Plainedge needs extras to capture 'A' LIC
Shoreham-Wading River pitcher Mike O'Reilly threw a scoreless first inning and Plainedge's Tyler Manez matched him with one of his own. It went that way for 10 innings as two of the best pitchers on the Island dueled.
Plainedge finally broke through with three runs in the top of the 11th inning and Shoreham-Wading River scored in the bottom of the frame, but not enough. Manez pitched 11 innings and allowed eight hits, no walks and struck out 10 as Plainedge topped Shoreham-Wading River, 3-1, Tuesday in the Long Island Class A baseball finals/Southeast Regional final at Dowling Sports Complex.
Plainedge (19-11) will play Cornwall in a state Class A semifinal at 10 a.m. Saturday at Union-Endicott High School near Binghamton.
O'Reilly also pitched 11 innings and allowed six hits, three walks and struck out 19 for SWR (20-6).
"Tyler is a high pitch count guy," Plainedge coach Tom Pisani said. "He threw 110 pitches. He usually does that in six innings. He was unreal. You won't see two better high school pitchers. Both kids were fantastic."
O'Reilly threw 22 consecutive scoreless innings in the postseason before allowing the runs in the 11th. At one point, he struck out 10 of 12 against a team that came into the game averaging 8.3 runs in the postseason.
"He's obviously phenomenal," SWR coach Sal Mignano said. "He's been doing it all season. To strike out 19 in a LIC says a lot about him."
The 11th inning began when Ralph Caccavale was hit by a pitch and Joe Hauer walked. Those two runners executed a double steal. Steve Miller hit a 0-and-2 pitch for a two-run single. Michael Miller sacrificed pinch runner Brandon Fiscina to second base and he scored on a double by Anthony Pensato.
"He throws a lot of strikes," Steve Miller said of O'Reilly. "We were behind in the count a lot. He was ridiculous. He threw me a hanging curveball. I knew I had to get a fly ball. I put a good swing on it."
Said Pisani: "When you get behind him, he closed us out most of the day. That was a great at-bat to get a hit in that spot. We didn't make much contact with two strikes."
Shoreham-Wading River, which came into the game with three walk-off wins in the last five games, got a run on an infield single by Dan Luppens before Manez got a strikeout with the tying runs on base.
"I had to keep the ball down and get ground balls," Manez said. "My defense did a great job. I got ahead in the count and my curveball was working well. This has always been my dream. I can't wait to go to states."
Plainedge has outscored opponents 86-20 in the postseason and was the 16th seed in the Nassau county playoffs. This was its first postseason win by less than four runs.
"We haven't won many like this," Pisani said. "I told my guys we have to win one like this if we want to go far. We picked the right time to get it."