Carey senior Teagan Graham’s numbers this spring were enough to earn him the Nassau Conference A2 Offensive Player of the Year award.
However, they might prove less persuasive when voting for their team’s most valuable player award – a situation that explains why the Seahawks were named the No. 5 seed, among 15 teams, in the class playoffs. A from Nassau starting Monday.
“Teagan had a monster season,” said Carey’s fourth-year coach Doug Robins, whose club went 15-2-1 in the league to finish two games behind A2 champion Calhoun (17-1). “He’s been our main leader for two years. This year, however, we had more depth of pitch to go with the strikes.
An All-Conference selection last year, Graham has nearly solved the game offensively this season. The third-year starting outfielder hit .517 with three homers, 31 RBIs and an .817 slugging percentage — all team highs except for homers, while junior pitcher/infielder Jake Perlowitz (average .393, 21 RBI) led Carey, and the conference, with four.
Senior receiver Joe Moryl (.356) was second in the club with 24 RBI and led Carey with eight doubles, while eighth-year phenom Jayden Gigante (.370, 17 RBI) allayed any concerns about his overtaking a scheduled stint on Carey Junior College. Sophomore Matteo Tufano (.340, 15 RBI) and senior teammate Domenick Romano (.367, 11 RBI) gave the opposing pitcher no respite from the bottom of the Seahawks’ order.
The fruits of such a formidable roster have been what you’d expect: Carey has won six games this season by 10 or more points, five of them via the mercy rule.
Ensuring Carey’s offensive fireworks aren’t wasted is a task that falls largely to two personalities on his team: Ryan Degnan, a senior, and fellow right-hander Jake Berenger (junior). If anyone other than Graham can be said to have carried Carey this season, it’s Pace University scholar Degnan, whose six league wins led A2 and seven wins overall tied for the peaks in Nassau. The six-foot-three pitcher went 6-1 in conference with 71 strikeouts in 38 2/3 innings, walking five, posting a 1.86 ERA. Bérenger went 4-1 with 36 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings.
“Ryan is a real competitor who dominated for us,” Robins said of the varsity athlete who took a no-hitter bid in the seventh inning to hand Calhoun his only loss, 2-1, on April 25. . “He kept us in this game. [against Calhoun] when their guy (Brian Chin) wasn’t hitting us either,” Robins added.
Returning the favor, Calhoun also played the spoiler for Carey, winning the bottom two of their three-game set.
“This team is hungry,” said Robins, whose club exited last year’s playoffs with an 8-7 first-round, game-clinching loss to eventual Class A champion Nassau South Side. . “After what happened last year, they are eager for revenge.”
Carey begins his playoffs with a first-round series against rival A2 Kennedy. Besides the Seahawks’ pair of losses to Calhoun, the Cougars accounted for Carey’s only other non-win in the conference — a 9-9 tie on March 31.