After showing resiliency by defeating Oceanside in the second game of its series on Tuesday, Hicksville bounced back again, this time from a late two- run deficit to defeat the Sailors, 3-2, in the rubber game between the conference's top two teams.
With the score tied at 2 and two outs in the sixth inning, sophomore Andrew Purcell hit a rocket into rightfield for an RBI single that gave Hicksville (12-2) the lead over the Sailors (7-4). Purcell went 3-for-4 and scored a run.
Said Hicksville coach Frank Ciaramitaro, "To be as well- versed as a 10th-grader -- we talk about honing your craft as a hitter and we know how difficult that is, especially against the caliber of pitching that we're seeing in this league and in our crossover games. For a sophomore to be able to switch hit and to be the catalyst and hit over .400 is just tremendous.''
After falling behind 2-0, Hicksville tied the score in the fifth on an RBI triple by Nick Schoen and a run-scoring single by Ron Bauer.
Purcell got his opportunity because of Hicksville starting pitcher Joe Enderle, who gave up two runs in the first three innings but held the Sailors scoreless the rest of the way. Enderle allowed six hits and walked two, retiring the last eight batters in order.
"I got hit around in the early innings but I had no doubt in my team,'' Enderle said. "We've fought all season long and I knew we'd come around in the end. They're a great-hitting team but I put my heart into it and we came out on top.''
Oceanside starter Jake Santamaria pitched well in defeat, leaving after five-plus innings with six strikeouts and three earned runs.
"Oceanside is a good team and we needed this win to help us in the conference,'' Purcell said. "It basically puts us in control.''
With a rotation that has Enderle follow high-quality pitchers in Bauer and Schoen, the Comets always seem to be in control.
"We feel that all three of our starters are number ones,'' Ciaramitaro said. "The fact that our kids came back after trailing showed a lot of heart.''