Connetquot walks-off with 'AA' title
With two men on base and the score tied in the bottom of the seventh, Connetquot cleanup hitter John Fiederlein said he was just trying to hit the ball up the middle to advance the runners.
To say that was all he did would be a gross understatement.
After Connetquot blew a four-run lead in the top of the seventh, Fiederlein hit a walk-off, three-run home run to centerfield, giving the top-seeded T-Birds their first Suffolk AA championship since 2007 with a 9-6 victory over No. 3 Eastport-South Manor Wednesday.
Connetquot (21-3) will play in the Class AA Long Island championship Tuesday at Farmingdale State against the winner of Calhoun/MacArthur.
"There's no greater feeling in the world," Fiederlein said. "It was just a fastball right down the middle and I took advantage of it, jumped on it and I knew [it was out] right as I hit it."
"It's tough to bounce back like that, they had all the momentum, but there's no one more clutch than John Fiederlein," Connetquot starter Brian McKean said. "We wouldn't want anyone else in that batter's box in that situation."
McKean had scattered just four hits through six, but was pulled in the seventh after the first two batters reached base. ESM hit two sacrifice flies to make it 6-4 before Mat Annunziata tied it with a two-run home run to right off reliever Casey Baker.
In the bottom of the seventh, Justin Scala hit a one-out double and Mike Rizzitello was intentionally walked, setting up Fiederlein's home-run.
"There's no better way to win it than that," Connetquot coach Bob Ambrosini said. "I wish we had won it in the top of the seventh, but we got a little sloppy and their guy hit a ball to tie it to his credit, but we don't give up and we haven't all year."
The first six innings were nothing like the seventh. Only one of Connetquot's runs came off a run-scoring hit as ESM pitchers struggled to find the strike zone. The T-Birds scored twice on bases-loaded walks, two more times via a fielder's choice and once on a wild pitch. In all, ESM (23-4) hit four batters and walked nine more, but stayed in it because Connetquot left 13 men on base