On a mercurial Saturday afternoon that vacillated between sun and rain, the baseball team dispatched the Collegiate School in its season opener, 18-6, in the team’s highest offensive output since an 18-14 win over Greenport on April 9, 2018.
Jojo Franco took the mound for the Brook and worked around a pair of one-out walks to throw up a zero in the top of the 1st. A slick pick by Aaron Babaev at first base ended the inning and prevented the Dutchmen from scoring first. The Bears quickly loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom half as Sebastian Perez wore a pitch, Jayden Stroman sent a flair to centerfield, and Babaev dropped a bloop single into left. A passed ball moved the runners up, plating the first run before an E4 on a Franco pop up gave the Brook a 2-0 lead. Seth Laureano followed with a one-out line drive to left-center that made it 3-0. Sam Ribeiro DiCanio then earned a two-out walk and played his role perfectly when he intentionally got himself hung up between first and second base long enough to allow Jadden Rodriguez to score from third. 4-0 Bears.
Franco was dominant in the 2nd inning, needing just 10 pitches to yield a fly ball to right and a pair of ground outs to bring the Bears back up to bat. The Brook manufactured a run without the benefit of a hit in the 2nd when Devon McMorris walked, moved to third on a passed ball and an Alex Baaden sacrifice bunt, and scored on a Stroman sacrifice fly. 5-0.
The Dutchmen lit up their side of the scoreboard in the 3rd without a hit as a pair of walks came around on a stolen base, an error, a passed ball, and a ground out to make it 5-2. Rodriguez came on in relief of Franco and loaded the bases after an error and a walk, but rung up a big strikeout to end the inning. Franco led off the Bears’ half with a full count walk before moving to third on a passed ball and a stolen base. A Laureano infield single brought him in for a 6-2 lead. Ribeiro DiCanio and McMorris followed with walks before coming all the way around on a Babaev double. 8-2. Babaev later scored on a passed ball as the Brook upped their advantage to 9-2.
Collegiate put the pressure back on in the 4th when they loaded the bases on an infield single and a pair of walks. A third straight walk plated a run before Ribeiro DiCanio came on in relief. With the bases still loaded and two outs, a Dutchman served a line drive that looked destined for the right field grass before Jacob Lippe dove to his left and speared it to end the threat and prevent two runs from coming in. The Bears put the game away in the bottom of the inning by bringing in nine runs thanks to eight walks and a pair of timely knocks.
Babaev led off with a walk and moved to third on a passed ball and an E5 grounder. The Bears continued their cagey baserunning when they worked a double steal to perfection as Franco swiped second and Babaev came home on the throw. 10-3. Walks to Rodriguez and Ribeiro DiCanio followed as the Bears loaded the bases with one out. Collegiate registered a strikeout to move within an out of ending the frame, but four straight walks followed to Baaden, Perez, Stroman, and Babaev, each forcing home a run, as the lead swelled to 14-3. Franco followed with a double to right-center that plated two. 16-3. Rodriguez walked to load the bases and Chris Liu smacked an opposite field single (17-3) before Ribeiro DiCanio was hit by a pitch to make the score 18-3. Collegiate tacked on three runs in the 5th before the game was called due to rain.
The Bears take the field again on Thursday as they travel to Poly Prep for a non-league match-up.