Four hours into the first round of the Nassau playoffs and we have our first big upset.*
First, the highlight:
Syosset 7, Massapequa 2: Tommy Morris allowed two earned runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and four walks in the complete game for No. 10 Syosset (10-7) as it upset over No.7 Massapequa in the first round of the Class AA playoffs. The Braves turned three double plays - in the first, fourth and sixth - to keep the Chiefs to one run until the seventh. John Tsiolis hit a two-run home run in the first to give Syosset a 3-0 lead. Centerfielder James Cohan went 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs and added an outfield assist on a play at the plate in the third after Massapequa had already scored once in the inning.
Now, the story -- Coming into this game, Syosset had lost all three games to the rival Chiefs...all last week. Now, the Chiefs, whom I watched come within one game of a state title in 2008, are eliminated.
"We were in the games, so we tried to stay positive," said coach Pat Fitzgerald. Starter Tommy Morris, particularly, had a bone to pick. Morris struck out 12 in a 4-0 hard-luck loss on May 7. "It was a great opportunity for a little bit of revenge," Fitzgerald said good-naturedly. "A win like this can propel you into a run."
Good defense, too. A little more on the Cohan outfield assist, from Fitzgerald. 'Pequa had already put one run on the board in the third, when a batter singled with a runner on second. Cohan launched a rocket to catcher Bobby Albanese (no relation), who one-timed the tag for the out.
Syosset will need the mojo. As a 10-seed, they'll have nothing but big teams ahead, including No. 1 Calhoun Monday.
* Yup, I'm aware No. 7 Division beat No. 2 Clarke, 4-2, but, as they are in Class A, will live to play another day.