EASTCHESTER – Greg Satriale was ready to step into the batter’s box on Thursday with the game on the line and his cousin on the mound — a dream scenario that could have been replayed at family functions for decades to come. But rather than pitch to Eastchester’s most-feared hitter, Pleasantville right-hander Chris Satriale opted to intentionally walk his relative and load the bases with two outs.
“It couldn’t have been drawn up any better, but I had a feeling they weren’t going to let me hit,” Greg said with a big grin. “They told me it was discussed at family dinner and it wasn’t going to happen.”
On paper, the move made perfect sense. Greg Satriale put up gaudy numbers as a junior and was a preseason “Elite 9” selection as one of the best returning players in the Lower Hudson Valley.
But what Pleasantville didn’t account for was how good the player on deck was.
Remember the name Christian Aliberti. The cleanup-hitting sophomore laced a two-run single through the hole on the left side of the infield, bringing home John Doherty and Shane Walpole to give Eastchester a 2-1 walk-off win in the 10th inning.
“I just felt like I had to pick my team up,” Aliberti said. “We were getting the bat on the ball all game, but we were just hitting it at their players. I had to find a hole and get the men in.”
The game was scoreless for the first nine innings thanks to two dominating pitching performances.
Greg Satriale got the start for Eastchester, allowing just two hits and one walk over seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts. Pleasantville right-hander Drew Marino went even deeper into the game, tossing 8 2/3 scoreless innings with four hits, two walks and six strikeouts.
It was clear why they’re considered two of the best arms in Section 1.
“He smiled at me right when I got in (the batter’s box),” Satriale said of Marino. “I’ve known Drew for a while, and I did have an idea he was pitching. It was exciting. I knew that we were going to go against a great pitcher, and he showed today that’s he’s one of the best pitchers in the section.”
Player of the game: Greg Satriale, Eastchester — The Binghamton-bound senior had one hit in five plate appearances, but he was brilliant on the mound and made a few sparkling plays at second base after he was done pitching. A full-extension catch ended the top of the 10th inning and kept Pleasantville’s lead at a manageable 1-0.
“In the beginning, I was getting a little too amped up,” he said. “I started to try and throw the ball too hard, and I was throwing too many balls. Towards the middle and end of the game, I started to get smarter with my pitches and spot them better.”
Turning point: After a two-out single from Jon Carlo Angiolillo gave Pleasantville a 1-0 lead, Doherty led off the bottom half of the inning with a walk and Walpole singled, setting the stage for Aliberti’s heroics.
Stat line: Eastchester (2-1) — Satriale pitched seven innings, allowing no runs, two hits and one walk while striking out nine on 99 pitches (60 strikes). Aliberti had two RBI and Walpole and Doherty each scored. Pleasantville (0-1) — Marino pitched 8 2/3 innings, allowing no runs, four hits and two walks while striking out six on 91 pitches (73 strikes). Angiolillo had an RBI and a stolen base, Nick Ciarcia scored a run and Javaun Smith had two hits.
Quotable: “I do have big shoes to fill from last year, but I think I can hold my own,” said Aliberti, who moved from center field to catcher to replace 2015 grad Kevin Krippel. “There’s pressure in everything that you do. It’s all in the head. You just have to calm yourself down.”