The story for the Westhampton Beach baseball team this season has been to sweep or be swept. That changed with a series against Shoreham-Wading River last week, when the Hurricanes managed to win one of three games.
Shoreham-Wading River visited the Hurricanes (4-8 League VI, 5-8 overall) and won the first game by a 7-6 margin on April 21 in nine innings. Westhampton Beach then came back in the second game of the series on April 23 and won in Shoreham-Wading River with a score of 5-2. The Wildcats took the rubber game on Thursday at Westhampton Beach by a final score of 5-2.
The Hurricanes’ Zach Cento was the story of the second game of the series. He pitched a complete game, gave up two runs on six hits and struck out six batters. He also had a good day at the plate.
In the first inning, Mark Podlas drove in Cento with a single to take an early 1-0 lead. Shoreham-Wading River came right back in the bottom half of the inning, though, and took a 2-1 lead.
There were no more runs scored until the seventh inning. Matt Ligouri, Sean Dwyer and John Prudenti all singled to load the bases. Cento hit a fielder’s choice to drive in Ligouri for the tying run. Joe Candela then stepped up to the plate and smacked a three-run home run to give Westhampton Beach the 5-2 lead and eventual win.
“Anytime you can beat Shoreham-Wading River, it’s pretty good,” Hurricanes head coach Terry Moran said. “Their coach has been there for over 30 years and they’ve had a great program since then. Being able to beat them was definitely something we needed. We lost in extra innings the day before, so these kids were a little beat up. But they were pumped with the win and it finally fell our way.”
Cento wound up going 1 for 3 with two runs scored and an RBI. Candela was 1 for 3 with the three-run homer.
In the final game of the series, the Hurricanes did a complete 360 and came out flat, failing to make the plays in the field and having poor at-bats.
Kevin Tripptree threw a five-hitter, allowing two earned runs, with four strikeouts and one walk for the Wildcats. Chris Catan’s squeeze bunt sparked a three-run fourth inning that put Shoreham-Wading River up 4-0.
Scott Weiss pitched very well for Westhampton Beach going the full seven innings and giving up two earned runs and striking out seven. Podlas was 2 for 3 with two doubles and a run scored. Geoff Brown was 2 for 3 as well with an RBI.
“They just let the game get away from them, and I don’t think they realized they could have won a series against a good team,” Moran said. “But they were flat, and if you’re not on you’re going to lose because there are too many good teams in this league.”
The Hurricanes were originally scheduled to start their non-league series against Hampton Bays on Monday, but the game was rained out. The game was rescheduled to be played on Tuesday. The second game of the series was on Wednesday, and the final game will be played tonight at the Center Moriches Baseball Complex at 7 p.m.
Eastport South Manor
The Sharks have had a sub-par season but, having played teams with records above .500 in every series so far, not many were expecting much from the young program.
Eastport South Manor (2-10 League V, 2-11 overall) got swept in its series last week against Comsewogue, a team that is right above the Sharks in the standings.
The Sharks lost the first game of the series 8-0 on April 21. They then lost the second game 12-2 on April 23 at home and then traveled to Comsewogue for the final game of the series on Thursday and lost 6-3.
In the April 23 game, Rich Kissane threw a three-hitter, allowing two runs, just one earned, and struck out seven Sharks for Comsewogue.
In the finale, Sean Graham pitched six innings, allowing just two earned runs on four hits, for Comsewogue, and Anthony Marchese went 2 for 3 with a double and two runs scored. Chris Gilli took the loss for Eastport South Manor.
The Sharks began a non-league series against Deer Park on Tuesday. They will be in Deer Park today at 4:15 p.m.