Baseball: State title is twice as nice for Fedun, Tardif

Mattituck's Joe Tardif pitched a four-hitter to lead the Tuckers to a win in the state semifinals Saturday. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)
Mattituck’s Joe Tardif pitched a four-hitter to lead the Tuckers to a win in the state semifinals Saturday. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

As the Mattituck High School baseball team assembled in the main lobby for a special celebration march through the school Monday to honor the Tuckers’ winning the New York State Class B championship, the school’s principal, Shawn Petretti, turned to center fielder Joe Tardif.

“Tardif, you know the drill, right?” he said.

Tardif laughed and said, “Yes, I do.”

Added outfielder Dan Fedun: “It was twice as nice.”

Fedun and Tardif had the rare distinction of winning not one, but two state championships in the same school year. They were on the soccer team that won in November.

“Last year, when I was in the dogpile, I thought, ‘Oh my God, not just the team but the whole school, everyone was rooting for us to win,’ ” Fedun said. “Joe and I were talking about how awesome [it would be] if we would win a state championship again because we drove up to Middletown and drove back with fire trucks and we drove up to Binghamton and we came back with fire trucks. So we’re two for two this year. It’s an amazing feeling.”

Tardif admitted that winning the second title had not quite set in. “I haven’t really looked back yet,” he said. “Once [summer] baseball kicks in I will look back at it.”

They enjoyed amazing seasons for two Mattituck championship sides.

“In this era of specialization in sports, for two kids to be on more than one sport and both of those guys are three-sport athletes, that is ridiculous,” Mattituck’s baseball coach, Steve DeCaro, said. “Obviously, they deserve it.”

Both players played key roles in Mattituck’s success. Tardif, the table setter as the lead-off man, finished the season at a sizzling .374, scoring 32 runs, with two home runs, 28 RBI and 32 stolen bases for the 27-1 Tuckers. He also was Suffolk County League VIII most valuable player and the first Gold Glove winner in school history.

“One hell of an athlete,” DeCaro said. “He’s just so athletic that he almost sometimes doesn’t need to practice, he’s such a good athlete. Of course, he does need to practice.

“Whenever Joe was in the middle of it, we were winning because he was the guy who did it.”

Fedun, a part-time player, had an average around .400 and was a backup outfielder and pinch-runner extraordinaire. He scored the winning run in the Southeast Region final win to boost the Tuckers to the state semifinals.

“Dan would probably start on almost every other team in our league except obviously Mattituck,” DeCaro said.

There will be no rest for either junior — yes, they are only juniors — over the next two months. They’re used to it, going from soccer to basketball to baseball during the school year.

Tardif’s summer baseball team already has started its season. He will head to a tournament in New Jersey this weekend.

Fedun will play AAU basketball — that is his No. 1 sport — and can play with the Tuckers’ soccer team in the Brookhaven Summer Soccer League.

A new high school season and perhaps some more glory for Mattituck might be closer than you think. Just after the Tuckers made history over the weekend, Fedun received a text message from Mattituck’s new soccer coach, Will Hayes.

“We start working on state championship No. 3 on Friday, enjoy this one,” it read.

“When I read that, my mind was like, ‘Imagine if we win three.’ That would be … I can’t say what will happen,” Fedun said.

Who knows what will happen? After all, who would have guessed that the Tuckers, Tardif and Fedun would have taken home two state championships in only seven months?