Scarsdale coach Doc Scholl was so focused on winning last Friday’s game against Mount Vernon that he had no idea that he was witnessing history. Jacob Aboodi was in the midst of a no-hitter, which Scholl had to be reminded of when he considered going to the bullpen.
“We were contemplating taking him out – we actually had a kid warming up – and then we realized he had a no-hitter, so we couldn’t take him out,” Scholl said. “We weren’t even thinking about it until the sixth inning. The guys were like, ‘Doc, he has a you-know-what.’ ”
Scholl left his ace in, and Aboodi delivered with a 13-strikeout performance on his first career no-no. The Raiders have struggled at 4-9, but the junior right-hander has been a bright spot, bouncing after dealing with some command issues early in the season.
Aboodi leads the team with 41 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings and a 2.30 ERA, and is looking forward to the chance to shake up the League II-B title picture with upcoming games against White Plains and New Rochelle.
“He’s been talking about them already,” Scholl said. “He can’t wait to pitch against them. We were joking yesterday, as crazy as it sounds, if we swept all four games, we could win the league. This game is crazy.”
Salesian catching up: For years, the top CHSAA teams in Westchester have been Iona Prep and Stepinac, but Salesian has been closing the gap this season.
“If not this year, we’ll be there for the next few years,” coach Kevin Del Valle said. “Everyone talks about the sophomores that we have here, and they’re hands down the strength of the team.”
Del Valle has four sophomores who are everyday starters for him – shortstop Luis Arias, second baseman Randy Tavares, catcher Andy Camilo and center fielder Sammy Zambrana – plus a lefty pitcher in Nicky Gennarelli. They’ve helped lead to the Eagles, who are currently 9-10, to several upset wins, including a 4-0 win at Stepinac on April 22.
“This team is talented, they know it and they work hard,” Del Valle said. “They’re a very cohesive group. They have a chip on their shoulder.”
East Ramapo pulls major upset: For the first time in over seven years, East Ramapo has won a league game. The Titans defeated Clarkstown South 6-4 on Tuesday at Spring Valley, knocking off one of the hottest teams in Rockland county.
The Vikings had not lost in the league prior to dropping one against East Ramapo, with wins over North Rockland, Suffern and Clarkstown North.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our kids and our program, but my heart goes out to these kids,” East Ramapo coach RJ MacKenzie said. “At a time when these kids should be celebrating the biggest win in many of their careers, they are asking if this win could help save the baseball program for next year. It just puts everything in perspective.”
Carmel finding a way: Out of all of the teams in Class AA, few – if any – were hit as hard by graduation as Carmel was coming into this season. The Rams made a tremendous run to the Class AA semifinals last year, but lost nearly their entire pitching staff and some crucial middle-of-the-order bats.
Carmel lost five pitchers – most notably co-aces Easton Obojkovits and AJ Martucci – and then had their top returning arm, Ryan Mordecai, go down during basketball season with an ACL injury. On top of that, the Rams also graduated their three and four hitters, Bret Viola and Sal Gadero. But at 8-4, Carmel has yet to show any ill effects or signs of slowing down.
“This is the hardest working crew that I’ve ever had,” coach Bob Shilling said. “Talent-wise, they’re not nearly as talented as some teams that we’ve had, but the (preseason) Florida trip was a great chance to evaluate and figure out where kids fit best.”
Seniors Joe Muccio and Michael Bello have provided stability on the mound despite limited varsity innings, but Shilling points to the strength of his team as being up the middle.
“What we do have is a strong middle of our defense,” Shilling said. “Cody Nery is having a wonderful year behind the plate, and we’re very strong in the middle with our shortstop Michael Palmiero and second baseman Nick Roell. In center field is Ryan Dougherty, who is getting recruited and is a centerfielder that can go get ‘em.”
The Rams will have an opportunity to position themselves for a league title with two big games coming next week against rival Mahopac. Once again, they look like a team that should be on the radar come playoff time.
“We’ve gotten the feeling over the last two weeks that we’re going to be tough out come sectionals,” Shilling said. “What I’ve said to the kids is that early in the year we questioned if we could win, and now we’re at the point now where we expect to win.”
LoHud standouts: Putnam Valley centerfielder Ryan Basso is hitting .385 with a .459 OBP, 18 runs scored and 18 stolen bases. On the mound, he has 34 strikeouts and only four walks in 27 innings. Teammate John Meagle leads the team in RBI (15), home runs (3) and saves (5). He has not surrendered a run in seven appearances… Haldane first baseman Stephen Zalys is hitting .552 with a .612 OBP and 16 RBI… Byram Hills second baseman Jack Hatheway is hitting .429 with a .500 OBP, 14 runs scored, a homer, nine RBI and five stolen bases. Teammate Jared Feldman is hitting .382 with a .523 OBP, 12 runs scored, 10 RBI and 13 stolen bases… Brewster’s Matt Ghelarducci is hitting .421 with 11 RBI and two homers… Clarkstown South shortstop John Kukura is hitting .596 and slugging 1.085 with 28 hits, 17 RBI and five homers. Teammate Al Conti is 4-0 with a 1.68 ERA… Blind Brook left fielder Eric Handleman is hitting .500 with 12 RBI. Teammate Scott Wurtzel is also hitting .500 with a .600 OBP, while shortstop Teddy Sabato is hitting .450 with 11 RBI and a home run… Horace Greeley outfielder Justin Ellick is hitting .417 with a .512 OBP… Westlake catcher Anthony Rotunno is hitting .444 with a .500 OBP, 20 RBI, 14 runs scored, six doubles and a home run. He has also not committed an error and thrown out seven of 13 base stealers… Ardsley center fielder Gabe Kardish is hitting .559 with five doubles and four stolen bases… Albertus Magnus’ Christian Conklin is hitting .455 with a .581 OBP and 1.187 OPS with five doubles and eight stolen bases. Teammate Luke Kern leads the team with a .465 batting average and 13 RBI.
NOTE TO COACHES: If you have a player who is having an exceptional year and you would like highlighted in next week’s notebook, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.