Marcos Perivolaris said that even if Mattituck were down by 10 runs with three outs to go, the team's explosive energy makes it possible to come back to win. By that measure, the Tuckers took it easy Monday: They rallied from only four runs behind.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Chris Dwyer blooped a golf-swing single to right and Perivolaris beat a strike to home plate, sneaking his foot in a breath before the tag as top-seeded Mattituck scored five runs in the seventh to defeat Center Moriches, 5-4, in Game 1 of the Class B final.
Game 2 of the best-of-three series is at Center Moriches Wednesday at 4 p.m.
"I saw a little piece of the plate there and I made sure to hit it,'' Perivolaris said. "If there are three outs on the board, we can keep going. It takes one hit or one error to get us going. It's like a domino effect.''
No. 2 Center Moriches (13-7) scored three runs in the first inning behind Nick Fiscina, who finished with three RBIs.
For six innings, the Tuckers struggled to get any momentum against Red Devils ace Patrick Bryant. He allowed only two hits until the seventh, when James Nish led off with an infield single. The next batter, starting pitcher Cameron Burt, reached on an error, setting the stage for Will Gildersleeve's one-out, two-run double to the wall in left-center. That drew the Tuckers (19-2) to within 4-2.
"I just saw the ball well and tried to hit it hard somewhere and it worked out,'' Gildersleeve said. "Honestly, I was shocked we came back, but once we had two runs on the board, I felt the momentum was in our favor. The whole thought of it is pretty crazy.''
Tyler Webb reached on an error and, with two outs, Perivolaris lined a single to centerfield, sending Webb to the races. He was able to sneak in when the in-between hop bounced away from home plate, bringing up Dwyer.
"I just didn't want him to strike me out,'' Dwyer said. "I think I swung at a ball.''
The effort earned him a spot at the bottom of Mattituck's dog pile.
"I got lucky because there wasn't a lot of pressure on me ,'' Dwyer said. "It was mostly on my head and I had a helmet, so it was OK.''