Historic season for Long Beach


A pair of losses to MacArthur by a total of three runs pretty much took upstart Long Beach out of contention for the Nassau Conference AA-1 baseball title, but the Marines hit the reset button and are poised to produce their best record in 30 years.

The Marines improved to 8-4-1 in AA-1 with two games remaining as senior Christian Parisa led the way to victory Monday in the opener of their three-game series at Great Neck South. Parisa earned his fourth win on the mound and lowered his ERA to an astounding 0.75 as Long Beach won its 12th overall, 12-0, and maintained its hold on second place.

“We’ve had a tremendous season and we’re looking at the 6, 5 or maybe 4 seed in the playoffs,” Long Beach coach Jason Zizza said. “We’ve been to the playoffs nine times since I’m coaching here and all nine we were a lower seed on the road. Now we’ll be hosting our first playoff game since 1994.”

The Marines, who won nine games in 2023, entered last year’s playoffs on a high note with five victories in their last six conference games. This spring could be the same scenario if they can complete a sweep of Great Neck South.

All of Long Beach’s key returnees have delivered, Zizza said.

Parisa is a pitcher/shortstop with a 4-1 record with 41 strikeouts and a .333 batting average with 14 runs scored and 10 driven in. He was All-Conference last spring.

“He’s had an insane year,” Zizza said. “He’s allowed three runs all year and those were all against MacArthur. He should be in the conversation for the Diamond Award.”  

Parisa’s battery mate, senior Dan Defonte, is hitting to the tune of .386 with 16 RBIs and 13 runs scored. The third-year starter’s arm also deters opposing baserunners to think twice before attempting to steal. “There’s only seven steal attempts against him,” Zizza said

Junior Matty Hayes is No. 2 in the starting pitching rotation and sporting a 1.98 ERA. He plays shortstop when Parisa pitches and is getting it done with the bat as well, hitting .333 with 11 RBIs.

The third spot in the rotation has been shared by senior Donald Commisso and junior Jack Passman.

Senior Troy DFrancesco patrols center field and is raking at the dish with a team-best .523 average. He’s leading off and has 23 hits and 15 runs. He’s flanked by seniors Mike Rossi in left and Alonzo Espinet in right.

Junior Patrick Henry has taken over at the hot corner after primarily serving as designated hitter. He’s hitting .438 and has scored 16 runs to lead the team.

Senior second baseman Hunter Stadtman is hitting .333 and acts as a second leadoff in the No. 9 spot. Stadtman, Parisa, Henry and junior Steven Misrok are all lefty bats.

Zizza said starting 8-0-1, including beating conference rival Mepham twice and tying the Pirates once, set the tone and gave the Marines even more confidence than they already had.

“We’ve believed in ourselves since workouts began in January,” Zizza said. “I don’t think we’ll be sneaking up on anyone in the playoffs. The word is out that we can hit, field and pitch. We’re excited to see how far we can go.”