Tyler Schmid is a classic closer. The Smithtown East senior just comes in and blows batters away.
Wednesday was more of the same for the lefthander. Schmid entered in relief of starter Doug Goodwin with one out and runners on first and second and the tying run at the plate in the seventh inning. He recorded consecutive strikeouts on a total of nine pitches and earned the save as Smithtown East shut out Newfield, 3-0, in a Suffolk League III baseball game that was played in a crisp 1 hour and 41 minutes.
“I’m more comfortable in the relief role,” Schmid said. “I feel I focus so much better when I come in and we’re in a situation. And I just throw strikes because I trust our defense.”
Schmid can be the difference for second-place Smithtown East (11-3) as it rolls toward a shot at the league championship. Half Hollow Hills East sits in first place at 13-3.
“He’s a specialist,” said Smithtown East coach Ken Klee. “He’s pitched eight innings and has 18 strikeouts. He’s a filthy lefty with great composure.”
Schmid’s two punchouts came on the heels of a brilliant performance by Goodwin. The sophomore righty struck out seven and threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings. He scattered four hits, walked one and at one point retired 16 of 18 batters to improve to 3-1.
“I had great command of my two-seam fastball and good movement on the changeup,” Goodwin said. “I was getting ahead of batters and making them swing at my pitches.”
Klee was impressed with Goodwin’s performance against a Newfield (6-8) club that needs to win three of its last four to make the playoffs.
“We have high expectations for him after a successful freshman season,” Klee said. “And this was his best start of the season. He dominated for six innings.”
Smithtown East opened the scoring in the third inning. John Cawley, the No. 9 hitter, doubled leading off the inning and Nick Harvey walked before Matt Laurelli singled home Cawley for the lead. Harvey, who went first to third on Laurelli’s hit, scored on a neatly turned 6-4-3 double play.
“We can beat anyone with our pitching and defense,” Klee said. “We need our hitting to mature and come around.”
Smithtown East added a run in the fifth. Harvey was hit with a pitch and moved to third when Laurelli drilled a double down the leftfield line. Mike Ruggiero lifted a sacrifice fly to center to score Harvey for the 3-0 lead.
Newfield starter Ryan Dunlap allowed six hits, walked two and struck out seven in his five innings of work.
“We have another game with Newfield and we can’t look past them,” Klee said. “And then we have a big three-game series with Smithtown West.”