When Tom DiGiorgi gets ahead in the count, his eyes start flashing. Pitchers should take that as a warning sign and proceed with caution.
"I have the green light," the Half Hollow Hills West slugging first baseman said Tuesday after belting two solo, over-the-fence home runs to lead a 16-hit onslaught as the Colts beat host East Islip, 12-6, in Suffolk League IV.
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Sean Noriega added a solo home run and a double off the leftfield fence and No. 9 hitter Kenny Schiotis drove in four runs with a double, single and sacrifice fly.
"Coach always says hitting is contagious and we feel that way," said DiGiorgi, who has five home runs this season. "No one wants to be that guy to make an out."
It sure looked that way in a six-run second inning as Hills West (7-1) strung together four straight hits, including back-to-back-to-back doubles, one by Schiotis that drove in two runs.
"Being that it was early in the game, I was just trying to get some runs in," Schiotis said. "Hitting late in the order, I'm usually looking to lock and load on a fastball on the first pitch."
DiGiorgi was looking fastball on a 2-and-0 pitch in the first inning and he drove a rocket over the left-centerfield fence, well beyond the 342-foot sign.
"It was a spinner and I was trying to hit it up the middle, but I got around too fast," DiGiorgi said. "When it's 2-0, I'm thinking fastball because I'm a pitcher and that's what I throw when I'm behind in the count."
In the sixth, he jumped on a 1-and-0 hanging curveball.
The Colts' offense provided winning pitcher Jon Faraci with plenty of support but the defense did not. Hills West made five errors leading to three unearned runs. But Faraci was mostly sharp, striking out 13 in a complete-game effort.
"Jon did a great job to stay mentally tough, even though his defense wasn't strong," Colts coach Tom Migliozzi said. "He had a great curveball."
That allowed Faraci to strike out the side in the third and fourth innings. Jared Vuolo had a three-run double for East Islip (4-4). Hills West reserve Rocco Lombardo contributed two doubles and two runs. "It was a great day to hit," Migliozzi said. "It was a hard infield and the wind was blowing out."
So were the baseballs.