Kyle Lawrence was looking first-pitch fastball. And that's what he got.
Reliever Matt Fox fired a first-pitch fastball that Lawrence drove into centerfield for a one-out, walk-off single in the eighth. The hit scored Scott Schultz as Bayport-Blue Point beat Shoreham-Wading River, 1-0, on Wednesday in the rubber game of the three-game series to capture the Phantoms' third straight Suffolk Class A baseball championship.
The two-time defending state champions will meet Division (25-4) for the Long Island Class A championship/Southeast state regional at New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury on Saturday at noon.
"He started me with first-pitch fastballs when we played earlier in this series," Lawrence said. "I knew it was through when I hit it."
Fox beat Bayport-Blue Point, 4-0, in Game 2 and was relieving Brian Morrell, who threw seven shutout innings.
P.J. Weeks threw his seventh shutout of the season for Bayport-Blue Point (21-5). Weeks was masterful, yielding five hits, three walks and striking out five as the Phantoms won their 41st straight home game.
It was the third straight postseason shutout for Weeks (9-1). He escaped a none-out, bases-loaded jam in the seventh with two strikeouts and a groundout.
"If anyone was working out of that jam, it was P.J." said Bayport-Blue Point coach Jim Moccio. "He's got great composure and a lot of confidence."
With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Schultz singled and moved to third when Rob Acierno lined a double down the rightfield line, setting up Lawrence's game-winner.
"Lawrence might be the best nine-hole hitter out there," Moccio said. "He gets a ton of two-out hits."
Shoreham-Wading River coach Kevin Willie brought his young Wildcats together after the heartbreaking loss. "I'm proud of them," he said. "We went toe-to-toe with Bayport and we finished strong in the playoffs."
Shoreham-Wading River (15-11) managed only four baserunners through the first six innings as Weeks and Morrell were locked in a pitchers' duel.
Morrell allowed two hits, four walks and struck out six in his seven innings. He was aided by two big defensive plays in the fourth. Rightfielder John Montesano robbed Dan Campanelli of an extra-base hit with a diving catch, and centerfielder Alex Bettenhauser tracked a long blast from Luke Olsson to the fence for the final out of the inning to keep it scoreless.
It was the second year in a row that Weeks earned the win in the clincher. His only bump came in the seventh.
"Once I got the first strikeout I was pumped and then it was all adrenaline," Weeks said. "We don't lose at home."