Baseball: Mattituck trounces Greenport in no-hit gem


Perhaps no one was more surprised by his masterful pitching performance than Ben Voegel.

“I’m not much of a strikeout pitcher,” the Mattituck High School right-hander said. “I’m more of a contact pitcher.”

More often than not on a sunny Monday afternoon, Voegel made contact — with a strike into the mitt of catcher Mike Garrett.

Voegel hurled the game of a lifetime, throwing the first no-hitter of his career while striking out 19 batters in a 24-0 win over host Greenport in a non-league match up.

“It’s definitely a memorable game, something I won’t forget,” Voegel said.

He won’t be the only one who will remember the outing.

“He’s a sophomore, so I’m really proud of him,” said head coach Dan O’Sullivan, whose team improved to 6-0. “Last year he was a reliever for us. He didn’t really get as much action as we hoped for him. But it was a great year for him because he got to learn from some of the seniors.

“He throws strikes, and he mixes his off speed as well.”

Voegel was spot on from his opening pitch. He threw 86 pitches and 69 strikes. He struck out eight of his first nine batters, five looking. For the game, 11 batters took a called third strike.

The 5-foot-9, 155-pound Voegel’s final 11 outs came via strikeouts and he struck out the side in five of his seven innings. He needed only 12 pitches in each of the second and third innings to fan six batters.

Pretty impressive.

Garrett noticed that Voegel was on in the first inning.

“His fastball was finding the outside corner a lot,” he said. “We just stuck with that mostly the whole game.”

Added Voegel: “Early on, I was just thinking a two-seam fastball. Later on, I started mixing the curveball and that’s what really pushed me through.”

Only three Porters (0-4) reached base. Justus Horton was hit by a pitch and stole second in the fourth inning, which broke up Voegel’s perfect game.

“It was funny. I was talking to the assistant coach during it and he did the no-no, bringing up the perfect game,” O’Sullivan said. “The next pitch, he hit the kid. So he goes, ‘I knew I shouldn’t open my mouth.’ ”

Declan Crowley reached on an error in the sixth, as did Thomas Mastrangelo in the seventh.

“I wasn’t really thinking about it,” Voegel said of the no-hitter. “I didn’t know till the later innings but it’s exciting.”

Mattituck made quick work of Greenport, taking advantage of a wild outing by starting right-hander Crowley’s 8 walks to score 11 first-inning runs.

Voegel helped his cause with a two-run triple to right in the inning. He was on base four times, with 2 walks, a single and scored 3 runs. Sean Murphy added a two-run single in the inning. Tyler Brown contributed 3 RBIs in the game.

Everyone got into the act.

“You always want to try to get everybody in the game,” O’Sullivan said. “We were able to get every single person in some capacity. Reserve guys, they work hard. We always preach to the starters, ‘Let’s help the other guys get in, so they get a chance, too.’ ”

Voegel (2-0, 0.68 ERA) is part of a three-man rotation alongside Andy Berman and James Reidy that has been the cornerstone of the Tuckers’ perfect start. With the help of spot starter Mike Mowdy and reliever Tyler Brown, they have allowed just three runs and recorded four shutouts. Mattituck has scored 60 runs.

“They pitch contact, and they allow our defense to make plays,” O’Sullivan said. “The defense has done a great job. We have good athletes. It’s not all travel baseball players. A lot of them are soccer kids that I’ve had or basketball players. They’re just athletes that, if they can stay in the routine of why we’re here, they can do a great job.”

So far so good.

“We still got to get to 10 wins,” O’Sullivan said. “That’s our first priority. Get the 10 and a playoff spot locked in and then go from there.”

Garrett liked the Tuckers’ chances.

“Six-and-0 to start,” he said. “Four more to make the playoffs. I think we’re looking good right now.”