Tom Piquaras took the mound last week for the Newburgh Nuclears’ junior American Legion team in Marlboro against Shrub Oak, and the starter went four innings, fanned four, giving up a hit and earned run and issued a single walk.
Piquaras knows the field well because he played for Marlboro’s varsity baseball team this spring, but he spent most of his time watching the team, heavy with seniors, dominate their Section 9, Class B opponents en-route to MHAL and sectional titles.
“I didn’t really see the field too much,” he said. “We had a great pitching staff.”
The Dukes did not give up a run in the sectional playoffs, and they won their regional semifinal with Brendan Mahusky’s one-hitter in another shutout. The run ended after that with a loss in the regional final.
“It was just a magical atmosphere,” he said.
Piquaras works the mound with his fastball, curveball, cutter, changeup, and he credits Shea Ceriello, a Nuclears coach, for helping him as a young player in Marlboro reach his current level in the game.
“I love Shea. He has been coaching me since I was a young kid,” he said. “He was my first coach in T-ball, so I grew up with him. And he just makes this sport fun.”
After the junior Nuclears’ season ends within two months. Piquaras can look forward to his final season with Marlboro as a senior.
And he wants to have a pivotal role with the Dukes next season.
“Next year,” he said, “I just want to be the guy they throw in there.”