Deer Park’s 9-1 victory over Kings Park on Thursday, April 19, helped out the Eastport South Manor baseball team: It put the Sharks in a first-place tie with Kings Park, which, up until that loss, had won 10 straight games and was alone at the top of League V.
ESM (10-1 in League V), the third-ranked team in Class AA in the state, according to the New York State Coaches Association, and Kings Park, the top-ranked team in the state, do not play one another until the final series of the season on Monday, May 7. The Sharks do have a key series this week with third-place Bellport (8-3 in League V), which ESM defeated, 7-4, back on March 29.
ESM kept up with its League V counterparts last week by completing a sweep of Huntington. After having already won the first game of the series, 21-3, on April 16, ESM won the second game, 13-3, at Huntington on April 18 before winning the series finale the following day by a score of 7-5.
In the second game of the series, ESM scored a run in every inning, with one in the first, two in the second, three in the third, one in the fourth, two in the fifth, three in the sixth, and one in the seventh. Senior Anthony Annunziata went 3 for 4 with a home run and two RBIs, while fellow senior Ryan Malvin went 4 for 5 with a triple and two RBIs. Junior Mike Flynn went 2 for 4 with a double, triple and three RBIs.
Senior Shark Billy Goncalves started on the hill and allowed one earned run on four hits and two walks in five innings. He struck out four and left the game with a 9-1 lead.
Coming into the final game of the series, ESM head coach Todd Skala said he knew Huntington was going to put its ace on the mound and didn’t want his team to take the Blue Devils too lightly. ESM senior Ryan Gili started on the mound and didn’t begin all that well, walking three batters who eventually came around to score to give Huntington a 3-0 lead. After the first inning, though, it was apparent that ESM was going to be able to keep up offensively.
The Sharks took one-run leads in both the bottom of the first and second innings, only to have the Blue Devils come back and tie the game both times. But in the bottom of the third, ESM went up for good when Flynn hit a three-run double to make it 7-4.
Gili ended up getting the win, with senior Dalton McCarthy pitching the final three innings to get the save. He struck out five. Annunziata went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and two stolen bases.ON THE SCHEDULE: Wednesday, 4/25, vs. Bellport; Thursday, 4/26, at Bellport, 4 p.m.; Monday, 4/30, vs. Deer Park, 4 p.m.