Baseball: Riverhead’s comeback stalls against Copiague

Ryan Gaffney hit a two-run home run for Riverhead Monday. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)
Ryan Gaffney hit a two-run home run for Riverhead Monday. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)


As Cody Smith popped up from a slide into third base, the Riverhead senior looked over toward the Blue Waves’ bench and yelled out a rally cry: “Wake up! C’mon!”

Smith’s deep liner to center field in the fifth inning brought home one run against Copiague Monday and briefly pulled the Blue Waves out of a malaise. 

On the next pitch after Smith’s hit, Ryan Gaffney yanked a ball over the right field fence for a two-run home run. The life was back in the Riverhead dugout, but the rally soon expired.

The Blue Waves fell 7-5 at home to the Eagles in Riverhead, dropping the first game of a three-game series. Both teams came into the game searching for their first league win and the Blue Waves (4-5, 0-4 League IV) will try again Wednesday.

The Blue Waves fell behind by five runs before scoring three in the fifth. They got the tying run to the plate in the sixth inning but stranded a runner at third with one out.

After being swept by Half Hollow Hills West to open the League IV season, Riverhead began this series against Copiague, one of the weaker teams in a deep league, needing some wins. The third game of the series won’t be played until Saturday because no games are scheduled Thursday and Friday. With poor weather in the forecast for Wednesday, the teams could end up playing a doubleheader Saturday to finish the series.

Copiague’s No. 1 starter, Edwards Collado, went the distance to earn the win for the Eagles Monday. Josh Brewster took the loss for Riverhead. He pitched 3 1/3 innings and gave up six runs. Nick Stimpfel came in with two runners on and one out in the fourth. Vincent Pensabene singled home two runs off Stimpfel to put Copiague ahead 6-2.

Smith reached base three times for Riverhead with a triple, walk and he was hit by a pitch.

Copiague (2-7, 1-3) scored three in the second inning before the Blue Waves answered with two in the bottom half. Brewster singled to left field to bring home the second run.