Engraved on the façade of the James Farley Post Office across from Manhattan’s Penn Station is the mail carrier’s creed: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Well, this past Wednesday, it rained and sleeted and got dark at 4 in the afternoon — all at once.
By Mitch Silver
Engraved on the façade of the James Farley Post Office across from Manhattan’s Penn Station is the mail carrier’s creed: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Well, this past Wednesday, it rained and sleeted and got dark at 4 in the afternoon — all at once. Creed or no, you can bet your bottom dollar all those couriers would have stayed home under the covers if they could.
But not the valiant youths of the Rye and Harrison baseball teams: they played right through all seven cold, wet innings. And in the end, though it was too dark to know for sure, I think Rye beat Harrison on a George Kirby one-hitter, 3-0.
Head Coach Mike Bruno’s team is now 11-3 on the season thanks to a Dusty Mion bases-loaded poke to the left-field corner that plated two runs in the bottom of the third inning. It was scoreless when Harrison pitcher Steven Pesce’s two walks, sandwiched around a Chase Pratt infield single, filled the bags for the strapping Garnet first-sacker.
“He’d been throwing me hard stuff mixed in with junk,” Mion said afterwards. “I took a fastball on the outside part of the plate and pulled it to left.”
Those two runs would be two more than Harrison would score all game, thanks to another sterling performance by Elon-bound right-hander George Kirby. Pushing his won-loss record to 4-0, Kirby dropped his already microscopic ERA to 0.48. Even more astonishing, he’s rung up 50 strikeouts in less than 30 innings of work.
Harrison tried to make a game of it in the sixth, when Kirby gave up one of his two walks. An errant pickup throw saw the ball roll under the fence behind first base and the runner advance to second. A strikeout and fielder’s choice had Harrison’s chunky Christos Siapanides leading off third when Kirby uncorked a wild pitch that went to the backstop. As Siapanides rumbled home, Garnet catcher Chase Pratt retrieved the ball and whipped it to Kirby at the plate. His quick tag just beat a sliding Siapanides.
Rye pushed across an insurance run in the home sixth on the heads-up play of second baseman Joe Zulli. Hit by a pitch, Zulli took second on a Pesce wild pitch. While speedy Drake Turcotte was legging out an infield hit to short, Zulli never stopped running and beat the throw home.
The Garnets were fresh from a 5-1 beating of Lincoln 24 hours earlier. The versatile Mion took the win in that one, yielding a pair of hits in five innings of work. It didn’t hurt any that Lincoln’s pitchers gave up seven walks and their fielders booted four balls.
The only recent blemish on the Garnets’ record is a 4-3 nailbiter they dropped to New Rochelle last Saturday. This time it was three Rye errors that contributed to the loss, though Zulli went the distance and gave up a single earned run. There was also a loss to powerhouse John Jay three weeks ago and a split with a tough Eastchester team.
But the story of Rye’s season will be written this coming week, when they face defending Class A champs Byram Hills and all-Hudson Valley pitcher Frankie Vesuvio in back-to-back games. It was Vesuvio who ended the Garnets’ hopes of a title repeat in 2015, and the home side would like nothing better than to return the favor.
Before then, though, Rye hosts Nyack today at 4:30 before traveling to Harrison for a rematch Saturday at 4.
Don’t miss it, even if the mailmen stay home.