Nick Zampieron #1 for Comsewogue Kevin Schnupp #4 for Comsewogue...

Nick Zampieron #1 for Comsewogue Kevin Schnupp #4 for Comsewogue and C.J. Cubano #21 for Comsewogue tap their caps after a homerun by Nick Zampieron during the Suffolk County Class AA Baseball finals at Middle Country sports complex on Saturday, May 25, 2024 Credit: David Meisenholder

Nick Zampieron punched his right fist into his glove. The work was done.

The Comsewogue baseball team had taken the next step and now is on the verge of its first Suffolk title in 42 years.

Zampieron struck out Mike Oliveto swinging through a curveball to secure seventh-seeded Comsewogue’s 9-3 win over top-seeded Hauppauge in the Suffolk Class AA finals Saturday afternoon at Middle Country Athletic Complex in Selden. Comsewogue kept its season alive and will face Hauppauge in a winner-take-all championship game on Sunday at noon at the same location.

Sunday’s winner will advance to play the Bellmore JFK-Division winner for the Long Island Class AA championship on Saturday at Farmingdale State University at 6 p.m.

Comsewogue (15-9), which had to win its final game of the regular season to reach the playoffs, has beaten the top four seeds in the double-elimination tournament, and Zampieron has led the charge.

He earned his seventh win of the season and lowered his ERA to 0.78, striking out five and allowing three unearned runs, seven hits and one walk in a complete-game effort.

“He’s the best athlete in our school,” Comsewogue coach Joe Caltagirone said. “Everything comes naturally to him. And he’s a super-competitive kid. He put us in position to win our first county title in a long time.”

Zampieron also ignited the Comsewogue offense from the leadoff spot. He drilled two long home runs, drove in five runs and walked.

“I am seeing the ball really well,” he said. “I always felt we could put it together and do something special. We need to win one more game.”

Comsewogue’s CJ Cubano singled to lead off the third inning, and with one out, Zampieron launched a long two-run home run to left-centerfield for a 2-0 lead.

“He’s amazing,” Comsewogue catcher Kevin Schnupp said. “Nick came all the way back from a horrible broken leg in football and has the perfect mindset. He never complains, just performs.”

Comsewogue extended its lead in a five-run fourth inning, with four of the runs scoring after two were out.

Anthony Manetta singled and Joe Perri followed with an RBI double. Carson McCaffrey singled to put runners at first and third before Hauppauge starter Matt Neglia recorded a strikeout and an out at the plate on a safety squeeze.

Neglia looked as if he might escape the jam with minimal damage, but No. 9 hitter Jake Sokolowski drilled his first pitch for a run-scoring single to make it 4-0. Then came the big blow by Zampieron, who smoked a three-run home run to left for a 7-0 lead.

“He left an 0-and-1 slider up and I barreled it up.” Zampieron said. “We came out aggressive against a great pitcher and it worked out.”

The Eagles (19-4) loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth and Kyle Magill lined a two-run single to make it 7-2.

Hauppauge coach Josh Gutes relieved Neglia with Ian Rivera in the top of the seventh. Neglia, the Suffolk League IV MVP, struck out seven and allowed eight hits, seven earned runs and one walk.

Rivera walked Zampieron to lead off the seventh and Schnupp, Comsewogue’s home run leader with six, followed with a two-run shot that cleared the high fence in dead centerfield for a 9-2 lead.

“It was a 2-and-0 pitch and he’d thrown six consecutive balls,” Schnupp said. “I was sitting on a fastball and he left it over the plate.”

All that was left was for Zampieron to slam the door on the potent Hauppauge offense. After an infield error and singles by Alex Ofgang and Tucker Brown, John Margolies grounded into a forceout to plate Hauppauge’s third run.

“We are one win away,” Schnupp said. “The work is not done.”


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