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Prahalis lifts Hauppauge to playoff win with arm, bat

Hauppauge's Sean Prahalis scores in the tenth inning

Hauppauge's Sean Prahalis scores in the tenth inning for the first run of the game against Ward Melville in the Suffolk Class AA first-round playoff game. (May 17, 2012) Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Sean Prahalis didn't get a chance to pitch until the last day of tryouts. The Hauppauge sophomore didn't pitch last season because of an arm injury and had to prod his way into getting a chance.

Prahalis was given the opportunity to face five of the best players on his team and no one touched him. Prahalis won a job as a reliever and Hauppauge is sure glad he did.

Prahalis pitched 1 2/3 innings to get the win and had two hits in extra innings to help visiting Hauppauge beat No. 8 Ward Melville, 2-1, in 10 innings Thursday in the first round of the double-elimination Suffolk Class AA baseball playoffs.

No. 9 Hauppauge (15-6) will play at No. 1 Connetquot at 4 p.m. Friday; Ward Melville (14-7) hosts No. 17 Smithtown West in an elimination game at 4 p.m. Friday.

Prahalis, the cousin of former Commack star basketball player Sammy Prahalis, has a three-quarters delivery and throws a knuckleball that he learned himself by reading about the Mets' R.A. Dickey.

"I trained myself early in eighth grade," Prahalis said. "It startles the average hitter."

Prahalis broke up a no-hitter by Anthony Kay with a single in the top of the eighth. Kay pitched eight scoreless innings and allowed one hit, three walks and struck out four.

Hauppauge's C.J. Schildt matched Kay by also throwing eight scoreless innings. He allowed six hits, three walks, struck out seven and picked off two runners. "Kay is a great pitcher," Schildt said. "It makes me go out and work harder. We have battled since Little League and I always remember it being 1-0 games."

Prahalis doubled in the top of the 10th inning and scored on a bad-hop single by pinch hitter Austin Adamo to make it 1-0. Adamo then scored on an error.

Joseph Flynn hit a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the 10th to bring Ward Melville within 2-1 before Nick DelRe got a strikeout with the winning run in scoring position to get the save.

"It's my first year on varsity," Prahalis said. "It couldn't be more perfect."

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