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Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Eagles rally for thrilling win
Score eight runs in final at-bat
Tony Bellissimo/Herald
Sophomore Joe Picillo has three of Valley Stream Central's four wins, including a 1-0 shutout of defending county champion Calhoun.

After allowing one run in the top of the seventh inning to fall behind Conference AA-III baseball rival Port Washington by seven last Friday afternoon at Firemen’s Field, Valley Stream Central’s long string of intense nail-biters appeared to be coming to an end.

But the young and enthusiastic Eagles produced a rally for the ages, scoring eight times in their final at-bat without making an out to pull out a stunning 13-12 walk-off victory on Spring Pep Rally Day. Junior Angel Acevado, who got the win in relief, was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force home junior Kevin Goldman with the winning run. It was Central’s seventh straight game decided by a run or two.

“We’ve lost so many close games, it’s great to be on the winning side,” coach Frank Alesia said after the Eagles improved to 4-10. “We’re such a young team with four sophomores and two freshmen starting, and they’ve been resilient. We’ve been in so many games where a hit here or a pitch there would’ve made the difference between winning and losing.”

Discipline at the plate in the bottom of the seventh, combined with Port’s wildness on the mound, led to a myriad of walks — five — that brought the Eagles within 12-7 and the tying run to the on-deck circle. After senior Brandon Wilder, Acevedo, freshman Will DeLuca, sophomore Joe Picillo, and sophomore Cain Ruiz received free passes to first, sophomore Vito Friscia got the first hit of the rally, a single that scored DeLuca and Picillo to slice the margin to three.

“I gave Vito the green light as soon as he came to the plate,” Alesia said of Friscia, the team’s top hitter. “He’s got four homers already, and if he jacks one there we’re only down one. But a single there was almost as good.”


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