Wheatley gets hot in the last few weeks of the season, cruises through the first round of the playoffs and wins the Nassau Class B baseball title as Billy McLean gets hold of an 0-and-2 fastball and launches a grand slam in a clinching Game 2.
Wait, wait, that was last year.
Latest HS sports stories
Oh, and this year, too.
"To relive that moment is amazing, surreal," McLean said after the top-seeded Wildcats' 13-0 win over No. 2 Oyster Bay at Hofstra Wednesday. "The same exact thing happened last year -- same situation, same exact count."
That moment of deja vu proved to be the coup de grace for the Wildcats, who led 11-0 after McLean's third-inning homer sailed over the wall in left-center. Wheatley, which scored six runs in the second, batted around in the second and third innings. Andrew Hastings' two-run, two-out double in the second gave Wheatley (17-5) a 6-0 lead over Oyster Bay (14-6-1).
The Wildcats scored 30 runs over the two games and have scored in double digits six times in the last three weeks.
"Our offense is so much better than last year," McLean said -- which is saying a lot, considering the Wildcats made it to the state tournament in Binghamton. "But we caught fire around the same exact time last year, and we did it at the right time again."
That also extends to the pitching.
Matt Hogg pitched a two-hitter with five strikeouts, and lost the no-hit bid on a one-out single in the sixth inning.
"Everything," was working said Hogg, a junior who was called up during last year's postseason. "It was so cool this year to play a part in the championship. It's the greatest feeling."
He was often impossible to hit, said McLean, the catcher. "Literally every single pitch was working," he said. "His fastball was effective, outside and inside. His changeup was a good 3 to 4 mph slower. Kids couldn't hit it. His curveball was getting a lot of bite to it. They just couldn't hit his pitches.
"Right now, we have three dominant pitchers and last year, we really only had one."
Wheatley plays the winner of Center Moriches/Mattituck on June 6 at Farmingdale State for a chance to advance to the regional final. There, McLean hopes a season of repetition continues its path -- straight to Binghamton.
"There's no better feeling," he said. "It's probably the greatest feeling in the world. I'm living life right now, because baseball is the thing that I love."