Wantagh's Matt Dybus delivers to the plate against Kings Park...

Wantagh's Matt Dybus delivers to the plate against Kings Park during the Class A Long Island championship at Farmingdale State. (June 6, 2010) Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy


Lindenhurst (23-1)

vs. Valley Central (21-4)

10 a.m. at Binghamton

University, Vestal

About Lindenhurst: The heavy-hitting Bulldogs have impressive pitching depth and have yet to choose their starter for Game 1 against Valley Central. Coach Mike Canobbio said it could be ace Tom Bammann, but Joe Lovizio and Rich Vrana also have come up big in big games. Vrana, a crafty lefthander who took over for Bammann after he was hit with a line drive earlier in the season, has been a spectacular find for Lindenhurst. He allowed two runs and four hits to defeat Calhoun in the Long Island title game.

"Everyone says we hit, we hit, we hit," Canobbio said. "But it always comes down to pitching. If the pitching does well, you stay in it."

Lindenhurst also has the support of an entire community on its side. The school never has advanced this far in the state championships and won the county baseball title for the first time in 47 years.

And, yes, the Bulldogs also hit. Jimmy Briggs, Jon McGibbon and Mike Roehring highlight an offensively minded team that has scored in double digits eight times this season. McGibbon, the first baseman, and Roehring, the centerfielder, also are Gold Glovers.

About Valley Central: Lindenhurst's biggest hurdle will be the Valley Central battery of Brendyn Karinchak and John Casten. Casten, a surehanded catcher, anchors a defensively sound, high-octane crew. "They hit throughout the lineup," Canobbio said. "They put pressure on you." Karinchak (9-1), a lefty, is likely to take the mound.


Wantagh (23-5) vs.

Lakeland (23-4)

10 a.m. at Union-Endicott HS, Binghamton

About Wantagh: Hard-throwing starter Matt Dybus (9-1, 1.50 ERA) has been lights out for the Warriors, but Wantagh has a solid 2-3 in Derek Novotny and Chris Rom, each of whom has won an elimination game.

"I think we're well rounded," coach Keith Sachs said. "We have power, we have some speed, we don't have a single strength, and that's good."

Dybus, Matt Benedetto and Mike Addeo - all hitting over .400 - lead a potent lineup.

"One through nine, this is one of the best teams I've ever had," Sachs said. "We're pretty well rounded."

About Lakeland: The big name is pitcher Jon de Marte, the Gatorade New York Baseball Player of the Year who has a microscopic 0.80 ERA this year. He will, however, be pitching on three days' rest.

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months