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Jared Donnelly

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Mustangs remain perfect in League VII with 15-6 victory

Mount Sinai's Jared Donnelly crushes the ball. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

Jared Donnelly just keeps swinging away.

Mount Sinai starting pitcher George Rainer threw seven strikeouts in his win over Miller Place April 16. Photo by Bill Landon

The Mount Sinai senior designated hitter went 2-for-2 with a double, three RBIs and three runs scored to lead the Mustangs to a 15-6 win over neighboring Miller Place April 16. Senior first baseman Ryan Picarello was 2-for-3 with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored to keep Mount Sinai perfect (6-0) atop the League VII leaderboard. Senior starting pitcher George Rainer walked three and allowed three earned runs while striking out seven over six innings.

“Our lineup has gotten much better — our one through nine can hit the ball really well,” Picarello said. “We looked the other way, we hit a few holes and we had some good swings.”

Miller Place’s Nolan White and Rob Morales had hits that led to scores in the first for an early lead, but starting pitcher Tom Nealis struggled against a fierce lineup.

Picarello, Donnelly, sophomore catcher Nick Cergol, senior outfielder Ethan Angress and sophomore infielder R.J. Kehoe’s recorded hits to get on base in the second to help Mount Sinai to a 7-3 lead.

The Panthers rallied once again in the top of the third, with Morales driving in Kevin Bowrosen, but Mount Sinai sophomore outfielder Paul Gomes extinguished any chance of a comeback when he rushed to shallow center field to make a diving catch on a rapidly dropping ball.

“I got a bad jump on it — my first step was back — so I had to make it up with that dive,” Gomes said. “It stayed in my glove and I made the throw. I got lucky.”

Miller Place’s  Rob Morales reaches for the ball to hold Mount Sinai’s Ethan Angress at first. Photo by Bill Landon

It was all the Panthers offense could muster, as the Mustangs got back to work with Kehoe, Gomes, Donnelly and sophomore second baseman T.J. Werner crossing the plate in the bottom of the third for a 6-run lead, 11-5. Rainer said he felt confident on the mound with his comfortable lead.

“Once we got ahead I just wanted to stay ahead in the count,” he said. “We just kept tacking on runs and that helped me a lot out there. Because it was so windy, I had to make sure I commanded my fastball.”

Head coach Eric Reichenbach said although his Mustangs (7-1 overall) have five shutouts so far this year and boast multiple sluggers, he thinks his team will need to work on playing a more complete game to be able to make a deep run. Donnelly is now boasting a .462 batting average and .576 on base percentage. He’s has 12 hits, 13 RBIs and 13 runs over Mount Sinai’s eight games. Picarello has 11 hits over eight games, driving in eight runs and scoring 12. He has a .478 average and .586 on base percentage.

“We got a good lead, especially through the first few innings, but then we took our foot off the gas,” Reichenbach said. “I like what I see out of my offense — I’ve got a lot of big bats in the lineup, they’re squaring up a lot of baseballs — and we’ve got some team defense.”

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By Bill Landon

All you could hear Tuesday in Mount Sinai was the sounds of bats cracking.

The baseball team continued to rally inning after inning en route to a 13-0 win over Amityville March 27. The Mustangs blanked Amityville 14-0 the day prior.

Leading the way for Mount Sinai was designated hitter Jared Donnelly, going 3-for-3 with a double, two runs and four RBIs. Even though his team possesses a potent combination of strength from every angle of the field, he thinks there’s more work to be done at the plate.

“We’re going to have to be more consistent at the plate — we swung at some bad pitches,” he said. “Everyone’s a little out in front. We need to stay focused, under control and try to drive the ball the other way, but our bats have come alive.”

First to get Mount Sinai on the board was right fielder Ethan Angress, who went 1-for-2 with three RBIs. He led the Mustangs in their first game with four runs scored and five RBIs after going 3-for-4.

He set the tone March 27 when he drilled his first ball to right center to drive in a pair of runs in the top of the first. Donnelly was hit by a pitch that plated catcher Nick Cergol in the second, and after an Amityville conference on the mound Angress sent one outfield that drove home center fielder Paul Gomes for a 4-0 lead.

“I’ve been liking the defense and our pitching,” Angress said, but noted there will be more challenging opponents ahead. “Shoreham-Wading River and Bayport-Blue Point will be a challenge, but our next test is going to be Miller Place in three weeks, and we’ll need to be ready.”

Amityville was fortunate that more damage wasn’t done as the Mustangs stranded three at the end of the second. The Warriors once again struggled to get the ball in play top of the third as pitcher Ryan Shanian retired the side in order.

Mount Sinai coach Eric Reichenbach said it meant nothing to outscore his opponent 27-0 in the first two games of the early season.

“We’ve got to learn to get ahead in the count, pound the zone offensively — we’ve got to have better pitch selection [because] we’re not facing the better part of our schedule right now,” the head coach said. “If we have an offensive display like we did yesterday and today, we’re going to struggle down the road, so we need to stand back on the baseball and hit the ball the other way.”

