CLASS A TOURNAMENT | BUCCANEERS 8, WILDCATS 5
Shoreham-Wading River’s success in the postseason before Tuesday came in large part to some terrific defense. The Wildcats relied on several key defensive plays to pull out wins over Comsewogue and Sayville, sending them into a matchup at home against Islip.
After jumping ahead 4-0 over Islip, the Wildcats uncharacteristically saw their defense crumble, allowing the Buccaneers to emerge with an 8-5 come-from-behind victory.
The loss drops the Wildcats into the loser’s bracket of the double-elimination tournament, where they’ll face an elimination game at Mount Sinai Wednesday afternoon. The Mustangs defeated Sayville Tuesday to advance.
The Wildcats will need a win over the Mustangs and then two wins over Islip to win the Class A county title. The Wildcats are 0-2 against Mount Sinai this season.
The Wildcats struck first against Islip when Joy Papagianopoulos drove in Alex Hutchins to break the ice followed by Nickey Ness’ RBI double to drive in Bailey Rand to put Shoreham ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the third.
“Many of us had good plays and a lot of players had good hits,” said Papagianopoulos. “But you have to put these together and that didn’t happen today.”
Ness crossed the plate to edge ahead 3-0 on a passed ball. Hutchins hit an RBI double to score Hailey Tilton and put Shoreham ahead 4-0.
In the top of the fourth, Islip loaded the bases, but the Wildcats escaped unharmed as the Buccaneers stranded all three runners.
Islip mounted its comeback in the top of the fifth, scoring two on a Wildcats error followed by an RBI single to trim the deficit to 4-3.
The Buccaneers went ahead in the sixth with a five-run inning.
Shoreham coach Amber O’Malley said today’s performance was not up to par.
“It’s not uncommon for us to have an inning like that and unfortunately today it was more than one,” she said. “So when you string innings like that together it’s not a product that’s going to win ball games.”
Tilton got the Wildcats within three when she hit a leadoff home run to center field. But it was as close as the Wildcats could get.
“We could’ve played a lot better,” Tilton said. “We’ve never had eight errors in a game before so it could’ve been a lot cleaner. For tomorrow we definitely have to let this game go and be ready to come out strong against Mount Sinai and not have eight errors.”