After starting the season with a 3-0 record in non-league play, the William Floyd baseball team felt good about its chances to perform well in League I. But the Colonials got a good taste of just how competitive their league can be after playing in their first three-game series against Ward Melville.
After losing 4-2 to the Patriots on the road in the first game of the series on March 31, the Colonials came back to win the second game on April 3 in the last inning, 8-5, at Ward Melville. William Floyd lost the final game, 8-6, at home.
The Colonials then lost their series opener to Lindenhurst at home on Monday, 5-0, before winning the second game of the series, 9-7, in Lindenhurst the following day.
William Floyd was 2-4 in League I play prior to the final game of the series against Lindenhurst, which took place yesterday in Mastic Beach.
In the second game of the Ward Melville series on April 3, the Colonials jumped out to a three-run lead early in the game. But the Patriots would eventually strike back in the fifth inning with five runs to take a two-run lead.
Floyd’s Steve Christopherson and Greg Tucker led off the top of the seventh inning with walks. Kevin Earlie and Ed Balzer then followed with RBI singles to tie the game at five runs apiece. Kevin Engasser walked, followed by another walk by Nick Galletta which forced in Balzer with the go-ahead run. Kevin Kerman stepped up to the plate and ripped a single to drive in the last two runs of the game.
Nick Astore was 3 for 4, while Balzer was 2 for 4 with three RBI. Earlie, the starting pitcher for the Colonials, was 3 for 3 with three RBI. He went five innings, gave up five runs on six hits and had two strikeouts. Bryan Terry forced the win, however, pitching one scoreless inning in relief. Danny Russo recorded the save.
William Floyd head coach Glenn Davis was happy with the win.
“The last inning we battled,” he said. “We were patient at the plate, drew some walks, and then got some timely hits. This is a good group of kids who are working hard and battle every game.”
In the series finale with Ward Melville, the Patriots scored two runs in the first inning, but the Colonials came right back with three runs in their portion of the inning. Ward Melville then took the 4-3 lead in the fifth inning. William Floyd tied the game in the sixth inning after John Angelino led off with a triple and was driven home by Kerman on a fielders choice after the Colonials loaded the bases.
The deciding factor of the game was the William Floyd pitching which gave up four runs in the seventh inning. The Colonials were able to tack on two additional runs in the final inning of the game, but it wasn’t enough.
“Their middle of the lineup is very good,” Davis said of the Ward Melville offense. “It was back and forth the whole game. We just didn’t have enough to get it done in the seventh inning.”
Earlie was 2 for 4, while Balzer went 3 for 4 and started on the mound for William Floyd. Terry was charged with the loss.
The loss to Lindenhurst on Monday was due to a lack of offense as the Colonials were able to only record two hits.
“We just couldn’t get the bats going,” Davis said. “We were hitting pop-outs, too many easy outs.”
Astore and Earlie each had one hit. McCormick lost his second game of the season with the third inning being his downfall, in which he gave up four runs. Overall, he threw six and two-third innings while striking out six and allowing three walks.
“Outside of that one inning, he pitched well,” Davis said. “He just needed to make that one last pitch, and it didn’t happen and they capitalized.”
On Tuesday, William Floyd won another rocky game. Lindenhurst scored four runs in the first inning and two runs in the second to jump out to a 6-1 lead. In the top of the fourth inning, with the score 6-2, Andrew Galante led off with a single. Then, after three straight walks, Balzer roped a single to right field to score two runs. Angelino then hit a three-run homer to put the game away.
Angelino finished the game 3 for 4 with four RBI. Balzer was 2 for 3 with three RBI. Earlie pitched a complete game and gave up six hits and six strikeouts.
William Floyd will start a three-game series with Patchogue-Medford on Monday in Patchogue at 4 p.m.