Brooklyn Boro

Xaverian beats Madison in Catholic vs. public school showdown

May 20, 2015 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Alex Passarella did not miss out on a final chance to impress his coaches before the playoffs as he helped Xaverian beat Madison, the top team from Brooklyn in the Public School Athletic League. Photo by Rob Abruzzese
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In a showdown between Brooklyn’s top Catholic and public school teams, the Catholic school team came out on top as the Xaverian Clippers beat the Madison Knights 3-2 in Bay Ridge on Monday.

“This is a good win for us just to get a nice confidence boost going into the playoffs,” said Xaverian senior Anthony Scotti. “We just have to continue playing our game. We’ve been on a nice run here, and we just want to keep that going.”

It was the final game before the playoffs for Madison and the second to last for Xaverian. The two teams were looking to get in one final competitive game prior to the playoffs, and this one did not disappoint.

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Xaverian opened the game with a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Scotti started off that rally with a single and eventually scored on a groundout by Nick Meola to make it 1-0. Michael Costello followed that with a double and scored on a single by Joseph Gallo. Gallo stole second and finally came around on an error by Madison’s first baseman.

Madison struck back in the top of the fourth inning when Chris Scolavino and Robert Howe got things started with back-to-back singles and an error put them on second and third. Chris Karnbach drove in Scolavino on a sac fly, and Howe scored on an infield single by Joseph Toledo.

Pitching and defense took over the game from there. Madison took the opportunity to work out a few of its arms, including promising junior Anthony Mascolo, while Alex Passarella got a chance to impress Xaverian coaches. As pitchers battle for pecking order headed into the playoffs, Passarella was happy with his performance.

“I felt pretty confident in this game,” Passarella said. “I located well [and] didn’t need to throw my hardest. It’s a good time to work on location and off-speed stuff — some of the stuff I’m having trouble with.”

With the regular season over on Wednesday, Xaverian will turn its eyes to the playoffs where it hopes to be the first Catholic High School Athletic Association team to repeat as city champions in roughly 40 years.

Xaverian’s team is very similar to the one that won it all a year ago, which has its confidence high. However, the pitching staff is less tested than the one a year ago, so the hope is that the improved offense can make up the difference.

“In the playoffs, we’re going to have to hit for our pitchers,” Scotti said. “A lead makes them more comfortable, and it takes some of the pressure off of us defensively as well. We’re definitely ready. This is the year to do it again. We’ve got a talented team and we want to win another championship.

“Back-to-back hasn’t been done in about 40 years, and we would consider it a huge accomplishment.”

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