POMONA, NY — Wherever baseball has taken Jimmy Costin and Ray Pacella, one was not far behind the other.
The Rockland County natives played varsity baseball together at North Rockland High School, teamed up again two years later at nearby Rockland Community College, and are now both playing at the professional level in the Frontier League.
Costin has been with the New York Boulders since the beginning of the season, while Pacella was signed by the Washington Wild Things earlier this month. The former teammates will now square off as opponents this week when the Boulders host the Wild Things for a three-game series.
“We were always close, me and Ray,” Costin said ahead of Wednesday’s doubleheader. “He was my boy. We did a lot of stuff together, on and off the field. He is a year older than me, so he’s always looked out for me.”
When Pacella got the news that he had been signed to a professional team, Costin was one of the first people he contacted. “I was like, ‘Guess who we’re playing in a couple of weeks?’” Pacella said Wednesday afternoon.
Both players were asked separately for predictions if the two were to face each other in an at-bat this week. In an almost sibling-like manner, both gave playfully confident responses.
“A nice little single over the second baseman,” Costin, a right-handed hitting catcher, said with a smile. “I won’t take him too deep.”
Pacella, a left-handed relief pitcher, left a little more mystery to his answer. “I guess he’s about to find out,” he said.