Smithtown Christian falls in regional championship
They say all good things must come to an end.
After posting its first winning record in 10 years, Smithtown Christian's quest for a state baseball title ended Tuesday with a 2-1 loss to Section IX champion Coleman Catholic in the Southeast Region Class D championship.
It's the second straight year the Knights have lost in the regional final.
"They had our number today," Smithtown Christian coach Craig Gorton said. "I'm proud of my kids and how they battled today. We had a good season, but losing like this still hurts."
Senior Dylan Prince pitched a complete game with six strikeouts, allowing two earned runs and seven hits in his final high school start. Prince will be playing for Dowling next year.
Smithtown Christian (14-7) couldn't get anything going against Coleman Catholic's Mike Smithmyer, who also pitched a complete game, giving up three hits and one earned run with three strikeouts.
"We knew we had to have good pitching and solid defense to beat this team," Coleman Catholic coach Bob Brinkman said. "That's a very good team we beat."
The Statesmen (8-10) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second when Jim LaValle scored on a fielder's choice. The Knights tried to get things going in the fourth when Timmy Gorton hit a leadoff single, but he was tagged out on a fielder's choice. Then Coleman Catholic turned an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
LaValle again connected in the fifth with an RBI double to center to drive in Chad Callahan from first base with the winning run.
The Knights got on the board in the sixth, as Gorton hit a single to left and the throw got past the catcher, allowing Ronny Linsalato to score from second. The Knights had one last shot in the bottom of the seventh, but Smithmyer got two groundouts and a strikeout to end the game.