Written by Matthew Levine, email@example.com Thursday, 22 May 2014 00:00
The Hicksville Comets had been there before. They found themselves in another close game, this time against the Massapequa Chiefs.
Down a run and with two outs, the Chiefs had the bases loaded as Comets senior Michael Riley was vying for a complete game.
Up stepped Griffin Sullivan, looking to add to his two RBI’s. However, this time Riley was able to get out of the jam unscathed with a ground ball as the Comets won 3-2.
“I knew I had to get that guy. I knew I couldn’t give him anything too good to hit. I had to really locate my spots and make the right pitches. That was it and I ended up getting him,” said Riley after the game.
It wasn’t just Riley’s arm that helped lift the Comets to victory. His bat and legs were equally crucial.
With the Comets down a run entering the fourth inning, they eventually loaded the bases on Chiefs pitcher Alex Cosenza, who threw six innings. Riley hit what looked to be an inning ending double play, but was able to beat out the throw, allowing a runner to score and keep the inning alive.
It was the smart base running that allowed the Comets to gain the advantage. Riley drew a pickoff attempt and was able to avoid getting tagged just long enough for the runner from third to cross the plate.
“That was planned to bring the runner in from third to score,” said Riley.
Head coach Frank Ciaramitaro added, “Those are things we practice. But you can’t really coach the innate ability to do what Matthew did, which he stayed in that run down. He was able to kind of go back to first, which allowed the winning run to score.”
“I take my hat off, he’s a five tool player,” Ciaramitaro continued.
It has been the experience in those close games that aided Hicksville in pulling out a tight one over Massapequa.
“We’ve been in a lot of close games, a lot of one run games and I think because we’ve dealt with adversity we’ve been able to overcome, we’re battle tested and that benefited us today,” Ciaramitaro said.
In the third inning, Massapequa took the lead. Matt Tsotras’ error opened the door for the Chiefs and Sullivan delivered with a two-run double. However, Tsotras was picked up by outfield mate Justin Mize, who threw an absolute strike from centerfield to stop Sullivan from scoring later in the inning to end the frame and limit the damage.
“The kid made a great throw at home to throw a kid [Sullivan] out at home. At that time we had a 2-1 lead. We we’re going to take that shot with two outs,” said Chiefs head coach Tom Sheedy.
“Credit to Hicksville they capitalized on their opportunities and we left one on the bases at the end.”