12/31/11 5:00pm
12/31/2011 5:00 PM

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | From left, D. J. Willmott, Tom Kretz and Joe Crosser were jubilant after Bishop McGann-Mercy won the Long Island Class C title.

McGann-Mercy catcher Rocco Pascale didn’t try to paint a pretty picture when describing the plunge into the pond beyond the left-field fence.

“It’s disgusting,” he said. “It smells terrible,” before quickly adding, “but it’s something that makes us unique. Not many schools have a pond in left field.”

The Monarchs made good use of their pond in the 2011 season as they won the League VII, county and Long Island championships. It was the second straight county title for the Monarchs, who celebrated by jumping into the murky waters beyond left field.

After winning the county title the Monarchs found themselves pitted against the Friends Academy Quakers for the Class C championship. The Quakers hadn’t posted a formidable record in the season, winning only 5 while dropping 14. Still, the Monarchs weren’t taking any team lightly.

Mercy jumped ahead early on Friends Academy, scoring once in the first and three in the second. Designated hitter John Dillon hit an RBI triple in the second inning and second baseman Joe Crosser drove him in with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-0.

The Monarchs kept the Quakers off the board until the sixth inning when they sliced the lead to 4-1. The Monarchs got the run back in the seventh when Pascale stole home. Mercy held on in the bottom half to win the title by the score of 5-2.

“It will be remembered with a banner on the wall,” Pascale said afterward. “That’s what we wanted to do, make our mark.”

The Monarchs advanced to face Tuckahoe in the Class C Regional, but fell 9-2 to finish the season 17-6.

12/31/11 2:01pm

Editor’s note: Listings prepared for Times/Review Newspapers by Suffolk Research Service, dated Nov. 9-15, 2011.

Calverton (11933)
• Haizlip, G & Theisen, L to Sexton, Jonathan, 199 Edwards Ave (600-137-1-4), (R), $205,500

Greenport (11944)
• Wells, JE to Maple Street Greenport LLC, 220 Maple St (1000-42-1-13), (R), $190,000

Mattituck (11952)
• Scheer, L to Mello, Chad, 2490 Pike St (1000-114-8-2), (R), $145,000

Riverhead (11901)
• Surf & Turf Equities to Griffiths, Robert & Geoffrey, 44 Louise Ct (600-17-1-8.16), (V), $250,010
• Buhler, C to Yilmaz, Jemal, 1075 Northville Tpke (600-84-3-35), (R), $168,000
• Bizzoco, B to Carr, Ryan, 741 East Ave Ext (600-126-2-42), (R), $50,000
• County of Suffolk to Nelson, Robert, 314 East Ave (600-129-2-3), (R), $50,000

Shelter Island (11964)
• Lenox Jr, S by Executor to Kamen, Sandra, 17D South Cartwright Rd (700-15-4-140.3), (R), $1,225,000

Southold (11971)
• Salvatore, K to Searl, Stephen, 670 Youngs Ave (1000-64-1-1), (R), $295,000
• Stanton, P & J to Wolfgang, David, 302 Town Creek Ln (1000-64-1-12), (R), $934,500
• Keitt Jr, J & P to Mazza, Joseph, 280 Basin Rd (1000-81-1-19), (R), $2,557,500

Wading River (11792)
• Rourke, D to Lilimpakis, Emmanuel, 178 Cliff Rd W (600-26-1-42.1), (R), $255,000
• Birchwood at WR LLC to Santoliquido, Robert, 178 Calverton Ct (600-115-1-10.44), (R), $334,600

(Key: Tax map numbers = District-Section-Block-Lot; (A) = agriculture; (R) = residential; (V) = vacant property; (C) = commercial; (R&E) = recreation & entertainment; (CS) = community services; (I) = industrial; (PS) = public service; (P) = park land; as determined from assessed values in the current tax rolls.)

12/31/11 12:01pm

FILE IMAGE | Who will be our 2011 Business of the Year?

The Riverhead News-Review will announced its Business of the Year in its Jan. 5, 2012 issue.

