By MIKE SMITH
On April 28, two local rivals squared-off as Eastchester and Tuckahoe went head-to-head on the baseball diamond. When the dust had settled, it was the Eagles who came out on top with a 3-2 victory, but the Tigers pushed them to the limit.
Mike DiSanto got the start for Eastchester and pitched effectively, striking out 7 batters in 6 innings of work.
“He did an excellent job mixing in his fastball and his curve,” Tuckahoe coach John D’Arco, Sr. said. “That really helped to keep us off-balance.”
Eastchester first baseman Jack Daly got things started for the Eagles in the first inning, plating a run with a double to right centerfield. Mike Milo, batting in the third spot for the Eagles, drove in Eastchester’s other two runs on the afternoon.
Mario Forgione pitched a complete game for the Tigers and D’Arco was pleased with the performance from his senior hurler.
“A lot of teams, they’ve got two, three or four hitters,” D’Arco said. “But Eastchester has a deep lineup, so we are very happy with the way Mario pitched.”
Justin Sachinelli tied the game with a solo homerun in the fifth inning and nearly gave the Tigers the lead in the seventh. With runners on first and third, he hit a line drive towards right field that may have scored both runners, but the ball was snagged by Daly, who stepped on first to put an end to the threat.
“I was looking for the ball in right field,” D’Arco said. “But Daly made a great catch, which ended it.”
According to D’Arco, matchups with Eastchester always carry a little more weight because of the natural rivalry between the schools–and because both D’Arco and his son John Jr. played for long-tenured Eastchester skipper Dom Cecere.
“It brings back a lot of memories,” the Tuckahoe coach said. “There’s a lot of sentiment and tradition when you’re playing against the man who had a big influence in your life.”
Both the Eagles and the Tigers are off to good starts this year. With the Eagles at 8-3 and the Tigers at 7-3, both squads seem to be poised for big playoff runs come the postseason.
The Eagles will take on Bronxville on May 1 and tangle with Pleasantville the following day. The Tigers are scheduled to face another larger school in Walter Panas on May 3.
“This was about as good as high school baseball gets,” D’Arco said. “Playing Eastchester was a good test, a good barometer for us, now we want to see if we can put together two good games against good schools.”