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04/22/17 3:08pm
04/22/2017 3:08 PM

No wonder Joe Miller and Chris Gray are good friends off the lacrosse field, given what they do for each other on the field with their contrasting styles.

It’s an interesting connection the two Shoreham-Wading River High School seniors share. Miller does the grunt work, winning faceoffs to bring the Wildcats possessions, and the flashy Gray, an all-American attack, scores the goals.

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02/18/17 3:47pm
02/18/2017 3:47 PM

Shoreham-Wading River basketball player Mackenzie Zajac 021817

Basketball can be a funny game. The Shoreham-Wading River High School girls team could afford to laugh about that notion Saturday.

Points were hard to come by in the first half of the Suffolk County Class A quarterfinal between Comsewogue and Shoreham. Neither side led by more than three points in the opening 16 minutes, which ended with Comsewogue holding a 17-16 edge.

Then third-seeded Shoreham won by 20 points.

05/06/11 8:13am
05/06/2011 8:13 AM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Matt Crohan, the only non-senior starter for Riverhead on Senior Day, did not allow an earned run and gave up two hits in six innings for his first career win.

On Senior Day, the Riverhead Blue Waves put the ball in the hands of a sophomore and never regretted it.

Matt Crohan, the only non-senior starter for Riverhead on Friday, did not allow an earned run and gave up two hits in six innings as he picked up his first career win. It was a big one, too, a 6-1 defeat of the visiting Comsewogue Warriors that could have been seen as a virtual must win for the Blue Waves. In order to make it into the playoffs, Riverhead (7-7, 6-6 in Suffolk County League IV) must win four of its remaining six games, three each against the North Babylon Bulldogs and the Bellport Clippers.

“It was just an honor just to go out there and playing with the seniors for one of the last times, a really special day,” said Crohan, the only 10th-grader on Riverhead’s 17-player roster. “I felt like I had to go out there and get a win for them.”

Riverhead Coach Rob Maccone started all eight of his seniors, who escorted their parents onto the field during a pregame ceremony. They were joined in the starting lineup by Crohan (1-2), a left-hander who struck out six and walked two as part of an 83-pitch performance before being relieved by Gabe Rice.

“He’s been lights out all season,” Maccone said of Crohan. “He’s dominating and we know it and the kids know it, and the kids rally behind him. He hasn’t thrown a bad game yet this year.”

Unlike previous outings, Crohan received offensive support. Jordan Demchuk drove in three runs from a home run — his first of the season — and a double. Jon Tucci and James Porco added two hits apiece.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Jordan Demchuk, who later homered, brought Riverhead a 5-1 lead when he socked a two-run double to right-center field in the second inning.

The only hits Crohan allowed Comsewogue (2-12, 2-10) were a leadoff single by Vin Aprea in the second inning and a leadoff single that T. J. Riccio lined off Crohan. Crohan still kept his focus on that later hit and covered first base while the first baseman, Demchuk, fielded the ball and tossed it to him on a close play.

“He always gives a grade-A performance,” Demchuk said of Crohan. “We know we always have a chance to win when he’s out on the mound.”

Crohan makes good use of his pitching arsenal — a changeup, drop, cutter and fastball — in addition to pitching with the composure of a player beyond his years. That is why he has a place in the starting rotation along with Jamie Fox, Rice and Glenn Patriss.

Crohan looked good in the later innings, too. He struck out the side in order in the sixth, with all three batters looking at called third strikes.

“I thought he was one of the best we’ve seen, very good,” Comsewogue Coach Mike Bonura said. “He’s a sophomore and he’s only going to get better.”

Riverhead went into the three-game series against Comsewogue hoping for a sweep, but had to settle for two wins instead. A gut-wrenching 2-0 loss to the Warriors on Thursday spoiled their sweep plans.

On Friday, Crohan walked the game’s first batter, Nick Calamia, who later scored on an error.

But Riverhead bounced back immediately, scoring five runs in the first two innings. Tucci led off the bottom of the first by slugging a single; he later scored Riverhead’s first run on a throwing error. The Blue Waves went ahead later in the inning when Porco allowed himself to be caught in a rundown so that Demchuk could score from third base.

Riverhead’s three-run second saw Tucci leg out an infield single to bring in one run and Demchuk sock a double to center field to score another two for a 5-1 lead.

Then Demchuk led off Riverhead’s half of the fifth by clocking a home run over the right-field fence.

“We just played great,” Crohan said. “Everyone did the right thing and we come out with a W.”

While the playoff implications are considerable, so is any win on Senior Day.

“The seniors, man, this is what they live for,” Maccone said. “You can go 1 and 15, but if you win Senior Day, it’s a special moment.”