Mount Sinai hosted East Hampton March 28, but results were not available by press time. The Mustangs play host to Amityville one last time April 6 at 10 a.m. before returning to face East Hampton on the road April 9 at 4:30 p.m.

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By Bill Landon

Mount Sinai’s Jason Shlonsky threw two touchdown passes and rushed for another on the way to the Mustangs’ 34-14 homecoming win over Greenport/Southold/Mattituck Oct. 15.

The win was never in question, as Mount Sinai jumped out to an early 21-0 lead with three unanswered touchdowns by the beginning of the second quarter.

From under center, senior quarterback Shlonsky rolled to his right and threw a strike to senior wide receiver Andrew Fiore, who caught the ball in stride and advanced to the Porter’s 10-yard line. On the next play, Shlonsky ran the ball into the end zone on a 3-yard keeper play for six points. Mount Sinai junior kicker Colin McCarthy made it 7-0 seven minutes in on his point-after attempt.

“They’re actually a very good team — they came out to a really good start,” Shlonsky said of Greenport. “But we had a lot of success throwing the ball. My line gave me time to throw the ball in space, and my receivers ran great routs and [Greenport] didn’t pick up on it. So it went the way we expected.”

The pair struck again when Shlonsky dropped back and connected with Fiore for a 41-yard strike two minutes later. With McCarthy’s kick, the Mustangs edged ahead 14-0.

“My line gave me time to throw the ball in space, and my receivers ran great routs and [Greenport] didn’t pick up on it.”

— Jason Shlonsky

Mount Sinai junior running back Joseph Pirreca took a handoff up the middle next, and although had trouble finding an opening, made something out of nothing when he bounced outside and turned on the jets as he rushed the ball 38 yards for a touchdown. McCarthy, who was perfect on the afternoon, made it a 21-point game.

With the cushion, Mount Sinai head coach Vinnie Ammirato pulled his starters and went deep into his bench to get the younger athletes some playing time.

“We have a lot of young kids — a lot of kids who didn’t get a chance to play last year — so I think for us nothing ever comes easy,” Ammirato said. “But as long as we keep working hard — keep getting better every week — [we’ll be OK]. We do start a freshman four sophomores, and we only start three seniors, so every week is a work in progress.”

Mount Sinai senior Jake Knab who is ordinarily a wide receiver and a defensive back, took over as the quarterback until the halftime break.

Just as effective running the ball as throwing it, Shlonsky returned to open the second half with a 50-yard kickoff return for a first-and-10 on the Porter’s 24-yard line. The Porter’s defense stood its ground through, and took over on downs.

Greenport began a march downfield on its next possession, and finally put six points on the scoreboard with 4:49 remaining in the third stanza, on a 52-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline. The Porters chose to go for a 2-point conversion, but the Mustangs’ defensive line had other ideas, and made the block.

On the ensuing kickoff, Mount Sinai senior running back Mike Carneiro raced away with a 50-yard return, and the Mustangs went back to work on the Porters’ 38-yard line.

The two-touchdown difference prompted Ammirato to reinstate his starters. With Shlonsky back under center, the quarterback threw the ball to junior tight end Jared Donnelly, who crossed over the middle and turned it up field — dashing 13 yards into the end zone. McCarthy followed by splitting the uprights for a 28-6 advantage.

“I knew we could come back and get the job done. We’ve got the right mindset and our team is strong enough to come out, fire back at them and score again.”

— Jared Donnelly

“I wasn’t too worried [after their second score],” Donnelly said of Greenport. “I knew we could come back and get the job done. We’ve got the right mindset and our team is strong enough to come out, fire back at them and score again.”

On the ensuing kickoff, it went from bad to worse for the Porters when the kickoff return man hit a brick wall named Christian Sartori. The senior defensive lineman ripped the ball loose, and his younger brother Andrew Sartori, a sophomore linebacker, recovered it to put the Mustangs in commanding field position.

Again, Ammirato recalled his starters and Knab went back to work for the final quarter.

Mount Sinai sophomore running back Richard Harris carried the ball 18 yards and across the goal line for the final Mustangs score of the afternoon. Mount Sinai took a knee following the touchdown, foregoing the extra point in the spirit of sportsmanship.

Greenport managed one final touchdown as the clock unwound.

Carneiro led the way for the Mustangs with eight carries for 121 yards, followed by Harris with 66 yards on 11 carries and Pirreca grounded out 60 yards in five attempts. Shlonsky finished the day with 121 yards through the air.

With the win, Mount Sinai improved to 3-3 in Division IV with three games remaining before the postseason begins.

“We had a very good week of practice — we knew what we were [getting] into coming into this game, we were very prepared; we played hard,” Fiore said. “We made a couple of mistakes that we’ll have to fix to be ready for next week, which is a very important game.”

Mount Sinai hits the road Oct. 21 to play neighboring Miller Place (4-2 in league play), where Ammirato will have to find a way to contain his son, and Panthers powerhouse running back Tyler Ammirato. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.