Rye Country Day Baseball
Not With a Bang, But a Whimper
By Mitch Silver
It was feast or famine all season long for first-year Head Coach Pat Ahearne and his Wildcat nine. Consider these scores: a 7-1 loss to Brunswick April 6; a 12-2 win over Lawrence/Woodmere April 10; an 8-2 win over Greens Farms April 11; a 13-2 win over St. Luke’s April 13; a 7-1 loss to King April 20; a crazy 21-5 loss to Poly Prep April 21, and so on.
So, when Rye Country Day closed out its Fairchester Athletic Association regular-season campaign with a 9-3 record and earned the number three seed in the FAA post-season tournament, it was anybody’s guess whether the Wildcats, or the Pussycats, would take the field.
The Wildcats were purring on all cylinders May 14, when they shut out 2-10 Greens Farms 3-0 behind stellar twirling from Owen Coady. Of course, this was the same GFA team they dismantled a month earlier, so it wasn’t a surprise. Still, Head Coach Ahearne, a former major-league pitcher himself, and Assistant Coach Brendan Barile had every reason to believe the stars would align themselves three days later when they met the No. 2 seeds, Brunswick Academy.
Before the game Coach Ahearne said, “We have Aldo Stefanoni rested and strong. He threw a great game against them the second time we met during the regular season. In fact, he was a pitch or two away from holding them scoreless. I like our chances.”
It looked good for a while. Brunswick struck first with a run in the bottom of the third, as Trystan Sarcone drove in Aidan Redahan from third base with a two-out single. But the Wildcats came right back in the top of the fourth on a couple of singles sandwiched around two wild pitches by Brunswick starter Reed Mascolo.
Then the bottom dropped out of the game for Rye Country Day in the home half. A sacrifice fly made it 2-1, then a pair of two-out errors (the Wildcats would commit five all told) plated another four to make the score 6-1.
Brunswick scored two more in the home fifth on a couple more base hits. In the sixth, the Bruins tacked on four more runs before slugger Aaron Sabato ended the game early with a line-drive, two-run homer. 12-1…ouch!
As it happened, Brunswick would go on to beat Hopkins for the title. As for the Wildcats’ ten seniors, they’ll graduate with memories of better days.
Billy O’Meara is about to put a hurt on the ball.
Cole Price spanks a single against Greens Farms.