When a high school baseball team is young, inexperienced and battling to avoid finishing in last place in its league, as both Copiague and Riverhead are, it takes wins wherever it can find them.
Say this about Copiague: The Eagles haven’t won often this season, but when they finally posted their first “W” on Wednesday, it was big.
Copiague’s No. 8 batter, Ethan Tavares, went 4 for 5, drove in three runs and stole two bases as the Eagles romped, 15-6, at the Pulaski Sports Complex in Riverhead.
Copiague coach Bill Bennett could breathe a sigh of relief after his team’s first win in 13 Suffolk County League III games this season.
“It’s a big relief to get the monkey off the back,” he said. “The pressure was on to get a win. We needed one.”
All nine Copiague batters contributed to an 18-hit attack. Among them were Josh Lester and Franklin Parra with three hits apiece. Lester also scored three runs and drove in two more.
Copiague pitcher Eddie Vargas went the distance, allowing eight hits. He had three walks and four strikeouts.
Riverhead (2-12, 2-12) held a 3-1 lead, with two of those runs coming from a double by its starting pitcher, A.J. Gallo, in the second inning.
But the game took a dramatic turn in the fourth when Copiague produced seven runs, three scoring on wild pitches. Javier Benitez and Tavares singled in runs during the rally, which also included a bases-loaded walk by Paul Marinello and a sacrifice fly by Vargas.
Riverhead received a two-run single from Kevin Okula and two hits each from Scott Thompson and Zach Giannuzzi.
It wasn’t a pretty game, with the teams combining for nine errors.
Copiague’s win evened the three-game series at a game apiece. Riverhead took the first game, 7-5, in Copiague on Tuesday. The third game will be Friday in Copiague.
Photo caption: Riverhead first baseman Scott Thompson fielding a ground ball. (Credit: Garret Meade)