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Preston Reitz goes three innings to get save for Calhoun

Preston Reitz of Calhoun closed out the 5-4

Preston Reitz of Calhoun closed out the 5-4 win over host East Meadow during a Nassau conference AA-II baseball game in East Meadow on Monday, April 9, 2018. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

When righthander Preston Reitz pitches, he twists his upper body away from the plate and hides the ball long enough to add a layer of deception to his offerings.

There was nothing deceptive about his results Monday.

Reitz entered in relief of starter Ben Kovel, pitching three scoreless innings to secure a 5-4 win for Calhoun over host East Meadow in a Nassau AA-II baseball game. He struck out four and allowed just two hits, earning a save.

“He has a great two-seam,” sophomore catcher Matt Pelcher said. “He moves his ball really well. He’s our best reliever, and he comes up big in the big spots.”

Calhoun (6-1) trailed 4-3 entering the top of the fifth. Pelcher, who went 2-for-3 with two doubles and three runs scored, led off the frame with a five-pitch walk. After a pop out to East Meadow catcher John Grigonis, Jake Edwards singled, setting up a first-and-third with one out.

Edwards broke for second two pitches later, and a miscommunication at second base between the shortstop and second baseman allowed Grigonis’ throw to go into centerfield. Pelcher scored, tying the game, and Edwards advanced to second base.

Two batters later, Mike Pokorny hit a high popup into shallow right field. The ball hit the grass and Edwards raced around third, scoring before Pokorny was tagged out moving to second.

With a 5-4 lead, Calhoun coach Art Canestro turned to Reitz, who worked around a single and his own error on a cue shot to get the game’s final batter looking on a two-seam fastball.

“I just had to refocus after that,” Reitz said of the Matt Fried grounder that squibbed off his glove and gave East Meadow runners on first and second with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. “You have two men on, but you just have to focus on the batter at that point.”

Kovel pitched four innings, striking out five and allowing four runs (two earned). Daniel Molina went 3-for-4 with a run scored for East Meadow (2-1).

Reitz got Molina to ground out to third base to end the sixth, and he set down six batters in a row during his best stretch. Nothing deceptive about that performance.

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