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ARDSLEY, N.Y. — The weather played havoc across Westchester playing fields Tuesday and wasn’t quite ready to release its control over the area’s athletics. With its home field still out of action, Hastings traveled to Ardsley on Wednesday yet retained the home team designation.
Despite being the visiting pitcher in his home park, sophomore pitcher Matt Shear looked as comfortable as he as all year on the mound and pitched seven scoreless innings en route to an eight-inning, 4-1 Ardsley victory.
“We were coming off of a nine-inning 1-0 victory over Sleepy Hollow on Monday and we came out today maybe a little bit flat at the plate,” Shear said. “The defense really picked me up and I felt good going seven innings. I think we pulled it all together well.”
Shear (five strikeouts) and his Hastings counterpart Dillon Healy (six strikeouts) were stellar putting up zeros through the first seven innings before Ardsley exploded in the top of the eighth inning for four runs.
Ardsley’s Dan Weber laced a two-out single with two men on to take a 2-0 lead. Adam DeAngelo mirrored Weber’s at bat with a two-run single of his own. As simply as that the Panthers turned a lockdown pitcher’s duel into a 4-0 game.
“I thought the bats were a little sluggish, that was a problem but defensively we played well and Shear kept us in the game,’ Ardsley coach Jeff Caldara said. “ It took a little while but the timely hitting came through in the eighth inning.”
The bats may have been silent but both teams kept their heads in the game with relentless chatter, often at the encouragement of their coaches. As the innings drag on and the goose-eggs pile up on the scoreboard, it’s often a mental lapse that will allow the first runs to score.
“You just have to keep saying focus, focus,” Caldara said. “We mention it all the time, one run may win the game so let’s be stingy on defense and let’s battle on offense.”
Hastings mounted a comeback attempt in the bottom of the eighth with the top of the order due up. Nick Grasso got it going with a leadoff triple off of Ardsley second basemen turned closer Brian Wu. Charlie Costello followed with an RBI ground out to get the Yellow Jackets on the board but they were unable to push any more runs across the plate.
Ardsley (12-5) has three games in the next three days, starting at Irvington Thursday. Hastings will host Dobbs Ferry on Friday.