Starting pitcher Jordan Welch of Farmingdale throws to the plate...

Starting pitcher Jordan Welch of Farmingdale throws to the plate during Game 1 of the Nassau Class AAA baseball finals against Port Washington on Saturday, May 25, 2024. Credit: Dawn McCormick

If high school baseball had a pitch clock, Jordan Welch would make it feel hurried.

The Farmingdale righthander seems like he can’t wait to make his next delivery when he gets the ball back and that makes for some odd sights, such as a plate umpire nearly being out of position and hitters voicing their irritation. The senior’s haste is just his style.

It’s not about the two years he waited for the moment he had on Saturday.

Welch was a sophomore when the Dalers last played for a county baseball title and fell to Massapequa. In their return, he was tabbed to start Game 1 against Post Washington and he delivered six strong innings in a 6-3 victory at Farmingdale State.

The Vikings managed to make it interesting by scoring twice in the top of the seventh and bringing the tying run to the plate before John Franco threw one pitch to get a game-ending pop-up and a save.

The Dalers (18-7-1) play the Vikings (15-10-2) in Game 2 on Sunday with a chance to win their first county championship since 1990.

“We have these tiles in our gym that pay [tribute] to the championship teams and we see that ‘1990’ every time we go through,” Welch said.

He and co-captain Joe Tagliavia were starters on the ’22 team and Welch said, “We’re always talking about hanging another one up.”

Catcher Angel Cartagena returned from a thumb injury that kept him out of the final two games of the semifinal series triumph over Long Beach and had two extra-base hits with two RBIs, Welch had a key RBI and Patrick Sebber drove in a run on the Dalers’ consensus wackiest play of the season.

Farmingdale coach Frank Tassielli had primarily pitched Welch in the second game of each series, but felt the postseason opportunities called for a modification.

“He has gotten the best results this season and you want to get that first game,” Tassielli said. “He went out and set a tone.”

Down a run in the bottom of the first, Cartagena made the Vikings pay for issuing a walk and a hit-by-pitch with a two-run double that fell fair down the rightfield line for a 2-1 lead. He opened the third inning with a triple to the wall in rightcenterfield and scored on a Dennis Tower sacrifice fly to make it a two-run lead. Cartagena was cleared to play on Friday.

“This was like when a [major-league] team makes a big late-season acquisition in a pennant race,” Tassielli said.

“I was really excited to be back and wanted to make a difference today,” Cartagena said. “You go a week without contributing and that’s hard.”

Welch’s run-scoring single in the fourth made it a three-run lead and Sebber came to bat in the fifth with runners at the corners and none out. A delivery got away from Vikings righthander Michael Solomon and when Sebber lurched forward to avoid it, the ball hit his bat and landed in fair territory. Sebber got thrown out at first but pinch runner Mateo Morales was alert and scored. Franco followed with a run-scoring single for a 6-1 lead.

“Hit-and-run, just like we planned it,” Sebber quipped.

Added Welch: “Had to be the craziest play of the year.”

Koki Maezawa and Jackson Garcia had run-scoring singles for Port in the seventh.

Through his first six innings, Welch allowed only one run, four hits and two walks while recording five strikeouts and the one run scored on a balk. Cartagena said the Port hitters were putting voice to their discomfort at his pace and that his cutter was effective.

“I wanted to let them know that I’m here to deal,” Welch said. “We don’t want to let this opportunity get away. When we lost [in 2022], we knew we still had two years. We want to get one.”


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