By Frank Rizzo
MONTICELLO - June 29, 2001 Overall Record: 1112
League Record: 99 in the OCIAA Division III
Sectionals: Lost to Red Hook 4-3 in the Class B quarterfinals.
Top Hitters: This edition of the Panthers was not noted for its batting prowess. Shortstop Brian Heavey led the squad with a .315 batting average and 17 RBI. He also hit one of the four homers the squad managed on the year. Outfielder Phil Stewart batted .290 as he went from leadoff to third in the lineup. He also stole 16 bases. Stewarts notable game came against John S. Burke on May 14, when he went 4-for-4 with two homers (including a grand slam) and seven RBI in a 15-10 loss.
Top Pitchers: Rich Fello went 73 with a 2.21 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 57 innings pitched. According to coach John Spear, Fello is contemplating an offer from Division II Dominican College in Rockland County. Terrance Hulse was the leading pitcher before getting removed from the team.
Season Highlights: Our goal was to get into sectionals and we had to sweep Liberty that last week, said Spear. We played Red Hook in a very close, very good game that was a microcosm of our season.
The Panthers beat Liberty three times the week of May 21 to even their record and clinch the playoffs.
Disappointments: Having to remove Terrance Hulse from the team, aid Spear. He was our top pitcher. Who knows what we could have done with him. We lost two games to John S. Burke he could have won.
Spear added: It was also disappointing to lose that sectional game. Maybe we were looking beyond [Red Hook].
Final Thoughts: It was a very interesting season, said Spear. We had internal problems and at times it seemed things were out of control. It as difficult some days to know who was going to show up and play.