They just ran out of gas.
A whirlwind week ended in disappointment for the Midwood baseball team, falling 4–1 to New Dorp in a Public Schools Athletic League matchup April 17.
“We didn’t battle like we should today,” Hornets coach Saverio Nardone said. “You can’t take anybody lightly and I tell these guys and that’s exactly what they did. They took the opponent lightly and they got the best of us today.”
Midwood clinched the Monroe Tournament title April 15, defeating the host team in extra innings, but it wasn’t an easy road to the championship. The Hornets lost to Bronx Science April 11, but an ineligible player put Midwood back in contention and the squad felt the after-effects of the up-and-down week when it returned to league play.
The Hornets struggled at the plate, unable to find a rhythm against New Dorp starter Kevin Ryan. The junior racked up 10 strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.
“We just weren’t swinging at strikes,” senior second baseman Matthew Eng said. “We were looking at pitches right down the middle. Strikeouts don’t lead to wins. We were just not into the game, we weren’t really looking at them right.”
The Hornets’ struggles weren’t limited to the batters box – the squad also racked up a handful of miscues in the field and New Dorp made sure to take advantage.
The Centrals got on the board quickly, notching a first-inning run, and padded the lead with Michael Pennachio’s two-run double in the second.
Midwood starter Nicholas Lopez never hit his stride, forced off the mound after just an inning and a third, and while Daniel Lentini did his best in relief, the junior gave up four walks.
“We didn’t execute. We had a couple of miscues and that’s not our game,” Nardone said. “We’ve got to play the game the right way.”
Eng finally broke the hitless streak in the bottom of the fifth inning, blasting a two-run double to deep left field to give the Hornets’ their only run of the game.
It wasn’t enough, however, and New Dorp snuffed out any possible Midwood rally quickly, adding another run in its next at bat.
The Hornets tallied just two hits – both from Eng – and recorded three errors in addition to giving up five hits.
“We need to execute a lot better on the offensive end, just one run,” Nardone said. “You can’t expect to win with one run. We’ve got to score a couple and that’s what we’ve been doing.”
It was a frustrating game for the Hornets, but Midwood is anxious to get back on track. After all, the loss was just the squad’s third league game of the season and, as far as the reigning city champs are concerned, there’s still plenty of baseball left to play.
“It’s not the end all, be all here,” Nardone said. “There’s a lot of games left to play and we’ve got to take it one game at a time.”