Since I had some extra time on my hands today, I put together previews for every quarterfinal game. These are scheduled to be played on Friday at the times listed next to each game, but the forecast doesn’t get much better. I will update tomorrow as soon as I hear of anything, but a few coaches have told me that they’ve been instructed to prepare to play on Sunday or Monday, if necessary. It’s never easy
No. 9 Mamaroneck (13-8) at No. 1 North Rockland (16-5), 3:30 p.m.
Players to watch: North Rockland – Joe Anselmi (RHP/1B); Danny Demetrops (LHP); Kevin Hylas (RHP/CF); Tanner Morales©; Jariel Burgos (SS). Mamaroneck – Mat Marino (SS); Ryan Orgielewicz©; Will Hofmann (RHP); Connor Bingham (1B); Richie Barrella (3B).
Scouting report: These teams come into the quarterfinals with very different pitching situations. The Red Raiders used Hylas in the first round against Greeley, but still have two solid starters in Anselmi and Demetrops available to go in this game. The Tigers, on the other hand, used each of their top three pitchers against Mahopac – Hofmann, RHP Tommy Muratore and LHP Kumar Nambiar. Hofmann started the game and threw 107 pitches, so he won’t be available, but Nambiar (12 pitches) and Muratore (18) should be with the extra day of rest. Both teams have a few bats to be reckoned with in the middle of their orders, but it’s hard not to give North Rockland the edge on the mound. Plus, the Red Raiders have found ways to pull out close games all season.
Vin’s pick: North Rockland 7, Mamaroneck 5
No. 7 Ketcham (15-6) at No. 2 White Plains (17-4), 4:30 p.m.
Players to watch: White Plains – Kyle Adams©; Chris Medeot (RHP/OF); Lukas Repetti (RHP); Cameron Crabbe (RF); Juan Payero (1B). Ketcham – Mark Joao (SS); Jordan Bishop (2B); Tim Zehnbauer (RHP); Tyler Cinelli (1B/RHP); Jesse Hayes (OF/RHP).
Scouting report: Both the Tigers and the Indians got a measure of revenge in the first round against a team that had beaten them during the regular season, and now they’ll have to refocus. Some thought this might be a rebuilding year for Ketcham, but it has been far from it. The Indians have come on strong late in the season, and look like as much of a threat to win a title as any of the remaining teams. WP has had a resurgent season and became one of the most consistent teams in the section, at one point winning nine straight. The Tigers have a good mix of pitching, offense and defense, which makes it difficult to find a glaring weakness. With Medeot starting in round one, Repetti should get the ball for WP in this one. Zehnbauer pitched for RCK in the first round, which leaves Hayes as a good candidate to get the next start.
Vin’s pick: White Plains 5, Ketcham 4
No. 6 Clarkstown North (13-7-1) at No. 3 Fox Lane (16-5), 4 p.m.
Players to watch: Fox Lane – Richard Slenker (SS); Matt Oniffrey (1B/LHP); Drew Fopeano©; Jackson Kushner (OF); Anthony Shkrelja (3B). Clarkstown North – Jake Salesky©; Josh Forman (RF); Robert Donnelly (RHP/2B); Kevin Kolesar (SS); Ed Ruckel (1B).
Scouting report: The Rams took a calculated risk in the first round by holding ace Robert Donnelly, and it paid off. They were able to squeak by New Rochelle in extra innings, and now they have their best pitcher ready to go against arguably the best lineup in Section 1. The Foxes mash, with eight of their nine regulars hitting over .350. They’ve also found some pitching depth recently. RHP Alec Brown gave them a solid effort in their first round game, and RHP Andrew Workman is expected to get the start against North. He’s been good this season (2.86 ERA), and will need to keep it close in his first playoff start. If Workman can prevent the Rams from breaking it open, I like Fox Lane’s chances.
Vin’s pick: Fox Lane 7, Clarkstown North 4
No. 5 John Jay-EF (15-6) at No. 4 Arlington (16-5), 4 p.m.
Players to watch: Arlington – Tyler Bruno (SS); Drew Lugbauer©; Danny Lowndes (OF); Kyle Dinges (1B); Kevin McKenna (RHP). John Jay-EF – Tyler Kardas (LHP); Mike Laffin (SS); Ryan Kaplan (OF); Matt Lisella (RHP); Jordan Urban (OF).
