May 31, 2006

Riverhead Edged In Extra Innings

The walk-off home run; it's easily the most dramatic feat in the world of sports. The delivery of the pitch; the swing of the bat and the ball sailing over the fence as the batter rounds the bases with his teammates waiting to mob him with congratulatory gestures at home plate.

It's not so dramatic when you're on the losing end of it. Just ask the Riverhead baseball team, which lost to Kings Park 5-3 at Kings Park High School last Wednesday in the first round of the Suffolk Class AA tournament after Dennis Murphy hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Murphy's blast snapped a 3-3 tie, ending Riverhead's season in one big swing.

The Blue Waves finished the season with an 11-7 record in League IV and a 13-10 overall record, winning the final game of their regular season against Hauppauge 6-4 on May 20 as Mike O'Donnell recorded his third victory of the year. O'Donnell had a perfect game going with one out in the sixth inning before the Eagles (6-11 in league play) struck for four runs in the final two innings. Rich Vlacci drove in two runs with a hit and Kevin Curtis went 1-for-2 with an RBI.

Although Riverhead finished in second place in the League IV standings, it concluded the season with concern after losing a poorly played game to lowly Bellport (4-18 overall) on May 11 and dropping two of its three games to Hauppauge, salvaging the series with O'Donnell's performance in game three.

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