The start of the 2019 postseason for the Nassau County Baseball AA-League is just a few days away. Unlike Nassau A, Nassau AA do not have play-in games, so they go straight into best-of-three series with 8 teams. The real battle starts now, where the teams still have the chance to move up as much possible to play as a high playoff seed. Let’s discuss about the top 4 teams of each conference in Nassau AA and see how they got to the spot they are currently at.
TOP 4 OF AA-1 CONFERENCE
1st Massapequa (13-2)
Without a doubt, Massapequa is one of the favorites to win the Nassau AA County Championship, attempting to make history again. Their mission to three-peat put the teams in the Nassau AA conferences on full notice, hoping to ruin the Chiefs’ dream to retain the throne.
Massapequa appears to be one of the most complete offensive teams in Nassau County this year. They have many options in their lineup to heavily rely on including guys like Chris DeSousa, Nick Schwartz, and Wade Kelly; these players have all been recognized in the Newsday leaderboard for home runs, combining with 9. With regards to these players, Massapequa leads the county with the largest runs differential in the county, outscoring their Nassau AA-1 opponents with a score of 176:31.
2nd Oceanside (11-4)
Oceanside appears to be the dark horse in the upcoming Nassau AA County Championship. Finishing just 2 games behind Massapequa, Oceanside hopes to redeem themselves and win the gold prize after being defeated by Massapequa in the Nassau AA title match.
Some of the notable players to look out for on the Oceanside Sailors roster include Noah Eisel, a New Haven-commit who displays his dominant presence both at the plate and on the mound. Eisel is pitching with a 1.42 ERA and possesses a .119 opponent batting average. Eisel also consistently hits well for the team, hitting with a .304 average including 2 home runs, 11 RBIs, and scored 12 runs. Concordia-commit Austin Vlahakis can also pose as a threat for the opposing pitchers, as the slugger hit a .383 average during the 2019 run.
3rd Farmingdale (9-6)
After winning 5 straight games to finish off their regular season, the semifinalist of last year’s title race looks for redemption after being swept by the runner-ups Oceanside.
The Dalers have their ace pitcher, Justin Rosner (Junior), to rely on in the playoffs, as he shuts out Freeport and Syosset in his past two starts. Justin Rosner punched out 37 batters this year, along with a 0.57 ERA.
Phil Krpata (Senior) proves to be the main slugger for Farmingdale, leading the team batting average, slugging percentage, and OPS. The powerhouse for Farmingdale — Matt DiSanti (sophomore) — reinforced the Dalers with many insurance runs and his 2 home runs.
4th Syosset (7-8)
After starting off their season strong during their first two series (Freeport and Hempstead), Syosset rapidly declined towards the end of the season; though the Braves managed to secure the last slot in their division. During their hot streak, Syosset became notorious and received a lot of attention after sweeping Hempstead and outscoring them 48:1. But after facing the opponents of Massapequa, Farmingdale, and Oceanside, the consistent production wasn’t enough, losing 7 of their last 9 games.
But, who knows? Anything can happen in the postseason. Maybe, something can click for the Syosset Braves and help give them a far push for the Nassau AA title. Tufts-commit pitcher Cameron Mayer can help stabilize the Braves, as the ace for Syosset pulled off an upset against Oceanside in a 1:0 victory. Anthony Iraggi must step up at the plate if he wants to keep the season alive, as the best slugger on the team is relied on to bring in as many insurance runs possible.
TOP 4 OF AA-2 CONFERENCE
1st Port Washington (13-2)
Port Washington holds the tiebreaker lead against East Meadow, as they defeated the Mustangs in a split decision. Port Washington looks to be one of the favorites to win the Nassau AA title, as the Vikings heat up coming postseason time after winning 8 of their last 9 games.
Alex Chang was absolutely brilliant for Port Washington this regular season. The Trinity College-commit went 5-0 with a 1.03 ERA, allowing just 9 hits and punching out 69 batters throughout those starts and pitching 4 complete games. Chang never allowed more than 2 ER’s in a game, and never struck out less than 12. He also had a pair of 15 K games against Hicksville and Baldwin. On top of this, Chang had another dominant year offensively and will look to lead Port Washington to a deep playoff run.
Another all-around player to look for is outfielder and pitcher Jackson Sattinger. The hard-hitting slugger hit 3 home runs throughout the year and recently pitched a complete game in his last start against Baldwin, only allowing a run with 4 hits and struck out 8. And of course, don’t sleep on Sean Meth, who was just behind the frontrunners in the home run race with 4 home runs in Nassau County.
2nd East Meadow (13-2)
East Meadow may not be known as the powerhouse team — as Tyler Patterson is the sole player who notched a home run — but their biggest strength is their pitching staff.
The big trio in the rotation — Charlie Cucchiara, Matthew Fried, and Sean Kennedy — combine with a 15-1 record, each having 5 wins. The three horsemen for East Meadow nearly pitches the whole game every time each of them start, proving how their presence leaves a strong impact for the team. East Meadow, without a doubt, has one of the best ERAs in the county, owning a 0.92 team ERA.
Matthew Fried also produces great numbers for the East Meadow Mustangs, leading the team with the most hits and hitting with a .408 batting average. In addition, Daniel Molina also provides in many insurance hits for the Mustangs, batting a .345 average with a .772 OPS.
3rd Hicksville (8-6-1)
After starting the season 8-0-1, many were convinced that Hicksville could be a top contender for the Nassau AA title. After facing the harder competition — Port Washington and East Meadow — Hicksville drops 6 straight, getting swept in back-to-back series. The pitching staff for Hicksville seemed to be pitching at a high level, only giving up no more than five runs in all of their defeats, but the Hicksville Comets did not have the bats to produce enough hits and or get enough opportunities to get on base.
4th Baldwin (6-8-1)
The beginnings of this season’s flow for Baldwin was completely opposite from Hicksville. For Baldwin, early assumptions were made after getting swept in their first two series (0-5-1). Luckily for them, the Baldwin Bruins were able to get into midseason form at the right time before it was too late and swept back-to-back series.
Although the confidence boosted for the Baldwin Bruins, the reality check slapped them right back after being swept by Port Washington in their season finale. They will face off again in the quarterfinals of the Nassau AA playoffs. On paper, it will not be surprising if the experts all unanimously chose Port Washington to dominate over Baldwin. But it’s playoffs. Chaos happens. The only realistic situation for Baldwin is if Port Washington mentally collapses and Baldwin takes advantage over it.
The quarterfinals in the Nassau AA playoffs: (1)Port Washington vs (8)Baldwin; (2)Massapequa vs (7)Syosset; (3)East Meadow vs (6)Hicksville; (4)Oceanside vs (5)Farmingdale
During the best 2-out-of-3 series, an upset regardless of what seed a team gets is also a possibility. Will the reigning champions Massapequa continue their supremacy and win the Nassau AA County title, or will another team overcome the odds and become the new undisputed Nassau AA County champions?