Scouting report: Granted, I’m not as familiar with these two teams as I am with many of the others that reside within our coverage area, but I do know that they have a lot of recent history. That history has favored the Admirals, who beat the Patriots in last year’s section final and won two of their three meetings this season.
Vin’s pick: Arlington 6, John Jay-EF 5
No. 8 Somers (13-8) at No. 1 Tappan Zee (14-7) , 4:30 p.m.
Players to watch: Tappan Zee – Tom Morales (LF); Matt Scherf (DH); Mike Mante (3B); Eric Casey (RHP/1B); Mike Woulfe (RHP). Somers – Joe Scambia©; JT Genovese (RHP); Spencer Ballot (RHP); Adam Jacobs (DH); Joe Festo (SS).
Scouting report: On paper, this is a top seed against the No. 8 seed, but it’s well-known that these are two of the best teams in Class A. They battled in the 2011 section final, with TZ prevailing and now looking for its second title in three years. It will be strength against strength, with the Tuskers’ potent offense going up against the Dutchmen’s talented pitching staff. Casey last started on Friday, and looks to be in line to get the start for TZ. Somers started Genovese in the first round, but coach Joe Wootten ended up bringing in Ballot in relief, so it will be interesting to see who gets the ball. The day off on Thursday might tempt Wootten to send one of their top two arms back out there.
Vin’s pick: Somers 5, Tappan Zee
No. 7 Byram Hills (13-8) at No. 2 Sleepy Hollow (16-5), 4 p.m.
Players to watch: Sleepy Hollow – Peter Pena©; Edwin Lopez (RHP/OF); Dionel Infante (2B); Nick Arduino (SS); Alec Stoll (1B/LHP). Byram Hills – Jack Hatheway (2B); Jared Feldman (OF/SS); Armend Pushka (1B/RHP); Kellen Hatheway (3B); Anthony Russo (RHP).
Scouting report: Both of these teams won in walkoff fashion in the first round, so each is probably still riding a high from those wins. Each of these teams has a knack for pulling out close games, so I expect this to be a scrappy one. The probable starters are Pushka for the Bobcats and sophomore Mike Fortugno for the Horseman, who has come on out of nowhere this season to play an important role. He’s handled big games well, but it will be interesting to see how Fortugno reacts in a playoff setting if he gets the start. Byram coach Scott Saunders loves to push the pace and be aggressive, so he’ll put plenty of pressure on the young starter. This game is really a toss-up, but the Bobcats made a run to the section final last season, and I like that they have that experience on their side.
Vin’s pick: Byram Hills 7, Sleepy Hollow 6
No. 6 John Jay (13-8) at No. 3 Eastchester (15-6), 4:15 p.m.
Players to watch: Eastchester – Kyle Crimmins (RHP); Marc Medico (LHP); Nick Campana (3B); Mike Milo (SS); Joe Boscia©. John Jay – Tyler Keech (1B); Jack Weiller (SS); Anthony Patti (OF); Sam Mines (RHP); Alec Brown (RHP).
Scouting report: The Eagles stretched their pitching thin in the first round, starting Crimmins and then bringing on Medico in relief. Those two have formed an excellent one-two punch all season, but you have to wonder if either will be available for this game. Mines pitched a gem for the Indians in the first round, and now Brown will likely get the start in this game. John Jay has the pitching to get it done, but the offense has been inconsistent. Eastchester has a feisty lineup that can put up runs in a hurry, as it showed in the comeback win against Panas in round one. Medico only pitched two-plus innings on Wednesday, and with Thursday off, I have a feeling he may get the ball on Friday. If so, I think the Eagles can score enough runs to get it done.
Vin’s pick: Eastchester 3, John Jay 2
No. 5 Pelham (14-6) at No. 4 Beacon (14-7), 4:15 p.m.
Players to watch: Beacon – Tony Romanelli (LHP/1B); Patrick Schetter (SS/RHP); Nick DiNapoli (2B); Sami Dika (CF); Andrew Grella (RF). Pelham – Gjon Ljucovic (RHP); David Wright (RHP); Spike Manning (SS); Greg Sigelbaum (2B/RHP); Rob Nanna (1B).
