MAMARONECK, N.Y. - Chris Dwyer's worst nightmare turned into his sweetest dream, and he and his brother were at the center of it as Mattituck won the state Class B regional baseball championship Saturday.
First, Chris allowed a game-tying, two-run home run to Albertus Magnus' Christian Conklin in the bottom of the seventh. Then his brother, Johnny, laced a two-strike fastball for a double that knocked in the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th and Chris belted a three-run double three batters later.
Latest HS sports stories
Those two hits propelled Mattituck to a 9-5 win that sends the 25-1 Tuckers to the state semifinals for the first time since 1983, according to Newsday records.
"I'll let [Johnny] talk to me for a while," said an amused Chris after throwing 32/3 innings of relief for the win. He also went 4-for-6 with five RBIs. "It was just great. We're going to have a blast when we get home."
The Tuckers were one out away from winning the game in the seventh. Starter Joe Tardif, who allowed three earned runs and four hits in 61/3 innings, had just walked his third batter with one out. Coach Steve DeCaro summoned Dwyer, who struck out Stephen Greely before allowing the home run.
"I let a fastball get away, and it was a great hit on his part," Dwyer said.
The Tuckers had left at least one runner on base in each of the first six innings. They had left the bases loaded in the third and sixth, and the inability to capitalize nearly ended their season.
"We definitely wanted to score more runs today, but I guess we saved up for the 10th inning," Tardif said.
With the score tied at 4 in the 10th, The Dwyer brothers had the big hits to make it 8-4. Each team scored one more run.
"I've got my brother's back," he said. "He might mess up here or there, but I've got his back. I had to do what I had to do."
The Tuckers need just one more win to reach the program's first state championship.
"We're tied with history now," Chris Dwyer said. "Hopefully we still have a little something in us to get the victory upstate."