Adam Burk delivered with his bat in what seemed like the biggest moment of Eastport-South Manor’s comeback victory Thursday afternoon.
When the stakes were raised even higher, the sophomore came through again with his arm.
Burk hit a two-out, two-run double to break a tie at 8 in the sixth inning and pitched out of a no-out, based loaded jam in the seventh to earn the save and lead the visiting Sharks to a 10-9 win over Half Hollow Hills West in a Suffolk V baseball game. Hills West scored seven runs in the first and led 8-0 after two innings, before winning pitcher Kyle Fessler shut down the Colts’ bats in relief and enabled the Sharks to chip away at the lead.
“The ball came perfect off the bat and it was just a great moment,” said Burk of his double, which capped a six-run sixth inning. “There was nothing in my mind when I swung the bat, but rounding first base, I was so happy for my team.”
Eastport-South Manor (11-5) got on the board in the third before Anthony Simone hit a three-run double in the fifth to make it 8-4. In the sixth, Dylan Peck, Angelo Montalbano and Ryan Foran each drove in a run. The Sharks tied the score on a strikeout and dropped third strike later in the inning when Foran bolted home from third and scored on the ensuing throw to first.
Hills West (14-3) loaded the bases against Burk in the seventh before he struck a batter out, allowed a run on a fielder’s choice and induced a flyout to rightfield to end the game.
“Adam is a guy we use a lot late in games,” coach Jim McGowan said. “It was familiar territory for him, so I think that allowed him to have the confidence to get those outs.”
The comeback was enabled in part by Fessler, who struck out a pair with no walks and allowed one run in three-plus innings of relief to earn his first varsity win.
“I wanted to keep the game as close as possible and watching my team get hit after hit gave me a boost on the mound,” Fessler said.
Trevor Zanderzuk went 3-for-4 for ESM, and Jordan Goldstein was 3-for-4 with a three-run double in the first for Hills West.
Said Montalbano: “After you win a game like this, you feel like you can come back from anything.”