TUCKERS 19, MONARCHS 0
The reaction was reserved, to say the least. No dogpiles. No hooting and hollering. No players joyously jumping on top of each other.
There wasn’t much in the way of celebration by the Mattituck High School baseball team in the moments after it clinched at least a share of the Suffolk County League VIII championship on Wednesday evening.
After shortstop Marcos Perivolaris fielded a ground ball hit by Bishop McGann-Mercy’s Mike Capute and threw to first base for the final out, a fan yelled out: “Hey, good job guys. Way to go!”
The Tuckers themselves trotted off the field at Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School and shook hands with each other in a businesslike manner. And that was it. That was about as much celebrating as the Tuckers did. Not much in the way of jubilation.
One might surmise that the ho-hum reaction to the team’s second straight league title and fifth in 18 years could have had something to do with the inevitable feel to it. The Tuckers have done almost nothing but win this season. They were the overwhelming favorites against the Monarchs, who picked up their first win of the season the day before. And the game itself, a 19-0 blowout, was not exactly a cliff-hanger.
The truth may have more to do with the Tuckers having bigger goals to achieve down the road. A league crown is just one peg in their grand plans.
With one more win from their final three regular-season games, the Tuckers would claim the title outright.
It would have been hard to find two teams on opposite ends of the spectrum. The Tuckers are 16-1, overall and in league play, while the Monarchs are the exact opposite, 1-16, 1-16, having come off a 5-2 win over Southampton the day before.
The difference between the teams was evident from start to finish. The Tuckers churned out 18 hits, four of them coming off the bat of Marcos Perivolaris, who doubled twice, drove in three runs, stole two bases and walked. Mike Onufrak knocked in three runs.
Tuckers coach Steve DeCaro handed the ball to James Nish (5-0), and the senior pitcher responded with a strong outing. He walked five in five-plus innings, but allowed only two hits, striking out one. Victor Proferes closed out the shared shutout in which the Monarchs were held to three hits.
Nish also did well at the plate, picking up three hits with a run batted in. His twin brother, Ian Nish, scored five runs.
It was senior day for the Monarchs, who played their final home game. Before the first pitch their coach, Vinny Punzone, presided over a ceremony honoring the team’s six seniors: Scott Arturi, Jasper Bradley, Capute, Leo Ellis, Marco Pascale and Mike Shelton.