Here is a list of people that have won the award in the past decade:

• 2010 — Dee Muma

• 2009 — J. Gordon Huszagh

• 2008 — Ray Pickersgill

• 2007 — Ray Maynard

• 2006 — Jack Van de Wetering

• 2005 — Jeff Hallock and Dr. Frank Arena

• 2004 — Massoud Family

• 2003 — Andrew Mitchell

• 2002 — Christine and Peter Loew, EastEnders Coffee House

• 2001 — Jan Burman

• 2000 — Fred Terry

12/31/11 7:00am

COURTESY PHOTO | Michael Hubbard

Tragedy struck here Memorial Day weekend when a 14-year-old boy suffered severe burns and a brain injury in a freak gel candle accident while prepping his aunt’s backyard for her wedding celebration.

The gravity of the situation was matched only by the generosity of the Riverhead community, which pulled together for Michael Hubbard and his mother, Nancy Reyer, through car washes and other fundraisers. Michael spent nearly six months at Stony Brook University Medical Center before moving to a Westchester County children’s hospital. Thousands of dollars were raised to help support the family. The accident happened as Michael poured citronella-scented gel into a previously lit candle at his aunt’s house. The bottle of FireGel-brand fuel exploded in his hand, covering his body with the burning jelly. That accident and several similar ones caused the gel’s manufacturer to voluntarily pull the product from stores across the country.

Michael’s recovery has been slow, but Ms. Reyer got an early Christmas present last week in terms of her son’s progress. On Dec. 16 a speech therapist asked Michael if he liked to go-kart, to which he responded, “Yeah,” his first word since the accident.

vchinese@timesreview.com

12/30/11 10:00pm
12/30/2011 10:00 PM

SAMANTHA BRIX PHOTO | Frutti di Mare, an entree served at Touch of Venice in Cutchogue. The dish includes scallops, shrimp, calamari, clams and mussels over linguine pasta in a white clam sauce.

There’s nothing quite like a romantic dinner at a cozy Italian restaurant around Christmas time.

Picture it: dimmed lights, elegant wine glasses, soft Christmas tunes, a loveseat semi-circle booth forcing an intimately tight squeeze for you and your dining partner.

Unfortunately, my relationship status was single when I went to Touch of Venice in Cutchogue for dinner last week, and my dining partner was my good friend and colleague, who is happily married but also willing to be my dinner date when I need one.

Nevertheless, we had a dining experience at Touch of Venice that would make top 5 list of best dinner dates.

Family-owned and operated, Touch of Venice moved into its new home on Main Road in Cutchogue this past spring after sitting on Wickham Lane overlooking the water in Mattituck for more than two decades.

Guests to the restaurant’s new location walk through an inviting bar area to the main dining room, which is filled with cushiony booths and small tables blanketed in white tablecloths.

My friend and I arrived at the eatery early, so we decided to order from the three-course prix fixe menu, which is available until 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday through Friday evenings. While perusing the menu, we both sipped glasses of Nautique Rosé, a rosé from Peconic Bay Winery’s sister brand that launched in the summer of 2009. Bright pink salmon in color, the rosé, my friend and I agreed, went well with each course, from nibbles before appetizers to the gelato atop our desserts.

While selecting our dishes, servers immediately brought crusty slices of Tuscan bread and tiny bowls of tasty pickings: sun-dried tomato spread, pesto and shavings of parmesan cheese.

My appetizer was a mixed green salad with balled buffalo mozzarella, locally-grown cherry tomatoes, Mediterranean olives and hearty croutons dressed in a lemon-basil vinaigrette.

Our waitress was speedy, cheerful throughout our meal (it was “her pleasure” to serve us, she assured us many times) and very knowledgeable. She even knew the chef uses two types of basil in the lemon-basil vinaigrette: an Italian basil and an African basil some people call “purple basil,” for its color.

