What ballplayer doesn't dream about coming to bat in the bottom of the last inning with the bases loaded and the game on the line? That's where Half Hollow Hills West's Ken Schiotis found himself in Monday's Suffolk Class AA semifinal against Ward Melville.
Schiotis walked to the plate with the bases full and one out in the seventh, and the game scoreless.
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"I thought about making hard contact and just seeing the ball off the bat," Schiotis said. "Guys live for this kind of opportunity."
Schiotis hit a 1-and-1 pitch into centerfield for a walk-off single that drove in Tyler Delucia as host Half Hollow Hills West edged Ward Melville, 1-0. It was the Colts' third straight shutout in the playoffs.
The Colts (20-3) will play in the winners' bracket final of the double-elimination tournament against West Islip (18-4), a 5-1 winner over Kings Park (20-3). Ward Melville will play at Sachem North (18-4) Wednesday in an elimination game.
Schiotis' game-winner was set up after Delucia walked and pinch hitter Jon Faraci dropped a bunt single. An intentional walk to Owen McMenamy loaded the bases before Ward Melville starter Joe Flynn got his sixth strikeout.
"The home crowd was great and the moment couldn't have been better," Hills West coach Tom Migliozzi said.
The moment belonged to Schiotis, but the game was owned by Hills West righthander Aaron Glickstein. The hard-throwing junior struck out 12, walked two and allowed three hits.
Glickstein put his stamp on this one in the fifth after a wind-blown triple put Jeff Towle on third with no outs.
Glickstein struck out three straight hitters looking.
"That's what he does, he's a gamer," Migliozzi said. "You want the ball in his hands."
Glickstein was helped when leftfielder Sean Noriega made an over-the-shoulder, diving catch, robbing Kyle Pedroli of a home run in the fourth.
"You need the defense," Glickstein said. "And you have to pound the zone and stay ahead of the hitters."
The Colts got both Monday and they move on.