Thousands of photos of all NACBL players available

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The Next Step With Mike Perrone

Mike Perrone

08/01/2013, 6:15pm EDT
By Jeff Noreman, Photography by Carlisle Stockton

Since this article was written, Mike Perrone, went on to play Independent Baseball For The Taos Blizzard of the Pecos League.

Mike Perrone, from Seaford, N.Y., is a senior at Vassar College. The 21- year-old has played shortstop on the Brewers since he walked onto the campus in 2009. He’s had as much success on the field as off. He’ll be graduating this May, and he’ll be exploring his options in professional baseball as well as in the science technology and society fields.

BPM: What is your first memory of baseball?
MP: My first memory of baseball was probably when I was three playing tee-ball.

BPM: What was the first team or league you played in?
MP: My first league I played in was Levittown North Little League where I played up in age because I had a late birthday and most of my friends were older than me. I remember winning the World Series as the underdog Marlins versus the Athletics in 4th grade.

BPM: When did you know you were a talented baseball player? How did that become clear to you?
MP: I knew I was pretty good at baseball when I moved to Seaford and all my new friends thought I was the best in the town for our age. Playing Seaford Little League, I dominated on the mound and when I wasn’t pitching I was playing shortstop and leading off.

BPM: What positions did you play over the years? What was the most fun?
MP: I mostly played shortstop and pitcher until sophomore year of high school. When I was a sophomore on varsity at Seaford, Coach Mike Milano started me off at second base for a couple games before I broke my thumb. When I returned I played a couple games in right field, but within a couple of games he moved me to shortstop where I played the remainder of my high school career. At Vassar I’ve only played shortstop. During the summer going into junior year with coach Keith Kenny and going into senior year with coach Lou Bernardi, both with the New York Atlantics in the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League, I played some second base, yet shortstop was still my primary position on those teams. I’ve always enjoyed playing shortstop, however I don’t mind playing second, and I think outfield would be great to play.

BPM: Other than your current coach, who among those that you’ve played for do you think of most fondly?
MP: Coach Keith Kenny was one of my most influential coaches I’ve ever had. At first he came off to me as intense especially with drills and preparation. However, when the games came around I think most of the players, including coach, felt relaxed and ready to perform physically and mentally. Coach Kenny went the extra mile to help his players, by holding individual batting practices in his backyard cage, to recommending specific trainers. He knows a lot about the game and I was fortunate enough to have him as my coach for a summer season.

BPM: How did you decide on Vassar College? What was your major when you stared there? What degree will you have when you graduate?
MP: When deciding on which college I would enroll in, I was looking for a good academic school with a baseball team. I sent my baseball tape out to schools and some invited me to their camps, but one specific school with the academics I was looking for, along with a coaching staff who was very persistent in recruiting me, was Vassar College. When I spoke to Coach Jon Martin on the phone, he told me I would have a major impact my first year without the stress a Division I school might put on me. He knew academics were important to me, and he demonstrated how Vassar is one of the top academic schools in the country. The assistant coach, Andy Kiriakedes, came down to watch a high school game of mine my senior year, however it was rained out, so I just took groundballs for him. Out of the schools I got into, Vassar was my best academic choice. My next three choices would have been Villanova, Binghamton, and Stony Brook, but I would of had to walk on to all three, and that is not a guarantee. When visiting Vassar College, I noticed the campus was beautiful, and the baseball field was the nicest field I had ever seen.

When arriving at Vassar my freshmen year I originally wanted to do an engineering major, but the only engineering program they offered was a dual program with Dartmouth. However, with baseball in the picture, this would have been confusing going back and forth between schools my junior, senior, and 5th year. So I decided by the middle of my sophomore year that I would be an STS major – Science Technology and Society major, with a math minor.

