The Wheatley varsity baseball team came up short in a nail biting loss to Oyster Bay, 3-2, Wednesday afternoon. Despite a great game from Wildcats junior starting pitcher Antonio Deodato, the Baymen broke a 2-2 tie with a go-ahead home run in the top of the seventh inning.
“They outplayed us by a real small margin today and that was enough for them” said head coach Paul Paino. “I think they are one of the teams to beat and so are we. We were great against them.”
The Wildcats got the scoring started in the first inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, Deodato hits a single up the middle with Will Feil scoring from third and Evan Mattioli following him. Mattioil would be thrown out at home, keeping the score 1-0.
In the second inning, the Wildcats struck again, but couldn’t add more cushion to the lead. With two outs and runners at the corner, Feil belts a double to left scoring Matt Cristina. However, senior infielder Alex Rosen was waved on home and thrown out at the plate.
The Baymen would get on the scoreboard and even the game at two in the top of the fourth inning on a huge two out two run single with runners on second and third.
The Wildcats had another opportunity in the bottom of the sixth with two guys on and one out but failed to capitalized. Sophomore Mike Cunney was sent in to pinch hit and he would ground out to short and junior Brian Doria was thrown out at the plate, ending the inning.
Although the Wildcats couldn’t get the calls at home plate in their favor, Paino said he had no regrets sending the runners.
“If you asked me if it was the right move to send them, I say yes” said Paino. “If they threw one of those balls slightly off line, one of our guys would have scored.”
This would come back to haunt the Wildcats as Deodato would surrender the eventual game winning home run.
“Today they won on two mistakes I made” said Deodato. “Back in the fourth, I threw that 1-2 curveball and the kid got a nice piece on it and they scored one and I threw that 0-1 changeup and the kid hit a homerun.”
Excluding those two mistakes, Deodato was all but perfect. At the plate, he went 2-for-3 with two singles and an RBI. On the mound, he pitched a complete game, striking out 10 batters and allowing five hits on 100 pitches.
A big factor in his game was his changeup and curveball, as well as mixing up the off-speed pitches to keep the Baymen batter’s off balance.
Another reason for the Wildcats’ shortcomings was their approach at the plate. They had 12 batters strike out and didn’t make enough contact in their at bats.
The Baymen have defeated the Wildcats for the second consecutive game and outscored them 8-3 so far this season. Both teams compete in a very tough Nassau BC Conference.
“Today was a really good baseball game” said Deodato. “They’re a good competitive team and I have to give it to them.”