Carey pitcher Jesse Montalto on the mound during the Class...

Carey pitcher Jesse Montalto on the mound during the Class AA game between (2) MacArthur and (4) Carey. (May 31, 2011) Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

This was new.

No, not Jesse Montalto's inspired performance on the mound. No, not Carey's ability to poke, prod, and pester a higher seed into submission. The this we're talking about was the confidence the Seahawks had taking the field at Farmingdale State and the exultant celebration coming off of it.

Montalto pitched a three-hitter with four walks and nine strikeouts, and Tom Rydzewski went 2-for-4, with a run and an RBI as No. 4 Carey defeated second-seeded MacArthur, 3-0, in the deciding Game 2 of the Nassau Class AA final.

This is the first county title in school history and comes two years after an overmatched Carey fell to Massapequa on this same field.

"It's a tremendous difference," said coach Marc Hedquist. "I remember after [that game] I found out that they were sort of deer in the headlights. I had done every Hoosiers trick I had on them."

There were no inspirational speeches needed -- just the confidence of having beaten MacArthur, 10-1, in Game 1 and knocking of first-seeded Calhoun in the semifinals. The quiet confidence, too, of Montalto, who, after a season of pitching in ace John Daddino's shadow, has now defined himself as a finisher.

"We're relentless on the mental aspect," Hedquist said. "If we're not happy, we stare them down in the hallway. We challenge them."

The Generals (19-7), who have made the county finals 12 times in 18 years, challenged them, too. Carey didn't record a hit off starter Joe Chiaramonte until the fourth, when the lefthander gave up back-to-back, no-out singles to bring up Kyle DeMeo.

DeMeo hit a tough-hop grounder that bounced off the first basemen's glove. Second basemen Jesse Tuozzo backed up the play to record the out at first as the runners advanced to second and third. A throwing error on the play enabled Rydzewski to score, giving Carey a 1-0 lead.

Chiaramonte loaded the bases with one out in fifth before Rydzewski lined an RBI single to right. Kevin Monahan's rifle from rightfield cut down the potential third run at the plate.

It was enough for Montalto, who allowed no runner to reach farther than second base. Because of his performance, the Seahawks (19-6) advance to play the Suffolk winner 7 30 p.m. Sunday at Farmingdale State.

It'll be a new opponent, a new level of baseball, and a new milestone to achieve. This time, they'll be ready.