They call him Pulse for short, and the blood that pumps through Liam Pulsipher sure is good.
The son of former major leaguer Bill Pulsipher twirled a one-hit gem Thursday, leading No. 4 Center Moriches to a 1-0 victory at No. 2 Babylon in the deciding game of the Suffolk Class B championship. Pulsipher lost his no-hitter on Sean Flynn’s single to right with one out in the seventh.
“I kind of expected him to have a good outing today,” said Bill, a former Met who last appeared in the majors in 2005. “I didn’t know it was going to be this good.”
Pulsipher, a sophomore, walked a batter in each of the first two innings but retired 15 straight before Flynn’s single. He recorded just three strikeouts, relying on his defense on a windy afternoon.
“He was pounding the zone, moving the ball around and just getting people out,” catcher Anthony Maag said.
Throughout the game, Bill stood behind Center Moriches’ dugout. He was there when Nick Fiscina’s first-inning sacrifice fly plated David Franchi, and he followed every pitch and barked mechanical reminders and words of encouragement toward his son.
“He taught me everything,” Liam said. “He taught me not to be anxious about anything. I never get nervous in situations like this. I just followed my mechanics and did what I do best, and that’s go out there and throw the ball.”
After singling, Flynn reached second safely on a throwing error after Shaun Kaminski put the ball in play. Both runners were in scoring position with two outs.
“At that time there was [no thought of taking out Pulsipher] because there was no one that was going to handle the pressure better,” said Red Devils coach Dennis Donovan, adding that Pulsipher threw about 75 pitches all afternoon. “He was still throwing great.”
And with the winning run 180 feet away, Pulsipher induced a popout to first baseman Matt Almond to seal Center Moriches’ first county title since 2004.
“It’s been a little bit,” Donovan said.
With two more years of Pulsipher, the Red Devils (14-9) might have a smaller window between county championships next time around.
“It’s not just like he was born naturally being able to do it,” Bill said. “We’ve worked extremely hard. It’s a work in progress, but you never know where things can lead.”
Said Liam, smiling, “I want to be better than him.”