BPM: What has been the most memorable place or situation, on or off a field, that you’ve been able to visit or see during a baseball-related trip?
MP: With a team, the most memorable moment was seeing a Spring Training game in Florida last year. Miguel Cabrera hit a home run in that game. The most memorable baseball-related trip not related to a school team was going to the new Yankee Stadium with a friend, where I got to see Monument Park, and the Yankee Museum before the game started. Also, Felix Hernandez was pitching against the Yanks so it was great to see him pitch. Also, coming up this week we are playing Dartmouth, a Division I school, even though we are a Division III school, and we are supposedly playing in a nice stadium, so that could be very memorable.

BPM: Where did you attend high school? Tell me about your time there, baseball-wise.
MP: I went to Seaford High School, where I played varsity from 10th to 12th grade. Like I said earlier, I played a couple games at second base, a couple games in outfield, and then shortstop for the rest of my time there. I led off for the Vikings, and was a threat to steal on the base paths. My sophomore year we were very close to making the county finals, yet came up a game short. That was the most talented high school team I was a part of. We had senior leadership from Billy Beovich and Rich McCarren, along with our junior ace pitcher Sean Nolin (who is currently in AA ball with Toronto). We made the playoffs my junior year and senior year, but were never as close to the finals as my sophomore year. Sophomore year I received All-League honors after hitting .391. My junior year I received All-County honors after hitting .389 and my senior year I also received All-County with a .421 avg. I played in the Long Island All-Star game and the Nassau County All-star game in 2009, starting at shortstop for both of them.

BPM: What is the best baseball moment in your life?
MP: My best baseball moment so far was my 65th hit of my freshmen season at Vassar. It came against Union, on the last game of the season. It was an infield hit towards third base, and it was the hit that broke the all-time hit record for a single season at Vassar College. I came into the day with 60 hits, and after the double header I ended up having 66 hits. That whole freshmen season was a major accomplishment for me…

“FRESHMAN IN 2010: Set program’s single season record for hits (66)… selected to the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings All-New York Region Third Team… earned ECAC Upstate Division III Rookie of the Year and Liberty League Rookie of the Year honors… led team in nearly every offensive category: batting average (.434), at bats (152), runs (39), hits (66), triples (3), slugging percentage (.493), on base percentage (.485), and stolen bases (36)… recorded at least one hit in all but six games and had multiple hits in 20 games, including three four-hit games and nine three-hit games… struck out just six times in 152 at bats.”

BPM: Did you play summer ball with your school friends and teammates? Or did you make a new group of people there?
MP: My more recent summer ball experiences have been 15-18 years old with the Long Island Whalers, and going into junior and going into senior year of college with the Atlantics. The Atlantics were part of the ACBL when I was able to play with them. I was playing with some Division I and Division II kids, being a Division III kid which was a great experience. I was able to adjust and perform well on the team. Most of the kids were from Long Island and I had either heard of them or just met them at the first practice. My second year, one of my high school buddies, Keith Dolega was also on the team. I played on the inaugural seasons of both the Long Island Whales at 15 years old, and the inaugural season of the Atlantics when I was 19/20. With the Atlantics, in my second summer with them, we won the Kaiser Division, where I laid down a suicide squeeze in the 9th inning in Game 3 of a best of 3 series to put us ahead by one run. That was another moment that sticks with me.

BPM: What did you get to do or see because of summer baseball?
MP: My first season with the Atlantics all of our home games were at St. John’s University which was great.

BPM: Where does baseball fit into your life now?
MP: Baseball now is very relevant. This is my senior year at Vassar College and the season is just under way. Hopefully I will get drafted. That’s always been a goal for me since being a young kid. Then from there as far as I could go. I do have a pretty sick knuckleball if being a position player doesn’t work out.

BPM: What would your best possible future look like if it involved baseball? And if it did not?
MP: Without baseball, I’m not sure exactly where I’d be. Going into this year I was looking at possibly applying to medical schools, but now it’s looking more like I may try for physical therapy schools. I’m confident that coming out of Vassar with a degree will surely help.

