Brad Camarda started the 13th Rawlings Blue Chip Grand Slam Challenge in fine form. The senior righty from Half Hollow Hills West threw a hitless first inning and set the tone for a Suffolk pitching staff that would flirt with a no-hitter.
The no-hit bid ended when Kellenberg’s Chris Cappas lined a single up the middle against Smithtown West righty Nick Trabacchi to lead off the seventh inning.
Cappas’ hit extinguished the final story line in a game dominated by the Suffolk senior All-Stars.
Hauppauge’s Matt Overton had two hits and West Islip’s Greg Tsouprakos added a two-run single and a sacrifice fly as the Suffolk senior All-Stars defeated Nassau’s seniors, 10-4, Friday night at St. Joseph’s (LI).
“It was such an honor to be on the field with all this great talent,” Tsouprakos said. “And everyone was loose in the dugout and having a great time.”
All net proceeds from the game were to go to the Cohen Children’s Hospital in New Hyde Park. Friday night was a new look for the All-Star event as it was held in different venue for the first time. The first 12 games were played under the lights at Farmingdale State College, which is currently under construction.
“I have to tip my cap to the St. Joseph’s College administration,” said Jim Clark of Blue Chip, the game’s director. “They rolled out the red carpet and made it a great event. And the deeper we got into the game with the potential no-hitter, the more exciting it got.”
The no-hit bid remained intact through six innings as Camarda, Josh Rovner of Patchogue-Medford, Anthony Siroka of Sachem East, Dylan Clausen of Southold, James Weisman of Rocky Point and Patch Dooley of Half Hollow Hills East put up zeros on the scoreboard.
Two spectacular defensive plays also kept the bid alive. Rovner made a behind the backstop of a grounder headed up the middle in the second inning and threw to first for the out. And St. Anthony’s centerfielder Cameron Tomaiko made a diving catch in the left-centerfield gap of a long drive off the bat of Holy Trinity’s Jahsiah Greene to rob the Titan of an extra-base hit.
Overton and Tsouprakos helped ignite the Suffolk offense to a 7-0 lead after six innings. Overton was named the Rawlings offensive game MVP and Tsouprakos the Suffolk MVP.
Suffolk, which leads the series 9-4, opened the scoring in the bottom of the first when Brian Morrell of Shoreham-Wading River and Brad Malm of Patchogue-Medford lined run-scoring singles for the 2-0 lead.
Overton led off the second inning with a double and scored when Babylon’s Kenneth Gordon lifted a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0. Overton keyed a two-run fourth when he singled and moved to second when Hermes Abreu of Bay Shore was hit with a pitch. After a double steal, Tsouprakos knocked in both runners with a single for the 5-0 lead.
Tsouprakos added a sacrifice fly in the sixth for the 7-0 lead.
“I felt like I put a good swing on a few pitches,” Overton said. “Greg is right. We were enjoying the game and going up there against quality pitching and having fun.”
The Nassau MVP was Chaminade pitcher Matt Aufiero, who recorded two strikeouts in his one inning of work.