Rocky Point's Jeremy Graham slides safely into home with the...

Rocky Point's Jeremy Graham slides safely into home with the game winning run, against Mt. Sinai , in a non league game, Monday, March 27, 2023 at Rocky Point high school. Credit: George A Faella

Fittingly, the season opener for the Rocky Point and Mount Sinai baseball teams would be decided in the final innings.

The pitching-rich programs got everything they expected from their respective aces, but the pitching duel between Rocky Point’s Dom Carbone and Mount Sinai’s Chris Batuyious would be decided by the bullpens.

Sophomore Tyler Maggio lifted a one-out sacrifice fly to drive in Jeremy Graham in the bottom of the sixth inning to give Rocky Point a 2-1 win over Mount Sinai in Suffolk League VII on Monday.

Graham lined a single to leftfield to lead off the inning, stole second and advanced to third on a well-placed sacrifice bunt by Justin Bono. Maggio’s fly ball came on a 2-and-2 fastball from reliever Max Reichenbach and was caught by center fielder Jacob Schneider, who made a strong throw to the plate, but Graham slid in slightly ahead of the toss.

“We knew this would be a pitcher’s duel and it would come down to having the ability to manufacture a run or two,” said Rocky Point coach Anthony Anzalone. “We put our baserunner in position for Tyler to bring him home.”

Carbone struck out nine and allowed two hits, one walk and hit a batter in four innings. He struck out at least two batter in every inning before reaching his early season pitch count of 60.

“He was efficient and his off-speed pitches were crisp,” Anzalone said. “We’re very pleased with his first outing, especially with the adverse weather conditions.”  

Carbone escaped a fourth-inning bases loaded jam with back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.

Rocky Point’s junior shortstop A.J. Aschettino gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead with a solo home run to rightfield in the bottom of the fourth inning. He sat on a 0-1 fastball from Batuyious and drove it over the right field fence. It was the only hit off Batuyious, who sat between 88-92 miles per hour, through his four innings of work. He walked four and struck out seven.

“I was attacking fastballs and it was a little inside and up in the zone,” Aschettino said. “I didn’t want him to get to his off-speed pitches. He’s one of the really good pitchers on Long Island.”

Batuyious said these come down to one or two mistakes.

“I thought it was down the middle and a little up,” he said. “My breaking ball was good, but I felt a little tight today. I was happy we came back.”

Mount Sinai scored an unearned run in the top of the sixth. Benny Franquiz led off with a walk and with one out stole second. On his attempt to steal third, the catcher’s throw sailed into the outfield allowing him to score to tie it at 1.

Ryan Loughlin allowed one run in two innings of relief before Jack Hopkins collected the save in the seventh.

“We’ll have these kinds of games all season,” Anzalone said. “It’s a big win to start the season.”  

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