Peter Theodorellis’ stats indicate he was not much of a home-run hitter.
But there is a caveat: Commack’s baseball field does not have a fence. Opponents could play the Cougars’ lefthanded leadoff hitter deep and turn would-be home runs into triples or, if they were lucky, doubles.
The strategy did not work every time, though. In an early-season game against Northport, Theodorellis drove a fastball out to left-center. The ball carried and carried, ultimately landing on the softball diamond more than 400 feet away. It continued to roll, and Theodorellis was able to cross home while the ball was still in the outfield.
“I’ve never seen anyone do that in all the years I played at Commack, watched games there and coached there,” coach Bryan Bonin said.
Even when he wasn’t hitting 400-foot shots, Theodorellis was one of the most productive hitters on Long Island. The senior hit .574 with 24 RBIs, 29 runs, 10 doubles, seven triples, a homer, six stolen bases and just two strikeouts.
He received the Blue Chip Prospects Silver Slugger Award, given to Suffolk’s most outstanding hitter, Tuesday night at the Suffolk High School Baseball Coaches Association banquet at Villa Lombardi’s in Holbrook.
“It means the world because it just shows how far I’ve progressed from my freshman year, competing with the very best,” said Theodorellis, a centerfielder and pitcher.
As a junior in 2016, Theodorellis was Commack’s No. 3 hitter. Bonin said the makeup of this year’s team convinced him to slot his best hitter in the leadoff spot, and Theodorellis adjusted seamlessly.
“He was kind of like a tempo-setter, a pacesetter for every game,” Bonin said. “His batting average for the first at-bat of the game was over .650. There wasn’t a part of the field he wouldn’t hit to. There wasn’t a guy that could overpower him.”
He was the catalyst for a Commack team that went 22-4 and won its first county title since 1997.
“Commack winning the county championship for the first time in 20 years was the ultimate goal,” said Theodorellis, who is committed to Fairleigh Dickinson. “The individual stats should not be weighted as heavily. It is a performance evaluator, but it’s not the ultimate stat you should look at.”