High School Beat: Almost Perfect
Spina Helps Lions Roar to 11-0 Start Before First Loss of Season
By John Torenli
After flirting with perfection for nearly a month, the Lions of Berkeley Carroll School (BCS) finally suffered their first loss of the season Saturday, dropping the second game of a doubleheader, 3-1, to Long Island Lutheran at Brooklyn’s Aviator Field.
The Lions, who are 11-1 overall and 4-1 in Private School Athletic Association/Athletic Conference of Independent Schools action, also had their much-anticipated state title game rematch with Poly Prep cancelled Monday due to wet fields in Bay Ridge.
With a 10-day break following Wednesday’s matchup with Brooklyn Heights rival Packer Collegiate, coach Walter Paller’s team has not yet received a reschedule date with the reigning champion Blue Devils, who have shaken off a rough start with four consecutive wins, including Saturday’s 5-2 triumph over George Washington.
BCS did improve to 11-0 before its first defeat, knocking off LI Lutheran, 7-1, in Saturday’s opener as junior two-way star Anthony Spina resumed his strong campaign by striking out six over six solid innings. Spina also collected a pair of hits and drove in two runs for the Lions, who got two hits and two runs scored from both Richie Palacios and Robert Graham before their bats fell silent in the second game.
Spina’s fellow staff ace, Ian Miller, struck out four in two scoreless innings to pick up a save in last Thursday’s 7-4 win over Staten Island Academy, adding three runs scored to his impressive line.
Poly Prep coach Matt Roventini lamented the lost opportunity for the Blue Devils and Lions to square off, but isn’t counting out the possibility of meeting them in the playoffs.
“Both teams were probably disappointed,” Roventini told the Eagle yesterday. “Our season’s too short to lose games. I definitely think we can play them again, but a lot of things have to fall into place first.”
Packer will be looking for a bounce-back win over BCS after suffering a 5-1 loss to neighborhood rival St. Ann’s on Friday.
Senior co-captain Willis Cohen navigated the Pelicans lineup with 87 pitches, going the distance without allowing an earned run as the Steamers boosted their record to 4-1, including 4-0 against league opponents.
Graham Dietz had a hit, walked twice and drove in two runs while fellow senior Gideon Davidson stole home in the third inning.
“Willis was huge for us,” noted St. Ann’s coach Peter Zerneck after watching Cohen strike out four while allowing only three hits. “It was an amazing effort. Last year, we lost to Packer for the first time in nine years, so it was good to get the win and get back on track.”
On the local Catholic School scene, Bishop Ford (4-2) blanked Christ the King, 12-0, last Friday as Nelson Lopez drove in two runs and scored three times as the Falcons used a six-run third inning to pull away.
Helbert Estevez tossed four scoreless frames to pick up the win as CTK was mercy-ruled after five innings.
In local girls’ softball action, the Bishop Kearney Tigers improved to 5-1 with a 16-1 rout of Bishop Ford on Monday.
Kristen Ferrigno drove in five runs and team captain Allie Gasparino collected four hits. Kearney catcher Amanda Dileo threw out three Ford runners bidding for a stolen base to back starter and winner Gina Piro.
Kearney catcher Amanda Dileo was part of an offensive explosion at the plate and nailed three potential base stealers during Monday’s 16-1 rout of Bishop Ford.
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