SOUTHEAST REGION CLASS B SEMIFINAL | TUCKERS 5, BAYMEN 0
The Mattituck High School baseball team took part in some wild postgame celebrations last year. Bodies flying into dogpiles. Wide-eyed players hugging. Scenes of sheer jubilation.
It was good stuff for photographers.
And how have the jubilation shots been for the Tuckers during these playoffs?
Eh. Nothing special, really.
Of course, there is a good reason for that. After Mattituck, a team on a mission that it hopes will end with a state championship, capped its third Long Island title in five years on Friday, the Tuckers sure looked happy congratulating each other and shaking hands. But there was nothing crazy in the way of pileups on the pitcher’s mound. It was relatively sedate.
Perhaps they are saving the major celebrating for something bigger down the road.
As it was, the Tuckers had a lot to feel good about on Friday. Marcos Perivolaris pitched a two-hit shutout in a tidy 5-0 defeat of Oyster Bay in the Southeast Region Class B semifinal at the Dowling Sports Complex in Shirley.
With that, the Tuckers (24-1) get a shot at redemption. They will return on Saturday to Mamaroneck High School, the site of their regional final defeat last year, for another regional final — this time against Albertus Magnus of Section I.
The regional semifinal was a quick game, lasting only 84 minutes, not much longer, some of the Tuckers joked, than it took for their bus to make the drive from Mattituck to Shirley.
Befitting a team with its record, Mattituck appeared confident. Tuckers coach Steve DeCaro made the decision to start Perivolaris on the pitching mound, saving his No. 1 pitcher, Joe Tardif, for the regional final they anticipated playing in.
It proved to be a wise move. Perivolaris (9-0), the only Mattituck player to have played on all three of those Long Island championship teams, was steady. The senior right-hander needed only 64 pitches for his complete-game performance, walking two and striking out two.
Through the first six innings, the only hit Perivolaris allowed was a single by James Treibes in the third. He was two outs away from a one-hitter when Jackson O’Neill socked a single.
Perivolaris was spared another hit thanks to a flashy, picturesque, diving catch by Tardif on the field turf in center field, robbing Matt Santos of a hit in the sixth.
Tardif had quite a game. He also assisted on two double plays from his outfield position, had two hits, scored two runs and stole two bases.
The Tuckers took control of the game early, scoring two runs in each of the first two innings. The first three came on run-scoring singles by Ian Nish, James Nish and Tardif. Tardif scored the fourth run on an errant throw after stealing third base.
The way Perivolaris was pitching and the Tuckers were playing, that 4-0 lead looked safe. But the Tuckers tacked on a fifth run for good measure, courtesy of an Ian Nish sacrifice fly in the fourth.
Veteran coach Jay Davis’ Oyster Bay team, which had won seven Nassau County titles in the past nine years, finished the season with a 12-12 record.