TUCKERS 12, MONARCHS 2
Bats can do a lot of damage, especially in the hands of the Mattituck Tuckers.
Any doubt about that? Look at what Mattituck did on Tuesday when it opened its three-game League VIII baseball series against Bishop McGann-Mercy: 15 hits, two home runs (one from the No. 9 batter), hits from 10 players, multiple runs batted in from four players. The Tuckers had at least one hit in the first six innings. They staged successive four-run rallies in the fourth and fifth innings.
It all added up to a 12-2 result, Mattituck’s fourth straight win.
The field at Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School is unquestionably batter friendly, and there was a breeze blowing toward the outfield, but there was also no doubting Mattituck’s ability to put the ball in play.
“We’ve been practicing hours upon hours of just hitting in the gym and everything, so it definitely showed here,” said Chris Dwyer, who drove in three of Mattituck’s runs.
Mattituck (7-4, 7-3) scored in double figures for the third time in four games. John Schultz and Ian Nish both homered. The leadoff batter, Joe Tardif, supplied three hits himself, two of which were doubles, not to mention a pair of RBI.
“We’re a pretty good hitting team, and today was a good day,” Mattituck coach Steve DeCaro told reporters.
Both teams traded two runs each in the first inning, with Ryan Finger posting a two-run single for Mattituck, and McGann-Mercy’s Christian Lynch socking a two-out, two-run triple over left fielder James Nish.
Schultz, batting ninth in the order, launched his first home run of the season in the second to give Mattituck a 3-2 lead.
Then the game really got away from McGann-Mercy in the fourth. That was the inning when Nish clubbed his fourth home run of the season, a two-run shot, to make it 7-2. It capped a four-run rally that Mattituck duplicated the following inning when a ground-rule double by Dwyer brought in the last two of those runs for an 11-2 count.
Even less experienced players got into the act. Dylan Hahn, brought to the plate as a pinch hitter in the sixth, bounced a single down the left-field line to score the game’s final run. He is 3 for 3 in his brief varsity career.
Later that inning, John Dwyer, Chris’ younger brother, was given his first varsity at-bat, and it’s one he’ll remember. He knocked a single through the left side of the infield.
“Now John Dwyer has a higher batting average on the varsity than Chris Dwyer,” cracked DeCaro.
The beneficiary of all this offensive production was Cameron Burt (3-0), who turned in a complete-game performance. Burt, who had excellent movement on his curveball, did not allow a run after the first inning. He recorded 10 strikeouts, gave up six hits, walked two and hit a batter.
“You look at the score and you’re like, ‘Ohhh,’ ” McGann-Mercy coach Ed Meier said. “You want to feel bad, but I don’t really see what else we could have done.”
It was the first loss in four games for the Monarchs (3-4, 3-4).
Lynch said the best thing for his team to do was have selective amnesia. “We can’t dwell on this game,” he said. “We got to move on.”
Chris Dwyer, who normally plays second base, moved over to shortstop while the team’s regular shortstop, Marcos Perivolaris, sat out his second game with a concussion. DeCaro said he hoped to have Perivolaris back on Monday.
For all of the hitting, DeCaro said what he really liked was the fact that Burt threw strikes, and the fielding behind him was impeccable. “I think, more than the hitting, those two things appeal to coaches,” said DeCaro.
Even so, it was quite a hitting display, one that didn’t go unnoticed.
“There’s no break in that lineup, and it showed,” Meier said. “These guys can hit, 1 through 9. That’s a very good hitting club. That’s what they do, and they did it today.”