It wasn’t a pretty game, but it was a win and for the Massapequa baseball team, that’s all that mattered.
The second-seeded Chiefs held on to top No. 1 Port Washington 8-7, in Game 1 of the Nassau AA semifinals at SUNY-Old Westbury Friday, as senior pitcher Kenny Galvin shut down a seventh-inning Vikings rally, striking out the final two batters he faced to leave the bases loaded.
“I knew I had to throw strikes,” Galvin said. “It was the biggest sigh of relief ever. I was on pins and needles and then I got the swing and miss, and it was just, like, finally.”
Port Washington (20-5) made it a one-run game on Jack Schindler’s RBI single, and Galvin followed up by walking Jared Scharlat. Still, the righthander said he didn’t panic, and credited pitching in a similar situation in the state championship for helping him remain calm.
“It took me awhile, but I started to find my fastball and my rhythm,” Galvin said. “That’s why I was able to get the final two batters.”
It was a dramatic end to a game that was full of ups and downs.
Massapequa (20-4) jumped out to an early lead, plating seven runs in the second inning and taking advantage of five Port Washington errors. Tyler Sohn and Wade Kelly highlighted the offensive outburst, both connecting on run-scoring singles.
“There were some things they gave us, and we took advantage of some things on the bases,” Massapequa coach Tom Sheedy said.
The Chiefs added another run in the top of the third, jumping out to an 8-2 lead, but Port Washington refused to go down without a fight. The Vikings scored four in the bottom of the fourth, sparked by James Lubanski’s leadoff double. They looked primed for a walk-off win in the seventh, but Sheedy said he never lost confidence in Galvin.
“I thought we were maybe a little anxious, lost a little focus because we had the big lead,” Sheedy said. “You fight to the end, that’s all you can do. [Galvin] is our guy and we’re going to run with him.”
Now, Massapequa turns its attention to Game 2, at 4 p.m. Saturday, as it looks for the series sweep and its third straight county title.
“Don’t take any games for granted,” Galvin said. “We were up six runs and we thought we were kings of the world. So, we have to remember this and just keep it on the entire game."