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Caccavale, Hauer, Whitenack power Plainedge

Plainedge's Ralph Caccavale celebrates after scoring a run

Plainedge's Ralph Caccavale celebrates after scoring a run in the top of the fifth inning. (May 29, 2012) Credit: Barry Sloan

For a team that just squeaked into the playoffs, Plainedge is showing the 16th seed is not representative of its play. Plainedge defeated No. 8 Island Trees, 12-3, Wednesdayin Game 2 of the Nassau Class A baseball finals at Farmingdale State to even the series at 1.

The deciding Game 3 will be played Fridayat Farmingdale State.

Ralph Caccavale went 3-for-4 with three runs and three stolen bases, Joe Hauer went 2-for-3 with a walk, three runs and two stolen bases and Tom Whitenack went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two stolen bases for Plainedge (17-11). Island Trees is 18-8-2.

"We don't look at ourselves as a 16 seed," Caccavale said. "It's just a number. Things are going our way."

In its playoff wins, the lowest margin of victory has been four runs. Plainedge, which went into the semifinals undefeated last season before getting eliminated, has outscored opponents in the postseason 74-17. Plainedge lost six games by two runs or less in the regular season.

"We struggled in the middle of the season and snuck in," Plainedge coach Tom Pisani said. "I tried to convince my guys all year long we're one of the best teams."

Caccavale, Hauer and Steve Miller opened the game with singles for Plainedge. Caccavale scored on a wild pitch, Hauer scored on a groundout by Anthony Pensato and Miller scored on an error. Whitenack hit a single to score Tyler Manez to cap a four-run first. Miller hit a sacrifice fly and Michael Miller hit a run-scoring single in the second to extend the Plainedge lead to 6-0.

Michael Miller went the distance and allowed seven hits, two walks and struck out three for the win.


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