MacArthur takes momentum into playoffs


A conference title is always the goal for MacArthur baseball, but the feat was that much more crucial in its new league.
The Generals captured Conference AA-II in commanding fashion with a 14-1 league record to earn a first-round bye in the 12-team Class AA playoffs that commenced last Saturday.
Top-seeded MacArthur kicked off the postseason Monday and is hoping for an extended spring run that can culminate in the program’s first county title since 2015.
“Normally a league title is just a nice honor but this year there is a bye attached to it so it makes it that much more imperative,” said longtime coach Steve Costello.
MacArthur’s dominating regular season, which included a 16-3 overall record, was led largely by an explosive offense that scored 10 or more runs in 12 games. Senior leadoff hitter Dan Reynolds shattered the MacArthur record for league batting average at .608 and hit .636 overall. He recorded 40 hits in 19 games and 23 RBIs. .

“He might have had the best offensive year of my coaching career,” said Costello, who has led the MacArthur program since 1994.
Junior Dylan Tripi has had a big year batting in the second spot in the order behind Reynolds finishing the league play hitting .413 with 26 RBIs and three home runs. Chase Palma also had a solid offensive year batting .392 with 13 RBIs.
The lethal top of the lineup came out in force in MacArthur’s 13-6 win against Long Beach on April 25 when in a tie game Reynolds was intentionally walked to load the bases and Tripi followed with a bases-clearing double for a three-run lead. The win capped a sweep against then unbeaten Long Beach and proved crucial in MacArthur’s conference title push 
Strong pitching also propelled MacArthur to the conference title led by senior ace Tyler  Bonsignore, an Adelphi commit who recorded 49 strikeouts in 25 innings with a 1.36 ERA. Junior Alex Darzano registered a 1.36 ERA and was also a force at the plate with a .471 batting average.
A day after a 7-2 loss to Jericho, MacArthur rebounded by closing the regular season with a 12-1 victory at Jericho on May 8 led by six RBIs from sophomore Nick Albert. Dazrano struck out five to finish the conference season a perfect 5-0.
MacArthur began the Jericho series with a 12-0 blowout win where junior Chris Lonergan tossed a complete game two-hitter with eight strikeouts. 
The playoffs began Monday with a best-of-three series against ninth-seeded seeded Carey, which knocked off Mepham in the first round. The deciding game, if necessary, is slated for Thursday afternoon at MacArthur with the winner advancing to the Class AA semifinals next week. The county finals are scheduled to commence May 25 at Farmingdale State. 
“We put up a ton of runs in the regular season,” Costello said. “You can’t expect to hit like that throughout the playoffs so it’s going to come down to pitching and defense.”