If there was some question as to what to expect from Alex Poliwoda when he made his first pitching start of the season on Friday, it would have only been understandable. After all, the Southold sophomore had missed two weeks of baseball practices and two games while on a school trip to Europe.
But, as Poliwoda showed, there was no rust and no need for the First Settlers to worry. Spotting his fastball well, Poliwoda hurled his first career no-hitter in a 4-0 win at Greenport High School.The right-hander rang up 11 strikeouts, five on called third strikes, walking five.
“After the first inning, he settled in and he was in a groove,” Southold coach Mike Carver said. “He was really moving his fastball around nicely. He just hit his spots. That’s really what kept him so dominant.”
Carver said there were no plays that were close to being scored a hit in the Suffolk County League IX game.
Although Poliwoda has a curveball and a changeup in his repertoire, he didn’t really need them. “His fastball was working so well,” Carver said. “He had a great game, he really did.”
Another sophomore, Shayne Johnson, the other Southold regular starter who missed time while away on the European trip, led off the game with his first home run of the season. The First Settlers (3-2, 3-2) also received offense from Rob Mahony (2 for 3, two runs batted in) and Anthony Fedele (2 for 4, two runs).
Greenport is 3-3, 3-3.
Carver didn’t like what he saw from his defense, which made a handful of errors.
“We have to get our infield cleaned up,” he said. “Defensively, we’re still rusty. We’re still making too many mistakes.”
Carver said it was nerve-racking for him to watch his pitcher working a no-hitter, but Poliwoda was apparently not distracted. After the game, Carver let him know what he had just done, only to receive a mild reaction.
“He was kind of like, ‘Alright,’ ” Carver said. “That’s the kind of kid he is.”