SUFFOLK COUNTY CLASS A TOURNAMENT | WILDCATS 7, KNIGHTS 2
It sure seemed as if Elwood/John Glenn had Shoreham-Wading River’s number. The previous four games between the two high school baseball teams had ended the same way: with Glenn victories.
This time, however, with much more riding on the line, Shoreham survived to play another day.
Boosted by a four-run burst in the first inning, steady pitching from Matt Fox and Mike Keller’s third home run of the year, the fifth-seeded Wildcats got the better of No. 1 seed Glenn, 7-2, on Saturday to level the Suffolk County Class A Tournament semifinal series at a game apiece. The teams will meet again in a decisive third game on Tuesday at Glenn’s field for the right to advance to the final against No. 2 Comsewogue or No. 3 Bayport-Blue Point.
Saturday was Shoreham’s day. Perhaps the Wildcats (13-9) felt comfortable playing in front of their home fans on their familiar Kevin Williams Memorial Field. Among those watching were their former longtime coach, Sal Mignano, who stepped down after last season.
The Wildcats didn’t waste any time putting up runs. They struck for five hits in the first inning, including a two-run single that Chris Sperruzzi bounced up the middle and a run-scoring single by Miles Kelly. Brian Morrell, who had reached base by slamming a ground-rule double, later scored on a wild pitch.
The Wildcats looked loose and relaxed, and their early 4-0 lead certainly didn’t hurt. They tacked on a run for a 5-0 lead in the second when Fox was squeezed home on a bunt by John Montesano.
Perhaps the coup de grâce, however, was Keller’s line-drive home run that traveled about 340 feet in the third. The batter before him, Sperruzzi, had taken a pitch down the right-field line for a double.
With Keller’s blow, the score was 7-0.
Glenn (17-5) put up a run in the sixth. After successive singles by Mike Mannix, Nick Citarella and Luke Citarella loaded the bases, Ronan Quinn brought the run in on a fielder’s choice.
Mannix singled in the final run in the seventh, completing his 3-for-4 day.
Fox (4-2), a senior right-hander, allowed six hits over five and one-third innings before making way for reliever Zach White, who finished the game. Fox walked two and fired six strikeouts.