The ad-hoc crew of Very Important High School Baseball Guys over at Farmingdale State have decided: that was the best catch they'd ever seen.
First - the important stuff: Division defeated Shoreham-Wading River, 7-1, to punch its ticket to the state tournament in Binghamton.
But that catch. Oh, that catch.
Division is up 4-1 in the fifth. Runner on, two outs, Ryan McAlary up. In his previous at-bat, McAlary hit a home run ball so hard that it left a dent in the scoreboard and sent it into electronic fits. They had to reset it. For real.
Sean Abbate deals, McAlary lets it rip. Let's let Abbate tell you what happens next:
"I thought it was out off the bat. Then I see [John Cruz] running. Then I see him diving."
Then he sees him catch it.
Cruz ran full speed to his right and caught the ball behind him, fully extended, midair. He was about four feet off the ground. Tuttle called it the greatest catch he'd ever seen. The gurus here say it may be the best catch in Long Island high school history - certainly on a stage like this.
As for all the rest - Abbate allowed one run in the first and nothing else. Five hits, one walk, six strikeouts. He improves to 5-0 in the postseason, which is a fairly ridiculous stat.
Division scored four runs in the first, highlighted by back-to-back RBI hits by J.J. Kissane and Matt Santorufo. Rob McNamara scored a run on a sqeeze bunt to cap the inning. The Blue Dragons scored twice more in the fifth on an RBI single by Santorufo and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Dan Skillman. Tom Wiebke scored the seventh run on a wild pitch in the sixth.