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03/30/13 2:46pm
03/30/2013 2:46 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Austin Pase brought in Mattituck's first two runs with a double down the right-field line in the third inning.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Austin Pase brought in Mattituck’s first two runs with a double down the right-field line in the third inning.

PANTHERS 14, TUCKERS 5

Steve DeCaro has fond memories of the events surrounding his 50th birthday last year. In between games of a doubleheader sweep of Hampton Bays, the Mattituck baseball coach listened as Tuckers fans sang “Happy Birthday” to him.

DeCaro’s 51st birthday on Saturday wasn’t nearly so kind to him. Shoddy fielding, base-running blunders and bad at-bats marked Mattituck’s 14-5 loss to visiting Babylon.

“This was a bad one,” said DeCaro.

The Tuckers opened the game with a throwing error, and things went downhill from there as Babylon scored four runs in each of the first two innings before producing a six-run rally in the fourth.

After the game’s first three batters reached base from an error, a single and a walk, Jack Facciebene connected for a grand slam, his first career home run.

The rout was on.

Mattituck was one out away from escaping the second inning unscathed. With the bases loaded, Zach Carmody bounced as bad-hop single out of the infield and then Pete Donaldson picked up a run batted in the hard way, getting hit in the back with a pitch. A throwing error then allowed two more runs to score, making it 8-0.

“It was horrible,” said Mattituck shortstop Austin Pase.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Babylon's Nick Giampietro advancing a base while Mattituck's Austin Pase looks for the ball.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Babylon’s Nick Giampietro advancing a base while Mattituck’s Austin Pase looks for the ball.

And yet, the worst was yet to come for Mattituck. Babylon struck for six runs in the fourth for a 14-2 lead. Matt Finelli highlighted that rally with a three-run double. The three other runs came on a bases-loaded walk by Nick Giampietro, an error that allowed Pat Delaney to score, and Ricky Negron’s odd infield single that spun away from the first baseman.

“We wanted to jump on them early, get a good lead in the beginning of the game and never stop,” said Carmody.

Mission accomplished.

Carmody, a sophomore left fielder in his third varsity season, turned in a big game for Babylon, going 4 for 4 with two runs scored, a double, an RBI and a walk. He also stole two bases.

Finelli got the win for defending Long Island Class B champion Babylon (2-3, 1-2 Suffolk County League VIII), which avoided being swept in the three-game series. He gave up four earned runs and seven hits over four innings.

“Today they put everything together,” Babylon coach Anthony Sparacio said. “Good things happen when you put the ball in play.”

Mattituck (2-2, 2-1) actually outhit the Panthers, 10-8, but the Tuckers hurt themselves with five errors.

“Today,” DeCaro said, “for some reason, we weren’t ready for the game, and we certainly showed it out there.”

Pase and Dylan Williams had two RBI each — both on two-out hits — and Joe Tardif supplied two hits for Mattituck from the leadoff spot.

Pase’s two-run double down the right-field line brought in Mattituck’s first two runs in the third. Williams delivered a soft liner to center field with the bases loaded in the fourth, scoring the next two runs.

The Tuckers added a run in the seventh from Tyler Montefusco’s RBI single.

Marcos Perivolaris, who had a 103-degree fever the day before, according to DeCaro, was Mattituck’s starting pitcher. He pitched the first two inning before Tardif relieved him.

“He wanted to play, and we couldn’t give him any help,” DeCaro said of Perivolaris. “He did his best.”

For Babylon, the win was just what it needed after dropping its first two league games to Mattituck, 4-3 and 8-4.

“It was a big win today because you don’t want to get swept,” Carmody said. “If you get swept, it brings the team down, and then you got to go into the next series 0-3. You need to get a win.”

Afterward, DeCaro said he was puzzled by some of his team’s actions, such as swinging at 3-0 pitches while trailing by 10 runs, and making the first out at third base in the seventh. It was hardly the way he hoped to celebrate his birthday.

“This ruins my birthday,” he said. “There is not even a question that now my birthday is ruined.”

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03/25/13 3:19pm
03/25/2013 3:19 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck shortstop Marcos Perivolaris used his glove as well as his bat to help the Tuckers win their league opener.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck shortstop Marcos Perivolaris used his glove as well as his bat to help the Tuckers win their league opener.

TUCKERS 4, PANTHERS 3

It was a cold, windy day that might not have been fit for man or beast, but baseball players — a sturdy lot — had to deal with it.

The temperature was in the 30s, but Mattituck coach Steve DeCaro said that with 21-mile-per-hour winds, the wind-chill factor made it feel as if it was 27 degrees.

