Minutes after Bayport-Blue Point won its second straight county championship, coach Jim Moccio razzed starter P.J. Weeks about how, try as he might, he simply could not get out of Jack Piekos' shadow.
An ace on almost any other staff, Weeks this year has been the No. 2 in a 1-2 punch starring one of the best pitchers on Long Island in Piekos.
In the Suffolk Class A finale against top-seeded Shoreham-Wading River Tuesday, the duo combined for a very different 1-2 punch. And Piekos, well, he couldn't much stay out of the spotlight on this one.
Weeks pitched a five-hit shutout and Piekos blasted a two-run, fifth-inning homer as defending state champion Bayport-Blue Point beat Shoreham-Wading River, 4-0, to advance to the Long Island final June 7 at Dowling.
"This is probably more of an accomplishment than last year because this year, everyone was gunning for us," Piekos said. "I think we lost six out of our lineup from last year and that's a big blow. But the chemistry and team bonding has picked up where we had gaps."
No. 2 Bayport (18-6) scored two in the fourth, capped by Dylan Rooney's RBI single. Its next two runs came on one swing. With two outs and a runner on in the fifth, Piekos sat on Matt Fox's 3-and-2 curveball and airmailed it well over the flag that hangs on the Phantoms' new wall in right-center.
"He threw me one before and it had hung before," Piekos said. "He threw me another one and I put a good swing on it."
Shoreham-Wading River (18-5) put only three runners in scoring position against Weeks, who had given up five runs to the Wildcats in his last start against them.
"I just wanted to keep the run count down," he said. "My fastball away was working. All their hitters were trying to pull it so I stayed away the whole game and a lot of them couldn't hit it."
Added Piekos: "He was unbelievable today. He gave up no runs to a Shoreham team that's loaded up and down the lineup. He threw consistent strikes and he worked inside and out."
And what does the senior think: Is Weeks, a junior and no doubt next season's ace, out of his shadow?
"Oh, yeah. Without a doubt," Piekos said. "He threw one heck of a game today."