Vinny DeMaria’s father, Vinny Sr., played on Fred Gallo’s first baseball team at Iona Prep, in 1983. So getting the legendary coach his second, and final, championship was paramount for the senior shortstop.
“It’s special, because it’s his last year,” DeMaria said.
Gallo, the Hall of Fame coach, announced his retirement last week and last night, his team sent him out a champion.
Iona Prep, seeded sixth, defeated No. 4 Fordham Prep, 9-2, in the CHSAA Class AA intersectional baseball title game at St. John’s University. Both DeMarias had a hand in the victory.
Gaels beat Fordham Prep 9-2 last night to win the CHSAA Class AA championship in their coach’s final game." title="SHOWERED WITH CHEER: Iona Prep’s players dump a bucket of water on retiring coach Fred Gallo after the Gaels beat Fordham Prep 9-2 last night to win the CHSAA Class AA championship in their coach’s final game." width="300" height="300" src="/rw/nypost/2012/06/09/sports/web_photos/09.2s038.raimondi.c--300x300.jpg" />
SHOWERED WITH CHEER: Iona Prep’s players dump a bucket of water on retiring coach Fred Gallo after the Gaels beat Fordham Prep 9-2 last night to win the CHSAA Class AA championship in their coach’s final game.
DeMaria Jr. went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI and also turned four double plays, bailing Temple-bound ace Tim McCarthy out of jams.
DeMaria Sr. helped Iona Prep (18-6) out of its own bind. The team forgot its batting helmets back at school and, after using Fordham Prep’s helmets in the first inning, DeMaria Sr., pulled a bag of them out of his trunk. He’s the coach at Woodlands High School in Hartsdale.
“My full circle started with a DeMaria and ended with a DeMaria,” Gallo said.
Ironically, Iona Prep did most of its damage in the first inning while wearing Fordham’s helmets. The Gaels battered Rams starter Steve Fondu for five runs in the initial frame, giving McCarthy some breathing room.
McCarthy, a 6-foot-7 right-hander who also won a Class A title with the Iona basketball team, gave up just two runs on eight hits with four strikeouts.
Gallo and McCarthy met in an embrace afterward.
“Nothing like going out on top,” McCarthy said of his coach.
Iona tacked on two more runs in the third on RBIs by Christian Berg and Cody Polchinski and Berg had another RBI in the fifth when the Gaels extended their lead to 9-2. It was the perfect time for the Gaels, a light-hitting team all year, to break out.
It was all for Gallo, who retires with a 543-263 record, nine division titles and four Archdiocesan crowns.
And now, one more city championship.
“I will never lose another baseball game,” Gallo said. “It’s a great way to go out.”
Iona Prep, Fordham Prep, Fred Gallo, Vinny Sr., Gaels, DeMaria, St. JohnвЂ™s University, CHSAA Class AA intersectional, DeMaria Sr., Tim McCarthy, CHSAA Class AA championship, championship, Steve Fondu