Baseball is so much about dads and their sons. For Riverhead senior lefthander Matt Crohan and his father, Ed, it became so much more than simply having a catch.
Ed taught Matt how to play the game. How to throw, catch and hit a ball. Out on the east end of Riverhead, Ed enjoyed hours of playing with and coaching his son.
"My dad had a major influence on my development as a person and as a player," said Matt Crohan, the winner of the 46th annual Carl Yastrzemski Award, presented Wednesday night to the county's top player at the Suffolk County High School Baseball Coaches Association awards banquet. Crohan was the first Riverhead player to win the award.
"He's a big part of everything I do," said Crohan, who pitched two no-hitters and had a 0.64 earned run average this season. "I wouldn't be who I am today without my dad."
Crohan had a 6-1 record and struck out 104 in 47 innings. He also batted .408 with two home runs and 12 RBIs.
"He was the complete player, a real leader," Riverhead coach Rob Maccone said. "He carried the team and mentored the younger players. He is the perfect role model for a student-athlete."
Crohan was a staple in the Riverhead lineup the past three seasons. The 6-2, 195-pounder threw back-to-back no-hitters this year against Suffolk League IV rivals East Islip and Centereach. He fired five no-hit innings against Copiague before allowing a hit, ending his streak at 19.
"The hit that broke up the no-hitter didn't faze him," Maccone said. "He just went about his business and finished the shutout. He was always composed and never got rattled. We didn't score many runs for him, but he kept putting up zeros and keeping us in games."
Perhaps the most impressive statistic lies in his overall pitching lines. Crohan threw two no-hitters, a one-hitter, a two-hitter and two three-hitters in his six wins. Opponents batted .060 against him and he threw 46 shutout innings out of 47.
"Can you imagine he allowed runs in only one inning this year," Maccone said, laughing. "He's just a remarkable young man with a great left arm."
Crohan accepted a full scholarship to attend Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.Crohan, who throws consistently from 87-90 miles per hour and mixes in a sharp curveball and changeup, will take his skill set south and look forward to the June draft in 2016.
"The coaches in Winthrop are very excited about his arrival," Maccone said. "And we're going to miss him. But he laid some terrific groundwork and set the bar very high for the ones who will follow him here in Riverhead."