The Huntington High School varsity baseball team enjoyed its best season in 14 years this spring, winning nine games, including six in league play. It was the Blue Devils’ best showing since 2005 and next year has the potential to be even better; much better.
Coached by Billy Harris and Rob Cappas, the squad was captained by seniors Justin Italiano and Elian Pimentel. The 17 player team is losing five seniors to graduation, but will be returning most of its starting lineup in 2020.
The Blue Devils were very competitive, compiling an overall mark of 9-11, which included many close losses. Huntington dropped five games by one run and another by an 8-6 score.
“We had a young team that matured very quickly,” Harris said. “The sophomores stepped up and competed at a high level.”
Pimentel (3B/P) and sophomores Kyle Colleluori (OF/P) and Chris Segreti (SS/P) all garnered All-League honors. Justin Italiano was named to the Academic All-League team. Sophomores Palmer O’Beirne (1B/P) and Aidan Bender (3B/P) were also among the top Blue Devils players.
“Elian is a power hitter and pitcher,” Harris said. The teenager hurled 42 innings over the course of eight starts, striking out 40 batters and compiling an earned run average of 3.83. Pimentel batting .351 with six extra base hits and 14 runs batted in and 14 runs scored. He also drew a team-high 16 walks.
“Kyle’s a great ballplayer,” Harris said. “He’s also a great centerfielder. He made only one error all year.”
Colleluori batted a torrid .406 with a team-high 28 hits and 23 RBIs. He banged out eight doubles, scored a dozen runs and walked 11 times. He also threw 37 innings, going 3-3 with a 1.67 ERA and 35 strikeouts.
“Chris is a great shortstop and offensive player,” Harris said. “He’s a good pitcher as well.” Segreti batted .324 with 22 hits, including eight doubles, 15 runs scored and 16 RBIs. He walked a dozen times.
An injury limited Italiano to just eight games, but he batted .346 with nine hits, six RBIs and six runs scored.
Bender also battled injuries, but in 12 games he batted .323 with 10 hits, including four doubles and nine runs scored. He also threw 18 innings in four starts and compiled a 3.50 ERA.
O’Beirne took the mound in 10 games with all but two coming in relief. The hard throwing lefty fanned 31 batters in 25 innings.
The team’s full roster included sophomores Alex Bellissimo, Aidan Bender, Kyle Colleluori, Alex Gonzalez, Zach Gordon, Robert Harrington, Jaden Italiano, Palmer O’Beirne, Chris Segreti; juniors Ben Collins, Matt Gennarelli and Michael Mathews; seniors Jonah Anastos, Jake Costabile, Justin Italiano, Jonathan Magerle, Elian Pimentel.
“We are losing only five seniors,” Harris said. “Most of the team is returning. The future is bright. We are moving up to League III next year. It will be tough competition in the new league.”