Senior Sean Flynn, on the heels of a masterful relief pitching performance, gave Babylon quite an encore.
Flynn, pitching for the second consecutive day, allowed one hit in 6 1⁄3 innings and struck out five Friday as host Babylon beat Center Moriches, 3-1, in a Suffolk League VIII baseball game.
Flynn, who threw 27 pitches in a two-inning relief appearance Thursday, was removed after 110 pitches.
“I felt great out there and could have finished the game,” said Flynn, who went 6-2 last year. “I had good location and was hitting my spots but I got a little tired at the end, walking two batters in the seventh inning.”
Sophomore John Pesce — making his first varsity appearance — recorded the final two outs for the save.
“That’s a big spot for any sophomore to make his first appearance,” Babylon coach Victor Manzella said. “He came in, threw strikes and got great results.”
Pesce came on with runners at second and third and one out. He induced a pop-out to the catcher and intentionally walked leadoff man Stephen Bryant to load the bases before getting Dave Franchi to ground out to first base to end the game.
The decision to walk Bryant, who homered to start the game, was a brilliant one.
“Bryant had their only hit of the game and with runners in scoring position, that was the right move,” Babylon shortstop Kenneth Gordon said. “They’re a scrappy team that’s well-coached. This was a 100 percent team effort to win the series.”
After Bryant gave the Red Devils (0-3) a 1-0 lead, Babylon (3-0) responded with a run in the bottom of the first. Gordon walked, moved to third on an error and scored on a single by Flynn to tie it.
“It was good that we responded right away so they couldn’t build any momentum,” Flynn said.
Babylon took the lead with a two-run fourth inning. Cole Middleton walked and Shaun Kaminski singled before the pair executed a double-steal to get into scoring position. After Anthony Vano’s grounder made it 2-1, Chris Botto lined a shot that Center Moriches third baseman David Falco knocked down. He held the runner at third and fired a laser to first to get the second out, but Kaminski scored on a two-out wild pitch for a 3-1 lead.
“This is a team where everyone knows their role and contributes,” Gordon said. “We have great team chemistry and we do what it takes to win.”