Wyatt Schmidt came up big for the Southampton baseball team in a 9-8 win over Hampton Bays on the road on Friday, which completed a three-game sweep of the series for the Mariners.
The junior captain came in to pitch with two outs in the second inning for Southampton, taking over with two runners on base. The Baymen scored another run to take a 6-4 lead, but Schmidt finished out the game on the mound and allowed only two more runs. The Mariners offense did the rest, and Schmidt was a big part of that effort as well. He finished 2 for 3 with two walks and three runs scored and he also stole four bases on the day.
Schmidt is a versatile player for the Mariners but is most often at second base or shortstop. In the past, he’s been limited on the mound because of elbow tendonitis, but head coach Ike Birdsall said that Schmidt seems to be working out of that problem, and his ability to last for more than an inning or two came at a good time on Friday.
Garrett Pike and Teague Florio were key in the win as well, with Pike going 3 for 5 with four RBIs, while Florio had two hits and scored three times.
Hampton Bays threatened in the bottom of the seventh inning, leading off with a double and a walk, but Southampton snuffed out the rally after that.
Ryan Schultheis was 2 for 3 with two RBIs for Hampton Bays, while Nick Giannone was 2 for 4. Jack Kearney took the pitching loss, going four and one-third innings allowing seven hits with eight strikeouts and five walks, although head coach Pete Meehan said that Kearney “pitched better than the numbers indicated.”
“We didn’t give him good defensive support,” he added.
Ben Frost came on in relief and struck out five batters.
A day earlier at home, the Mariners beat Hampton Bays, 10-4, to take a 2-0 lead in the series. Southampton won the first game, 19-6, on April 9 in Hampton Bays.
On Friday, catcher Alex Soyars was the hero for the Mariners, hitting a grand slam in the third inning to put his team up for good, giving it a 4-2 lead. Soyars was behind in the count with two strikes, worked it to a full count and fouled off several pitches in the 13-pitch at bat before sending the ball over the fence. His shot gave Southampton the lead for good. Meehan called the battle between Soyars and his pitcher, Schultheis, a “great high school at bat.”
“Schultheis was making great pitches and Soyars was fouling off some great pitches,” he said.
Florio started and got the pitching win in that game.
Soyars was 2 for 3 with four RBIs and two runs while Henry Egan was 2 for 3 and chipped in a pair of runs and two RBIs.
Hampton Bays had an early 2-0 lead before Soyars’s slam opened the floodgates.
“I think they were up for the game and even though we started off slow, I think it was just them putting pressure on themselves,” Southampton head coach Ike Birdsall said. “Once they relaxed, the runs came in bunches.”
The sweep of the series improved Southampton’s record to 3-5 in League VIII while the Baymen fell to 1-7. Their only win of the season thus far was their opener against the Mariners, which they won, 5-3, on March 26.
Southampton was scheduled to take on first-place Babylon (8-0) in a three-game series this week. Although the Panthers sit atop the League VIII standings, Birdsall said on Monday that he was hopeful his team could pick up some wins against the first-place team.
“I expect some hard-fought games,” he said. “But I don’t think they’re unbeatable. I think we match up well against them. We were beating them in the first game before we gave up a bunch of runs in the fifth inning.”
The Baymen, meanwhile, will try to snap their seven-game losing streak in a series with Center Moriches (6-2) this week.ON THE SCHEDULE: Southampton—Thursday, 4/19, vs. Babylon, 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 4/20, at Babylon, 4:30 p.m.; Monday, 4/23, vs. Mercy, 4:30 p.m. Hampton Bays—Thursday, 4/19, vs. Center Moriches, 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 4/20, at Center Moriches, 4:30 p.m.; Monday, 4/23, vs. Mattituck, 4 p.m.