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Logan Doran’s defense, walk-off homer lift Ward Melville

Ward Melville defeated Patchogue-Medford, 4-3, in Suffolk I baseball at Ward Melville High School, on Monday April 17, 2017. (Credit: Newsday/Owen O'Brien)

It didn’t take long for Logan Doran’s bat to overshadow his impressive defense.

With the score tied at 3 in the top of the ninth inning, the Ward Melville shortstop made an over-the-shoulder catch in shallow centerfield, colliding with the second baseman but completing the play for the final out with a runner going from first base.

As if it were his reward, Doran led off the bottom of the inning and drove the first pitch over the leftfield fence for a 4-3 walk-off victory over Pat chogue-Medford on Monday in Suffolk I.

“I thought it was gone off the bat,” Doran said.

“I looked up and I just saw the ball, I saw the leftfielder, he looked up, so I knew it was gone.”

After being given the ball, he was asked what he planned to do with it.

“Probably just keep it in my room like everyone,” said Doran, who also had a walk-off hit during last season’s playoffs.

Doran’s home run gave Ward Melville (8-2) its lone lead.

Patchogue-Medford (5-5) took a 2-0 advantage in the first inning. Cameron Lopez’s sacrifice fly drove in Brad Malm and Josh Rovner scored the second run on a balk.

Ward Melville ace Ben Brown then settled down, allowing three runs, four hits and two walks in 6 1⁄3 innings and striking out nine.

“I knew everyone was behind me,” Brown said. “I knew I had to do my job more than anything more than any other time in the season.”

Matt Hudzik pitched the final 2 2⁄3 innings for Ward Melville, allowing only one hit.

Doran delivered his first RBI in the third inning with a single that drove in Vinny Pepitone.

In the sixth, the Raiders extended their lead to 3-1 on Dan Codispoti’s sacrifice fly, which brought in Rovner.

The Patriots responded in the bottom half. James Curcio’s two-out double brought in Trevor Cronin and Pepitone to tie it at 3.

“Always have to be aggressive up there,” Curcio said. “I knew that first pitch was coming right down the middle, so just had to put a good swing on it and do what I could with it.”

“Our guys battled back and fought through,” Ward Melville coach Lou Petrucci said.

“We did a good job. I give the kids a lot of credit.”

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