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Elmont baseball on the rise
On April 1, the Elmont baseball team knocked off Mepham 4-3, and it was no April fool's joke.
Robert Gates is in his seventh season as the head coach at Elmont. The past six years – an 0-19 campaign in 2007 and five years spent in the developmental and County wide leagues – have proven to be tough times.
But those trials and tribulations have led Elmont back to Conference AA-IV, and a week that included games against Nassau powerhouses Mepham, Calhoun and MacArthur.
Behind the arm of Danny Aguilo and a three-run homer from Malik Todd, the Spartans surprised Mepham early and held on for what Gates said was the biggest win during his tenure.
“I’ve been coaching in the Elmont program for 10 years and I know you have to go back a lot longer than that to find a quality win like that,” Gates said.
Aguilo threw a complete game, allowing one earned run on seven hits, one walk and nine strikeouts for Elmont.
"He’s a winner on the mound and it looks like he’ll give us a chance against some of the better teams we play moving forward,” Gates said.
With Aguilo and centerfielder Michael Braun (who also doubles as the team’s No. 2 starting pitcher) Elmont’s return to a regular enrollment league is already ahead of schedule.
“I asked to be taken out [of the county wide league] for this coming season,” Gates said. “Our guys have worked really hard and it’s still a struggling baseball community with no Little League. We’ve at least created a little culture where the boys know they have to be dedicated.”