Port lefty Rob Capella also received little support in his first start of the season. Capella recorded 10 K's while scattering eight hits. Again Lawrence scored runs in which stolen bases and bunts played a key role Lawrence led 5-2 going into the seventh. With the rain intensifying, Port loaded the bases without a hit (2 walks and a hit batter). After a short rain delay, Capella drove in two runs with a long double to right center and Eric Knight tied the game on a sacrifice fly to center. Lawrence came right back in their half of the inning when Capella walked the first batter. He was sacrificed ie: bunted to second, stole third and scored on a fair ball that was chopped into the dirt a few feet from the plate. Not a pretty way to lose. Eli Stertz went 2 for 3 for Port in the losing effort.
By winning only one of three games from Lawrence last week, the Vikings have almost eliminated themselves from playoff contention. Lawrence (3-9) is just one game behind Port (4-8) in the standings. Both teams have six games left to play. Each team will face league leading Herricks (8-2) and cellar dwelling Elmont (1-9) in three game series. Should Lawrence and Port tie in the standings, the playoff spot will go to Lawrence because of their two wins over Port.
At this time it is difficult to assess Port's chances to make the playoffs because of their inconsistency of play. Although their pitching as been adequate, their hitting and fielding have not been up to playoff standards. The one bright spot of the season to date, has been their ability to win at least one game or play a close game with each of the teams they have faced. Port has beaten Hicksville, Baldwin, Lawrence and lost close games to Syosset and East Meadow. A case can be made to conclude, that there is no dominant team in either conference II or Conference IV.
Syosset, East Meadow and Herricks all have good records and will be three of the four teams qualifying for the four playoff spots, but if Port makes the playoffs, there's no doubt that they (Port) can make a good showing.
This week Port plays a three game series with Herricks (8-2). Next week they close out the season with a three game series against Elmont. The Vikings play at home on May 18 and May 20 (4 p.m.).
Luis Hernandez won his second game scattering six hits and recording six strikeouts in Port's 8-2 win over Lawrence. Andy Beilessen (2 for 3) capped off a three-run first with a 2 RBI single to put Port ahead 3-1. Brandon Kurz's double highlighted Port's fifth inning knocking in Hernandez from second. Port added three runs in the sixth when the Lawrence third baseman could not handle Jim Cosolito's shot down the line, runners scoring from second and third. Cosolito scored later on Rob Capella's third base hit of the game.
Brandon Kurz received little support from his team-mates as Port succumbed to an awakened Lawrence team bent on revenge. Lawrence's Jason Supple single three times, and stole four bases (3rd, 3 times) and scored twice to highlight the game. Meanwhile Port let two scoring opportunities go to waste; in the fifth they got three hits but were unable to push a run across and in the seventh, Port loaded the bases with one out, and again came up empty-handed.
Port out-hit Lawrence 7 to 4. Eli Stertz went 2 for 3. Kurz pitched a complete game, gave up six hits and struck out eight. Three Port errors were costly.