2011 Top Sports Story No. 2: Mercy baseball team wins L.I. title

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | From left, D. J. Willmott, Tom Kretz and Joe Crosser were jubilant after Bishop McGann-Mercy won the Long Island Class C title.

McGann-Mercy catcher Rocco Pascale didn’t try to paint a pretty picture when describing the plunge into the pond beyond the left-field fence.

“It’s disgusting,” he said. “It smells terrible,” before quickly adding, “but it’s something that makes us unique. Not many schools have a pond in left field.”

The Monarchs made good use of their pond in the 2011 season as they won the League VII, county and Long Island championships. It was the second straight county title for the Monarchs, who celebrated by jumping into the murky waters beyond left field.

After winning the county title the Monarchs found themselves pitted against the Friends Academy Quakers for the Class C championship. The Quakers hadn’t posted a formidable record in the season, winning only 5 while dropping 14. Still, the Monarchs weren’t taking any team lightly.

Mercy jumped ahead early on Friends Academy, scoring once in the first and three in the second. Designated hitter John Dillon hit an RBI triple in the second inning and second baseman Joe Crosser drove him in with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0.

The Monarchs kept the Quakers off the board until the sixth inning when they sliced the lead to 4-1. The Monarchs got the run back in the seventh when Pascale stole home. Mercy held on in the bottom half to win the title by the score of 5-2.

“It will be remembered with a banner on the wall,” Pascale said afterward. “That’s what we wanted to do, make our mark.”

The Monarchs advanced to face Tuckahoe in the Class C Regional, but fell 9-2 to finish the season 17-6.