Sayville’s Brock Murtha and Rocky Point’s Rob Milopsky went head-to-head in an old fashioned pitchers duel in Game 1 of the Suffolk Class A baseball championship series.
Each pitcher had allowed only one run through the first seven innings.
With two outs and runners on second and third in the top of the eighth, Sayville freshman Jack Quinlan had a chance to put the Golden Flashes ahead.
“I was trying to keep my approach the same all game,” he said. “I was trying to drive it the other way, but was prepared for any pitch I was going to get.”
Quinlan hit a soft ground ball that went through the infield and into leftfield to score Murtha and C.J. Messina and give Sayville a two-run lead. The Golden Flashes tacked on another run later in the inning and defeated host Rocky Point, 4-2, to take the series lead. The loss ended the Eagles' 10-game winning streak.
“We lost the first [game] of the tournament, came back and won four in a row,” Sayville coach Joe Esposito said. “These guys are coming together and learning about what being a team is all about.”
Messina, Sayville’s ninth hitter in the order, drew a walk to lead off the top of the eighth and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tommy Nielsen. After a Jack Davis flyout moved Messina to third, Murtha was intentionally and he stole second to set up Quinlan, who went 2-for-4.
Sayville will have the opportunity to capture the county title when they host Game 2 Monday at 4 p.m.
“We haven’t done anything yet, we haven’t done anything yet,” Esposito repeated. “We got to win one more and hopefully we can do that at home.”
Murtha led off the fourth inning with a long home run to leftfield to give the Golden Flashes a 1-0 lead. Milopsky tied it in the bottom of the sixth when his sacrifice fly drove in Cody Miller.
Murtha struck out 12 in a complete-game win, allowing one earned run, six hits and two walks. He struck out five of the first six batters he faced and took a no-hitter into the fifth before Eric Maier broke it up with a one-out infield single.
Milopsky struck out eight in 7 2/3 innings, allowing four runs (two earned), seven hits and two walks in the loss.
“This has been a rivalry with Rocky Point for the last three or four years,” Murtha said. “We know that they have a great team and a great program every year. Our approach is to just come out, not make any mistakes and hope for the best.”