South Side's Andrew Misiaszek threw smoke and had 15 strikeouts to show for it. Manhasset's Joe Enea countered with fire, punching the air and shouting as he bounced off the mound whenever he escaped a jam.
Enea, who showed a little heat himself with nine strikeouts, outdueled Misiaszek, 3-2, on Monday in a Nassau A-II baseball game at Barasch Field in Rockville Centre. Tim Curtis' bad-hop single to center in the sixth-inning drove in the winning run for the Indians (8-5). The Cyclones fell to 9-3.
Both pitchers allowed only three hits.
"I'm not him, but I came in knowing what I had to do to get the job done," Enea said. "I'm more of a pitch-to-contact guy. We have a reliable defense and I really trust them. My slider was on all day."
So was Enea's intensity level. His first emotional outburst came in the bottom of the third. He was in jeopardy of surrendering the 2-0 first-inning lead that he was given on a two-run double by Anthony Vieto. South Side had runners on first and second with none out and the middle of its order coming up.
But Enea used a slider to get a 5-4-3 double play and the same pitch to get a strikeout to end the inning. Enea leaped off the mound, threw a couple of air punches and screamed, "Let's go."
"That's just me. I'm emotional all the time," Enea said. "I'm intense with everything I do."
The Cyclones tied it in the fourth on a two-out, bases-loaded single to center by Andy Pena and threatened to take the lead in the fifth when they put a runner on second with one out. But Enea induced a soft groundout and ended the inning with a strikeout . . . and another fire dance off the mound.
"He's got confidence and he thrives off it," Manhasset coach Brian Corbo said. "That's why he's our captain and our leader."
The Indians still had to take a bite out of the hard-throwing Misiaszek, who struck out the side in the first, fifth and sixth innings. But there were smoldering embers of trouble in the sixth. Tom Catalfo led off with a single, stole second and scored on Curtis' high bouncer up the middle.
"I don't usually change my approach, but the way that guy was throwing, I just tried to put the ball in play," Curtis said. "It was a slider down. I got a little out in front but it got through. With two pitchers throwing like that, you've got to scratch out the runs."
Enea made that final run stand up, striking out two of three in the seventh, then leaping off the mound to join a mob of teammates who were pretty fired up themselves.