Sports

Mahoney Magic: North Salem Senior Shuts Down Southold

b7f3aa2ff7eb262e2d7c_52058_.JPG
North Salem's Connor Mahoney delivers against Southold in the regional finals. Credits: Rob DiAntonio
b7f3aa2ff7eb262e2d7c_52058_.JPG

PATCHOGUE, N.Y. — Prior to the bottom of the sixth inning of North Salem's regional championship game against Section 11's Southold, there was a lengthy meeting between coaches and umpires concerning Connor Mahoney's pitch count with the game tied at 1-1.

It was determined Mahoney was not over the pitch limit and he wasn't deterred by the delay, mowing down three batters to send the game to the seventh. The Tigers took the lead in the next inning and held on for a 2-1 victory in the Class C regional finals on Saturday, June 3, at St. Joseph's College.

"It just kind of showed [Southold] wanted to get me out of there," Mahoney said of the pitch-count conference. "But I'll take that as a compliment. I just tried to bear down from there. I was setting up my fastball, which I always like to do. I throw 60 percent off-speed (pitches). I started to find that kind of side-winding slider around the fourth inning and that was really clutch for me. I had my best stuff today."

Sign Up for E-News

The senior was masterful again, striking out 12 batters while scattering six hits, walking two and allowing one earned run.

"He got out of some jams and I've got all the confidence in the world in him," North Salem coach Rob Gilchrist said of Mahoney, who threw 114 pitches. "He took care of business."

North Salem took the lead in the top of the seventh inning when senior Adam Concadoro hit a chopper back to the mound and pitcher Luke Hansen air-mailed the throw over the first baseman's head. Anthony D'Innocenzo, who was in motion with two outs, scored all the way from first base.

"When I saw Anthony score, it was the best feeling ever," Concadoro said. 

Gilchrist has been around long enough to know that some funny things happen on a baseball diamond from time to time.

"That's how baseball is—it's a game of inches," Gilchrist said. "The ball bounces some crazy ways sometimes and we got fortunate."

Mahoney knew there were still three outs to record after the Tigers took the lead.

"I wanted to compose myself and didn't want to celebrate too early—it's not like we just walked off," Mahoney said. "We still had a tough three outs with two, three, four coming up. I gathered the team and said, 'This could be the toughest three outs you ever get.' We just have to bear down right now."

It was one of those games where runs were at a premium and the Tigers were able to scratch and claw to the win when they didn't have their best day offensively against Hansen, a left-handed ace.

"He was super tough," Mahoney said of Hansen. "That's probably one of the best pitchers we've faced this year and that's probably one of the best (Class) C teams we've faced this year. Honestly, that's how pitchers duels kind of go. There might be five hits per team and one team can win on an error. You're crossing your fingers to get something."

Gilchrist concurred.

"That's a great team, Gilchrist said. "Their pitcher threw a heck of a game against us. He got stronger as the game went on."

North Salem (16-6) initially took the lead when Concadoro doubled and scored on an error in the third inning.

Concadoro, who is the team's shortstop, served as the designated hitter in the game as he is battling a right shoulder injury.

"If he's not in the lineup, I don't know if we could win this game," Mahoney said. "He's a huge part of our team."

He didn't bat or play the field in a 3-2 regional semifinal win over Pine Plains on June 1, but said he will be back for the state final four.

"Having him back in the lineup, just gives the rest of the guys that much more confidence," Gilchrist said.

D'Innocenzo usually plays second base and slid over to shortstop for the last two games, while Shane Cotter manned second base.

"Anthony really picked me up these past two regional games," Concadoro said. "He had one play  Connor tipped and he was able to run in and throw him out. Shane also did a great job today."

Southold answered back in the fourth on an RBI single from Doug Fielder to tie the game at 1-1.

Healy, Jesse Fleming and Rian Balbino each had a hit against Southold, which Gilchrist knew would pose a big test as it entered 23-1.

North Salem advances to the state semifinals where it will face Section 5's Avon at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, June 9, at NYSEG Stadium in Binghamton. The Tigers defeated Avon 11-8 in last year's state final.

A win there would advance the Tigers to the state final against either Section 10's Potsdam or Section 3's Cooperstown at 10 a.m. the next day at Binghamton University.

"The key is going to be pitching," Concadoro said. "Our pitching always takes us far. Defense and pitching are always the key. The feeling (of going back to the state final four) is incredible, especially as a senior. I really didn't want it to end today."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

North Salem

Upcoming Events

Sat, January 27, 10:00 AM

Jefferson Valley Mall , Yorktown Heights

Yorktown Indoor Farmers Market

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Wed, January 31

North Salem Tax Office, North Salem

North Salem School Taxes Second Half Due

Government

Sat, February 3, 10:00 AM

Jefferson Valley Mall , Yorktown Heights

Yorktown Indoor Farmers Market

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Arctic Blast Purifies

Nothing like a bomb cyclone winter storm followed by days of bright sunshine while temperatures plunge into arctic cold to start the year off beautifully. 

The first day after the cyclone bomb I was out in the early morning watching to the east as dawn slid her rosy colored fingers upon the virgin snow. To the west, the near full-moon shone luminescent, still high in the lilac-gray sky a ...

For Journalists, Dangerous Days

I have recently learned that I am practicing a most dangerous profession, journalism, which took the lives of 81 reporters all over the world in 2017.

I learned about this danger to my life and health in an Associated Press News article printed in a small newspaper, The Monitor, which circulates in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

According to The Monitor’s annual “Kill ...

Timeless Holiday Tale

“A Newspaper Christmas,” by Herbert Geller, originally ran in our Dec. 22, 2016, edition. It’s a holiday favorite around here. Although it is a bit belated, we hope you enjoy it.

We were not Catholic or Protestant or anything but Jewish, but we always had a good time at Christmas. After all, who were the people who began to celebrate Christmas? They certainly were not ...

Time Management for Reaching New Year's Goals

As the year winds down just before New Year’s Eve, time seems to slow. Activities may be centered on the home and family and if you can plan it, you may have an hour or two to do some goal-setting for the year ahead. Judith, a colleague of mine, annually schedules a retreat on New Year’s weekend. It's great because it accomplishes two things: It allows her to measure where she has ...

Talkin' 'Bout Our Generations

People try to put us d-down (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

Just because we get around (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

Things they do look awful c-c-cold (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

I hope I die before I get old (Talkin’ ’bout my generation)

—Peter Townshend (The Who)

I’ve become obsessed of late with generations. Well, what ...

A Post-Apocalyptic House Cleaning

I’m usually pretty good about keeping track of what’s in my fridge. But over the course of a few weeks, the food containers seem to multiply and take over. By the time I get around to realizing that some items have been in there too long, the contents of the containers way in the back of the refrigerator either look like a science experiment gone awry or a refrigerated toupee.

This ...

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Grudge

Contrary to what I generally tell people, the happiest moment of my life was not the day I got married, nor the final push when I gave birth to either of my two kids. It was the day a driver tailgated me relentlessly for five miles and then sped away… until he got pulled over by a state trooper.

Although I know it is better to forgive and forget, I am just not one of those people who is ...