SOUTHEAST REGION CLASS B FINAL | TUCKERS 9, FALCONS 5 (10 INNINGS)
After 10 grueling innings, 2 hours and 54 minutes of intense baseball and an uninhibited dogpile celebration in front of the pitcher’s mound, the Mattituck Tuckers could finally breathe easy. They had done it.
They’re going to Binghamton.
For only the second time in their history (the first time was in 1983, according to coach Steve DeCaro), the Tuckers won a regional championship on Saturday. They had to put some extra work in to do it, not to mention put their fans through some anxious moments.
After coming within one out of winning the Southeast Region Class B final in seven innings, the Tuckers were forced into extra innings against Albertus Magnus. Then, in the 10th inning, the Tuckers blew the game open with a rather remarkable five-run rally that led to a 9-5 triumph at Mamaroneck High School.
When the final out was recorded, the jubilant Tuckers mobbed relief pitcher Chris Dwyer. They have made it to the final day of the high school baseball postseason on Saturday, when the state semifinals and finals will be played. Mattituck will meet Ogdensburg Free Academy of Section X in a semifinal at SUNY/Broome Community College in Binghamton on Saturday morning.
Albertus Magnus (18-6) sure made the Tuckers (25-1) work for it, though. No one ever said reaching the state semifinals would be easy, and it wasn’t.
The Tuckers led from the first inning until the seventh. Dwyer, who relieved starter Joe Tardif after six and one-third innings, struck out the first batter he faced. Then, with the regional title virtually in the Tuckers’ grasp, Christian Conklin pulled it away from them — at least momentarily. Conklin clocked a two-run home run to even the score at 4-4. The Falcons, overjoyed at new life, gave Conklin quite a reception at home plate.
But there was more baseball to play.
Dwyer (2-0) blew a save, but then he made up for it — big time.
The 10th inning started uneventfully with the first two Mattituck batters grounding out. Then things got interesting. Real interesting.
Mike Onufrak sent a slow dribbler that stopped on the third-base line for a hit. Jon Dwyer, Chris’ younger brother, stepped up for his third double and second run batted in of the day, giving the Tuckers the go-ahead run.
Tardif was hit by a pitch and Marcos Perivolaris (3 for 5) walked, loading the bases for Chris Dwyer, who responded by driving a three-run double (his second double of the day) for an 8-4 cushion. That blast gave Chris Dwyer his fourth hit and five RBI for the game. Ian Nish followed with a run-scoring double off the center-field fence, making it 9-4. Eight of Mattituck’s 15 hits were doubles.
Robert Ottaviano smashed a two-out home run for Albertus Magnus in the fourth.