BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - Jon Dwyer was doing backflips at the end of Mattituck's run to the state Class B baseball championship. The second baseman was celebrating with the rest of the Tuckers after they beat Livonia, 4-1, to capture the title at Broome Community College Saturday.
Senior Marcos Perivolaris threw 61/3 innings and scattered eight hits before he was relieved by Chris Dwyer, who came on and retired the final two batters to clinch the school's first state baseball title.
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"It's been a long time coming for our program," said Perivolaris, a five-year starter, who helped the Tuckers win three Long Island crowns. "We've been close but never finished the deal. This is so special because our team has played together for the last 10 years from summer travel ball to school ball. Someone asked if it was sad because it was over for the seniors but there's nothing sad about having this championship medal hanging from my neck."
Mattituck (27-1) used a flawless defense from the 7-2 semifinal win over Ogdensburg Free Academy through the championship game.
"We played great defense all day," said Perivolaris, who induced 13 outs in the air and relied on the speed of centerfielder Joe Tardif to track the longer fly balls. "And there is no better centerfielder than Joe Tardif and he has so much range and tracks down everything."
The Tuckers opened the scoring in the third inning. Perivolaris reached on an error and moved to second on a Chris Dwyer single. With two outs, Ian Nish drilled a two-run double over the leftfielder's head for the 2-0 lead.
"I was thinking that this was the last time I'm going to put on this uniform," Nish said. "I wanted to contribute in some way and have an impact on the game."
Nish finished 2-for-3 and was intentionally walked in the seventh inning.
Livonia (25-2) loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the third inning on the strength of a single and two walks. Perivolaris got cleanup hitter Jack Horan to pop up to third baseman Will Gildersleeve for the final out.
"I just pitch to contact and rely on the defense," said Perivolaris, who didn't strike out a batter. "That was a big out in the game."
The Tuckers doubled the lead in the fourth. Gildersleeve lined a single to left and Mike Onufrak walked. After two were out, Tardif blooped a single into rightfield for two RBIs and a 4-0 lead.
"We'll take it, it's not luck, even when it's not by design," said Mattituck coach Steve DeCaro. "These guys worked extremely hard to be in a position to win a state title. This drive to our first title started in January with guys sacrificing other things in their lives to practice and be ready."
Mattituck managed only five hits in the game but the defense and pitching was too much for Livonia.
Perivolaris improved to 10-0 on the mound hours after Tardif, who is 8-1, earned the semifinal win.
"Not bad for two position players who just throw strikes and trust the defense," Tardif laughed. "Marcos is really a shortstop and I'm really a centerfielder. We win because every guy on this team contributes and that's why we're state champs."