Southampton baseball is on a roll.
After disposing of Suffolk County Class B champion Babylon with an emphatic sweep last week, the Mariners (8-1) continued their dominance of League VIII by winning two more games this week against rival Center Moriches (6-4). On Saturday, the Red Devils halted Southampton’s unbeaten streak, handing the Mariners their first loss in a 6-3 game in Southampton that was originally scheduled for Friday but was pushed back a day due to bad weather.
Wyatt Schmidt (3-0) had another stellar outing on the mound in the series opener at home on April 9. Schmidt pitched his second complete game in a row, giving up only one unearned run, and he walked one and struck out 10 batters. He wasn’t too bad at the plate, either. Schmidt went 3 for 4 and stole three bases, drove in two runs, and scored two runs to lead the Mariners to an 11-1 rout.
Coach Ike Birdsall is pleased with how well Schmidt has progressed as a pitcher and how he’s fought through some injuries that plagued him the past couple of years.
“You know, this year he’s really becoming the pitcher that we had always envisioned him being,” said Birdsall, who was also impressed with the way Schmidt went after the Red Devils’ batters.
“He challenged Colombi and Bryant who are both really good hitters. He didn’t back down, he didn’t walk either one of them,” Birdsall said.
Garrett Pike helped provide some the offensive run support. He was perfect from the dish going 2 for 2 and walking twice, and he also stole a base, drove in one run, and scored a run.
Game two of the series in Center Moriches on the following day—a 14-10 win for the Mariners—saw a little more drama. Center Moriches broke the scoreless stalemate and led 1-0 after three innings. Southampton answered back however, and scored four runs in the top half of the fourth thanks to Kevin Edgar’s two-run double. Center Moriches countered to score five runs and re-take the lead, 5-4, to end the fourth inning. Eddie McLaughlin started the game for the Mariners and lasted three and two thirds innings. Birdsall pulled McLaughlin for southpaw David Kirshy to get the last out of the fourth, and he stayed in the game into the seventh inning. McLaughlin helped himself out at the plate with two hits including a double and he scored two runs. Both teams were held scoreless until the seventh inning when the Mariners offense turned on the power switch and demonstrated why they are serious contenders this season.
The Mariners roughed up the Red Devils for 10 runs in the frame. They batted 15 players with six players getting up twice. Leading the way was Pike who had two hits, two RBIs, two stolen bases, and two runs in the seventh inning. With Henry Egan on third, Jake Marano showed some clutch hitting by tying the game with a sacrifice fly to right field. Earlier in the fourth inning, Marano helped get the Mariners on the scoreboard when he drove in a run on a hard hit grounder to the shortstop. Marano also scored two runs. After Marano tied it up, the runs kept coming. Thomas Beckman, who was 4 for 5, kept the rally alive with a single. The Mariners caught a few breaks to keep the momentum going, one of which was when Schmidt popped one up, but instead of an out, he was awarded first base due to catcher’s interference. Alex Soyars drove in two more runs with a double, and then Pike came up again and singled in two more RBIs. Egan continued to be steady. He went 3 for 4 including a walk, an RBI and scored two runs
“We just kept rolling,” Birdsall said. “It was a long inning.”
Long indeed, but it’s a good thing Southampton scored 10 runs because the Red Devils weren’t done yet either. Batting in the bottom of the seventh, Center Moriches showed it still had some pop in its bats and scored five runs to cut the lead to the final margin. Center Moriches loaded the bases with Beckman on the mound in relief, and with two outs and the tying run at the plate, Beckman came through and struck out the batter for the final out.
When asked about the comeback, Birdsall praised his players.
“It really showed the character of the kids that we’ve got,” he said. “They can turn it on at any time and the offensive style we’ve got, all these guys can hit.
“It’s nice to know that we can do it, but you know I don’t want to test it too many times,” he joked. “But it’s nice to know that we can come back when we’re behind.”ON THE SCHEDULE: Tuesday, 4/16, at Hampton Bays, 4 p.m.; Wednesday, 4/17, vs. Hampton Bays, 4 p.m.; Friday, 4/19, at Hampton Bays, 4 p.m.; Tuesday, 4/23, vs. Mercy, 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday, 4/24, at Mercy, 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 4/26, vs. Mercy, 4:30 p.m.