A remarkable season for Ward Melville's Anthony Kay ended on a high note last night when he was the recipient of the Paul Gibson Award for the most outstanding pitcher in Suffolk County.

"Anthony throws the way Paul Gibson does," Ward Melville coach Lou Petrucci said. "The award couldn't be more fitting than for our lefthanded pitcher."

Gibson, a lefty, starred at Center Moriches High School and had a nine-year major-league career with the Tigers, Mets and Yankees.

Kay had a dominating season. He finished with a 6-1 record, an astounding 0.00 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 53 innings. Kay gave up only one extra-base hit out of his 17 total hits; the rest were singles. The runs in his only loss were unearned.

One of his best performances came in mid-April in a 2-0 victory over Patchogue-Medford in which Kay pitched a two-hitter with 15 strikeouts, throwing 102 pitches.

"That was the only game where Anthony threw over a hundred pitches." Petrucci said. "That's what happens when you strike out 15 batters. Your pitch count gets up there."

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The 6-foot junior was the Patriots' most reliable pitcher dating to his first start as a freshman, Petrucci said.

He is 13-4 for his high school career. His stellar performance on the mound this season allowed the team to be more relaxed at the plate knowing Kay didn't need that much run support to get the win.

"He's a competitor, he wants to go out and win," Petrucci said. "He's a leader by example. What he starts, he finishes. He goes out and competes."