The Southampton baseball team had a two-week layoff heading into its series against Mattituck on April 30. In the first game of the series in Mattituck, the Mariners (5-7 League VII, 5-9 overall) were rusty and ran into some good pitching and a potent offense as they lost 14-5. The second game was a much different affair as Southampton came back to win 3-2 at home. In the final game of the series back in Mattituck, the Mariners fell 5-1.
The first game was tied after the first three innings. But three runs in the fourth inning and consecutive walks and an error in the fifth inning blew open the game. Brandon Alvarado started the game for Southampton and went five innings and took the loss. Dan Fitzgerald pitched the final two innings. Chris Pike went 3 for 4 with two doubles and a single.
The Mariners had a total of eight hits, leading head coach Duane Arnister to conclude that the game was not lost on the offensive side.
“We just walked too many people and then had errors in the field,” he said.
In the first inning of the second game in Southampton, Alex Antilety got himself into some trouble giving up a leadoff single followed by a walk. Then a balk was called and another walk was given up to load the bases. A ground ball that should have started an inning ending double play instead allowed the first two runs of the game to score as the ball was thrown over the first baseman’s head.
The game was stuck at 2-0 in Mattituck’s favor until the fourth inning. Rich Wesnofske led off the inning for the Mariners with a walk then stole second. With runners on first and third after a Pike single, Jamie Duryea hit a fielder’s choice to score Wesnofske from third for the Mariners’ first run of the game.
Southampton took the lead in the fifth inning when Andrew Shimkus singled to start the inning and then a Jeb Schmidt double that one-hopped the fence in right field brought Shimkus around for the tying run. A sacrifice fly from Niall Wood moved Shimkus to third base, and Wesnofske came up to the plate and singled home Shimkus for the third and eventual winning run of the game.
Antilety pitched a complete game and threw 128 pitches, the most he’s thrown in a game so far this season. He struck out six, walked two and only allowed three hits. Wesnofske, Pike, Schmidt and Shimkus all had one hit each to round out the offense for Southampton.
In the loss to Mattituck in the final game of the series, the Tuckers held on to a 1-0 lead going into the fourth inning. But in the fifth, Southampton starting pitcher Duryea hit three batters and was taken out in favor of Pike. The Mariners would give up four runs that inning, and their offense could not come through for a comeback this time. Wesnofske and Rob Devinney had the only hits in the game for Southampton.
“We couldn’t really get anything going as far as offense goes,” Arnister said. “We were slightly outmatched by their ace Brian Tardis.”
Even with the two losses, Southampton still has a chance to make the playoffs. If it can win four out of its last six games it will get in. The Mariners’ playoff push started on Tuesday in Southampton against Elwood/John Glenn. The second game of the series will be in Southampton today at 4:30 p.m. and the finale will be on Friday at Glenn at 10 a.m.