Coach Jon Martin on Mike Perrone
We asked Mike Perrone’s coach of the last four years, Vassar’s Jon Martin, to fill us in on some interesting facts on his senior shortstop. Martin told us, “Over the course of his career I’ve seen him do some pretty amazing things on a field. He’s made some unbelievable defensive plays, he broke our single season hits record as a freshman, and put together a First Team All-Liberty League Shortstop season last year. Having him on the field is fun to watch.”

BPM: Please recall how you met Mike Perrone.
JM: Mike was first spotted by our coaching staff during the summer before his senior year of high school. A member of our coaching staff spotted him at a summer camp at Brown University. After a little dialogue with Mike and some information from his high school coach we decided to pursue Mike as one of our top infield recruits. I sent my assistant coach down to Seaford High School to evaluate his ability late in their season and it poured rain. He was only able to see Mike take a few ground balls, but came back to campus and had no problem putting Mike as our top middle infield recruit. He was accepted to Vassar shortly after, and the rest is history.

BPM: Did anything stand out about him at that time?
JM: Mike has always been high strung on the field. His body only knows how to move at 100% speed. His ability to get to his maximum speed in only a second is impressive. I knew he would be a force to reckon with when I saw him steal second base for the first time.

BPM: What’s the most interesting Mike Perrone non-baseball story you can tell us?
JM: Mike is an excellent rap artist. He’s got tremendous flow with his words and lyrics. Maybe if you’re lucky, he’ll let you sample some of his work.

BPM: When did you know what kind of player you had in him?
JM: I knew what kind of player we had in him when he was late to practice the first time due to a lab that went late. Mike was running to the field as fast as he could with his backpack, baseball equipment, and a sandwich in his hand. I mean, he was literally sprinting to get there. That let me know he wanted it. He was serious about the game and wanted to be good.

BPM: Besides his abilities as a ballplayer, what can you tell us about Mike?
JM: Mike is a first class student, athlete, and person. He is a tremendous student in the classroom and works extremely hard at his schoolwork at Vassar. Vassar College is a very prestigious liberal arts college, and Mike has been a model student. He understands that he must be a student first, and an athlete second. Mike loves the game of baseball and respects it. It has been a pleasure to coach him and watch him play over the course of his career. Mike has been a major factor in our success on and off the field. He was unanimously voted as a Team Captain by his teammates and is an extension of my coaching staff here at Vassar.

NACBL Update (07/28/2013) – Cardinals Take Championship

Sunday, July 28 2013

Cardinals 3 – Atlantics 2

Cardinals Alex Vargas

Cardinals Alex Vargas had two hits, two stolen bases, and one RBI to lead his team to the league championship.

The Cardinals are crowned the 2013 North Atlantic Baseball Champions after sweeping the Atlantics in a best of three series. Sunday the Cardinals finished the season by shutting out the Atlantics. Danny Karasiniski pitched six innings, giving up no runs and striking out four. The Cardinals offense was led by Alex Vargas who had two hits, two stolen bases, one RBI, and scored one run. Chris Scura and Andrew Nunez each scored one run. Joe Pugliese and Lance Montano each had an RBI.

Winning Pitcher – Cardinals – Danny Karasiniski
Save – Cardinals – John Dugan
Losing Pitcher – Atlantics – Greg Weissert

Team NY Cardinals, 2013 NACBL Champions

Team NY Cardinals, 2013 NACBL Champions

NACBL Update (07/27/2013) – Cardinals Fly in Game One

Cardinals Alex Weingarten

Cardinals Alex Weingarten was strong throughout the game.

The league’s two best teams met in the first game of the Championship at President’s Field at NYIT and it was everything the game promised. Excellent pitching, defense, and hitting were put on display Saturday afternoon, although the Cardinals edged the Atlantics slightly in the categories and pulled out with the win.

Despite not pitching in a game in over one week, Alex Weingarten was given the ball to start the game for the Cardinals. To begin the second inning, Weingarten hit a batter then surrendered an RBI double to Vinny Maietta. However, Weingarten settled down after the inning en route to seven strong innings and a victory. He allowed only three hits and two earned runs, and struck out seven.

