Three Huntington High School baseball players have claimed All-League honors following a season that saw the Blue Devils experience many ups and downs.
Matt DeMeo, Michael Harris and Steven Napurano were all recognized for their fine play. Harris, Napurano and Brian Donnelly served as captains of the 18-player team, which was coached by Billy Harris and James Priest.
The Blue Devils compiled a 4-16 mark and finished sixth in the league standings. It’s the best record for a Huntington varsity baseball team in three seasons. “We would have been better without injuries,” Harris said.
Highlights of the 2017 campaign included toppling Long Island champion West Islip on its home field in the first game of the season, 4-1. Another notable victory came when the Blue Devils rallied from a 9-1 fourth inning deficit to nip Centereach, 10-9.
“We were looking forward to a good season,” Harris said. “We were very hopeful with the talent we had, but kind of got derailed with bad weather and costly injuries. We could have beaten any team in the league if we were healthy.”
Huntington’s top players included:
• Matt DeMeo: (Senior; P/SS) Led all batters with a.306 average. Had 19 hits, including five doubles and two homeruns. Scored 14 runs and had an on base percentage of .358.
• Michael Harris: (Senior: CF) Second on the team with a .304 batting average. He tallied 17 hits, including two doubles and scored 14 runs. He notched a .371 on base percentage and a team best .979 fielding percentage.
• Steven Napurano: (Senior: P/OF) Batted .273 with 15 hits, including three doubles. Drew 13 walks. Had a .933 fielding percentage.
• Matt Montefusco: (Senior: 1B/C) Batted .245 with 13 hits, including one double. Drove in 13 runs.
• Will Vollack: (Junior: 2B/OF) Batted.286 with 16 hits, including six doubles and a homerun. Drove in six runs and scored 11 runs.
• Elian Pimental (Sophomore: P/3B) Batted .268 with 11 hits, including two doubles. Drove in seven runs and had a .371 on base percentage.
Despite Huntington’s losing record, Harris was upbeat about the season. “Matt DeMeo was a great player offensively and a top pitcher,” the coach said. “Michael Harris was second on the team in hitting and led us defensively. Matt Montefusco was a clutch hitter in big spots, despite playing hurt all year. Steven Napurano was also a clutch hitter and played great defense. Will Vollack was a really good hitter.”
The Blue Devils will look to regroup next spring after losing a dozen seniors to graduation. “We have a core of six players returning who have played varsity baseball for two or more years,” Harris said. “We will be a young team with decent young talent. The league will be as tough as ever with West Islip returning.”
Extra bases: DeMeo (29), junior Like Eidle (26) and Pimental (11) led Huntington pitchers in strikeouts . . . Senior Tom Stock was third on the team with six runs batted in . . .