Garden City Trojans Defeat Jericho Jayhawks 11-3 in Varsity Baseball
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Saturday is Kentucky Derby Day, and like their thoroughbred brethren (so to speak), the Garden
City Baseball Trojans find themselves in, well, a real “horse race” to the finish. Rounding the
season’s final turn, the GC Nine are neck-and-neck with archrival Wantagh as the two teams head
down the home stretch ready for battle in next week’s three game series, the regular season finale.
One misstep along the way – their only defeat in their last ten league games – has made the Trojans’
charge just a bit more difficult. It was the final matchup of the New Hyde Park series, when,
hoping to complete the trifecta – a three game series sweep – the Trojans instead ran into some bad
luck on their way to a 6-4 defeat. The omens were there right out of the gate as the team managed
to salvage only one run in the top of the first after loading the bases with no one out, while in the
bottom half New Hyde Park scored six times, with most of the damage occurring after an umpire’s
questionable safe call at first base. Frustrating as it was, the Trojans did not spit the bit, thanks in
large part to David Butler’s heroic relief effort in holding the Gladiators scoreless the rest of the
way, but this was not their day as bases loaded rally after bases loaded rally just came up short.
The following day, the GC Nine regained their footing in a non-league matchup against a top-flight
North Shore High School team that came into the game sporting a 10 and 1 win-loss record. The
surprising result was practically a walkover, as Nick Sampogne picked up his first varsity win, a 9-
1 GC victory, aided by Dan Sparacino’s opening frame two-run double and contributions by, among
others, Dan Muller and Matteo Lattanzio, who each went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
The Trojans maintained their winning stride in the first two games of the Jericho series, cruising
wire-to-wire by the scores of 11-1 and 11-3 in support of Kyle Ritchie’s fourth and Cory Fallon’s
third victories without a loss. The GC onslaught was spurred on by the hitting of Tom Zwicke, who
picked up three hits in the opener and two more in game two, while Matt Packman chipped in with
4 RBIs in the second game. An odds-on favorite entering game three of the Jericho series (result
too late for this edition), the Trojans can ill-afford any complacency if they are to maintain pace
So, down the stretch they come, Wantagh with a slight advantage at this moment, but Garden
City steadily gaining ground. It will be a race to the wire for the A-I Conference crown, but the
likelihood is that even the second place finisher’s record will be good enough to earn a coveted top
eight seed in the playoffs – which means that these two teams may soon face each other again in the
Barring any weather-related scratches, GC’s three game series against Wantagh takes place on
Monday, May 7th at home at Frank Kiernan Field; Tuesday, May 8th at Wantagh; and Wednesday,
May 9th again at home, all games starting at 4:30 PM. The stakes are high, and the excitement
promises to be fever-pitch. The Trojans are champing at the bit, raring to go, hoping to parlay their
strong regular season-ending run for the roses into a winning playoff drive. Come on out and root
them across the finish line!