Wednesday's results: Nardella comes through in Mahopac's opener

Wednesday's results: Nardella comes through in Mahopac's opener


Wednesday's results: Nardella comes through in Mahopac's opener



CLICK HERE to read my story on Mahopac’s 4-3 win at White Plains in both team’s season-opener on Wednesday

CLICK HERE to view Frank Becerra Jr.’s photo gallery from the game

CLICK HERE to view a box score from the game and how I scored each pitch on iScore


• What started out as a pitchers’ duel turned out to be a pretty exciting game. It was beginning to feel like neither team was going to score when Mahopac senior Louie Nardella (pictured to the right) stepped up with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the fifth. In the previous inning, White Plains starter Daniel Lotito had escaped a jam with back-to-back strikeouts, and he was on the verge of doing it again. But Nardella drove a 2-1 fastball over the left fielder’s head, which cleared the bases and gave the Indians a sudden 3-0 lead. “It’s the greatest feeling ever,” Nardella said. “Bases loaded, first game out here, I had a few rough at-bats before that, so I just wanted to get on base. He threw a high pitch fastball, and I just took advantage of it.”

• Mahopac starter John Reda was very efficient in holding White Plains off the board for five innings. He relied heavily on his fastball, which had some giddy-up on it. He did a good job of pounding it low in the zone and inducing ground balls. He’s got good stuff, so I was surprised when I looked at the stats and saw only one strikeout, but that explains his low pitch count (68). He threw strikes and let guys put it in play. Reda’s final line: 5+ IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 1 K, 68 pitches (40 strikes). “I use my fastball a lot. That’s my main pitch. Just hit my spots, and it does well for me,” he said. “I got a lot of groundballs, and my infielders did a great job and picked me up.”

• Because of the low pitch count, I was scratched my head a bit when Mahopac coach Chris Miller pulled Reda in favor of RHP Cal Lawrence after he gave up a leadoff single to start the sixth. But it’s still pretty cold out there, and it’s early, so kudos to Miller for playing it safe with his ace in the Indians’ opening game. (They also had a 4-0 lead at that point and White Plains wasn’t doing much offensively.) “It’s early in the year and you’ve got Cal to back me up,” Reda said. “He’s an awesome pitcher, so there were no worries there. I knew he was going to get the job done. I respected coach’s call, and you know what, we got a ‘W’. That’s all that matters.”

• The Tigers got to Lawrence, who loaded the bases and gave up a two-run double to Lotito. Another run scored on Mac Innes’ fielder’s choice to cut White Plains’ deficit to 4-3, but Lawrence kept the slim lead by ending the inning with a strikeout. “Like I told them after the game, I was proud of the fact that they got themselves back into the baseball game and were able to put up the three runs to make it a game,” White Plains coach Marcel Galligani said. “Often times, teams that young just kind of pitch a tent and let the game play out. They fought back and gave themselves a chance to win.” 

• As Galligani mentioned, White Plains is very young this season. The Tigers only have two senior starters and three players returning who received significant playing time last year. They made some mistakes, including three errors, but it was a base-running blunder in the seventh inning that may have cost them the game. Andy Iglesias was hit by a pitch to start the seventh, and easily advanced to second on a well-placed sac bunt from Steven Rand. But for some reason, Iglesias tried to get to third and was thrown out. What could have been a one-out situation with a runner in scoring position turned into two outs with no one on. “The mental part of the game, to me, is what hurt us,” Galligani said. “We have no business trying to go first to third in that situation. The tying run is at second base and you stay put. Those are silly things that should never occur on the ball field.”

