Brian Kavanagh knew he had to make a key adjustment heading into his start Saturday.
The East Meadow righthander said he left too many pitches up in the zone two weeks ago, the last time he pitched against MacArthur. This time, the plan was to mix things up better and focus on throwing strikes low in the zone.
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Kavanagh tossed a five-hit shutout with seven strikeouts and one walk allowed as No. 8 East Meadow upset host No. 2 MacArthur, 4-0, in the deciding third game of a Nassau Class AA quarterfinal series.
Kavanagh needed only 81 pitches, which he said was the least amount he's ever thrown in a complete game.
"I was shocked when my coach told me the pitch count," Kavanagh said. "I was just like, 'Wow.'"
Billy Thomas threw out a runner at the plate to end the third inning with East Meadow ahead 1-0.
"That changed the momentum right there," Kavanagh said.
Zach Fritz went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Marcus Kabigting had a two-run single in the fifth.
"Last time we played MacArthur, I left too many pitches up in the zone and they hit them, so today I just kept everything down in the zone and I used my cutter a lot," Kavanagh said. "The infield behind me made all the plays we needed them to."
East Meadow (15-8) will play No. 6 Massapequa in the best-of-three semifinals starting on Tuesday.
"That's our big rival," Kavanagh said. "It should be a battle for the ages."