Bobby Honeyman squeezed the grounder and tossed to first baseman Eric Hassell for the final out. A celebration followed as Massapequa captured the Nassau Class AA baseball title with a 7-5 win over MacArthur Wednesday at Farmingdale State.
Massapequa swept the best-of-three series, winning the first game, 6-0, Monday on lefthander Alex Cosenza's shutout. On Wednesday, it was the dominance of Honeyman, who threw two scoreless innings for the save.
"I had the adrenaline flowing out there and the fastball had great movement,'' said Honeyman, who retired six of seven batters.
Honeyman and Nick Comito hit back-to-back two-run singles as the Chiefs built a 5-0 lead in the second inning. It looked safe as lefty Patrick Healy took a no-hitter into the fifth. He had allowed only one baserunner, when he hit Tom Kelleher with a pitch in the third.
But MacArthur (20-5), which has been to seven of the last eight county championship series, rallied in the fifth, scoring four times. An RBI single by Rob Andreoli knocked Healy from the game with a 5-3 lead. Anthony DeNunzio greeted Rob Fitzpatrick with a two-run, bases-loaded single to tie it at 5. The comeback ended when Fitzpatrick induced an inning-ending groundout with runners at second and third.
Massapequa (20-5) responded in the bottom of the inning. Comito lined a single and advanced to third when a pickoff throw got away from the first baseman. After one out, Nick Fanneron lifted a short pop-up to rightfield, and Massapequa coach Tom Sheedy sent Comito home to try to score the go-ahead run.
"You have to take a shot with one out and in a tie game,'' said Sheedy, who guided Massapequa to the crown in 2009. "It was a good throw but Nick got in there.''
The Chiefs added an insurance run when Mike Cardino singled, moved to second on a walk and scored on an infield error to make it 7-5.
Now, it's on to the Long Island Class AA championship game.
"We lost a tough series last year to Calhoun in the finals but it was a learning experience,'' Honeyman said. "And we drew from that experience.''