Wantagh’s Cole Spinelli hits two-run triple in sixth inning of...

Wantagh’s Cole Spinelli hits two-run triple in sixth inning of Game 2 of Nassau A quarters on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. Credit: Dawn McCormick

Cole Spinelli has picked a very good time to get hot. For a second straight day, the junior outfielder delivered Wantagh’s biggest hits in its biggest game.

On Tuesday it came with Wantagh trailing host North Shore by a run with two out in the sixth inning of Game 2 in their Nassau Class A quarterfinal series. Hitting in the No. 9 hole, Spinelli delivered a two-run triple that went to to the fence in right-centerfield and started a four-run rally that carried Wantagh to a 7-3 victory and a sweep in the best-of-three series.

He drove in two runs in Wantagh’s 3-2 victory in Game 1.

“I was looking for a fastball and got one on the second pitch,” Spinelli said. “It felt great to put our team back on top . . . This is a team that’s been down and finds a way to rally.”

“(Spinelli) came through with the biggest hit of the year so far,” said Christian Danzilo, the winning pitcher.

AJ Bardi kept the rally going with a run-scoring single to right-center and Jack Tate capped it with a run-scoring double to left for a 6-3 lead.

The victory was an excellent example of the ‘Wantagh Way.’ The team got solid pitching. It didn’t make an error in the field. And it just kept coming through with good at-bats.

“(Spinelli) looked good in his previous two at-bats with a sharp ground ball and a single so I had complete confidence in him right there,” Wantagh coach Keith Sachs said. “North Shore is a very tough team and we had to play well to win this series.”

Wantagh (18-2-1) will be re-seeded for a best-of-3 semifinal series that is scheduled to start on Sunday.

“Our team is here to stay and we have an eye on the county title,” Tate said. “We feel that with how we’re playing, we can beat anybody.”

Matt Ryan drove in all three runs for the Vikings, who finished 9-13.

Danzilo had a tough act to follow after Tate struck out 17 in 6 1/3 innings of the 3-2 victory in Game 1. The junior lefthander allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks and struck out eight. After surrendering a 2-1 lead on Ryan’s two-run single in the bottom of the fifth, he hit the next batter and then got the following three out to keep it a one-run game. And after Wantagh regained the lead, he retired the Vikings in order in the sixth.

Danzilo is 6-0 this season.

“We’re the best 1-2 punch in the county,” Danzilo said. “(Tate) is just unbelievable. I always try to pitch better than he just did, but he always gets me.”

“Every pitch that (Danzilo) throws has a lot of movement and when he finds a rhythm he can be hard on a lineup,” Sachs said. “He did a good job of keeping the score where it was and limiting the damage when he gave something up.”

Sachs made a mound trip with one on and one out in the seventh to tell Danzilo he was three short of the state mandated 125-pitch limit. He used them to get a ground ball for the second out and lefty Gavin Deignan got the next hitter to end it.


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