Jason Mora digs in at the plate for Huntington. (Darin Reed photo.)

Blue Devil Baseball is Optimistic as Season Nears

Jason Mora digs in at the plate for Huntington. (Darin Reed photo.)

February 27, 2019

The Huntington High School varsity baseball team is always optimistic heading into a new season. The Blue Devils are hoping to reach the playoffs this spring for the first time in many years.

Huntington returns veteran All-League players Elian Pimentel and Justin Italiano and a cast of talented young players. The Blue Devils haven’t won a league championship since 1965, but they are hopeful they can advance to post-season play this year.

Pimentel (P/3B/C) and Italiano (P/2B) both turned in solid 2018 campaigns. A very good all-around player, Pimentel batted .344 with 21 hits, including five doubles and a triple and six runs batted in. Italiano batted leadoff and hit .339 with 20 hits and 11 runs scored.

Sophomores Kyle Colleluori (P/CF), Chris Segreti (P/OF/SS) and Aidan Bender (P/SS) and junior Jason Mora (SS/OF) are also among Huntington’s top returnees.

Colleluori is an excellent defensive outfielder and a good pitcher. He collected 10 hits, including a double and a triple and he scored six times. He hurled 17 innings and fanned 11 batters.

Segreti batted .263 and drove in seven runs in just eight games last spring. He threw 7.2 innings and walked only three batters. Huntington head coach Billy Harris called the teenager “a great five tool ballplayer” with the potential of becoming a very good pitcher.

Bender tossed a team-high 35 innings and stuck-out 23 batters as a freshman. Mora batted .250 with a dozen hits and five RBIs.

One of last spring’s highlights came when Segreti hit a grand slam against North Babylon’s All-County pitcher. But the continued advancement of all the underclassmen had to be the biggest story of the year.

Harris believes there is a solid core of good young players. The Blue Devils can boast of having 10 returning varsity ball players, including five seniors, a junior and four sophomores.

The team’s focus is playing good baseball and winning enough games to qualify for the playoffs.

Huntington opens the season on March 25 with a non-league game at Harborfields. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. The team will participate in several scrimmages being the first regular season game.

Huntington head coach Billy Harris addresses his team last spring. (Darin Reed photo.)
Huntington head coach Billy Harris addresses his team last spring. (Darin Reed photo.)
Aidan Bender takes directions from head coach Billy Harris. (Darin Reed photo.)
Aidan Bender takes directions from head coach Billy Harris. (Darin Reed photo.)
Justin Italiano makes the play for Huntington. (Darin Reed photo.)
Justin Italiano makes the play for Huntington. (Darin Reed photo.)
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