Jared Sciarrino just missed a home run in the bottom of the fourth inning, settling for a one-hop ground-rule double over the rightfield fence.
But he wouldn’t miss again in extra innings.
Sciarrino turned on an inside pitch and connected on a walk-off home run to right to lead off the eighth as No. 3 Shoreham-Wading River edged No. 6 Half Hollow Hills West, 4-3, at home on Saturday afternoon, advancing to the Suffolk Class A baseball semifinals.
“I was trying to be simple and not do too much,” said the centerfielder, who transferred to Shoreham this season from Longwood. “I got an inside fastball and drove it. I felt like it hit off the handle a little bit but the ball was carrying today and things went in our favor.”
Shoreham (17-5) will visit Rocky Point Sunday at noon.
“I heard it and I looked up and saw the outfielder going back and everyone going ‘Go, go, go’ and I was like ‘Awesome,’” Shoreham coach Kevin Willi said. “Great way to end it.”
Aidan Crowley, who threw a Long Island record three consecutive no-hitters earlier in the season, allowed three runs over 7 2/3 innings in a no-decision. He was optimistic that Sciarrino’s shot to right would end the game.
“I had a feeling it was gone,” Crowley said. “We have a shorter rightfield so I knew it had a chance. He got it a little off the end of the bat but he’s a strong kid so he still got it out. I was excited the second he hit the ball.”
Hills West’s starter, Jacob Glickstein, matched Crowley the majority of the way, allowing four runs in 7-plus innings. Both pitchers worked out of numerous jams throughout the day.
Trailing 3-0 in the sixth, Hills West (14-8-1) rallied. An RBI double to right by Jordan Goldstein put the Colts on the board at 3-1 and placed runners on second and third with no outs.
Mike Freda’s walk then loaded the bases and Crowley picked up back-to-back strikeouts. Doug Lattuca followed up with a two-out, two-run single to even the score at 3. Both teams would strand a runner in the seventh, forcing the game into extras.
Crowley pitched two outs into the eighth before reaching the maximum pitch count of 125 and being replaced by lefthander Blake Osness, who completed a perfect eighth inning for Shoreham and earned the win. Willi described Crowley’s performance as “gutsy” after allowing 10 hits to Hills West in the first round.
Shoreham rightfielder Mike Smith opened the scoring with an RBI single up the middle in the third.
“It was a good pitching duel, a good team and a good win,” Smith said.
The Wildcats tacked on two more runs in the fifth thanks to RBI singles by designated hitter Tyler Widercrantz and leftfielder Everett Wehr.
Willi talked about the impact Sciarrino has had on the team since making the move from Longwood.
“He’s awesome,” Willi said. “He came in and was the starting centerfielder from day one. He learned the position after being an infielder. He’s played a really solid outfield this year and now you can see that he’s really seeing the ball well.”
Especially in the eighth, when he wanted more than another ground-rule double.