Aidan Crowley has been nearly unhittable this season.
Shoreham-Wading River’s junior righthander allowed a sharp line drive to East Hampton leadoff man Kurt Matthews in his first start this season – and that was three weeks ago. It’s the only hit Crowley has allowed all year. Imagine that, 25 consecutive innings of no-hit ball, including a Long Island-record three straight no-hitters.
Crowley etched his name in the history books when he no-hit Hauppauge, 6-0, in a non-league game Tuesday at the Medford Sports Complex. He struck out Alex Knopf looking at a wicked breaking ball to punctuate a 10-strikeout, four-walk performance on 94 pitches.
He was mobbed by his teammates and coaches as he came off the mound. His record improved to 4-0 with 26 innings pitched, one hit allowed, 40 strikeouts and 11 walks.
“We’ve never seen anything like this, it’s so impressive,” coach Kevin Willi said. “He’s been unbelievable. He made a big jump in velocity this season and he’s so much stronger.”
Crowley mixed an 87-mph fastball with an effective curve to keep Hauppauge off balance. He struck out at least one batter in every inning and fanned two in the fourth, fifth and seventh.
“I’ve focused more on location and throwing strikes,” said Crowley, who threw 62 of them. “And I couldn’t do this alone. My defense has been great making all the plays. And my pitch count stays down because we don’t make errors.”
Crowley and Hauppauge’s junior ace, Ryan Levenberg, were locked in a scoreless duel through five innings. That changed in the sixth, when the Wildcats rallied against Levenberg, who had eight strikeouts to that point.
With one out, Mike Smith walked, Nick Bettenhauser singled and Jared Sciarrino walked to load the bases. Everett Wehr worked a full count against Levenberg and fouled off two fastballs before launching a grand slam, the first home run of his varsity career.
“It was a great pitch, low and away,” Wehr said. “I barreled it up pretty good and it just went. I was trying to put it in the air and get a run home for Aidan. It was so important to score in that inning.”
Hauppauge coach Josh Gutes was impressed with both pitchers.
“I felt from the third inning on that the first team to score would win,” Gutes said. “Crowley had some run or cut in his fastball and we couldn’t get the barrel on it. And his velocity was excellent.”
Three Yastrzemski Award winners threw back-to-back no-hitters in recent years, but the third one always proved elusive. Riverhead’s Matt Crohan, Hauppauge’s Nick Fanti and Shoreham-Wading River’s Brian Morrell flirted with the chance to rewrite the history books and came up short.
Crowley put this one in the books.