“I felt good,” Weingarten said. “I did my thing.”

Atlantics Andrew Nunez

Atlantics Andrew Nunez went 2-for-3.

Andrew Nunez sparked the Cardinals offense, going 2-for-3 with a walk, and caused havoc on the base-paths. After Chris Scura drew a lead-off walk, Nunez advanced him to third with a base hit which allowed for Scura to score on a wild pitch – the game’s first run. Vargas added two stolen bases and advanced a third time on a passed ball. He scored two runs.

“We like to be aggressive, I’m an aggressive coach,” Cardinals head coach Joe Lisio said. “I got guys who can run and steal, and you try to do everything you can to get an early run in this game.”

Atlantics Alex Vargas drove in two runs.

Atlantics Alex Vargas drove in two runs.

Alex Vargas had an impactful day at the plate as well. With Lucas Vallas on second, he hit a triple which drove in the game’s second run. Vargas went 2-for-2 and a sacrifice fly. He completed his day with two RBIs.

Vargas paired up with Nunez to score a run in the third inning – the eventual game-winning run. Nunez singled then stole second. After a walk to Vallas and a hit-by-pitch by Joe Pugliese, Nunez scored on a fly ball to center by Vargas.

Atlantics Vinny Maietta

Atlantics Vinny Maietta went 2-for-3.

The Cardinals struck again in the bottom of the fifth when Pugliese drove in Nunez on a base hit. Pugliese then scored on a solid line-drive base hit by Lance Montano, which ended the Cardinals scoring for the day.

One of the Atlantics bright spots was the performance of third baseman, Vinny Maietta. At the plate, he went 2-for-3 with an RBI double. With one out in the seventh, the Atlantics put together a small rally as they loaded the bases and brought the tying run to the plate, but Weingarten earned two consecutive outs – the final out a strikeout – to end the game.

Cardinals head coach Joe Lisio

Cardinals head coach Joe Lisio

“We played a very good game today, it was solid,” Lisio said. “We got timely hitting and Alex (Weingarten) pitched a wonderful game.”

The Cardinals and Atlantics will face off again on Sunday morning at 10 AM at NYIT’s President’s Field. If the Atlantics win, they will force a tie-breaker and a doubleheader. If the Cardinals win the first game, they will be league champions.

Photos of both teams from this event are available here…

NACBL Update (07/27/2013) – Atlantics Beach Whalers

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Atlantics 6 – Whalers 2

Atlantics Sean Abbate

Atlantics Sean Abbate worked a complete game for the victory.

The New York Atlantics used a five run fourth inning to advance past the Long Island Whalers in Saturday morning’s NACBL playoff game at President’s Field at NYIT. Stephan Sunday’s two-run home run capped the explosive inning for the Atlantics, who will play against the top-seeded New York Cardinals in the best-of-three championship round. Once the Atlantics took the lead, Sean Abbate never relinquished it.

Abbate needed 107 pitches for his complete game victory. The sophomore from Levittown, New York gave up one earned run on six hit and struck out six batters. “Sean has been our workhorse all summer,” said Atlantics manager, Dan Luisi after the game. Abbate only had a pair of 1-2-3 innings, but Luisi was impressed with his toughness. “Sometimes guys don’t always show up with their best stuff, but he’s always there mentally and physically.”

Atlantics Stephen Sunday

Atlantics Stephen Sunday fueled the win with a two-run shot in the fourth.

Through the first half of the game, it seemed as if Abbate would be locked in a pitcher’s duel with Whalers’ starter, Brian Helft. Each team scored a run in the second inning, and it was deadlocked at one until the bottom of the fourth. With runners on second and third, James Nakashian lined a double into the gap in right-centerfield to give the Atlantics their first lead of the day. Brandan Stahl followed with an RBI single of his own. Two batters later, Sunday’s home run over the tall wall in left field broke the game open.

