SUFFOLK COUNTY CLASS B FINALS, GAME 2 | TUCKERS 11, PANTHERS 6
The Mattituck High School baseball players were let out of school earlier than usual on Wednesday and had a chance to get a little batting practice in before taking the bus ride to Babylon for their big game. It was during that batting practice session when Chris Dwyer could sense that he was in the zone. Within hours, it became obvious to everyone else that Dwyer was locked in at the plate.
Dwyer could do no wrong in the batter’s box. His stellar 4-for-4 batting led the way as Mattituck’s relentless offense pounded 16 hits to beat Babylon, 11-6, and take the Suffolk County Class B championship series in two games.
It is the Tuckers’ fifth county title in 13 years and second in a row. They will play the undetermined Nassau County champion in a regional semifinal on June 5 at the Dowling Sports Complex.
Dwyer, a senior who usually plays second base, was moved to shortstop since the team’s regular shortstop, Marcos Perivolaris, was the starting pitcher. While Dwyer had two assists and two putouts, it was the considerable damage he caused with his bat that hurt Babylon the most. After doubling in each of his first two at-bats, Dwyer knocked his fourth home run of the year and singled. In Dwyer’s fifth plate appearance, he was awarded first base on an intentional walk. Dwyer drove in four runs and scored three himself.
After falling behind, 2-1, the top-seeded Tuckers (23-1) took the lead for good with a four-run burst in the third inning. Dwyer lashed a ground-rule double for the first of those runs before James Nish knocked a two-run single through middle and Mike Onufrak chopped a run-scoring single.
Three more Mattituck runs the next inning from Dwyer’s two-run blast and Victor Proferes’ run-scoring double expanded Mattituck’s lead to 8-2.
No. 2 seed Babylon (17-6) didn’t go down without a fight, though. The Panthers ran up a four-run rally of their own in the fifth. Zack Carmody (3 for 4) singled in a run, Ryan Matthews doubled in two more and Brandon Beierle produced a sacrifice fly, trimming Mattituck’s lead to 9-6.
But the Tuckers tacked on two insurance runs in the seventh on singles by Joe Tardif and Ian Nish. They were the third hits of the day for both of them.
Perivolaris (8-0) gave up eight hits and had seven strikeouts over the six innings he pitched. He did not issue a walk, but hit two batters.
Dwyer relieved Perivolaris in the seventh, retiring three of the four batters he faced.
The Tuckers had won Game 1 the day before, 7-0.