Giuliano, Goodfellow lead Babylon to 'B' title
Tiana Giuliano had come too far to give it all up, despite the seven runs and nine hits she already had allowed.
Because when Babylon's senior pitcher needed the biggest out of the season, she proved to be more clutch than ever.
With runners on second and third and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Giuliano struck out the final batter as No. 1 Babylon held on to defeat No. 3 Center Moriches, 8-7, to sweep the best-of-three Suffolk Class B championship series.
Babylon (20-0), which won its third straight county title, led 8-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth. It needed every one of those runs.
"Pitching-wise, it was a lot of pressure," Giuliano said. "It's like carrying the team on your shoulders when it comes down to that last batter. I like the pressure. I like having people rely on me."
Babylon scored three runs to take a 4-0 lead in the second, an inning that included two hit batsmen, a wild pitch, a throwing error, a walk and no hits.
"We fought back, but county championship teams do not make those types of mistakes," Center Moriches coach Rich Roberts said.
Giuliano allowed only three hits through five innings before the Red Devils mounted their late charge.
"They have some good bats, and when you play a team so many times, they are going to get used to the pitcher," Giuliano said.
After Center Moriches (11-10) got a run in the second, Babylon scored three runs in the fourth, highlighted by Brianna Goodfellow's two-run home run.
Goodfellow, a junior, went 4-for-4 to lead the Panthers' offense.
"For our [five] seniors, I wanted this game really bad," she said.
And with the tying and go-ahead runs on base, Giuliano reclaimed her mojo and pitched the Panthers to another county title.