nZone Athlete of the Week: West Islip's Frank Gagliardi
School: West Islip
Highlights: Gagliardi went 9-for-10 with a home run, five RBIs, two stolen bases and a 1.200 slugging percentage in a three-game sweep for the Lions over Newfield last week. He went 3-for-5 with a pair of triples in a non-league game earlier in the week, giving him an .800 batting average for the week.
Career at West Islip: The third baseman and leadoff man has made the most of his first full varsity season. Gagliardi leads the Lions in slugging percentage (.866), home runs (two), triples (four), RBIs (15), runs (19), steals (6-for-6), is tied for the lead in on- base percentage (.600) and is second in batting average (.511). Gagliardi also is a running back for the football team, but was injured this past season.
Future: Next season Gagliardi says he will bat leadoff for a West Islip team that returns 10 seniors from a team that has already clinched a playoff berth for the Suffolk Tournament.
On his team's success so far: "We're playing well and we've got a lot of good guys. There are a lot of players who can make contributions."
On hitting triples: "If I get the ball in the gap , I'm pretty fast. It's a good feeling, much better than hitting a double."
On what's more satisfying, a game-saving catch or a walkoff hit: "As long as we win the game, it doesn't matter, but the hit is more satisfying. I like ripping the ball."
TV Show: "Baseball Tonight"
Sport (besides baseball): Football.
Pro team: Yankees
Athlete: Derek Jeter
Teammates: Mike Bellucci, Zach Romanello, Chris Hazenzahl
World Series pick: Yankees
On the horizon: The Lions (11-3, League III) are currently in first place in the league and will play the rubber match of a big three-game series at second-place Centereach Friday.
-- Mark Macyk