North Shore’s baseball team was bounced out of the playoffs last Saturday after losing its second game in the Nassau Class A quarterfinals to first-seeded Wantagh in a close 4-3 matchup.
The Vikings concluded their season with a 17-6 record.
North Shore took a 3-1 lead in the third inning of the quarterfinals game when Anthony Carleo launched a two-run home run. Wantagh stormed back with a two-run double in the bottom of the fifth inning and a walkoff single in the bottom of the seventh.
“Our goal was to win the league, and we came up a game short,” head coach Scott Lineman said. “But overall, we improved in batting average, slugging percentage, runs-batted-in, and on-base percentage from our last season.”
Those offensive categories were boosted by a year injected with a power surge Lineman has not seen in his career coaching at North Shore. The Vikings finished with a team total of 18 home runs in 2018.
“That is more than we’ve hit in the last five years…combined,” Lineman said. “That’s just a testament to the weight room and cage time that we had put in over the offseason.”
The power surge was led by senior slugger Carleo, who walloped 8 home runs and 35 RBIs on the season. Carleo also hit three of his home runs in the playoffs through North Shore’s 2-2 playoff record. Senior Jake Walton also sent a pair of baseballs over the fence and was second in team RBIs with 20. Carleo and Walton will be playing college baseball at Lackawanna College and John Jay college, respectively.
The seniors weren’t the lone sources of production, though, as junior primary center fielder Matt Lewin led the team in stolen bases and OBP, while junior Michael Tedesco batted a cool .365 with a trio of home runs and 18 RBIs on the year.
Sophomore Will Scarola also batted over .300 and was second on the team in stolen bases.
“Although we will miss the seniors graduating this year, we are going to have a strong senior-led team next year that is pushing for a league title,” Lineman said.
Of those future seniors, and possibly the trio that excites Lineman the most, is the pitching rotation for this Vikings team. Juniors David Aufiero, Michael Clarke, and Dan Livoti comprised a mostly fantastic rotation this year that shut down opposing lineups and allowed North Shore’s to really get rolling.
Their ace, Aufiero, amassed a 5-1 record and collected 56 Ks over 34 IP. He also threw 5 complete games. Clarke matched Aufiero’s 5-1 record, while Livoti nabbed 4 wins on the year.
“Clarke really pounded the zone and Livoti was strong all year, especially pitching a great game on the way to clinching a home playoff game late in the season against Valley Stream North,” Lineman said.
“This is the deepest team I’ve ever had, and I want them to keep their heads up, and look to winning the league next year,” Lineman said.