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Baseball: Mattituck’s combined no-hitter is a loss against Mount Sinai

Mattituck got the no-hitter and lost. Mount Sinai didn’t manage a hit and won.

Crazy, huh?

Well, baseball can be a crazy game and things were pretty crazy at Mattituck High School Sunday when righthanders Connor Fox and Andrew Berman threw a combined no-hitter. Under ordinary circumstances, that alone would have been cause for great celebration. Instead, it was sort of a sidenote — a rather remarkable sidenote, but a sidenote, nonetheless.

This unusual no-hitter was obscured by the fact that Mattituck saw its five-game win streak snapped in the Suffolk County League V game, 4-2, as Mount Sinai gained sole possession of second place.

Again, crazy — the operative word of the day.

“I’ve never in my life seen anything like that,” said Mattituck coach Dan O’Sullivan.

Mattituck second baseman Bryce Hansen said, “I can’t believe that.”

It was the sort of no-hitter that snuck up on people, even some of the participants.

“I didn’t even realize it until the end of the game,” said Berman, a sophomore who worked three scoreless innings in relief of Fox. “It feels nice that we got a no-hitter, but we should have won.”

Then again, look at things from Mount Sinai’s standpoint. Sure, the Mustangs (7-1, 7-1) didn’t muster a single hit but, then again, they didn’t need to. They capitalized on 11 walks and one hit batter, not to mention a pair of Mattituck errors.

“Eleven walks and one hit by pitch,” O’Sullivan said. “That’s the game. They worked our counts.”

Andrew Berman pitched in relief in a combined no-hitter for Mattituck. (Credit: Bill Landon)

Mount Sinai coach Eric Reichenbach said: “I don’t think I’ve ever been in a game where we’ve been no-hit and we won. It’s a crazy game, and that’s what’s going on in baseball these days. I’m just thankful that we’re getting out of here with a 4-2 victory.”

The best pitcher of the day, ironically, wasn’t a factor in the no-hitter. That was Mount Sinai starter Chris Batuyious (3-0). The righthander registered nine strikeouts while allowing five hits, two runs and two walks over 6 1/3 innings.

With Mattituck (6-2, 6-2) trailing, 4-2, in the seventh, Berman muscled a one-out grounder through the infield. Benny Franquiz was brought on in relief. He proceeded to strike out pinch hitter Max Geppel on a full-count pitch before Burke Evers’ infield single put runners on first and third. Evers stole second base, putting two runners in scoring position before Franquiz fanned Michael Mowdy to end an unusual game.

Bryce Hansen and Evers had two hits apiece, one of Hansen’s being a one-bounce double off the right-centerfield fence. Garrett Grathwohl and Andrew Berman each had a hit for the Tuckers.

Mattituck also had some fine defensive plays. Shortstop Brady Mahon saved a first-inning run, fielding a bouncer by Lani Bohne and throwing Joe Valenti out at home plate, with catcher Ryan Janis applying the tag. The speedy Mowdy, playing centerfield, made a tremendous catch of what looked to be a sure hit, a ball that ended up in rightfield.

Mattituck took leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before Mount Sinai pulled ahead, 3-2, in the fourth when Will Rodgers scored on a wild pitch and Valenti’s sacrifice fly scored Dylan DiCesare.

Mount Sinai added an insurance run in the fifth, with Matt Galli coming home on a wild pitch.

Shortly after that, Fox (2-1), a senior who entered the game with a 1.55 ERA, was removed, having thrown his 100th pitch.

Mowdy made it 1-0 in the first. A full-pitch walk, stolen base and two wild pitches brought him home.

Matthew Carrera evened the score with run from a wild pitch in the second before Mattituck pulled ahead again in the bottom half of the inning on singles by Grathwohl and Evers.

“The strikeouts, we have to limit them; limit errors, mental errors, especially, and limit walks,” Mowdy said. “If we don’t walk people, we win.”

Reichenbach, a former pitcher who was drafted by the Mets in 1991 and played four years for the organization, acknowledged the strange situation of winning a game without the benefit of a hit. “I used to like throwing [no-hitters], not getting them thrown against us,” he said.

Near the other dugout, O’Sullivan said: “It’s definitely a weird feeling. It’s something I’ve never seen.”

Berman seemed conflicted over having played a role in a no-hitter, yet ending up on the losing side, nonetheless. He said he was happy about the no-hitter, “but it’s kind of like a backwards compliment, not getting the win with it.”

Reflecting on baseball’s oddities, he said, “Anything can happen.”