NORTH SALEM, N.Y.— It was quite the pitchers’ duel between Mahopac’s Brian Murray and North Salem’s Connor Mahoney on April 29, but the red-hot Indians won yet again on the road, 3-0. The Tigers are the defending Class C state champions.
The Maritime College bound-Murray was lights out, striking out eight batters while letting up five hits. In the other dugout, Mahoney pitched fabulously as well to one hit, eight strikeouts, three walks and zero earned-runs through 5.2 innings.
“[Brian] threw a lot of strikes early in the count,” Mahopac coach Chris Miller said. “He had good command of his fastball and changeup today. We knew [North Salem] was going to be tough with Connor on the mound. The difference was that we made the majority of our plays defensively.”
Only scraping together two hits all game, the Indians pounced on their few chances like in the first inning when second baseman Tom Krasniqi bunted to move Steven Daly over the third.
The throw to first was misfired, as Daly rounded third to score. During the second inning, Daly brought a run home by roping a grounder to third base near the line with runners on first and third and two out. He dashed to beat out to the throw, as Mahopac’s small ball kept paying off.
It tacked on another run off Tiger Shane Cotter when catcher Chris Montuoro smacked an RBI double in the sixth inning.
“[Chris] has been one of our more consistent hitters,” Miller said. “He’s been stellar and consistent the entire year.”
Murray found himself in a jam during the fourth, with runners on first and third base with just one out. Perfect timing came into play since left-fielder Dylan Brehm snagged a fly ball and caught the runner back at first who never tagged for the inning-ending double-play.
Murray found himself in a jam during the fourth, with runners set on first and third base and just one out. Perfect timing came into play since left-fielder Dylan Brehm snagged a fly ball and caught the runner back at first who never tagged for the inning-ending double-play.
“Over the last nine games, our starting pitching has been awesome,” Miller said. “The pitcher is going five or six innings every time and holding teams to two runs or fewer. With the pressure on in the big game we are not folding. We’re challenging it head on and coming out successful.”
Rian Balbino wrapped two hits for North Salem, but it failed to muster anything when it had runners on second and third base in the second inning.
Mahopac made sure its train kept rolling after nearly blowing a six-run advantage at Roy C. Ketcham in a 7-6 victory on April 29.
After the Indians surrendered five runs in a catastrophic sixth inning, reliever Mark Trio worked for a groundball to shortstop Pat McGee, who flipped over to Krasniqi for the inning-ending force-out.
Trio pitched the seventh without issues as Mahopac hung on late. Outfielder Matt Montera gapped a triple and a double, while Anthony Simeone doubled and singled. He also pitched five innings.
Montuoro lined a double and base-hit, as Ryan Bloomer did the same. McGee had a single, while Simeone and Daly each recorded RBI.
In a rematch at home on April 28, left-hander John Ravoli pitched a gem in the Indians’ 2-0 victory by tossing another complete game for zero runs, two hits and six strikeouts.
Senior first baseman Matteo Avallone cracked an RBI single in the sixth inning and Simeone scored on an error on the double play turn from Brehm’s grounder to short during the fifth.
More times than not, Mahopac stands when the dust clears in tight games and it did again in a 3-2 win at White Plains April 24.
Murray pitched six innings for six strikeouts and one earned run. Simeone had two hits and McGee hit an RBI single.
Trio let one run score in the seventh inning, but got a fly out with a runner stranded on second to finish it.
Mahopac (11-2) hosted rival John Jay-East-Fishkill on April 25. It visits the Patriots today at 4:30 p.m. and will host Horace Greeley two days later at 2 p.m.