GARRET MEADE PHOTO
Bishop McGann-Mercy pitcher Tom Tenaglia gave up six hits and two earned runs over five and two-thirds innings.
Rocco Pascale had a monster game.
The Bishop McGann-Mercy Monarchs baseball team, led by the slugging of the red-hot Pascale, hammered the Port Jefferson Royals, 13-2, in Game 1 of the best-of-three Suffolk County Class C finals last Wednesday in Riverhead. Pascale delivered a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the third inning to snap a 1-1 tie. Then, in the fifth, with the Monarchs clinging to a 3-2 lead, the McGann-Mercy first baseman launched a mighty three-run homer to break the game open.
Pascale finished with three hits and five runs batted in.
“Rocco has a quick bat,” McGann-Mercy Coach Ed Meier said afterward. “He goes to the opposite field nicely. There are not many holes in his swing. Rocco is an RBI and hitting machine.”
This is the Monarchs’ fourth playoff appearance in the last five years. McGann-Mercy, after finishing with a sub-.500 league record last year, was hungry to return to the postseason after its petition to Section XI was denied last year.
“We returned almost everyone from last year and these kids were motivated,” Meier said. “They were hungry to do better. We were right at the door. We knew we just had to work harder.”
After the Royals scored a run in the top of the first off McGann-Mercy’s ace pitcher, Tom Tenaglia, the Monarchs immediately answered right back. Keith Schroeher blasted a home run on the first pitch in the bottom of the first. Pascale’s two-run single in the third put McGann-Mercy ahead to stay.
Pascale’s three-run homer in the fifth ignited a seven-run rally. Ian Traynor added a two-run homer. McGann-Mercy tallied three insurance runs in the sixth as Al Yakabowski lined a two-run single and Schroeher had a run-scoring single.
Tenaglia settled in on a hot, humid afternoon, and went five and two-third innings to get the win. He scattered six hits and gave up two earned runs. He walked three and struck out four.
“Tom didn’t have his best stuff,” Meier said, “but it was hot and he battled through it.”
When Tenaglia began to tire, Joe Crosser came in and retired three of the final four outs on strikeouts.