders 3, Roosevelt 0: At Roosevelt, Anthony Boreck pitched a complete-game, four-hitter, striking out eight and Edwin Saint-Hilaire drove in two runs for the Blue Devils.
Nyack 6, Pearl River 1: At Nyack, Mike Espeso and David Juechter combined on a four-hitter and Tim Cuozzo and Rob Blinn each drove in a run for the Indians. Shane O’Castle drove in the Pirates’ run.
Iona Prep 4, Regis 3: At Iona Prep, Vinny Martin went 3 for 4 and hit a walkoff single. Dan Ormond tied the game in the seventh and went 3 for 4 with an RBI. Matt Henry went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Christian Pimentel got the win in relief.
Eastchester 12, Bronxville 2: At Bronxville, Marc Medico struck out nine and allowed one earned run to earn the win. Medico also helped himself, smacking a two-run homer and an RBI double. Greg Satriale had two doubles and an RBI for the Eagles. Niko Doukas had an RBI for the Broncos.
Fox Lane 2, Guilderland 1, 8: In the first round of the Northeast Elite tournament at North Rockland, Matt Oniffrey had a walkoff hit and got the win with four innings in relief. He also went 3 for 3 at the plate.
Beacon 7, Lakeland 2: At Beacon, Tony Romanelli went the distance giving up 2 runs on 2 hits and striking out 6. He also had a hit and 2 RBI. Andrew Martinez and Chris Conklin had RBI for Lakeland.
Sleepy Hollow 6, Ardsley 2: At Sleepy Hollow, Peter Pena and Nick Aruino were each 2 for 3 with an RBI. Teammate Alec Stoll had two RBI. Eric Scaperotta had a home run and two RBI for the Panthers.
Yonkers 12, Edgemont 4: At Edgemont, Erison Rodriguez went 2 for 3 with two RBI and three runs. Ray Schmahl had three RBI and Jean Mejia had two. Dylan Levine had two RBI for the Panthers.
Mahopac 8, Brewster 5: At Mahopac, Dan Tully and Cal Lawrence were each 2 for 3 with two RBI. Teammate Christian Riefenhauser had two RBI. Sean Fitzgerald had a triple and three RBI for the Bears.
George Washington 7, North Rockland 4
Norman Thomas 4, Clarkstown South 3
Salesian 5, Xavier 4
Haldane 15, Nanuet 7
Photos by Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News