COLTS 4, BLUE WAVES 2
Over the course of 44 innings this season, Riverhead’s towering left-hander Matt Crohan has stared down batter after batter, delivering out after out, 75 percent of which were a strikeout.
Over 44 innings, Crohan appeared as unhittable as any high school pitcher can. In the fifth inning of a tied game Tuesday against Half Hollow Hills West — the score fittingly knotted at zero — Crohan finally met his match.
Hills West shortstop Luke Stampfl drilled a long drive into the right-centerfield gap for a three-run home run — the first runs Crohan has allowed this season.
Stampfl’s home run on a 1-1 curveball was enough to propel the Colts to a 4-2 victory, putting a huge dent in the Blue Waves’ playoff hopes. Riverhead (9-9, 8-8 League IV) will need to win its final two games against Hills West (13-5, 11-5) to qualify for the postseason.
Crohan was still dominant, striking out 16 batters in the loss. He raised his season total to 104 strikeouts in 47 innings, a school record.
His ERA now stands at 0.595.
If not for a hit batsman, Stampfl (2-for-4) likely never would have gotten the chance to deliver the big blow. With two out and a runner on second, the Colts had their ninth hitter, Sal Lovaglio, at the plate with Stampfl on deck.
Lovaglio took the first pitch he saw off his left shoulder, sending him to first base and bringing the Fordham-bound slugger Stampfl to the plate.
After the home run the Colts punched another run across the plate when Tom Digiorgi hit an RBI double to left field.
The Blue Waves tried to rally in the seventh. Ryan Gaffney hit a line drive to right field that got past the right fielder, allowing him and Cody Smith to score.
Jon Faraci got the next two outs for Hills West to end the game. Sophomore Aaron Glickstein earned the win for Hills West with five scoreless innings.
The Blue Waves had plenty of chances early in the game to grab the lead. They stranded 10 runners — six in scoring position — through the first five innings.
Crohan allowed only three hits over seven innings.