Dan Gdanski has set the bar quite high for himself to begin his varsity tenure as a starting pitcher.
In his first varsity start, the Massapequa senior righthander walked to the mound to start the bottom of the seventh inning with a no-hitter after facing 19 batters — one more than the minimum — with the lone Syosset hitter reaching on an error. After recording a strikeout and a weak ground ball out to shortstop, Gdanski was one out away from a near perfect start until pinch-hitter Michael Andre hit a double.
But Gdanski didn’t sulk. He struck out the ensuing batter to finish a complete-game one-hitter with eight strikeouts to lead Massapequa to a 6-0 victory over Syosset in its opening Nassau AA-I baseball game at Carmans Road Field Monday.
Could even he have pictured such a dominating performance in his first varsity start?
“Nah, maybe getting that last out,” said Gdanski with a laugh. “But besides that, I’m just happy we won. The win is our first priority.”
Even though it was Gdanski’s first start, he pitched in key relief situations last year — including escaping a one-out jam in a win to send the Chiefs to last season’s county championship series.
“He knows he’s the man and he was today,” coach Tom Sheedy said. “And that’s kind of what we expect out of him. The no-hitter thing, that’s a different story.”
The game was scoreless through four innings until Massapequa’s offense put together a five-run fifth inning, highlighted with a two-run double by Nick Fossari to score Matt Pinto and Andrew Primm and Chris Wasson adding a two-run single to score Fossari and Michael Cottone. James Zupo drove in Wasson for the inning’s final run with a deep double to leftfield.
“With the offense we have, we’re very confident in ourselves,” Wasson said. “We knew it was just a matter of time and hitting’s contagious.”
But the day was about Gdanski and Wasson knew it. The shortstop turned to his outfielders to remind them to dive for everything in the seventh inning.
“When a guy’s pitched that kind of game and he’s put it all on the line out there, you just want to do whatever it takes to save that no-hitter and make that performance even better for him,” Wasson said. “So we were just trying to give a little back to him what he did for us all game.”
And it was a day Gdanski will never forget.
“It was a really cool experience for my first varsity start,” Gdanski simply stated. “I’m happy the way it went.”