One of those seniors, Demchuk, regards it as one of the biggest games on the schedule.

“We’ve all been together since we were 12 years old,” he said of his fellow 12th-graders. “We played on the same fall ball and summer ball teams for years. … We all have a bond.”

They want to extend that bond into the postseason. The Blue Waves are bidding to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. What are their chances?

“If we play like we did today, we’ll make it,” Maccone said, “and if we play like we did yesterday and the day before, it’s going to be tough.”

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05/03/11 7:09pm
05/03/2011 7:09 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Riverhead pitcher Gabe Rice entered the game in relief and allowed only one run over the final five innings.

It sure wasn’t pretty, but at this point in the high school baseball season the Riverhead Blue Waves cannot afford to be concerned with style points. Wins and losses are what count.

With every game precious in their pursuit of the playoffs, the Blue Waves must have breathed a collective sigh of relief Tuesday when the final out was recorded in the opener to their three-game series against the Comsewogue Warriors. Despite trailing by 7-2 and seeing their No. 1 pitcher pulled before the first out was recorded in the second inning, the Blue Waves salvaged an ugly win. Jon Tucci’s first home run of the season snapped an 8-8 tie and sent host Riverhead on the way to a 10-8 triumph that knocked Comsewogue out of playoff contention.

“It was not the way you thought it was going to happen, by any means, but, hey, a win’s a win, so I’ll take it,” said Riverhead Coach Rob Maccone.

Riverhead (6-6, 5-5 in Suffolk County League IV), which needs to win five of its eight remaining regular-season games in order to get into the playoffs, won with the aid of a 12-hit attack.

In a game in which both teams are hitting (Comsewogue had 11 hits) and both teams are making errors (three apiece), just about anything can happen.

“It was a wild game, the craziest game we’ve had this year,” said Riverhead left fielder Connor Carroll.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Riverhead second baseman Nick Prete tried to barehand this bouncing ball.

Trailing by 7-2 in the second inning, Riverhead recovered to go in front, 8-7, in the fifth by using some smart baseball. Carroll reached base when his ground ball scooted under the shortstop’s glove, allowing James Porco to score, tying it at 7-7. One out later, the Blue Waves traded an out for a run when Carroll purposefully became involved in a rundown. He wasn’t tagged out before his brother, Tyler Carroll, scored the go-ahead run from third.

Comsewogue (1-11, 1-9) used some small ball to even things up in the sixth. Clay Moosemueller led off with a bunt single. After him, Riley Shea delivered a sharp single and Vin Aprea walked to load the bases. Chris Friedl then hit into a fielder’s choice that brought home the equalizing run.

Tucci, the designated hitter who has been dealing with elbow trouble, led off the bottom of the sixth by driving a ball deep over the left-center-field fence. Maccone “makes us sprint [on home runs], but I knew it put us in the lead, so I had a little extra adrenaline,” said Tucci.

Maccone said: “I told him, ‘You need to get on.’ I didn’t tell him, ‘You need to hit a bomb,’ but, whatever, I’ll take it.”

Later that inning, Jordan Demchuk cracked a double, advanced to third base on a groundout and scored an insurance run on a wild pitch.

Gabe Rice, who relieved starter Jamie Fox in the second, retired three of four batters in the seventh to wrap up the win. After Riverhead’s disastrous second inning, when it gave up seven runs, Rice surrendered only one run the rest of the way.

“A lot of sloppiness,” Comsewogue Coach Mike Bonura said. “It’s just disappointing, very disappointing. It’s been a disappointing season. We’re young and we’re just making a lot of mistakes.”

The second game of the series will be at Comsewogue on Wednesday, with the third game back in Riverhead for Senior Day on Friday. Given Comsewogue’s struggles, Riverhead is contemplating a sweep, which would make its path to the playoffs easier.

“We needed this game,” Connor Carroll said. “This is a big series.”

One of the positives Riverhead could take from the game was its offensive production.

“We put the ball in play, we hit balls hard. That’s a big plus,” Maccone said. “We find ways to score runs, we find ways to get on base. We haven’t hit balls as hard as we did today. Today was the best offensive day that we’ve had.”

The Carroll family was responsible for four of Riverhead’s hits as Connor Carroll and Tyler Carroll banged out two hits apiece. Connor Carroll knocked in two runs. Demchuk and Porco also supplied two hits apiece for the Blue Waves.

Friedl and Pat Meyer drove in two runs each for Comsewogue.

Did the Blue Waves learn anything from this game?

“Even when we’re not playing our best baseball,” Connor Carroll said, “we can still pull out a win.”

Sounds like a playoff team.

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