Billy Kind created history for Seaford baseball when he struck out the final batter in last Friday's 1-0 Nassau Class B finals Game 2 win against Wheatley.
The senior pitcher tossed a one-hitter with seven strikeouts to clinch Seaford’s sweep of the best-of-three championship series at Farmingdale State College and garner the program’s its first-ever county title.
“The whole the whole year we have been thinking about this moment and striving and working hard for this and I'm just so happy it all paid off,” said Kind, who recorded the final two strikeouts when Wheatley got the tying run to second base. “It was pure excitement and happiness that all of our hard work paid off.”
The county title advanced Seaford into the Long Island Class B finals against Suffolk County champion Babylon on Thursday at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue at 4:30 p.m.
Playing its first season in Conference B since 2003 after a two-decade stint in Conference A, Seaford dominated its new competition with a 16-1 league record and the only loss being at the hands of Wheatley, 7-4, on May 4. The Vikings then rolled past Carle Place in the semifinals with a sweep where they outscored the Frogs, 27-1.
Seaford (22-1 overall) maintained the dominance in game one of the finals series against Wheatley May 25 with a 6-0 win in which Sean Costello tossed a four-hit shutout with eight strikeouts. The Vikings took command with five runs in the fourth inning featuring a three-run triple by shortstop TJ Harrington along with RBI singles from Kind and catcher Stephen Ierides.
The Vikings picked up the only run they would need in game two of the championship series in the first inning when first baseman Nick Apollo drove in Costello with an RBI single in the first inning. Kind threw a no-hitter for 4 ⅔ innings and did not allow a runner past first base for the first six innings.
“It feels great to win that elusive first county championship in baseball for Seaford,” said Vikings’ coach Mike Milano, who took over the varsity program in 2004 and reached the postseason 18 straight seasons entering this spring. “I’m really happy for this group of players to be the first to do that for the high school.”
The historic season led by the pitching of Kind and Costello has included surrendering just 34 runs in 23 games. Apollo also has stepped up this season when needed as the number three starter.
Kind credits the leadership of Ierides behind the plate and the entire defense behind him with playing a major role in keeping opponents’ run totals down this season. The pitching phenom will soon be competing on the collegiate level at nearby Adelphi University, but is now firmly focused on extending his Viking career as long as possible with a close-knit team that includes 10 seniors.
“We’re a real special team and we all want to be out there every day,” Kind said. “Our ultimate goal is winning championships.”