Aviator Field in Westhampton is known for being a hitter-friendly park. It might have been at its friendliest on Thursday.
It was good to be a hitter in Game 1 of the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League semifinals between the Riverhead Tomcats and Westhampton Aviators. It was even better to be an Aviator.
A wild slugfest that saw the teams combine for 36 runs and 31 hits ended in Westhampton’s favor, 20-16. Chris Dutra led the hit parade for the defending champion Aviators, driving in five runs on 3-for-5 hitting that included a home run. A.J. Montoya also homered. Eric Callahan, Matt Hansen and Cam Climo provided three RBIs each. Joe Curcio scored four runs.
The Tomcats, who clinched their second straight playoff berth by sweeping the Aviators on Tuesday, were led by designated hitter Freddy Sabido, who had five RBIs with a homer. Brian Cox went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and four runs scored.
All 19 batters who stepped to the plate had at least one hit. The only scoreless inning was the ninth.
It wasn’t a good day to be a pitcher, but Grant Young ended up with the win, allowing four runs (only one earned) and five hits over 2 1/3 innings. Richard Jackson III pitched two perfect innings for the save.
The Tomcats shot out to a 5-0 lead by the second inning, but Westhampton erased that with a six-run rally in the bottom half of the inning.
In the fifth, though, the Tomcats rang up nine runs for a 15-7 lead. They banged out eight hits in the inning.
Westhampton tied it in the sixth with an eight-run explosion of its own.
After the Tomcats pushed across a run in the seventh for a 16-15 edge, Westhampton replied with four runs in its half of the inning to take a 19-16 lead. Montoya led off by homering on a 3-2 pitch. Two batters later, Dutra connected on a two-run homer.
The Tomcats were charged with eight errors.
The best-of-three series will go to Calverton Friday for Game 2.