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Pensato, Read send Plainedge back to 'A' semifinals

Plainedge's Anthony Pensato pitches against Clarke. (April 4,

Plainedge's Anthony Pensato pitches against Clarke. (April 4, 2013) (Credit: Dan Neri)

Entering the playoffs as the No. 13 seed and needing to win two elimination games just to make it into the Class A quarterfinals was not anything out of the ordinary for Plainedge.

That’s because the Red Devils entered the playoffs as the No. 16 seed in 2012 and went all the way to the state semifinals.

“We know that once you make the playoffs any team can win,” head coach Colin Fratrik said. “You never know what match up you’re going to get and hopefully you’re the better team that day.”

Plainedge got by No. 12 Hewlett and No. 6 Manhasset behind strong pitching performances from Anthony Pensato and Tom Read, who had been leading the way for the Red Devils since early in the spring.

“They have been our 1-2 all year,” Fratrik said.

After dropping the opening game of the best-of-three quarterfinal to Bethpage by a score of 1-0 the Red Devils got another pair of great starts from Pensato and Read to rally back and make it to the semifinals.

“We played in tough close games and we came back a few times so we’ve been battle tested all year,” Fratrik said. “It really paid off again for us.”

There was no worrying in the Plainedge locker room when the team lost five of its last six regular season games to South Side and Division.

“We sat down and talked about how a couple of pitches and bounces could have changed three of those games,” Fratrik said.

In the end it was the experience and ability of its best starting pitchers that led Plainedge back to the ‘A’ semifinals – and maybe further.

“We’ve been here before,” Fratrik said. “It’s a bunch of kids who were here, whether they were on the bench or on the JV, but in some sense they were there. So they saw us do it last year and they know we can do it again.”

The best-of-three semifinals begin on Monday as Plainedge travels to No. 9 Seaford for game one.

Tags: Baseball , Plainedge , Nassau , Playoffs , Class A , Anthony Pensato , Tom Read

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