It took 10 innings but Cody McPartland ended the day just the way he started it, retiring Sayville leadoff hitter Joe Walsh. The big Miller Place righthander led his No. 4 squad to a 4-1 win over No. 3 Sayville in the Suffolk 'A' loser's bracket baseball final.
In between, McPartland struck out 15 batters and allowed only two hits.
"It's the best performance I've seen this year," Miller Place coach Tom Veryzer said. "He continues to get better and better not only as the season goes on but as the game goes on."
Because the game was postponed from Saturday, Sayville was able to have its own ace on the mound on regular rest and Matthew Hess did not disappoint. The senior went nine innings and allowed only an unearned run in the second inning.
"He did a phenomenal job and I was telling the team it was kind of punch-for-punch throughout the whole game," Sayville coach Ryan Cox said. "He really did a phenomenal job of matching up with McPartland today."
Kevin Cergol got Miller Place going with a one-out single in the 10th inning and went to third on a two-out base hit by Ethan Fox.
That brought up Tyler Polycranos, who hit a hard chopper that got through to score Cergol. McPartland followed with a hard-hit single that brought home Fox. Polycranos was awarded home after it was ruled the third baseman had obstructed him as he came around the bag.
"We knew behind Cody we just had to make plays in the field," Polycranos said. "I got a lucky hit and made something happen and got the run in. That's all that matters."
Sayville struck first as third baseman Erik McNamara lined a home run to leftfield in the first inning. But it was the only blemish on McPartland's line.
Miller Place answered in the second when Polycranos reached on an infield chopper that was ruled an error and came around when a grounder hit by McPartland was misplayed. After that it was all zeros until the 10th.
"I was forcing myself to go as long as I could," McPartland said. "I was going until they put a run across for me."
It finally came in the 10th thanks in part to McPartland's own bat and the calming influence the senior gives the rest of his teammates. "Confidence," Polycranos said about having McPartland on the mound. "All we have is confidence behind him in every game."