04/08/14 9:01pm
04/08/2014 9:01 PM
Shoreham-Wading River second baseman Stevie Michelli, covering first base on a bunt. Bayport-Blue Point's Savanna Neuhaus was called out on the play. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Shoreham-Wading River second baseman Stevie Michelli, covering first base on a bunt. Bayport-Blue Point’s Savanna Neuhaus was called out on the play. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

PHANTOMS 8, WILDCATS 5

Lauren Petersen’s two-run home run keyed a three-run sixth inning that broke a 5-5 tie and lifted host Bayport-Blue Point to an 8-5 victory over Shoreham-Wading River in a Suffolk County League IV softball game on Tuesday afternoon.

The game was supposed to be played in Shoreham, but Tuesday’s early rains made the Wildcats’ home field unplayable. (more…)

01/10/14 7:08pm
01/10/2014 7:08 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River junior Danny Hughes scored 27 points in a win over Bayport-Blue Point Friday.

WILDCATS 63, PHANTOMS 56

Danny Hughes is listed at 6-foot-5, the tallest player on the Shoreham-Wading River roster. By his height alone, it would seem Hughes would best be served under the rim.

But as Hughes showed Friday afternoon against Bayport-Blue Point in a pivotal League VI game, he can do a lot more than simply clog the middle. Even as the tallest player, Hughes plays more like a guard, a big-man who can dribble on the perimeter and slash to the basket. He can also hit from the outside.

Against the Phantoms, Hughes did a little of everything, pouring in a game-high 27 points in a 63-56 victory at Shoreham-Wading River High School. And since he is the big man, he grabbed 19 rebounds.

“Danny’s a mismatch for a lot of coaches,” Culhane said. “I play him like a guard and a lot of teams don’t have a guy that’s either big enough to stay with him or strong enough if I post him up inside.”

Coming off a disappointing loss to Miller Place Tuesday, the Wildcats (6-4) bounced back with a resounding victory in a game they nearly led wire-to-wire. Bayport briefly took its only lead of the game early in the third quarter at 28-27. But Shoreham answered with an 11-0 run to push the lead to double digits.

The Wildcats evened their league record at 3-3 at the midway point of the league season. If the Wildcats can at least match that record over the second half of the season, it would guarantee them a playoff spot.

The Wildcats welcomed back junior Jonah Caldwell to the lineup. A 6-foot-3 forward who adds a huge element to the Wildcats on both ends of the court, Caldwell tore a ligament in his right hand during a practice in early December. He returned to the lineup Friday and, while rusty at first, showed why he’s a huge part of Shoreham’s lineup.

Caldwell finished with 16 points, 12 of which came in the second half.

Shoreham opened the game hot from the outside. The Wildcats drained four 3-pointers in the first quarter, which opened up the rest of their offense. They finished the game 19 of 43 from the field (44 percent). The Wildcats limited Bayport (8-3, 3-2 League VI) to 35 percent shooting (22 of 62).

Bayport’s Connor Panzner led the Phantoms with 26 points.

05/28/13 7:15pm
05/28/2013 7:15 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River junior Troy Miller scored two first-half goals against Bayport Tuesday in the county finals.

The goals came quick and often. And in the end, Shoreham-Wading River had itself a 10th county championship in program history.

The Wildcats won their third straight county title with an 18-6 blowout over Bayport-Blue Point Tuesday night at Dowling Sports Complex. Shoreham scored three goals in the first 73 seconds and never looked back.

Shoreham advances to Saturday’s Long Island championship at Hofstra against Nassau Class C winner Friends Academy. The game starts at 4:30 p.m.

The Wildcats had 14 goals by halftime, topping the 13 they scored in the first half of the playoff opener against John Glenn.

The Wildcats had a balanced scoring attack. Anthony Visintin scored 4 in the first half. Ryan Bray had 2 goals and 5 assists. Tim Rotanz had 4 goals and 2 assists. Troy Miller had 3 goals with 3 assists.

Click below for a live blog from Tuesday’s game:

07/13/12 8:54pm
07/13/2012 8:54 PM

BILL LANDON PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River goalkeeper Kelly Wynkoop will be starting her third season as the varsity starter this fall.

Kelly Wynkoop was admittedly rusty in goal at the start of the summer league season a few weeks ago. After all, it had been a long time since she last played an organized soccer game.