Scouting report: We have another great game here that is really tough to pick. Just like TZ-Somers, this game will feature strength vs. strength. The Bulldogs may have the best offensive ballclub in Class A, while the Pelicans may have the best one-two pitching punch. Ljucovic will start, but after throwing just three efficient innings in the first round, Wright should also be available out of the pen in an emergency situation. Romanelli is Beacon’s ace and started in the first round, so who will start in the quarters is a bit of a mystery. The Bulldogs have had a few guys step up at various times to pitch well, and they’ve proven that they can score runs on pretty much anyone. If they can get a decent pitching performance, I like their chances. This may be the most battle-tested team in Class A after playing a brutal schedule.
Vin’s pick: Beacon 5, Pelham 4
No. 9 Irvington (10-11) at No. 1 Rye Neck (19-2), 4:30 p.m.
Key players: Rye Neck – Chris Cascione (SS); Thomas Pipolo©; Ryan Aquino (RHP/OF); Matt Franks (1B/RHP); Jakob Calvini (CF). Irvington – Shoran Tamura (SS); Gus Passov (RHP/1B); Kormick Quinn (3B); David Erosa©; Manny Figueroa (RHP).
Scouting report: The Bulldogs pulled off a bit of an upset in the first round by knocking off a Keio team that had reached the Class B final last season, but the Panthers may be a different animal. Rye Neck has been the most dominant team in Class B all season, and looks poised to make a run. Aquino has been the ace and started game one, but coach Tyler Slater still has options with Franks and RHP Matt Garcia. Passov started for Irvington against Keio, so I’d look for Figueroa to get the ball in the quarters. The Panthers got a look at Figueroa in a convincing win against the Bulldogs a few weeks ago (I was there), and I’d look for a similar result.
Vin’s pick: Rye Neck 7, Irvington 3
No. 10 Albertus Magnus (11-10) at No. 2 North Salem (17-3-1), 3 p.m.
Key players: North Salem – James Wynne (RHP/CF); Tommy Bond (RHP); Phil Capra©; Tom Cole (SS); Nick Dolce (2B). Albertus Magnus – Matt Dale (OF/LHP); Rob Ottaviano (SS/RHP), Andrew Schweitzer (LHP/1B); Luke Kern©; Owen Lorenz (1B/LHP).
Scouting report: I’ve written about how North Salem is on the easier side of the bracket in Class B, but the Tigers will be in trouble if they take this one lightly. The Falcons have won five of their last six, and play one of the toughest schedules of any Class B team. Schweitzer has been the ace and started in the first round, but Lorenz has also had a great season on the mound and could get the ball in the quarters. It will be interesting to see who North Salem starts. Wynne threw a one-hitter in the first round, so it will likely either be Bond – who was the projected ace preseason but missed most of the season due to injury – or RHP Luke MacKenzie. I think this one will be closer than most think, but this North Salem is dangerous one-through-nine and I think it will find a way.
Vin’s pick: North Salem 6, Albertus Magnus 4
No. 6 Ardsley (12-9) vs. No. 3 Lourdes (13-5) at Stitzel Field, 4:15 p.m.
Key players: Lourdes – N/A. Ardsley – Gabe Kardish (CF): George DiFiore (2B); Dylan Resk (3B); Matt Shear (RHP); Carlos Monserrate (SS).
Scouting report: I can’t find much information on Lourdes anywhere, but I’ve looked at their schedule many times, and it’s difficult to find many teams on it that are .500 or better. The Panthers, on the other hand, have played one of the tougher schedules in Class B, and come in as a team that has some quality wins under its belt. Call it a hunch, but I think Ardsley has been one of the top teams in the class all season, and will prove it in the quarters.
Vin’s pick: Ardsley 7, Lourdes 5
No. 5 Briarcliff (13-8) at No. 4 Pleasantville (15-6), 4:30 p.m.
Key players: Pleasantville – Nick Greto (RF); Steve Sicignano (SS); Anthony Godino (CF); James Leyden (1B); Drew Marino (RHP/C). Briarcliff – Spencer Kulman (RHP/3B); Lou Carrafiello (SS); Ryan Huegel (CF); Rob Contento©; Jake Hertz (LF/RHP).
Scouting report: This is probably the toughest quarterfinal to pick in Class B. The Bears have the pedigree having won back-to-back section titles, but the Panthers seem to be the hotter team. They beat Briarcliff in their most recent meeting, and have been playing very well of late. This is pretty much what it boils down to for me: Kulman may be the best player in Class B, and if he were pitching for the Bears, they would be my pick. But with the senior having just pitched in the first round, I think that Pleasantville has more depth and is better positioned to win this game.
Vin’s pick: Pleasantville 6, Briarcliff 4