Roslyn coach Dan Freeman said he woke up Thursday morning knowing his boys were going to win the game against Division and keep themselves in the postseason mix.
Coming off last year's 0-19 record, though, precedent seemed to say otherwise for Roslyn. So did Division's record (8-1 at that point). And their pitching. Oh, and their tendency to score in the double digits with what seemed to be the greatest of ease.
Score one for the skipper.
Ryan Bloom blooped a single over the first baseman's head, driving in Thomas Davis with two outs in the sixth as the Bulldogs (4-8) completed a two-run rally to win, 3-2, over the giants of Nassau League A-II. More importantly, the victory means that Roslyn has a chance to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011, Freeman said. They'll need to win their next two series, against Sewanhaka (2-10) and Manhasset (5-4).
"It was pandemonium," Freeman said. "They were going nuts, from the last kid off the bench to the team captains. They were screaming and jumping up and down. I was screaming and jumping up and down."
Before this season, Roslyn had gone 23 straight games without a victory. But the combination of maturity and decent pitching, in the form of Spencer Shores and Brendan Seidman, means the Bulldogs are much improved. Shores, a sophomore, pitched 51/3 innings, with two hits and six strikeouts, mostly stymieing that explosive Blue Dragons offense -- the one that's averaging nine runs per game. He allowed two hits with three walks and six strikeouts while Seidman earned the win in relief and got out of a jam in the seventh. With one out and a runner on third, he induced an out at first and a flyout.
"I think they're buying in now," Freeman said. "Last year, we lose to Division 12-0, every time."
Of course, even if Roslyn is improved, it wasn't always the easiest thing to convince the team of that. That is, until now.
"I tell them all the time, 'believe we can win,' " he said. "And they say, 'yeah, we believe,' but now, now I think they really believe."