12/29/13 7:00am
12/29/2013 7:00 AM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Matt Crohan, the only non-senior starter for Riverhead on Senior Day, did not allow an earned run and gave up two hits in six innings for his first career win.

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Blue Waves baseball pitcher Matt Crohan.

At times during the 2013 season, it seemed almost unfair for any batter who stepped up to plate against Riverhead’s towering left-hander, Matt Crohan.

For two months, he mowed through one lineup after another. He posted a streak of 44 straight scoreless innings and threw a pair of no-hitters. His magnificent season earned him the Carl Yastrzemski Award as the top baseball player in Suffolk County.

He became the first Riverhead player to ever win the award. He was also the League IV Most Valuable Player and was Newsday’s Long Island Player of the Year.

Crohan now attends Winthrop University, where he’ll continue his baseball career this spring.

Editor’s note: We’re counting down the top 10 sports stories of 2013. Check back every day until Jan. 1 to follow along.

06/12/13 9:02pm
06/12/2013 9:02 PM

BILL LANDON PHOTO | Riverhead senior Matt Crohan with the Yastrzemski Award, which he received Wednesday night at the Suffolk Baseball Coaches Assocciation’s all-county dinner.

For two months this spring, Matt Crohan mowed through lineup after lineup in dominating fashion for the Riverhead baseball team. The Blue Waves’ ace lefty ran off a 44-straight-inning scoreless streak and pitched a pair of no-hitters.

His achievements were at the forefront Wednesday night as Crohan was honored with the the Yastrzemski Award as the top baseball player in Suffolk County. Named in honor of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, the award has been given every year since 1968.

Crohan became the first Riverhead player to ever win the award.

“Everyone in this room is so talented and everyone had such great years,” Crohan said. “To be recognized for that just feels great.”

Crohan received the award at the Suffolk Baseball Coaches Association’s all-county dinner at Villa Lombardi in Holbrook. Crohan was the League IV Most Valuable Player, which put him in contention for the Yastrzemski Award.

He was also presented Newsday’s Long Island Player of the Year Award and was one of nine Suffolk County players to be named to Newsday’s All-Long Island first team.

“I’m very proud of him,” said Riverhead coach Rob Maccone. “He worked hard and deserved it.”

A three-year varsity player who will attend Winthrop University, Crohan was a duel threat this season both on the mound and at the plate. It was his pitching prowess that stood out most as Crohan struck out 104 batters in 47 innings, a school record. At the plate he batted over .400.

It took until the final game of the season before Crohan gave up a run. And that came on a two-out hit by Fordham-bound Luke Stampfl, one of the top hitters in the county. The only runs he gave up all season came in that one inning.

Opponents batted a measly .060 against Crohan this season.

This marks the second straight year a local player won the Yastrzemski Award. Last year Mike O’Reilly of Shoreham-Wading River won it.

joew@timesreview.com

05/07/13 7:19pm
05/07/2013 7:19 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead senior Matt Crohan gave up his first runs of the season Tuesday against Half Hollow Hills West.

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.

joew@timesreview.com

04/02/13 9:05pm
04/02/2013 9:05 PM

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | As scouts point their radar guns behind home plate, Riverhead senior Matt Crohan fires a pitch against Keith Gurciullo of Centereach Tuesday.

BLUE WAVES 4, COUGARS 0

Riverhead coach Rob Maccone stepped out of the dugout for a brief moment during the fifth inning Tuesday against Centereach. When he walked back toward the bench, the Riverhead fielders were already jogging back into the dugout.

“That was the inning?” Maccone said incredulously.

When senior Matt Crohan is on the mound, there’s always the chance an inning can end very quickly. In the fifth he struck out the side on 12 pitches, part of another dominant performance in front of a handful of scouts as the Blue Waves blanked the Cougars 4-0 in the first of a three-game League IV series.

In his second start of the season, Crohan fired off his second no-hitter while fanning 18 batters at Riverhead High School.

Including a no-hitter against East Islip March 27, Crohan has 33 strikeouts in 14 innings without giving up a hit.

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Matt Crohan struck out 18 batters in Tuesday’s win, his second no-hitter of the season.

“I don’t even know if this has been done before at Riverhead,” Maccone said. “If it has, it hasn’t been in a really long time.”

Crohan overpowered Centereach (2-2) with his fastball on a chilly afternoon, mixing in an occasional curveball or change-up. But for the most part, all he needed to do was pound the strike zone and the Cougars were helpless to even make contact.

“You just got to go out there and play every team like they’re the Yankees,” Crohan said afterward as he held a rake by the third base bag.

Riverhead’s 6-foot-3 lefty struggled with his control at times and he finished with five walks on 123 pitches. The Cougars got two runners on in the fourth via walks before Cohan came back to get two strikeouts.

In the seventh he walked the first two batters and the Cougars loaded the bases with one out to bring the tying run to the plate. Once again, Crohan had an answer by striking out Joe Soutar and Mike Mongiori to end the game.

“I just had to finish more on everything,” Crohan said. “I wasn’t getting out enough. When it came down to runners on base all I have to worry about is my mechanics because I know Cody [Smith] is back there. He’s going to block everything for me.”

When the Cougars were at the plate, Riverhead’s fielders were mostly spectators. There was one sacrifice bunt to field in the fourth. And in the sixth third baseman John Wendt snagged a nasty hop on a grounder to throw out leadoff hitter Nick Dixon. Second baseman Kenny Simco scooped up a grounder to throw out the next runner for the only other out recorded in the field.

While the two no-hitters were an electrifying start to the season, Crohan said the only thing that mattered was that the game got the victory.

“If we had won 2-0, 2-1 or even a 7-6 game I would have been happy with that,” he said. “It doesn’t matter about the stats as long as you’re getting the Ws.”

The Blue Waves (2-2) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second inning by playing some small ball, which isn’t necessarily their style, Maccone said.

“I just wanted to get on the board early,” Maccone said.

After two walks to lead off the inning, Brian Brenton laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners up. Bobby Dilworth followed with a perfectly executed squeeze bunt to bring home Crohan with the game’s first run.

The Blue Waves added another run in the third after a double play call was overturned. With the bases loaded Crohan grounded to short for what appeared to be a double play. But the relay throw to first took the first baseman off the bag. The home plate umpire overruled the call after the umpire in the field asked for help.

The Blue Waves added two in the sixth, capped by an RBI single to right from shortstop Jesse Patriss.

Riverhead returns to the field Wednesday at Centereach for the second game of the series. They’ll hope the momentum from Tuesday’s dominant performance from Crohan can carry over.

“If you get a win early it puts the other team into a hole,” Crohan said. “They have to come back to try to win the series and they’re on their toes.”

joew@timesreview.com