Hard-hitting hornets: Midwood cruises to victory over GSC to wrap up division

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This is just the beginning.

The Midwood baseball team celebrated Senior Day in style on May 12, as the Hornets cruised to a 10–3 victory over divisional rival Grand Street Campus. The squad, however, was far from satisfied.

“We’re playing at a very high level right now,” Midwood coach Saverio Nardone said. It’s just all about gaining momentum and going into the playoffs. Obviously, the ultimate goal is to win the city championsh­ip.”

The Wolves took a one-run lead in the top of the third, but Midwood answered quickly , scoring three runs in the bottom of the frame. The Hornets’ bats came alive in the fourth inning, and the squad added seven runs to jump out to a nine-run lead. Grand Street Campus notched two more runs in the top of the sixth, but by that time it was too little, too late. When all was said and done, the Hornets offense showed exactly what it was capable of, and the defending city champs aren’t willing to rest on their regular-season laurels.

“We’re just going to take it one day at a time,” Nardone said. “I have all the confidence in the world in these guys and they have all the confidence in the world to get it done.”

The blowout win was the result of all-around team effort, but seniors Nicholas Cardieri, Matthew Putterman, and Matthew Eng wielded the hottest bats. Each one of them racked up two hits and two runs, and the trio accounted for half of the teams’ runs batted in.

“It was very big. We knew we had it in us the whole year.” Cardieri said. “We went through a little rough patch halfway through the season but we finished strong. We basically had to start from scratch and we all knew we had [each others’] backs. We all did this through hard work so it means so much to us.”

The team’s offensive performance almost overshadowed a strong outing from senior starting pitcher Alan Sorokin. In five innings, Sorokin struck out five, allowed five hits and surrendered just one earned run.

But the game wasn’t a picture-perfect victory for Midwood, as things got testy between the two teams down the stretch.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Grand Street senior pitcher Brandon Serrary hit Cardieri with a pitch, to which Cardieri took exception. That prompted some squawking from both dugouts, but the umpires stepped in and split them up before anything physical could erupt.

Cardieri and Serraty were shortly removed by their managers before the next at-bat to make sure neither team would start a scuffle.

“Things got a little out of hand during the game but we maintained it and we kept fighting,” said Putterman. “Coach tells us every day that’s it’s a new day and a new hero so everyone comes out trying to win us the ball game.”

Despite the late-game dramatics, Midwood was proud to be able to wrap up a division title with the victory. Now, the focus shifts to the postseason, and this time, the Hornets are determined not to be overlooked once the playoffs get underway.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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