Now, it’s all down to two teams in the Nassau County A Championship: Clarke and Division. For both teams, they have all been in the championship picture at least once in recent years, but there are certainly big reasons why this championship triumph is vital to both of them. Having Wantagh to be eliminated as early as in the play-in game round back in mid-May opens up a new opportunity for both teams to become crowned as the new Nassau County A Champions.
(2) Clarke (13-1-1)
For the first time since 2013, the Clarke Rams have returned to the Nassau County A Championship. Despite losing to MacArthur in the first game of the best-of-3 series — their only loss in the postseason — Clarke quickly bounces back to dominate in the next two games. With the help of their ace Brendan Turton, who only a one-day rest after throwing 60 pitches this past Saturday (Game 2), Turton came on to pitch on Monday and threw a complete game shutout, only allowing six hits in the do-or-die game. Through the regular season and the postseason, Brendan Turton has yet earned a loss in his 2019 run.
For the Rams, their offense have continued to build up and stay hot so far in the postseason. Players like CJ Cumbo and Chris Giardino have especially stepped up for Clarke, leading them to swing past through MacArthur in the semifinals. Other notable players from Clarke who can impact significantly include Tyler Cox, Nick Campagnuolo, and Matt DeStefano.
(3) Division (13-2)
After getting swept in the championship round last season to Wantagh, Division surely looks to redeem themselves this time around. Division swept Bethpage in the semifinals round this past week. Division had the last laugh in Game 2 after eliminating Bethpage in 14 dramatic innings on the road.
Compared to Clarke, Division has the high ground in terms of pitching. Not only has Division only let up one run to Bethpage in the semifinals run, but also outscored their opponents with a score of 33:4 so far during their postseason run. Regardless of the fact that a Game 3 could be forced, Division should not have to panic because they have many weapons to rely on such as Colin Diez, Jake Lombardi, and Robert Bradley.
For Division, look out for Colin Diez and Robert Bradley, who also displays their versatility not only on the mound but also at the plate. In Game 2 of the semifinals, Colin Diez got the most hits and the most on-base appearances for Division, while Robert Bradley came up clutch and broke the tie in the 14th inning. If the pitching staff can continue to dominate, the only major task for Division is to get hits and have as many opportunities to score.
Clarke has not been in the championship round in 6 years; Division has now made it to three straight Finals appearances, but lost to Wantagh in back-to-back years. This will arguably be one of the most anticipating series to follow. With both teams feeling they have the momentum to win this title, it will be a very interesting sight to see who will be crowned as the undisputed champions. Both teams have a remarkable and vocal fanbases, so this can be very special for both schools.
Despite the fact that Clarke had a phenomenal season this year with the help of elite players such as CJ Cumbo, Tyler Cox, and Brendan Turton, we believe that it will not be enough to stop the dominant pitching staff of Division and their consistent offensive power. After two consecutive failed attempts to win the championship, this WILL be the year for Division.
Division beats Clarke in 2.