Two more wins.
As of Tuesday morning, that was all the Southampton baseball team needed to clinch a spot in the Class B playoffs. With five games left on the schedule, it is certainly well within reach. The Mariners, sitting in third place in League VIII, are coming off their final three-game series of the season and moved to 8-7 after dropping two of three games against second-place Babylon (11-4) last week. Now, Southampton will face each team in the league once more to round out the regular season. They were slated to host last-place Mercy (0-15) on May 5 and Center Moriches (7-8) on May 6, will visit Babylon on May 8, host Mattituck on May 12, and visit Hampton Bays (4-11) on May 13.
Southampton head coach Scott Johnson said his team played its “best baseball of the season” in the series with Babylon. The Mariners beat the Panthers, 8-5, at home in the first game on April 28, and then lost a hard-fought 1-0 game that extended over two days because it went into 10 innings. The game began in Babylon on April 29, and was then concluded at Southampton on May 1 before the start of the rubber game, which Babylon won, 6-2.
In the opening game, the Mariners got started right away with three runs in the first inning, then added another in the third and four in the fourth to go up 8-2. Nick Knoebel got the start for Southampton and performed well through six innings, with eight strikeouts, and finished the game despite giving up a few late runs. Southampton had 11 hits as a team.
The second game was a pitcher’s duel. Garrett Pike started for Southampton and allowed only one hit and no runs with 10 strikeouts through nine innings of work. In the top of the seventh inning, Southampton had the bases loaded with one out, but hit into a 1-2-3 double play to end the threat. The game was postponed after nine innings and picked up the next day at Southampton, with the Mariners playing as the visiting team. Babylon got the win with an unearned run in the bottom of the 10th, with Aidan Roughan pitching that final inning for the Mariners.
Ten minutes later, the teams started the third game and Babylon’s momentum seemed to carry over into that contest. The Panthers broke it open with six runs in the third inning. Roughan stayed on the mound for Southampton, tossing the first three innings, before giving way to Chad Pike, who gave up one run in the final four innings with five strikeouts. Roughan was 2 for 3 on the day and Garrett Pike was also 2 for 3, with a two-run homer in the third inning.