I ordered the Frutti di Mare for my entrée, which was a generous bowl of scallops, shrimp, calamari, clams and mussels swimming in a luscious helping of linguine and tossed in a white clam sauce. I’ve ordered the dish, a staple on Italian restaurant menus, many times, and Touch of Venice’s version was truly scrumptious, with the tender scallops and succulent shrimp standing out. There was also no skimping on any of the seafood, which is always appreciated.

My dinner date and I finished the evening with matching desserts: warm, moist, please-never-end flourless chocolate cake with a dollop of ice-cold vanilla gelato.

I couldn’t have asked for anything more, except for maybe a gentleman friend to dine with who would insist on paying the bill.

The beautiful dinner on a Christmasy December night with my good friend was the best it could have been.

sbrix@timesreview.com

Places you should try is a review column written by staff members who have felt a particular need to rave about a local dining establishment. Check out our previous places column on The Riverhead Project.

12/30/11 5:00pm

ROBERT O'ROURK FILE PHOTO | The Shoreham-Wading River boys lacrosse team storms the field after winning the Class B county championship in June.

The slogan for the Shoreham-Wading River boys lacrosse team in 2011 centered around “the wait for eight.” That referred to the team’s eighth county championship. After winning seven straight, their last in 2007, the Wildcats entered 2011 in a three-year drought.

That came to an end June 1 when the Wildcats, seeded No. 2 in the Class B playoffs, won 13-8 against Huntington for the elusive eighth county championship.

“The wait for eight is over,” coach Tom Rotanz said afterward.

The seniors for Shoreham grew up in the shadow of the program’s championship run. For the players who joined the varsity as freshmen, they had yet to experience the thrill of winning a championship.

“I just wanted to get the feeling that those guys got,” said Mike Malave said after the win over Huntington.

For the Shoreham baseball team, the wait for a county title extended even longer. It had been since 2000 when the Wildcats last claimed the throne as the top team in Suffolk.

Entering the 2011 season with a veteran group that features several players who had signed with college programs, the Wildcats knew they had the talent to end their county title drought.

After an outstanding regular season, the Wildcats nearly got picked off in the first round of the playoffs against the seventh seed, Bayport-Blue Point. The Wildcats trailed by three in the bottom of the seventh before rallying for four runs.

In the county finals the Wildcats faced Sayville in a game that featured no shortage of drama. Mike O’Reilly opened the game with five perfect innings for the Wildcats, only to see his team’s lead slip away. The game went to extra innings when Sayville took a two-run lead in the eighth. But the Wildcats came back again to tie it. Then in the ninth inning Ryan McAlary hit a sacrifice fly to win the game and the county title.

12/30/11 12:01pm

FILE IMAGE | Who will be our 2011 Civic Person of the Year?

The Riverhead News-Review will announced its Civic Person of the Year in its Jan. 5, 2012 issue.

Here is a list of people that have won the award in the past decade:

• 2010 — Rich Podlas and Chuck Thomas

• 2009 — Tom Gahan

• 2008 — Keith Lewin

• 2007 — Open Arms and Bread & More Inn

• 2006 — Mike Brewer

• 2005 — Sid Bail

• 2004 — Kathy Berezny

• 2003 — Jill Lewis

• 2002 — Chrissy Prete

• 2001 — Joe and Gloria Ingegno

• 2000 — George Klopfer and Lt. Col. Anthony Cristiano

12/30/11 10:06am

Police are asking for the public's help in identifying this woman.

Riverhead Town Police and Suffolk County crime stoppers are asking for the public’s help in finding the woman who used a stolen credit card to make more than $1,000 in purchases in the Riverhead area last month.

On Nov. 25 the woman made the purchases at Schenk Fuel in Calverton, the CVS store and King Kullen store in Wading River and at Alpine Wine and Liquor also in Wading River, according to police.

The woman, who is white and has brown hair, is wearing a purple shirt and a dark jacket in a surveillance photo released by police.

Anyone with information is asked to call crime stoppers anonymously at 1-800-220-TIPS. Crime stoppers offers a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest. All calls will remain confidential.