Quality Pitching, Timely Hitting; Success!

Quality Pitching, Timely Hitting; A Recipe for Success
Posted on 03/25/2019
Quality Pitching, Timely Hitting; A Recipe for Success

The Flatbush Varsity Baseball Team got the 2019 campaign off to a very positive start on a chilly and rainy Monday night (3/25), as the Falcons rode a fantastic pitching performance to a season opening win over the HAFTR Hawks by a score of 5–4 at Comer Field in Brooklyn, NY.

 Dani Sharabi Throws the First Pitch

It is a game the Flatbush Senior Baseball players have been looking forward to since the final pitch of last year that capped off a very disappointing 2018 season. The team wanted to make a statement from the outset that things would be quite different this time around.

 Coach Hall Prepares his boys Lets GO!

Head Coach Eric Hall sent his ace, Dani Sharabi, to the hill in the hopes of setting a positive tone for the Falcons. Sharabi did exactly that, striking out two of the four batters he faced in the first inning, including HAFTR’s two most dangerous hitters in the lineup.

 Sharabi delivers
Strike three!

In the bottom of the inning, Flatbush worked back-to-back walks, first to lead off hitter Mo Goldman and then to the number two hitter Sol Laniado. Abie Soussan was up next, and after the Hawk picture started him off with a ball as well, the HAFTR coach paid a visit to the mound to settle down his pitcher. It had the desired effect on the Hawk thrower, and it also seemed to have an impact on the Home plate umpire, as after the visit the strike zone appeared to have expanded significantly. Soussan went down looking, but the called the strikes Soussan let pass had been balls for the previous two batters. The two baserunners soon advanced to second and third on a double steal. That was significant, as with two outs and Steven Srour at bat, the Hawk hurler let fly a wild pitch. Goldman was off, and he slid home headfirst with the first run of the game. At the end of the first inning, Flatbush was in the lead 1-0.

 Mo Goldman leads off Goldman scores the first run of the season

The Falcons would go on to add three more runs over the next three innings. Neil Zeitouni walked to lead off the second inning, and he would score without the benefit of a hit. The Third inning saw Flatbush add two more runs to their total behind singles from Srour and Zeitouni, Flatbush’s first hits of the game, with Zeitouni’s single driving in Masry (who had worked his way on with a walk). Meanwhile, Sharabi was firing seeds at the Hawks hitters, setting down batter after batter while not ceding a hit (he would finish with 13 strikeouts over 6 innings of work while holding the Hawks hitless over that stretch).

Things got closer in the 5th inning when HAFTR broke through for their first run of the game. Sharabi struck out the lead off hitter, then walked the second batter. He struck out the next batter and then followed that strikeout with a pair of walks. With the bases loaded, a pitch got away from the Falcon backstop, and the Hawks plated their first run of the game. The top of the 6th inning saw HAFTR add two more runs. HAFTR drew walks to the lead batters, and though Sharabi came back to strike out the next three hitters, the baserunners both came around to score on misplays by the Flatbush catchers. After 5 and ½ innings of play, Flatbush’s lead was down to one run, 4-3.

Flatbush got one of the runs back in the bottom of the 6th inning. Laniado led off with a walk, then promptly stole second base. He took 3rd on a passed ball. That set the stage for Masry. Masry came through with an RBI when the Hawk fielder chose to go home with the ground ball. Laniado slid home ahead of the throw and Masry was safe at first. It would prove to be the difference maker.

 Sol Laniado draws a walk

Sharabi turned in an outstanding performance, but he had grown fatigued. Coach Hall turned to Freshman Mark Antar, looking to the rookie to bring the Falcons home.

 Mark Antar

Antar opened with the Hawks number 9 hitter, who got good wood on the ball, but it was snagged by Flatbush First Baseman Masry between 1st and 2nd base. That brought up the top of the HAFTR order and the best hitter in their lineup. Antar bore down, and set the Hawk lead-off man down on strikes for his first career strikeout. Things then got interesting. The next batter drew a walk, then went on to steal second. Antar looked to have induced the final out of the game when the next batter hit a grounder to second base, but the ball was booted, and the Hawks now had runners at the corners. That brought up the Hawk clean up hitter, and he delivered with HAFTR’s first hit of the night, a single that plated one run. There was now no room for error. Antar focused, and went right at the number 5 hitter. He jammed him with an inside pitch, inducing a pop up to third. Zeitouni settled under it and secured the ball for the final out of the game.

 Simon Masry snares the ball
Neil Zeitouni ends the game

The Falcons swarmed out onto the field and celebrated the first win of the season, a 5-4 victory over the HAFTR Hawks.

 Flatbush Varsity Baseball

NEST NOTES: Flatbush got everything they could have hoped for out of starting pitcher Dani Sharabi, who looked as sharp as ever. He recorded 13 strikeouts over 6 innings of work while not allowing any hits over that stretch. Rookie Mark Antar came up solid in his first inning of work at the high school level, recording his first save in sealing the win.

The Falcons got five hits on the game, with Sol Laniado getting the only extra base hit of the night, a double in the 4th inning. Steven Srour, Niel Zeitouni, Abie Soussan and Michael Soussan all had singles. Nathan Shabot hit the ball well, although he had nothing to show for it at the end of the night.

The team will have a few days to enjoy the victory, and Sharabi will have a week to rest up, before the Falcons look to make it two in a row when they travel to the Bronx next Thursday for their first road game of the season, a match up with the SAR Sting. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 pm at Van Cortlandt Park (baseball field #1).

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