Most of the Mattituck baseball team was worried about lefthander Steven Ascher pitching on short rest for the first time. He quickly quelled those fears. He retired the side in order in the first inning, including two strikeouts and Mattituck scored three runs in the bottom of the first and that was all Ascher needed.
He threw a one-hitter, walked none, and struck out 13 in an 8-0 win over Oyster Bay in the Long Island Class B championship today. Ascher has dominated on the diamond with a 0.56 ERA coming in and improved to 11-0 with 116 strikeouts in 68 innings. He threw 87 pitchers; 61 for strikes and struck out five of the final six.
"I didn’t know if my arm would hurt, but it was fine," Ascher said. "After the first inning it felt perfect and I felt confident. It’s so much easier when you have a lead."
Said Mattituck coach Steve DeCaro: "Steve made it easy. We didn’t need to make too many plays. Everything was working for him. He had a good hook and a great fastball. He was keeping them off balance. After the first inning, we knew all we needed was a run. The way Steve was throwing in the first inning, that was it."
Yianni Rauseo provided the big hit with a three-run double that landed just inside the leftfield line and went to the corner.
"I was just trying to hit it hard in the outfield," he said. "He threw me a fastball and I was ahead of it. It just caught the line. I thought it was going foul. We usually never score in the first inning. We know with Ascher all we need is two or three runs. To pitch like that on short rest is amazing. I don’t know how he did it."
Catcher Greg Siliris, who homered in the fifth, had trouble sleeping Satruday night.
"I was here three years ago and we lost on a walkoff grand slam to these guys and last night I was having nightmares," he said. "Right when we scored the three runs I knew we would win this game."