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Wheatley baseball wins Nassau 'B' championship
Wheatley found itself down in the sixth inning of game two of the Nassau Class B championship series and turned to an unlikely candidate with the game on the line.
Sophomore right hander Mike Carney was called upon to make his first varsity appearance in the most stressful of situations.
“He couldn't wait, he was anxious to get in and he loved it,” Wheatley head coach Paul Paino said. “He was really cool out there.”
Carney came through with two scoreless innings, Andrew Hastings scored the tying run on a fielder’s choice by Tommy Gillette in the sixth inning and Billy McLean scored the winning run when the ball was misplayed to lead No. 3 Wheatley over No. 1 Locust Valley, 7-6, Wednesday to complete a two-game sweep.
Hastings (3-for-4) and McLean (2-for-2 with two walks) have been the foundation of Wheatley baseball all season but it was the newcomer Carney who made it all possible today.
Were there any nerves on the part of the sophomore?
“He loved it,” Paino said. “You don’t get better than that.”
McLean hit a grand slam in the fourth inning that gave Wheatley a 5-2 lead before Locust Valley made its comeback. McLean now has nine home runs on the season and broke the programs single season RBI record with 36 during the regular season.
“He’s just Mr. Everything on this team,” Paino said. “He hits, he pitches and he catches. Runners don’t even go on him so he completely shuts down the running game.”
Wheatley advances to the Long Island championship game on June 3 at Dowling and knows it has an ace up its sleeve – literally.
The Conference BC-I MVP Matt Rothstein is scheduled to start for the Wildcats. “We have total confidence,” Paino said. “He was the MVP of the league and he hasn't pitched a bad game all season.”
Wheatley awaits the winner of Southampton and Mattituck in the Suffolk B championship.