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May 12, 2017 9:53 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Southampton Baseball Eventually Falls To Mattituck, After 19 Innings

Southampton sophomore Thomas Gabriele took the tough loss on Friday. DREW BUDD
May 16, 2017 12:48 AM

It took 19 innings played across two separate days, but, eventually, an outcome was reached.

Mattituck, behind the hitting and pitching of Bryce Grathwohl, defeated host Southampton on Friday, 5-4. Grathwohl hit what wound up being the game-winning home run in the top of the 19th. He also pitched six scoreless innings on Friday in which he struck out eight. The game initially began on May 10 but was tied, 4-4, through 13 innings of play and had to be suspended due to darkness.

Mattituck and Southampton finished the regular season with identical 15-5 League VIII records and are co-league champs.

Southampton sophomore Thomas Gabriele took to the mound when play resumed on Friday. He threw the ball well but was in and out of trouble—including a bases-loaded jam in the 14th—but was able to get through four innings unscathed.

Until Grathwohl led off the 19th.

In that at-bat, Southampton head coach Scott Johnson said after the game that he called for back-to-back curveballs. The second one hung for Grathwohl, who unloaded the pitch over the fence in left field.

“I could have gone with a different pitch, so I take it personally. I’ll think about it all night, for sure,” Johnson said.

“The adrenaline was pumping so much in the first inning, [Gabriele] just couldn’t control his pitches,” he added. “They got the bases loaded, but we made the plays when we had to, and then he settled in. He’s a better pitcher when he’s a little tired. He’s only a sophomore, and it’s his first year with us, so this was a character-building situation for him. He’s going to grow from it.”

Back on May 10, Mattituck’s James McDonald led off the top of the 13th with an opposite-field home run over the right field fence, providing what looked like would be the game-winning run. But, in the bottom half of the inning, Mariner Jem Sisco doubled and eventually scored to tie the game at 4-4 on a base hit by Gabriele.

The home-plate umpire originally indicated he was going to stop the game after the 12th inning, but after talking to both coaches, he decided to continue play. After the 13th, with much of the daylight nearly wasted, play was suspended after nearly three and a half hours of baseball.

As if 13 innings wasn’t enough, Southampton still had another game to played on Thursday, which it won, 4-1, at Babylon. The win gave the Mariners a full-game lead over Mattituck in the standings coming in to Friday’s resumed game with a guarantee of at least a share of the league title. Including Monday’s 1-0 victory over Mercy, Southampton played a whopping 33 innings last week.

With the regular season now concluded, Southampton will turn its attention to the double-elimination Class A playoffs. The Mariners are seeded fifth and played at No. 4 Mount Sinai on Tuesday (see separate story).

Despite losing the marathon of a game that wound up being the regular-season finale on Friday, Johnson is confident his players will come to play on Tuesday.

“We still have positive momentum going forward,” he said. “We won a big game yesterday—the kids came through. [Today] was just one pitch, it could have gone either way for the whole game. It’s just great baseball. I’m proud of my kids for how they handled themselves.”

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