“I was just trying to get a good ball to hit, and I put a good swing on it,” said Sunday, who was more than happy to have his season continue. When asked by Luisi if he was good enough to play in Saturday afternoon’s championship round game against the Cardinals, Sunday said he was. As the catcher, Sunday also had the best perspective for Abbate’s performance. “If you’ve got a guy that has good stuff and puts the ball where he wants, it’s a real easy day.”

It was mostly easy for Abbate and Sunday, but the Whalers put up a fight. Right after the Atlantics offense came alive, the Whalers threatened to cut into the lead. An error and a walk in the inning brought up JP Koulotouros with two outs. The powerful third baseman lined an RBI double down the line in left to bring in the Whalers’ second run. But Abbate refused to let the inning continue, getting Steven Donohue to swing and miss on a ball in the dirt for the final out. Abbate shut down the Whalers in the final two innings, giving up only a single with two outs in the seventh.

“This is what we’ve been working for all summer,” said Luisi when asked how he felt to be through to the championship round. “Hopefully it continues against a really good Cardinals team.”

NACBL Update (07/26/2013) – Pitching Dominates First All Star Game

Friday, July 26, 2013

North All Stars 4 – Atlantic All Stars 0

North All Star James Scagnelli

North All Star James Scagnelli

In the first ever North Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game, it was pitching that dominated Friday evening at President’s Field on the campus of NYIT in Old Westbury, NY. The North All-Stars, comprised of the best players from the Cardinals, Federals, and Shamrocks, defeated the Atlantic All-Stars (from the Atlantics, Whalers, and Makos), 4-0. Andrew Nunez was 1-for-4 with a two RBI single in the ninth inning. Six pitchers for the North All-Stars combined to shutout the Atlantic squad on five hits.

The game was scoreless until the top of the fourth, when a walk and two singles loaded the bases for the North with nobody out. After Joey Schultheis got a lineout and a popout, it looked like the Atlantic All-Stars would escape the inning unscathed as Tom Midolo hit a groundball to third. However, Marshall Betts was unable to field the ball cleanly, and Johnny Galanoudis came in to score the game’s first run.

Atlantics All Star Ralph Caccavale

Atlantics All Star Ralph Caccavale was one of several outstanding fielders

Defense would play a crucial part in the bottom half of the inning as well. With one on and one out, Brian Billelo hit a groundball right back through the box that looked like it would head into centerfield to set up a rally for the Atlantic. Instead, Bilello was robbed of a hit by Mike Skoller, who made a diving stop with his glove and flipped the ball to second base to force out Vinny Orlando.  The Atlantic All-Stars would load the bases in the inning, but would not score.

“Great defense and great pitching always wins baseball games,” said Joe Lisio, the manager for the North All-Stars shortly before a few of his players celebrated by dousing him with cups of water. “It was difficult to get everyone in the game, but most of our players ended up playing today.”

NACBL Update – (07/21/2013) – Whalers & Makos Split

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Whalers 10 – Makos 2

Whalers' Tyler Hardison

Whalers’ Tyler Hardison pitched six innings, allowing one earned run.

John Tsiolas had a double and a base-loaded triple today, driving in four runs for the Whalers. J.P. Koulotouros drove in two runs, going 2-for-5. Tyler Hardison went five strong innings, allowing just one earned run and three hits.

Winning pitcher – Whalers – Tyler Hardison (2-2)
Losing pitcher – Makos – Brandon Fischer (0-1)

Makos 8 – Whalers 5

Makos Lucas Willenbrock

Makos Lucas Willenbrock earned his first win of the season.

The Makos finished their season on a strong note, winning four of their last five. Lucas Willenbrock got his first win of the season. Daniel Becker had two hits and an RBI, and Dominick Raucci drove in two runs.

Winning pitcher – Makos – Lucas Willenbrock (1-3)
Losing pitcher – Whalers – Jeffery Henriquez (1-1)
Save – Makos – Matt Castaneda (1)

NACBL Update – (07/21/2013) – Cardinals Finish Regular Season Strong

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cardinals 8 – Shamrocks 0

Cardinals Dylan Mouzakes

Cardinals Dylan Mouzakes allowed just four hits in five innings.

