Baseball: Tomcats one win from their first title

The Riverhead Tomcats are one win away from their first Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League championship.

This has all the promise of being a special season for the Tomcats, who finished the regular season in first place for the first time in their 10-year history. They earned the top seed in the playoffs and picked up their first postseason win in six years. Now, they’re on the verge of capping their greatest season ever with a coveted championship.

The Tomcats, appearing in their third championship series in nine years (they reached the finals in 2010 and 2012), took a big step Monday with an 8-2 defeat of the defending champion Long Island Road Warriors. Chris Stefl led the way for the Tomcats, driving in three runs on 3-for-4 hitting with a pair of doubles at Veterans Memorial Park in Calverton. Eduardo Malinowski and Connor Echols added three hits apiece while Josh Greene chipped in a pair of RBIs.

Winning pitcher Daniel O’Donnell allowed six hits over six innings before Nick DeSalvo took over for him, hurling three scoreless innings.

Both of the Road Warriors’ runs were knocked in by Matthew Stepnoski.

Game 2 is set for Tuesday at Southampton High School. If a third game is required, it would be played Wednesday in Calverton.