Flawless defense, a fast-working pitcher and clutch hitting moved the Mattituck baseball team into the quarterfinal round of the state Class B tournament on Friday.
Senior righthander Marcos Perivolaris allowed two hits and two walks as Mattituck shut out Oyster Bay, 5-0, to win the Long Island Class B title at the Dowling College Athletic Complex in Shirley.
Latest HS sports stories
Mattituck will meet Albertus Magnus at 2 p.m. Saturday at Mamaroneck High School for the right to advance to the state final four in Binghamton next weekend.
"This is right where we want to be,'' Mattituck coach Steve DeCaro said. "We wanted to get back to this point in the tournament and get a win and make some good memories.''
Mattituck (24-1) set a school record for wins in a season and captured its second straight Long Island crown. The Tuckers were eliminated from the state tournament in last year's quarterfinal round.
Perivolaris (8-0), who was brilliant, threw 17 first-pitch strikes to 23 batters and pitched in such a fast rhythm that the game was over in an hour and 19 minutes.
"He felt good when he was warming up and had great rhythm out there,'' said third baseman Will Gildersleeve, who had five assists. "Marcos keeps the defense on their toes because he's working so quickly. I love it. Keeps me focused.''
Gildersleeve wasn't the only defensive standout for the Tuckers. Junior centerfielder Joe Tardif had four putouts, including a sensational all-out dive in the right-centerfield gap to rob Matt Santos of an extra-base hit and end the sixth inning. The catch preserved the shutout for Perivolaris.
"Those catches are just routine for Joe,'' Perivolaris said. "I throw strikes and watch these guys play defense.''
Mattituck scored two runs in each of the first two innings for a 4-0 lead against Oyster Bay starter Steve Spiegel. Brothers Ian and James Nish had back-to-back RBI singles in the first and Tardif added an RBI single in the second. "We had some timely hits,'' said Tardif, who had two hits, two runs scored and two steals.
"It all starts with him at the top of the lineup,'' Gildersleeve said. "And he just goes and gets it from gap to gap in the outfield. He's amazing.''
Tardif turned two routine fly balls into inning-ending double plays. He caught a line drive and doubled a runner off second in the third, then ran down a fly ball and fired a strike to first base for a double play in the fourth. "He does it all so well,'' Perivolaris said.
Mattituck has never reached the state final. Is this the Tuckers' year? "We think so,'' Tardif said. "The next game is always the most important.''