• With that being said, the Tigers have the potential to have a couple of solid pitchers. Lotito, a left-handed junior, is still building up his velocity after missing last season due to Tommy John surgery. But he has a nice breaking ball that kept the Mahopac hitters off balance. His biggest issue was the walks, which set up Nardella’s big double. Lotito’s final line: 5.1 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 7 H, 5 BB, 5 K, 85 pitches (45 strikes). “He’s still getting to where he needs to be, but he’s got a bright future. He’s got good stuff, he understands the game, and the kid is a gamer,” Galligani said. “He didn’t have a good feel on his other stuff (besides the curve), and that hurt him a little bit. It hurt him because he fell behind in bad situations. When he gave up that double, he should have been out of the inning had he pitched to contact. He ended up walking two guys and putting himself in a situation where the bases were loaded.”

• I gotta tell you, the pitcher who really opened my eyes was White Plains freshman Spencer Lodes. You’d never guess that he’s that young if you look at him. He’s well over 6-foot with a build that scouts will love. And he did his thing in a short stint today. Lodes’ final line: 1.2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 BB, 2 K, 26 pitches (16 strikes). “That kid is going to be good,” Galligani said. “He’s got a very bright future. Another kid that understands the game very well. He’s just a baseball kid. He works his tail off, and he’s a sponge. I enjoy coaching him because he really, really listens and applies the information given to him. He’s got a great body, and he’s got beautiful arm action. The ball comes out of his hand like I’ve never seen anybody before in my 17 years. In a handful of years, he’ll be a prospect.”

• Getting back to Mahopac, most of you will probably remember the Indians’ former ace Kevin Kernan, who was their No. 1 for the past few seasons and one of the most dominant lefties in Section 1. He graduated, but Reda (pictured to the right) and Lawrence were Mahopac’s No. 2 and 3 pitchers last year, so the Indians have the guys to pick up the slack. “Saying I’m Kevin is a lot,” Reda said. “Kevin is a great pitcher at Stony Brook, and he’s doing a great job there. I think I can fill the role of the No. 1, though. You’ve got me and Cal, 1-2.”

• Mahopac is in what I (and may others) consider to be the most competitive league in the section, along with the likes of Arlington, John Jay-East Fishkill, Carmel and defending Class AA champ Ketcham. I asked Nardella how much they’re looking forward to the challenge. “I like the competition,” he said. “I feel strongly this year about our team and I feel like we’re going to make a big impact on the league this year.”


Luke Cappellano went 3 for 3 with a double, a grand slam and five RBI in host Rye Country Day’s 16-2 win over defending FAA champ King. Sophomore Enzo Stefanoni allowed no runs and three hits with five strikeouts over four innings to earn the win. … Christian Lando threw a four-hitter in Brewster’s 3-1 win over Spackenkill at Dutchess Stadium. … Carlos Lima tossed a complete game with nine strikeouts and no earned runs in Riverside’s 14-4 win at Hamilton. … Frank Capparelli did not allow an earned run over four innings and struck out six in Rye Neck’s 9-4 win over visiting Solomon Schechter. Corey Parker went 2 for 3 with two RBI. … Rob Ottaviano had three hits in Albertus Magnus’ 6-3 win over Beacon at Dutchess Stadium. … James Reilly pitched a complete game for Albertus Magnus in a 6-2 win over Monroe-Woodbury in the championship game of the Spring Bash. … Mike DiSanto threw a complete game with three strikeouts and Greg Satriale went 3 for 4 with an RBI in Eastchester’s 6-3 win over Ripley (W.V.). … Ryan Basso got the win and Eddie Lent went 2 for 3 with a double, a triple and four RBI in Putnam Valley’s 9-1 win at Haldane.

Here are all of the scores that we received from Wednesday:

Mahopac 4, White Plains 3

Rye Neck 9, Solomon Schechter 4

Riverside 14, Hamilton 4

Hastings 12, Fairview Kentucky 2

Rye Country Day 16, King 2, 5

Putnam Valley 9, Haldane 1

Eastchester 6, Ripley 3

Spring Bash at Dutchess Stadium Cornwall 7, Pelham 1

Brewster 3, Spackenkill 1

Albertus Magnus 6, Beacon 3

Championship: Albertus Magnus 6, Monre Woodbury 2


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