BLUE WAVES 5, LIONS 4
The cold, snowy start to the spring season created more than an inconvenience for the Riverhead baseball team. Thanks to several postponements, the schedule morphed into a murder’s row of pitchers for the Blue Waves, one ace after another.
The Blue Waves’ three games against East Islip became spread out over so much time, it allowed the Redmen to throw their No. 1 pitcher in each game. The Blue Waves went 0-3.
On Friday afternoon, it was another standout pitcher on the mound: West Islip junior James Kory, who went undefeated last year leading the Lions to the Class AA Long Island Championship.
The Blue Waves trailed twice by two runs against Kory, rallying back each time to pull out an impressive 5-4 victory in Riverhead that coach Rob Maccone described as the biggest win of the year.
The Blue Waves scored twice in the sixth inning to take their only lead of the game. Second baseman Cody Dilworth delivered the game-winning hit, a single through the left side that brought home shortstop Kenny Simco.
Simco had tied the game with a double to left field that scored Joe Cunningham.
Riverhead pitcher Nick Herzog took the one-run lead into the seventh. After giving up a leadoff double, Maccone turned to Simco to close out the game.
It set up for a tense finish.
Simco walked the first batter he faced before bouncing back to strike out the next two batters, both looking. With runners on second and third after a passed ball, Simco got the final out on a groundout to third to preserve the victory that improves Riverhead’s record to 4-5.
Herzog earned the win for Riverhead, giving up two earned runs over six innings.
The Blue Waves trailed 2-0 in the second inning, then tied the game with two in the fourth. The Lions came back with two in the fifth inning to go ahead 4-2.
Riverhead got back one in the fifth, a rally that started with two outs.
Riverhead will start a three-game series with Newfield Monday.