May 6, 2013 5:19 PMBy Drew Budd
Earlier this season, the Westhampton Beach baseball team came close to upsetting both Eastport South Manor and Sayville, the two top teams in League VI—in a three-game series with each team, the Hurricanes lost two games by three runs or fewer.
Last week, Westhampton Beach finally broke through against another top team in League VI, Miller Place (10-5 in League VI play, 11-6 overall), which had just taken two of three games from ESM (11-4, 13-4). The Canes defeated the Panthers at home, 4-3, on Thursday, May 2, in what was the series finale.
“It was a huge win against one of the top teams in the league,” Westhampton Beach head coach Tom Hoare said. “The guys were very excited. We had been knocking on the door against good teams, like ESM and Sayville, but we weren’t able to turn the corner. Finally, in that last game against Miller Place, we were able to do that.”
Westhampton Beach (3-12, 4-13) had lost the first two games of the series, 5-0 at home on April 29 and 14-5 at Miller Place on May 1.
In last week’s victory, though, the Hurricanes took a 4-1 lead over Miller Place after three innings of play. Jake Bramwell hit a two-run single in the second inning and then Chris Pesce hit a run-scoring single and Ernie Geraci hit a double that drove in a run in the third inning. Miller Place added single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to make it a one-run game.
The Panthers were threatening to take the lead in the sixth inning. With runners on second and third and two outs, a Miller Place line drive headed into shallow center field. Ryan Osborne charged in and made a diving catch to end the inning and preserve the one-run lead for the Canes.
Chris Pesce came on and got two outs in the seventh inning before handing the ball off to Brett Pisaneschi, who got the final out of the game for the save. Mike Pesce started the game on the mound and allowed three runs in five innings to earn the win, which gave him back-to-back quality starts.
The 14-5 loss last week at Miller Place was close for half of the game. Daniel McEvoy tied the game up at 3-3 in the top of the fourth with a two-run home run, but the Panthers answered back with five runs in the fifth and then six runs in the sixth to break open the game.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Monday, 5/6, at Rocky Point; Wednesday, 5/8, vs. Rocky Point; Thursday, 5/9, at Rocky Point, 4 p.m.