Actually, it was nothing new for the Tuckers. This has been a rough early spring in terms of the weather.

“It’s very tough,” Mattituck shortstop Marcos Perivolaris said. “You just need to keep your hands warm anyway you can.”

DeCaro believes his players are actually getting used to playing in the frigid conditions. “When I look down the bench I see guys that look like they’re frozen,” he said. “I’m seeing less of that now, more guys who want to get up and play. If it can stay like this the rest of the year, we’ll be fine. We might go undefeated.”

An undefeated season is already out of the question because of a season-opening loss to Westhampton Beach, but Mattituck could make a run at a perfect league season. The Tuckers took the first step in that direction on Monday. Mattituck scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and then withstood three errors in the top of the seventh to overtake defending Long Island Class B champion Babylon, 4-3, in an exciting Suffolk County League VIII opener for both teams.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck's starting pitcher, Cameron Burt, did not allow a hit through the first four innings.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck’s starting pitcher, Cameron Burt, did not allow a hit through the first four innings.

The Tuckers (1-1, 1-0), who snapped a seven-game losing streak, produced four of their six hits in the sixth. Perivolaris led off by tagging a stand-up double that might have been a home run had the wind not been blowing in, and then Ian Nish belted a bad-hop hit under the third baseman’s glove. Shortly after that, Perivolaris scored on a wild pitch, tying the score at 2-2. Austin Pase then stroked a single to bring home the go-ahead run, and Brian Pelan knocked a chopper that took a high bounce over the first baseman for a hit, making it 4-2.

But Babylon (1-2, 0-1) made things interesting in the seventh, thanks in part to some fielding adventures by the Tuckers.

“Honestly, I don’t like exciting games,” DeCaro said. “I like 11-nothing or something like that. If we could have ended [at] 4-2, it would have been fine. Instead, we had to make it really interesting.”

Jack Curcio, who reached base on a leadoff walk for Babylon, later scored when teammate Joe Savastano stole second base and the throw ended up in the outfield. That enabled Savastano to scoot over to third base with two out. Matt Finelli then drove a fly ball to deep right field, and John Schultz showed why he is a three-year varsity starter. Schultz made a good play on the ball, backtracking and catching it for the game’s final out.

“It was one of the best catches he ever made here,” said DeCaro.

Mattituck pitchers Cameron Burt and Chris Dwyer allowed Babylon only two hits for the game. Burt worked the first five innings. “I’ve never thrown my fastball as well as I did today,” he said.

Burt had a no-hitter through four innings before Curcio led off the fifth, socking a ball straight ahead, under Burt. Perivolaris charged to his left but was unable to control the difficult ball. Kyle Dowling, a pinch runner for Curcio, later scored when Pete Donaldson hit into a fielder’s choice for a 2-1 Babylon lead.

Burt walked six against seven strikeouts. Dwyer got the win in two innings of one-hit relief, with one walk and three strikeouts. The only hit Dwyer allowed was a soft, bloop single to shallow center field by Jack Facciebene to lead off the sixth.

Babylon was first to get on Mattituck High School’s new scoreboard. The Panthers put up a run in the second without the aid of a hit. A walk, a steal, another walk and a sacrifice bunt preceded Ricky Negron’s run off a wild pitch.

Mattituck evened things in the third. With two outs, a throwing error allowed Joe Tardif to reach second base. Then Dwyer clocked a double to bring him home.

Perivolaris was a big reason why Babylon was hitless through four innings. In the fourth, Nick Crawford knocked what looked like a sure hit deep into the hole between third base and shortstop. Perivolaris reached to his right to backhand the ball near the edge of the outfield grass. Mattituck’s athletic director, Gregg Wormuth, obviously sensing that Perivolaris had no play on the ball, yelled, “Eat it!”

“He threw him out instead,” DeCaro said. “That was the Marcos that we expect. That was beautiful.”

Of course, the weather could have been worse. It could have been colder, windier and snowing. Snow was forecast for later in the day.

“I don’t know how they do it,” Babylon coach Anthony Sparacio said of the players performing under adverse conditions. “I’m frozen to the bone. It’s amazing how these kids can stay out there. It’s not even baseball weather. No fun.”

As cold as it was, DeCaro said he has experienced worse, not that long ago, either. He said Mattituck’s 9-3 season-opening loss to Westhampton Beach last Thursday was even worse. “That was the coldest game, the most miserable conditions I’ve ever been involved in,” he said. “I don’t think there’s anything worse than that game.”

Spring isn’t over, Coach.

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