By Caroline Painter
Smithtown Christian’s baseball team is a force to be reckoned with. Being back to back state champions is a big responsibility and title to uphold that this year’s team has fully grasped.
In Class D with a record of 10-7 in their league, they have earned a spot in playoffs.
The team’s final game will be Wednesday, May 11 at 3 P.M.
Coach Chris White exclaimed, “I think we will do well in playoffs. I believe we have a good shot at winning and going upstate for the fourth consecutive year…”
The team consists of 15 players. Seniors Zachary DiBlanda (Captain), Carlos Pagan (outfield, third baseman), Sal Ciaravino (first baseman), Glen-Luke Middendorf (third baseman), and Caleb Setran (shortstop) have proven to lead this team and be vital players this season. Setran is new to the team, but he has been a great defensive addition and has fulfilled the position of short stop.
Coach White said he was worried about who would play that position this season, but Setran has “proven he can handle it.”
The team’s captains include Zachary DiBlanda, Glen-Luke Middendorf, and junior Austin Sala. Top players consist of DiBlanda, Sala and Ciaravino. DiBlanda has a good vision and switched to catcher this year but he has been doing well. His size also poses him as an offensive threat.
Sala leads by example and lets his performance and batting do his talking. He is a diverse player as he pitches, plays in the outfield and is 3rd in the batting order. Ciaravino is known to be the teams “flame thrower” as he does exceptionally well on first base.
Hitters to watch include DiBlanda, Sala, Pagan and Setran. Top pitchers, being all right handed, include Sala, Middendorf and Junior Jimmy Seviour. Setran is also important to watch as he is leading in doubles.
Their biggest rival this year is Pierson. The Knights won two out of three games in the series, winning the last one in extra innings on a critical walk-off bunt made by Ciaravino.
Being the smallest school in their class, the Knights face challenges that other schools do not. They are also the only Class D school playing against B and C schools.
“Our record is not the greatest, but it says something for being the only D school on the Island,” Says Coach White.
The team has three regular season games left, and then they are off to compete in their first playoff game on June 4 at Dowling Athletic Fields.