TUCKERS 7, ROYALS 2
The Mattituck High School baseball team’s greatest regular season during coach Steve DeCaro’s 12-year run has ended. Now the Tuckers will take their impressive 18-2 record into the postseason, which they hope will be just as great.
When the playoff brackets are released by Section XI, it is expected that the League VIII champion Tuckers and Center Moriches will be paired against each other in a best-of-three series for the Suffolk County Class B championship. The games will be played on May 19, 21 and, if necessary, 22.
Center Moriches (12-6, 12-5), the League VIII runner-up, is responsible for one of Mattituck’s losses, although the Tuckers (17-1 in league play) took the other two games in their regular-season series with the Red Devils. Smithtown Christian is the only other team to have gained a win at Mattituck’s expense.
The Tuckers capped their regular season in style on Friday, with their sixth straight win, a 7-2 defeat of visiting Port Jefferson/Knox. James Nish drove in one run with a single and two more with a double. His speedy teammate, Joe Tardif, stole three bases in the first three innings to raise his school-record season total to 33; he has been thrown out only once this season.
Marcos Perivolaris raised his season record to 6-0 with a complete-game performance. The right-handed pitcher struck out five, did not allow a walk and hit a batter.
Perivolaris took a four-hit shutout into the seventh inning before Port Jefferson/Knox (7-11, 7-11) produced three hits in four at-bats: a double by Mike Laffy, a run-scoring single by Patrick Hughes and a single by Tyler D’Accordo.
On an overcast, breezy day, the Mattituck-Cutchogue school district’s retiring superintendent, James McKenna, threw out the first pitch — or, rather, he bounced it. Then the Tuckers went to work.
All seven of Mattituck’s hits came in the two innings in which they scored. Four hits in the third — including run-scoring singles by Tardif, Ian Nish and his twin brother James Nish — helped the Tuckers to a 3-0 lead. The following inning the Tuckers tacked on four more runs for a 7-0 lead. Perivolaris and Chris Dwyer both socked singles to bring in runs, and James Nish clubbed a double that was good for two runs.