“My first game I just dropped every single ball,” said Wynkoop, a Shoreham-Wading River junior.

Seven games into the Town of Brookhaven Summer League, Wynkoop has quickly gotten back into groove. She made nine saves Friday afternoon — including a game-saving play in the final seconds — in a 2-1 win against Bayport-Blue Point at the Patchogue-Medford Youth Fields.

To see Wynkoop perform well in goal is nothing new for the Wildcats. She’ll be entering her third year as the starting goalkeeper this fall on the varsity team.

What is surprising is how she does it.

In a sport consumed by club and travel teams, clinics and camps — to the point where high school teams are almost afterthoughts for elite players — Wynkoop hardly plays the game outside school.

She hasn’t played on a club team since seventh grade. She doesn’t spend her summers away at soccer camps. She’s a three-month soccer player disguised as a year-round goalie.

“I never really had any professional training, never really go to camps,” Wynkoop said. “I’m kind of a bum.”

BILL LANDON PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River midfielder Courtney Clasen assisted on the Wildcats’ game-winning goal.

Her play suggests otherwise.

Bayport kept her busy with an array of high shots that she had to snatch out of the air. And when Bayport’s Nicole Geoghan found herself with an open lane to the goal with under 10 seconds left in the game, Wynkoop darted toward her as the last line of defense. She reached the ball just in time and got a piece of it to prevent Geoghan from scoring the game-tying goal.

“That was terrifying,” she said. “I kind of threw my body in front it hoping not to get kicked in the face. I’m glad I got a piece of it and then they were there to back me up. But that was really scary.”

For most players with several years of varsity experience, they often attend summer league games at their convenience. Club and travel teams tend to take precedent.

But without all those other commitments, the summer league turns into a critical warm-up period for the fall season for Wynkoop. It’s a chance to shake off some of the rust and get back on the field.

“It’s mostly getting my hands ready again,” she said. “I need it because otherwise I wouldn’t be good. It’s my only real warm-up for the real season.”

Wynkoop missed last week because of a vacation, but has otherwise been in goal each game, which is good news for the Wildcats because there isn’t much depth at the position behind her.

“There are no other goalies,” she said.

When Wynkoop came up to the varsity as a freshman, she never expected to start. There was as an older player in front of her. But she quickly won the job and never relinquished it.

The Wildcats made the playoffs in both her seasons. And now as a junior, she’ll be one of the veteran players on the team in the fall.

The Wildcats lost their top offensive players to graduation, including All-State players Kari Quinn and Shannon McDonnell.

The summer league has been an opportunity for some of the newer players to gain some experience and show what they can do. The results have been positive. With Friday’s win the Wildcats improved to 5-1-1.

“I was surprised we’re actually winning,” Wynkoop said. “We lost our whole offense, but we’re holding up pretty well.”

Wynkoop said incoming-freshman Megan Kelly has been an offensive spark for the Wildcats. She scored both of Shoreham’s goals Friday. The second came with five minutes left in the second half. Courtney Clasen lofted a high-arching shot from the left side that sent Bayport’s goalkeeper backpedaling toward the goal. Kelly was in position at the far post when the ball came down to get a piece of it and put it in.

Kelly tied the game at 1 immediately after Bayport had struck for the first goal early in the first half. King sent a hard shot from the right side off the crossbar and into the cage. Makayla Meeker set her up with the assist.

A game earlier Kelly scored the game-winning goal in overtime. Wynkoop actually had the assist.

“I just punted it and it went through people for some reason,” she said. “And [Kelly] scored.”

The Phantoms tested Wynkoop more than any team so far in the summer, which is how she likes it.

“Today was the first game I was really, really busy,” she said. “I work better under pressure. When I don’t get a lot of action is when I’m more likely to fumble or slip. When I get in the zone, I work a lot better.”

joew@timesreview.com

05/30/12 7:45pm
05/30/2012 7:45 PM

BILL LANDON PHOTO | Bayport-Blue Point senior Tim McGrath walks off the field after Shoreham-Wading River won on a walk-off single Wednesday for the Class A county title.

SUFFOLK CLASS A TOURNAMENT | WILDCATS 3, PHANTOMS 2 (8 INNINGS)

Say this about the Shoreham-Wading River High School baseball team, it has a flair for the dramatic.

The top-seeded Wildcats produced their third walk-off hit in the playoffs to beat No. 2 Bayport-Blue Point for the second time in as many days on Wednesday and capture their seventh Suffolk County championship.

