The ball went soaring over the leftfield fence, and Mount Sinai’s spirit briefly went with it.
The third-seeded Mustangs had been just four outs from the finish line in this Suffolk Class A Conference IV pool play game when Joey Marchese rocked a tying solo shot off ace Chris Batuyios for second-seeded Shoreham-Wading River.
On to the top of the seventh.
“Everyone was kind of down after that home run,” said Matt Galli, the Mustangs’ DH. “[Assistant coach Ryan Pembroke] brought us together as a group and talked to us a little bit and fired us back up.”
This is a talented, veteran baseball team that claimed county and Long Island titles last season. Mount Sinai responded Wednesday with four runs and won for the 12th straight time, this time 6–2, with Batuyios completing a six-hitter.
“I wasn’t surprised that we put together some good at-bats coming back after Marchese hit that home run,” coach Eric Reichenbach said. “… They’ve got plenty of big-game experience, and that’s really what today is.”
The Mustangs (16-4) are in the winners’ bracket. They play Friday at No. 1 Sayville, which swept a season-opening, three-game series from them. The Wildcats (17-3) drop into the losers’ bracket and will host No. 4 Bayport-Blue Point Thursday.
“I think we’re a really resilient team,” SWR coach Kevin Willi said. “We’ve grown as individuals, our players, to kind of get that toughness, that resiliency, where we don’t give up.”
Galli came up in the seventh against Wildcats ace Billy Steele (6-1) and lined an RBI single into right for the lead. William Rodgers’ groundout made it 4-2. Ben Franquiz followed with an RBI single. Then Kyle Salvati singled off reliever Vincent Larose to score another.
So 2-2 had turned into 6-2.
The sixth-inning homer that made it 2-2 had a story behind it.
“We got crossed up there with the coach,” Batuyios said. “The catcher put down a fastball sign that I just left over the middle. It was supposed to be a slider.”
But the hard-throwing junior right-hander (6-1) nailed down the last four outs, closing with two of his eight strikeouts.
“It was really just a fun game to watch,” Reichenbach said. “You had two horses going after each other, with Billy Steele and Chris Batuyios. I’m just happy for my guys.”