Lucas Vallas went 2-for-2 with two runs scored. Chris Scura and Andrew Nunez each had one RBI and one run scored. Joe Pugliese hit the eventual game-winning home run, a two run blast to left-center field. Dylan Mouzakes pitched all five innings and surrendered only four hits.

Winning pitcher – Cardinals – Dylan Mouzakes (3-0)
Losing pitcher – Shamrocks – Michael Auriemmo (2-4)

Cardinals 4 – Shamrocks 2

Cardinals Jack Joyce

Cardinals Jack Joyce drove in a run.

Joe Pugliese continued his big day at the plate, going 2-for-2 with two RBIs. Jack Joyce and Chris Ahearn each added an RBI. Andrew Nunez scored two runs. Down 4-0, the Shamrocks enjoyed a short rally, but eventually fell short. Mike Skoller tripled to lead off the sixth, Michael Rizzitello doubled him home, and then scored on a base hit by John Scuderi. John Dugan earned the four-out save.

Winning pitcher – Cardinals – Francisco Scudiero (2-1)
Losing pitcher – Shamrocks – Paul Mills (0-1)
Save – Cardinals – John Dugan (4)

NACBL Update – (07/20/2013) – Atlantics Pick Up Two From Shamrocks

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Atlantics 8 – Shamrocks 1

Atlantics Vinny Orlando

Atlantics Vinny Orlando had three hits.

Vinny Orlando, Jason Rivera, and Robbie Hopes all had three hits for the Atlantics. Hopes had the biggest day, with four RBIs and one run. Rivera scored three runs and drove in one run. Brandon Stahl had one hit, but drove in two runs. Greg Weissert pitched six innings and struck out eight while allowing only one run to score.

Winning pitcher – Atlantics – Greg Weissert (5-1)
Losing pitcher – Shamrocks – Joseph Ducoing (2-4)

Atlantics 4 – Shamrocks 0

Atlantics Sean Abbate

Atlantics Sean Abbate allowed just two hits in his shutout performance.

Sean Abbate pitched a gem for the Atlantics – allowing only two hits and no runs scored. James Nakashian went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored. Matt Cahill also had one RBI and run scored. Matt Petro of the Shamrocks pitched six innings and surrendered only one earned run while striking out four.

Winning pitcher – Atlantics – Sean Abbate (3-0)
Losing pitcher – Shamrocks – Matt Petro (3-3)

NACBL Update – (07/20/2013) – Makos Chomp Federals Twice

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Makos 9 – Federals 3

Makos Sean McMurray

Makos Sean McMurray allowed two earned runs over six innings

Dominic Raucci was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run in the first game of today’s doubleheader against the Federals. Brandon Fischer was 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Marshall Betts was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, an RBI, and three runs scored. Sean McMurray gave up two earned runs over six innings, and was not helped out by his fielders as the Makos committed six errors. With the loss, the Federals were eliminated from playoff contention.

Winning Pitcher – Makos – Sean McMurray (1-1)
Losing Pitcher – Federals – Stephen Schumacher (2-3)

Makos 8 – Federals 2

Makos Anthony Padrazzo

Makos Anthony Padrazzo pitched six inning, allowing only one run and six hits.

Brandon Fischer led the Makos to a sweep of the Federals with his performance in the afternoon matchup. The designated hitter was 3-for-4 with a triple, walk, RBI, stolen base, and three runs scored. Marshall Betts was 1-for-3 with and two RBI double and a run scored. Anthony Padrazzo picked up his first victory of the season by pitching six innings and giving up only one run on six hits. With last night’s walk-off victory factored in, the Makos have a season-high three game winning streak.

Winning Pitcher – Makos – Anthony Padrazzo (1-1)
Losing Pitcher – Federals – Peter Vath (1-3)