On reflection, Rob Maccone called his high school baseball team’s season “very unlucky.”
As the Riverhead Blue Waves coach looked back on his team’s recently completed season, a season in which the Blue Waves had five losses of two runs or less, with three of those losses coming in extra innings, he couldn’t help but feel snake-bit.
After being eliminated from playoff contention on Monday, the Blue Waves went down quietly in their final two games of the season against the Smithtown West Bulls, losing in Riverhead, 8-0, last Wednesday and then falling at Smithtown West, 3-0, last Thursday.
Zach Pilossoph had three hits, including a home run, to lead Smithtown West (15-5, 13-5 in Suffolk County League IV) to the 8-0 victory. He also scored three runs. James English scattered three hits to get the win for Smithtown West. Steve Kimmelman had two of Riverhead’s hits.
In the sixth inning, Maccone replaced all his seniors with underclassmen, in the “ceremonial passing of the baton.” The seniors were all hugged by the Riverhead coaches as they walked off the field.
Smithtown West’s Dan Schouler was tossing a perfect game for six and two-thirds innings the next day, before Riverhead’s Greg Meyer hit a slow roller down the third-base line for an infield single, breaking up the no-hitter and perfect game. Schouler walked none and fanned seven in the 3-0 win.
Gabe Rice made his first varsity start of the season for the Blue Waves and allowed seven hits and one earned run over six innings. He struck out four.
“Gabe pitched a great game,” Maccone said. “He had a deceptive fastball, good curveball and good changeup. He was very impressive.”
While the Blue Waves (9-11, 7-11) finished with a sub-.500 record, Maccone was pleased with his team’s 3.05 earned run average and the fact that its starters averaged five innings per start.
Maccone also pointed to a trio of talented juniors in catcher James Porco, second baseman Jon Tucci and first baseman Jordan Demchuk as being a “big plus for the future.”
“We came together as a team,” Maccone said. “We had fun this season. We fell a little short of our goal, and I feel bad for the seniors, but we will improve on our record next year.”