Evan Kay #23 for Commack delivers a pitch during the...

Evan Kay #23 for Commack delivers a pitch during the Suffolk County Class AAA Baseball finals at Middle Country sports complex on Sunday, May 26, 2024 Credit: David Meisenholder

This was vintage Evan Kay.

The reigning Suffolk Pitcher of the Year and owner of a Long Island-record 60 straight scoreless innings needed one more out to secure Commack’s fourth county title in a row — the previous three coming in Class AA.

Commack led by a run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Sachem North had runners at first and third.

Sachem North leadoff man Jack Pitman worked the count full against Kay, who delivered a changeup that Pitman hit toward first baseman Brady Cascone. Kay broke from the mound and sprinted toward first. Cascone underhanded the ball to Kay for the final out as Commack edged Sachem North, 2-1, to win the Suffolk Class AAA title on Sunday at Middle Country Athletic Complex in Selden.

“He was on today,” Commack coach Matt Salmon said of Kay. “He had a beautiful rhythm and a dynamite changeup. It was all defense and pitching for us.”

Commack (17-8), the defending Long Island Class AA champion, will meet Farmingdale for the Long Island Class AAA championship on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Middle Country Athletic Complex.

“This was the toughest season to win a title,” Salmon said, laughing. “We used 22 different lineups trying to find the winning combination.”

Kay and Sachem North starter Anthony Vino battled through five scoreless innings.

With two outs in the sixth and nobody on, Dean Vincent, who previously had doubled, reached on an infield error. Chris Messina singled before Vino walked Max Horowitz to load the bases. Salmon turned to pinch hitter Matt Shovelson, who worked a four-pitch walk to push across the first run.

“The first two pitches weren’t close,” Shovelson said. “And I was patient. It was great to contribute.”

Meanwhile, Kay seemed to get stronger as he went deeper into the game. He retired 15 of 16 batters, including five on strikeouts, as the game headed to the seventh.

Commack added another run in the seventh. With two outs, Vino walked Ryan Krzemienski and Kay followed with a grounder just inside the third-base bag. A sprinting Krzemienski was sent home by Salmon and scored all the way from first.

“The leftfielder was positioned so deep, so I sent him,” Salmon said.

Krzemienski dived headfirst and slid across the plate ahead of the throw to make it 2-0.

“I was looking at the coach and running as fast as I could,” Krzemienski said. “It was good to be aggressive.”

Sachem North (19-7) had three straight one-out singles in the seventh. John Ferrante drove in Rob Kienzle to make it 2-1 before Kay got his ninth strikeout, setting up the game-ending play.

“We wanted another shot at the state title,” Kay said. “We have to win next week to make that happen.”


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