East Meadow sweeps two sets’ | Herald Community Newspapers
It was a positive start to the Conference AA-II baseball season for East Meadow.
The Jets, who have had their ups and downs throughout 2021 and finished 9-7, had far more ups than downs in April and nearly secured a trip to the Nassau Class AA playoffs. They sandwiched sweeps from Herricks and Valley Stream Central around dropping two of three games to conference-leading Plainview to take a 7-2 mark in May.
“We only brought back two starters but I thought we had a chance to be very competitive,” East Meadow coach Vin Mascia said. “We’ve gotten off to a good start and I think we’re pretty sure about the playoffs. But we still have areas to improve and we want to get the best seed possible.
The Jets have a few rarities on the roster — three senior starting pitchers working with a freshman receiver and a successful switch hitter at the top of the roster.
Shawn Haber takes the mound in every series opener and has shared four decisions, including non-leagues. He was a reliever a year ago and throws a fastball with pop and a quality break ball, Mascia said. “He’s not hit hard and when he throws punches and gets ahead of the hitters, he’s tough,” Mascia noted.
Daniel Jasmin is a left-handed power pitcher who handles intermediate games against conference opponents. He earned his fourth victory in as many decisions on April 26 when the Jets hit two runs in the top of the sixth inning without the benefit of a hit at Valley Stream Central to claim a 5-4 victory. Jasmin struck out 13 and has 30K in 21 innings. He is also a talented outfielder. “Daniel has a cannon arm and does a good job of keeping the ball in the area,” Mascia said.
James Reilly pitches Game 3 of each series and took the win on April 28 in a 12-2 win over Valley Stream Central that saw senior Steven Edwards lead in three runs. Heading into May, Reilly tied for the team lead in runs (10) and RBIs (9) while hitting .360. He also has a pair of outfield assists.
Behind the plate, freshman catcher Joe Lanza has made the leap from college to college and has already proven himself to be “an excellent receiver and blocker,” Mascia said.
Junior Shortstop Alex Rodriguez is Junior Shortstop Alex Rodriguez. He can hit both sides of the plate and is aggressive on base, leading the team with 6 steals. Junior Dom Steinmark bolstered the offense, hitting .400 in 16 plate appearances while starting at first base. Senior Joe Piano starts at second, and there is a rotation at third.
Of the seven conference wins last month, Mascia pointed to a 6-4 triumph over Plainview as the highlight. East Meadow suffered losses under the mercy rule in each of the first two games of the series. Steinmark had two runs and junior Devin Lake saved the final to save the W from Jasmin.