Drew Sperruzzi’s two-out single in the bottom of the eighth inning scored pinch runner Sean Logan, giving Shoreham a thrilling 3-2 triumph, not to mention its second straight Suffolk Class A title. It is the first time since the 1980s that Shoreham (20-5) has won back-to-back county crowns, according to Shoreham coach Sal Mignano.

In doing so, the Wildcats advance to a Long Island final against Island Trees or Plainedge on Tuesday at the Dowling Sports Complex.

“I don’t even know what to say,” said Sperruzzi, a junior left fielder who never stroked a walk-off hit before. “We’re just a comeback team, and we never give up. We don’t give up until the last out.”

After the teams headed into the eighth inning at Kevin Williams Memorial Field, Shoreham pitcher Dan DeVito (7-0) retired the Phantoms in order. Then it was Shoreham’s chance to snatch victory in the bottom half of the inning.

Jono Criscito ripped a one-out single that shot off the pitcher’s mound and flew into center field. Tyler Osik then hit into a fielder’s choice, but made it to second base on an error, Bayport’s fourth of the game. After Logan trotted onto the field as a pinch runner for Osik, Sperruzzi made the most of his chance with a well-struck shot to right field.

“I knew [Bayport pitcher Mike Farley] was going to be throwing a lot of curveballs so I just wanted to stay back in the box and try to hit the other way,” Sperruzzi said. “I knew it was a hit right when I hit it.”

Shoreham players and coaches rushed onto the field in celebration. But amid the jubilation, some screams of pain could be heard.

One of Shoreham’s assistant coaches, Mike Gengler, was writhing on the ground in agony. Gengler apparently injured an ankle. Sperruzzi said Gengler jumped into his arms, but landed awkwardly.

“Crazy,” said Sperruzzi.

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Mignano, who watched the dog pile from the dugout, said he joked to Gengler, “You have to draw the attention, right?”

Medical personnel attended to Gengler while the Wildcats took a victory lap around the field, waving a Shoreham flag.

Yes, interesting things seem to happen when Shoreham plays a playoff game.

Shoreham never trailed in the game, although Bayport (18-6) did tie the score at 2-2 on Chris Brewer’s run-scoring single. Singles by Zach Campanelli and Farley set up that run.

That came an inning after Shoreham blew an opportunity to put some distance between itself and Bayport by leaving runners on second and third without scoring.

“With this team, it’s not deflating because they’ve proven to me that they just bounce back every time, and don’t let that bother them,” said Mignano.

Mike O’Reilly, who has hit two walk-off home runs for Shoreham in the playoffs, looked as if he might do it again. After Nick Bottari (3 for 4) drilled a two-out liner past the third baseman, Brewer, it was O’Reilly who put a scare into the Phantoms, crushing a ball that traveled some 370 feet to deep center field. Matt McKinnon caught it a few feet from the fence.

That left it up to Sperruzzi, who has been the No. 7 batter in Shoreham’s order all year, to come through.

“He proved today that he could get it done just as well as anybody by stroking the ball the other way,” Bottari said. “That’s what you have to do against a pitcher that’s throwing you a lot of curveballs.”

Shoreham had gotten off to a good start, taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Bottari slammed a home run, his fifth of the year, some 350 feet, and Danny Luppens scored on a throwing error.

Farley socked a solo homer of his own in the second to put Bayport on the scoreboard.

DeVito threw a five-hitter with no walks and one strikeout as he pitched his second complete extra-inning game. The senior right-hander has pitched 17 innings in five days. Not that he was complaining about the workload. On the contrary.

“I could pitch all day,” he said. “I love it.”

Bayport’s ace, Farley (9-1), also went the distance, taking his first loss. The junior righty gave up seven hits and two earned runs. He issued three walks and had five strikeouts.

“Credit Shoreham,” Bayport coach Jim Moccio said. “They played like they’ve been here before. They really did.”

Shoreham had defeated Bayport, 6-0, the day before to force this decisive game. It was a Game 7, in the sense that it was the seventh game played between the two teams this year. Shoreham won four of them. This latest game, DeVito said, was the toughest his team had played all year. That might have made the victory celebration all the more sweeter.

“It’s just indescribable,” Bottari said. “It’s just a rush that you have that feels so great.”

bliepa@timesreview.com