TUCKERS 11, MONARCHS 3
The Mattituck offense is a fierce, multi-headed beast, feared as much for its speed and consistency as its power. Whether it be by small ball, long ball or a combination of both, the Tuckers play winning ball.
A perfect case in point was the opener to their Suffolk County League VIII baseball series against Bishop McGann-Mercy on Tuesday. The Tuckers’ offense was so potent that they held a 2-0 lead through the first three innings without the benefit of a hit. Both of the runs were scored in a virtually identical manner. The leadoff hitter, Joe Tardif, drew a walk, stole second base and advanced to third on either a groundout or a balk. Then, he was brought home on sacrifice flies by Chris Dwyer.
Voilá! It’s 2-0, just like that.
But Mattituck’s best was yet to come. The Tuckers treated the home fans to a nine-run explosion in the fifth inning and turned what had been a surprisingly tight game into an 11-3 hammering.
It was the third time this season that the Tuckers (7-0, 7-0) have scored 11 runs in a game. They have scored 60 runs in seven games. After sweeping three-game series from Hampton Bays and Southampton, the defending league champions began their three-game series against McGann-Mercy (0-7, 0-7) on the right foot.
Six of Mattituck’s eight hits came in the fifth inning. The Tuckers made 13 plate appearances that inning, reaching base on the first six of them.
James Nish walloped an 0-2 pitch for a two-run homer, his third of the season, making the score 4-1. But there was a lot more damage to come. It was one of four two-run hits during the rally. Marcos Perivolaris stroked a two-run double before Ian Nish and Will Gildersleeve both slugged two-run singles to drive the commanding lead up to 11-1.
Not bad considering the Tuckers didn’t manage their first hit off starter Matt Raynor until Mike Onufrak poked a one-out single to left field in the fourth.
Mattituck’s No. 1 pitcher, Joe Tardif, raised his record to 2-0 with another impressive outing. The senior right-hander allowed three earned runs and four hits over five and two-thirds innings before making way for Victor Proferes. Tardif had seven strikeouts and walked three.
The Monarchs had pulled to within 2-1 in the fourth on an odd run. Jack Pavalchak, who led off with a single, later scored when, with the bases loaded, Leo Ellis was awarded first base on a catcher’s interference call.
The Monarchs didn’t score again until the sixth when Marco Pascale charged home on a groundout by Mike Shelton and Mike Capute singled in Jasper Bradley.