Despite falling in the county finals Friday to Plainedge, the Island Trees baseball team still has plenty to be proud about.
The Bulldogs defense committed five errors and the Plainedge offense was just too much Friday as Island Trees' improbable playoff run ended, falling in game 3 of the class A finals at Farmingdale State College, 9-2.
"We knew coming in that we couldn’t fall behind early, and that’s what we did," said Island Trees coach Joseph D'Auria, whose team trailed 7-1 early on.
Anthony Pensato had a stellar game on the mound for No.16 Plainedge, pitching a complete game, allowing seven hits and two earned runs. Mike Ahrens took the loss for No. 8 Island Trees, pitching only one inning and giving up seven runs, six of which were unearned.
Falling behind early hurt, but the Bulldogs were also outmatched at times by Plainedge, who displayed a combination of good pitching, hitting and defense in the series.
"To their credit...they were the better team, they deserved to win," D'Auria said. "They wore our pitching down, and they were more balanced, they had speed and the kid on the mound threw well for them."
Island Trees finishes the season 18-9-2. The loss marks the end of the Bulldogs impressive playoff run. They first defeating rival Division in an elimination game, then No. 2 seed Wantagh in the quarterfinals and No. 5 Manhasset in the semi's.
Standing next to an emotional group of kids on the sidelines, D'Auria said the group should hang their heads high.
"I could go negative but I want to dwell on the positives with this team," D'Auria said. "Over the past eight or nine years, I’ve had teams better than this, but not go this far. We’ve played some ugly baseball at times, but I want to dwell on the fact that we made it to game 3 of the county finals and one game away from a championship."Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 F Plainedge 6 1 1 0 0 1 0 9 Island Trees 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 2
W: Pensato L: Ahrens
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