Senior righthander Nick Trabacchi gets the ball the first game of every series, and he’s expected to go toe-to-toe with every opponent’s best pitcher. Trabacchi and the Smithtown West Bulls were on the road Tuesday against first-place Newfield and ace Bobby Vath.
Trabacchi responded with a masterful performance as he struck out 10 and allowed only three hits in a 3-0 win over Newfield in a Suffolk League III game in Selden.
Trabacchi (4-0) threw his first shutout of the season.
“He can beat any team in the county,” Smithtown West coach Al Nucci said. “There were two excellent pitchers going at it today. And we’ve struggled offensively, so we needed him to come out with his best stuff.”
Trabacchi had command of all three of his pitches and struck out four looking. He flustered Newfield hitters, totaling 21 swings and misses.
“My fastball has life and it felt like I could throw my secondary pitches at any time,” Trabacchi said. “The defense played really good and I got real comfortable after we took the 3-0 lead.”
Vath and Trabacchi cruised through three scoreless innings before Smithtown West (6-4) scored all three of its runs in the top of the fourth. The Bulls got back-to-back singles from Christian Amoruso and Trabacchi before Jake Torres followed with a sacrifice bunt to move the runners into scoring position.
Mike Petagna grounded into the hole between shortstop and third base, but Newfield shortstop Kyle Johnson ranged far to his right to keep the ball in the infield and make on a play on Trabacchi sliding into third. As Amoruso scored from third, Johnson fired to third baseman Gunnar Widercrantz, who applied the tag, but Trabacchi pulled his arm back and was called safe.
“That was a great slide to avoid the tag,” Nucci said. “It was an important play in the rally.”
Tyler Crawford put down a perfect bunt that Widercrantz allowed to roll down the basepath. The ball never went foul as Trabacchi scored and Crawford picked up a single. Nick Sutter followed with a two-out single to make it 3-0.
“It’s a good start to the series and we have to follow this win up with another win in game two,” Nucci said. “We played some small ball and scored some runs.”
Newfield (5-2) couldn’t muster any offense against Trabacchi. Johnson had two of the Wolverines’ three hits and lined out to rightfield in his third at-bat.
“He’s a very good hitter,” Trabacchi said of Johnson. “He got the better of me today.”
Newfield didn’t advance a runner past second base, so it’s safe to say that Trabacchi won the battle.