Paul Maline, Bobby Morse homer to back Vincent Negri's complete game for Commack
Commack hit two out and hit with two outs. The Cougars simply were too much for host Longwood Thursday.
Paul Maline pulled a booming grand slam over the fence in right-centerfield in the first inning and Bobby Morse sliced a three-run homer just over the fence down the rightfield line in the second inning as Commack tamed the Lions, 11-1, in a Suffolk League I game.
Both blasts came with two outs and provided a nice cushion for Vincent Negri, who pitched his third complete game of the season. The Cougars improved to 12-2 and the Lions fell to 6-8.
"We love to jump out early and give our pitcher something to work with," said Maline, a Newsday second-team All-Long Island wide receiver who will play football at Duke in the fall. "I was ahead in the count [2-and-1] and was looking middle-in. He left it up and the ball carried well."
It was Maline's first career grand slam. "At least in high school. I can't remember back to Little League," said Maline, a lefthanded hitter who played rightfield yesterday. "This is my first real one, the first one that counted for something."
Morse, who had singled to load the bases for Maline, capped a five-run second-inning rally that began after the first two Cougars were retired. Then Joe Baltera singled, Jesse Berardi doubled, Nick Cebellero singled in two runs and Stephen Catalano singled Cebellero to third. Morse stepped up looking to pull the ball to left.
"This whole series, I haven't pulled the ball once," said Morse, the Cougars' third baseman. "I actually was trying to pull it."
But he wound up hitting it hard the other way. "I knew I hit it well but I didn't expect it to go over the fence," Morse said of his second homer this season, which cleared the rightfield fence barely inside the foul pole.
All that early offense made things easy for Negri. "It relaxed me and pumped me up because I didn't really have my good stuff," said Negri, who allowed eight hits, struck out five and did not walk a batter. "Some days you don't have it, but you've got to just pitch and not show any emotion. We've got a big lineup. There are no weak spots. Everyone can hit. They'll always pick me up."
Especially with two outs.