Pearl River slides past North Rockland
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PEARL RIVER, N.Y. - Kevin Considine didn't have much trouble ranking his greatest career walk off hits after Tuesday's RBI single in the seventh lifted Pearl River past North Rockland.
"This is definitely No. 1," he said grinning, "Out of one."
It wasn't a bad time for Considine's first ever walk off hit. His RBI single scored Brendan Ryan from second base for a 3-2 victory over the Red Raiders at Pearl River.
The Pirates players mobbed Ryan at home and then Considine at first base as they celebrated a surprising win over a Class AA power.
Considine, the Pirates' starting pitcher, left after four innings with a 2-1 lead. North Rockland scratched out a run in the sixth on a Brandon Respres two-out RBI single.
North Rockland looked like it was going to break the game open in the top of the seventh when Xavier Reyes and Anthony Austero led off with bunt singles.
In came Ryan to pitch and he made a bad situation even worse. Ryan hit North Rockland No. 3 hitter Elbin Martinez on the first pitch, loading the bases with nobody out.
Ryan, however, relaxed after that. He got Red Raiders star Wardy Polanco to lace a grounder to third baseman Jake Tedesco, who gloved it and got the force out at home.
With the bases still loaded, Ryan got Joe Anselmi to hit a sharp grounder to second, which Tommy Higgins snared, stepped on second and fired to first for the inning-ending double play.
"After I hit the first guy I just settled down and worked on throwing strikes and getting ahead in the county," Ryan said. “Those are two of the best hitters in the section. I pitched against them last year and they beat us.”
Ryan led off the bottom of the seventh with a deep fly ball to right field, which looked routine but was lost in the sun and bounces off the right fielders glove. A stunned Ryan ran too far around second and was nearly thrown out diving safely back into the base to beat the tag.
"He never touched me," Ryan said of the controversial call.
The next batter, Considine, was initially signaled to bunt the runner to third, and his first attempt was almost popped out foul. The sign was immediately taken off.
"I fouled a ball off and all I was thinking about was not striking out, he said. "I just wanted to put the ball in play."
Considine ripped a 2-2 fastball down the line to left. Ryan was waved around and Reyes' throw from left beat him to the plate. But Ryan slide into the tag but the ball was dropped, ending the game.
"This is a huge win," Ryan said. “This gives us confidence going into the rest of the season.”
Anselmi had a terrific game in a losing effort for North Rockland. He doubled in a run in the fourth and scored after drawing a walk in the sixth. On the mound, he went six-plus innings, giving up two earned runs on seven hits and striking out four.
Email Kevin Devaney Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org