Junior righty Sean Langan will remember a few things about his first varsity start.
He pitched four shutout innings. His Longwood teammates gave him plenty of run support in a big way for his first win.
Langan allowed two hits, struck out six and hit two batters as Longwood upended Ward Melville, 17-4, in a Suffolk Conference I baseball game in East Setauket. The Lions submerged the defending League I champions with a 10-run third inning that lasted 40 minutes.
"There was plenty of run support and that’s great," said Langan, who retired nine of the first 11 batters he faced. "But I still had to focus and throw strikes. My teammates definitely made it a lot easier with the big lead."
Ward Melville (3-3) loaded the bases in the fourth with a single and two hit batsmen, but Langan struck out Jake Weinstein for the third out to end the threat.
"That was his first real test on varsity and he mixed his pitches well," said Longwood coach Ryan McSherry. "I’m happy with his outing."
Longwood opened a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Leadoff batter Lou Kaleb was hit by a pitch and Mason Mehling followed with a line drive over the rightfielders’ head for a run-scoring triple. Brandon Mair lifted a sacrifice fly to score Mehling to make it 2-0. With two outs, Joe McDonald crushed a line drive to right centerfield for an inside-the-park home run and a 3-0 lead.
The Lions added to the lead with a top of the third inning that they’ll talk about for a long time. They sent 15 men to the plate, the first 10 hitters scored before an out was recorded, against three Ward Melville pitchers that fired a total of 67 pitches. The anatomy of the inning looked like this; five hits, six walks, including four with the bases loaded. There were three run-scoring singles, one each by Kaleb, Mehling and Jake Hall. The Lions punctuated the monstrous rally with a Tommy Ventimiglia three-run triple to rightfield.
"You don’t see an inning like that very often on the varsity level," McSherry said. "It was quite the inning. I was really pleased with our approach at the plate. We had quality at bats and showed a lot of patience. And Ventimiglia, McDonald and Jake Hall have been swinging hot bats."
McDonald added a run-scoring double, Ventimiglia reached base four times, adding an RBI single and Hall reached base in all three of his at bats, adding two walks.
Mehling joined the hot bats parade with a 3-for-4 afternoon, including two RBI and three runs scored.
McDonald also flashed some serious leather at first base in the third inning. With two outs, he dived to his right to snare a Mike Mortillo line drive and keep Ward Melville scoreless. With that kind of pitching and defense and Longwood (6-1) swinging fire, the first-place Lions have proved difficult to beat.