The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

Horizon

The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

Horizon

The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

Horizon

Lynbrook Baseball Hosts First Annual Benefit Game; Crushes Hewlett

The+Buxton+Family+smiles+for+the+camera
Sean Strohofer
The Buxton Family smiles for the camera

The Lynbrook baseball program made history on Saturday, Apr. 6 by hosting its first-ever annual benefit game at South Middle’s Don Roth Field, clinching with a victory against the Hewlett Bulldogs. 

Aside from a winning home team, the day was filled with events, games, raffles, food, and other concessions being sold at the field entrance. All proceeds from the game were donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and the Buxton family.

The chilly April afternoon kicked off with a ceremonial first pitch, which was thrown by Jeffrey Buxton, community member and Lynbrook dad. Behind home plate receiving the pitch was none other than Owls’ third baseman and Jeffrey’s son, senior Zachary “Zach” Buxton. Following the pitch, Zachary performed a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the Owls took the field, donning their brand-new, benefit-exclusive jerseys. In the crowd, more of these jerseys could be spotted as the entire Buxton family was in attendance sporting Zach’s number: 23.

Before the game, Jeffrey had one desire: “I’d love to see [the Owls] get a win here.” It was a rocky start for freshman Marco Palleschi, who allowed two runs in the first inning. Fortunately, the Owls were able to answer with three of their own. The Bulldogs answered back once again, tying the game at 3 heading into the third inning, seemingly setting up a high-scoring shootout between the two teams. However, the Owls, led by the freshman Peter Rahaniotis’ relief pitching, reclaimed the lead in the fourth inning and never looked back. Strong offensive performances by senior Tim Mingo (2-3, walk, 3B, 1B, 3 runs), junior Gio Ortiz (2 walks, 1B, 2 runs), and Zach Buxton (2-3, walk 2B, 1B), helped propel the Owls to a dominant 17-4 victory over the Bulldogs.

Off the field, baseball-themed games welcomed the proceeds for the benefit event,  including “Pitching Tic-Tac-Toe” and a radar gun station where kids and adults alike could test their arm strength. There were also raffles for various prizes, including tickets to games for the Long Island Ducks and New York Yankees. Food and drinks were also available for purchase, and many people took advantage of this opportunity to satisfy their hunger and thirst while supporting the cause. One example of this was the hot dog eating contest that took place between the third and fourth innings, as the dynamic brother duo of junior Simon Yu and senior Samuel Yu faced off. In the end, Simon won by finishing both his hot dogs in one minute and 17 seconds. When the brothers were asked why they did it, their response was simple: they were hungry, and they wanted to support their friend Zach.

After the game, varsity head coach Jon Zaccaro expressed his pride and gratitude to the Lynbrook baseball community, giving praise to everyone who made the game possible and everyone who came out to cheer on the team: “It didn’t take much convincing at all when I pitched the idea of a baseball benefit game. We’re fortunate to live in a town where everyone wants to help one another, and that truly showed today.” From a baseball standpoint, Zaccaro was also very pleased with the team and how they were “able to bounce back from a rough first inning.” 

Jeffrey was nearly speechless when reflecting on how much the game meant to him: “First of all, the team won. It was great to see the guys out there having fun and walking away with the result they wanted…It’s truly humbling to have an experience like this, seeing so many people who aren’t necessarily my family come out and support me like they are.” Jeffrey also expressed the utmost pride in Zach for his performance, and said, “He looked like a real ballplayer out there.” Jeffrey joked recalling his thoughts as he approached his first pitch: “All that was going through my mind when I walked up to the mound was, ‘Don’t spike it.’ And sure enough, I spiked it.” Like his father, Zach was nothing but grateful for all the support and love his family received through the event: “It really means the world to me. [My teammates] are like family, and I’m so grateful for all the support.” Jeffrey agreed, and added, “That’s what [the game] and moments like these are all about: family.” 

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Justin Williams
Justin Williams, Managing Editor
Hello there! I’m a member of the Class of 2025 and sports editor for Horizon. I love playing, watching, and writing about all things sports. My favorite teams are the Jets, Mets, Knicks, and, obviously, the Lynbrook Owls.
Sean Strohofer
Sean Strohofer, Managing Editor
What's up! I am a member of the Class of 2025, and when I'm not writing about sports for Horizon, you can catch me taking photos all around town. I hope you're enjoying everything Horizon has to offer!