After finding themselves in a 4-2 hole, the mood of the members of the Eastport South Manor baseball team was dull and lifeless until a pair of Bellport miscues reenergized the squad, which then rallied for a 7-4 comeback victory last Thursday, March 29.
“I talked about not having a letdown game and I was a little nervous that day,” ESM coach Todd Scala said of the game against Bellport as his team was coming off an 11-0 rout of Huntington. “Their pitcher came out and did a good job keeping us off balance at the plate early on.”
Bellport put a pair of runs on the board in both the top of the second and third innings and ESM responded with two in the bottom of the third on an Anthony Annunziata sacrifice fly and a Bellport error.
Then, another miscue by the opponent gave the team the boost it needed. With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Shark Andrew Karkota singled and with Anthony Annunziata at the plate, he took off for second base. The attempted pick off throw sailed into center field and as Karkota headed to third, the Bellport center fielder rushed his throw over to the third and the ball sailed 10 feet over the third baseman’s head into dead ball territory, allowing Karkota to score.
While that run just pulled the home team to within one, it was the spark the Sharks needed.
Bellport looked to get the run back in the top of the sixth, but ESM relief pitcher Dalton McCarthy, who came in during the fifth inning, recorded a strike out with the bases loaded to add even more fire to the home team’s step.
Shark Ryan Malvin led off the bottom of the sixth with a walk and Billy Goncalves reached on an error to set up Niko Bedell’s go-ahead double to right field to give ESM a 5-4 advantage.
The Sharks added a cushion to their lead with an RBI single off the bat of Karkota and a run-scoring double from McCarthy.
McCarthy got back on the mound and sat the side down in order, including two strikeouts, in the top of the seventh to seal the victory.
The win over Bellport improved the Sharks to 3-0 in League V play.
“The bats are slowly coming around, we’re hitting the ball well,” Scala said. “But the key for us is pitching. If we allow the other teams to put the ball in play, we’ll make the plays on defense and have success.”
ESM Tops Huntington
Prior to the game against Bellport, the Sharks dominated Huntington, 11-0, at home on March 28.
While the final score shows an offensive onslaught, it was the pitching of Billy Goncalves that impressed coach Scala. Goncalves went the distance, carrying a no-hitter through four innings. He finished the day with 12 strikeouts while allowing just one hit and hitting one batter. Coach Scala noted that the Huntington offense didn’t hit a single ball out of the infield.
Malvin went 3 for 3 while Flynn added two hits and two RBIs. Bedell, who was the team’s designated hitter for the day, chipped in with a pair of hits and two RBIs.ON THE SCHEDULE: Wednesday, 4/4, at Kings Park, 4 p.m.; Monday, 4/9, vs. Comsewogue, 11 a.m.; Wednesday, 4/11, at Comsewogue, 11 a.m.