The Sachem North coaching staff has been preaching three key ingredients to a successful baseball season all year: great pitching, good defense and timely hitting.
The No.7 Flaming Arrows combined all three yet again this post-season and captured the school’s first county title in nearly a quarter of a century Wednesday, beating No.8 Commack, 8-0, at home, in the Suffolk County Class AA final.
Sachem (21-4) will play Carey (19-6), Nassau’s Class AA champion, Sunday in the New York State Regionals at Farmingdale State College. This is Sachem’s third county baseball title in school history with the others coming in 1979 and .
Alec Sole, pitching on his 18th birthday, threw seven shutout innings and struck out seven batters en route to the victory.
“This is probably one of the greatest feelings in my life,” he said. “As we got to the post-season we started winning games and started believing. Once you start believing it’s bound to happen.”
“He pitched phenomenal,” said Sachem coach Tom Gambino. “He was working his breaking pitch, probably the best that he’s had all year. His fastball was climbing the ladder much better then in the past. Once he had the lead you saw a different look in his eye.”
Sachem wasted no time giving him a cushion. The Flaming Arrows, who recorded 12 hits and had a leadoff hitter on base in four of six offensive innings, opened the game with three consecutive singles from Sole, Justin Carlo and Brendan Garry. Nick Teta also hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first and Sachem led, 2-0.
In the bottom of the second, Carlo hit a two-out two-run double, and Teta drove him in two batters later, making it 5-0. Commack (21-7) starting pitcher Rob Rose, one of three Cougar pitchers to take the mound in the game, only lasted 1 2/3 innings.
Sole, who was 2-for-2 with two walks, hit an RBI-double in the third inning. Carlo, who was 3-for-4, and Garry hit back-to-back RBI singles in the fifth inning to cap Sachem’s scoring.
Sachem turns its attention to Carey and the Long Island Championship, a game the Arrows last appeared in during the 1987 season and lost to Levittown-Division, 3-2. Mike Vitale will take the mound for the Flaming Arrows.
“You can expect the same thing,” Garry said. “The same fire, same aggression."
News & Notes
- Of Sachem’s 12 hits, six came with two outs.
- Sachem assistant coach Gary Comstock was a shortstop on the 1987 Suffolk County championship team.
- Commack coach Ed Ball on the loss: “They hit the ball well. We made it this far, no excuses. Sole had a great day and they hit the ball hard.”
Winning Pitcher: Alec Sole ... 7 INP, 7K, 0BB, 4H
Losing Pitcher: Rob Rose ... 1 2/3 INP, 3K, 4BB, 5H
Sachem: Alec Sole (2-2, 2B, 2BB), Justin Carlo (3-4, 2B), Brendan Garry (2-3, BB), Nick Teta (1-4), Brian Hennelly (1-3, BB), Nick Santangelo (0-4), Mike Scarlato (2-3, BB), Steve Kowalski (1-3), Mike Vitale (0-3)
Commack: Greg Andrews (0-3), Rocco Pepe (1-3), Charles Galiano (0-3), Chris Baotera (1-3), Mike Sparachio (2-3), Paul Maline (0-3), Matt Guaglione (0-3), Jesse Mistretta (0-2), Keith Andrews (0-1, HBP)