ROYALS 14, PORTERS 6
John Drinkwater seems to have found a home away from home, even if his Greenport High School baseball team hasn’t.
Since their home field wasn’t prepared to host a game on Thursday, the Porters had to take their “home game” on the road, to Port Jefferson’s Scofield-Desiderio Park, a sunken field bounded by trees that provide a stadium-like affect. It can be considered a hitter’s heaven. Drinkwater would readily agree to that.
Drinkwater must like the place. For the second time in as many days, the senior homered on the field, not to mention driving in a career-high five runs.
Unfortunately for the Porters, there weren’t too many other fond memories to take away from their three-game Suffolk County League IX series in Port Jefferson. The Royals used six- and five-run rallies to break open Thursday’s game for a 14-6 pasting of the Porters. Port Jefferson had swept a doubleheader the day before, 15-5 and 8-0.
The first three innings of Thursday’s game were competitive enough. On an overcast, bone-chilling day, the Porters broke the ice in the first inning when Drinkwater blasted a three-run homer over the scoreboard in center field. The ball had traveled an estimated 345 feet before hitting a tree.
Port Jefferson (6-0, 6-0) drew even by the third. Ben Kluender drove a two-bounce triple to the fence before scoring on a passed ball in the second. Noah Davis, who had three hits, scored three runs and drove in two more, scooted home on a double-play ball, and Shawn Griffin pounded a run-scoring single up the middle, making it 3-3.
The Porters (0-6, 0-6), who have been afflicted by “the bad inning” syndrome, had a bad one in the fourth. Port Jefferson scored six times that inning with the aid of only one hit, but it was a big one. Neil Alvarez’s second double of the day was good for three runs. Two hit batsmen, two walks (one by James Murphy with the bases loaded), two errors and a couple of wild pitches contributed to the rest of the damage.
One bad inning became two bad innings for the Porters in the seventh. A two-run double by Davis highlighted a five-run spurt, making the score 14-3. The Porters made two errors that inning, giving them five for the game.
It may have been little more than academic, but the Porters put up three runs in the seventh after Matt Tuthill led off by running out an infield single for his first varsity hit. He later scored on an infield single by Matt Drinkwater. Then, with two runners on base, John Drinkwater struck a triple, giving him eight runs batted in for the series.
Matt Keresztes (2-0) picked up the win. The right-hander allowed three hits over five and two-third innings.