- With Nick Tropeano
on the mound, the Riverhead Tomcats knew they had a better-than-average chance to win. With Peter Greskoff at the plate and the pitch on the way, they knew the speeding sphere might have reservations for somewhere beyond the outfield fence. The Tomcat duo dominated the competition in Hamptons Collegiate Baseball, and for their ability and gaudy statistics, they were recognized in the highest regard by the Atlantic
Collegiate Baseball League earlier this week. Greskoff earned a share
Brown product Peter Greskoff smashed 10 home runs and drove in 37 runs to lead the Tomcats and the division in each category.
of the Santy Gallone Most Valuable Player Award with Jersey's Ken Gregory, while Tropeano was named the league's Most Valuable Pitcher.
The numbers that Greskoff put up were astounding. The Brown University junior won Hamptons Collegiate Baseball's Triple Crown, leading the division in batting average (.397) home runs (10) and runs batted in (37). His bat led Riverhead to the No. 4 seed in the Kaiser Division playoffs before they were finally ousted by rival North Fork in the semifinals. Gregory, who transferred this off-season from Tampa to Kean, led the league by batting .405 and lifted the Pilots to the Wolff Division crown a year after finishing last in the division. He was also first in runs scored as well as second to Greskoff in hits, RBI and total bases.
The MVP award is named for Gallone, the former Philadelphia Phillies farmhand and Fordham University star who was killed in the New York City
crane collapse in March 2008. Under the guidance of head coach
Dan Gallagher, now Hamptons Collegiate Baseball's director of operations, Gallone and the Rams rolled to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship in 1990 and the Patriot League title in 1991 and '92. In '90, Fordham reached the NCAA Tournament and knocked off Arkansas in the Midwest Regional. Gallone ended his career with the school record in hits (222) and total bases (354) and was inducted into the Fordham Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.
On the mound, Tropeano dazzled hitters all season long, compiling a 1.61 earned run average and a win-loss record of 7-3. Perhaps most impressive was the fashion in which he set down the opposing hitters. Tropeano, a West Islip native, struck out 77 hitters in 50 innings pitched, or roughly 13.86 batters per nine innings. His strikeout sum was stunningly ahead of the second place finisher, Kutztown's Casey Lawrence, who had 52 Ks. Tropeano didn't stop in the regular season either. In the Tomcats' division semifinal loss at North Fork, the Stony Brook sophomore gave up two runs (one earned) over seven innings and left with the lead before the Ospreys tied the game in the eighth and won it in the 10th against reliever Matt Fitton.
Southampton's Nick Melchiorre not only earned the Jeff Gallagher Sportsmanship Award for the Breakers but he also led them in ERA (0.97).
Both Tropeano and Greskoff were named to the Kaiser Division All-Star Team, which dismantled the Wolff Division 11-0 at St. John's University in mid-July. Tropeano, the squad's starter, tossed two innings of shutout ball before giving way to a parade of seven relievers. Greskoff went 1 for 4 with a pair of RBI.
Five HCB players were given the Jeff Gallagher Team Sportsmanship Award, as selected by their coaches. Honorees included Mike Gastelum (North Fork), Kyle Schultz (Riverhead), Kyle Crean (Sag Harbor), Nick Melchiorre (Southampton) and Alex Aycoth (Westhampton). Others acknowledged were Frank Hager (Jersey), Justin Schwecke (Kutztown), Junior Dishmey-Perez (Lehigh Valley), T.J. Greig (Long Island), T.J. Pilla (Northern New Jersey), Michael Imbriale (Peekskill) and Jeff Flax (Quakertown). Gallagher played for the Scranton Red Soxx in the early 1980s when he was killed in auto accident coming home from practice.
Also honored was Jersey's Aidan Lucas, whose 2.29 ERA in 14 relief appearances was vital to the Pilots' run to the division title. Nominees for each category were submitted by each team's manager.
The ACBL season finished up earlier this month with the Westhampton Aviators
defeating Lucas and the Pilots 7-5 at Hite Field to capture the ACBL championship. Recruiting has already begun for the 2010 season.