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Massapequa defeats Oceanside for Nassau Class AA title

Massapequa celebrates after defeating Oceanside during the Nassau

Massapequa celebrates after defeating Oceanside during the Nassau County Class AA baseball final at SUNY Farmingdale on Thursday, May 29, 2014. Photo Credit: Brad Penner

A little Diesel fuel carried Massapequa to the Nassau Class AA baseball championship Thursday night, but it took a running catch by leftfielder Phil Michel on the last play of the game to make sure the Chiefs didn't run out of gas at the end.

Senior Matt Diesel delivered a two-run double down the rightfield line in the third to jump-start the Chiefs, who outlasted Oceanside, 5-3, to take their second straight game in the best-of-three championship series at Farmingdale State.

But after the Sailors put two runners on in the bottom of the seventh, Chris Hood belted a long drive to left-center that would have tied the score. Michel, however, raced to his left and made a sparkling catch to set up the obligatory pileup on the infield.

"When he hit it, I was looking for my centerfielder,'' Massapequa coach Tom Sheedy said. "But he wasn't going to catch it. Phil is fast, too. He made a big-time play right there. That ball was scorched.''

No. 6 Massapequa (17-7-1) will face West Islip on June 7 at Farmingdale State for the Long Island Class AA crown. No. 10 Oceanside finished 14-10-1.

After Diesel's double, Nick Garland scorched a triple to left for a 3-0 lead. "He's our No. 3 hitter,'' Sheedy said, "and that's what we expect out of him.''

Kyle Martin got Oceanside back in the game with a two-out, two-run single in the third. Garland delivered another run-scoring hit in the fourth, singling home Diesel, but the Sailors answered again when Hood drove in a run with a fifth-inning single.

Bobby Honeyman's sacrifice fly in the sixth made it 5-3, setting up the action-packed home seventh. Nick Vlahakis led off with a single and Sheedy brought in closer Zach Zimardo. He walked Tom Pallatto and both runners moved into scoring position on a groundout.

But Zimardo earned the save because Michel still had fuel in his tank.

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