It was a long day for the West Hempstead High School's varsity baseball team as they struggled through a disappointing double-header against Lynbrook.
Both the Rams and Owls battled throughout Game One on Wednesday, keeping the score close. That is until the seventh inning. Tied 5-5 in the top of the seventh it looked to be anybody's ballgame, but that all changed when Lynbrook's Michael Milillo and Brian Bilello hit singles and pitcher Vin Sharkey walked to load the bases.
West Hempstead's Brandon Sherman proceeded to walk Spencer Kirsch, allowing the Owls to take the lead, 6-5.
Then Lynbrook's starting pitcher Dan Grossi hit a hard ground ball to the shortstop, who tried to make the out at home plate but overthrew the catcher to bring the score to 7-5.
Owls senior centerfielder Andrew Marks than hit a deep shot up the middle of the field, scoring three more runs that basically sealed the victory for Lynbrook.
Just for good measure, Marks stole home base to give the Owls a six run advantage, 11-5.
"We definitely had a big seventh inning," said Lynbrook Head Coach Al Marrazzo. "Their pitcher was good for most of the game, keeping our offense off balance but we were able to get to him in the seventh."
West Hempstead Head Coach Bill Cloghessy was not impressed with his defense's performance.
"Defensively, we just didn't get ready to play," said Cloghessy. "We just handed them runs late in the game and weren't able to hang on."
The Rams offense on the other hand looked sharp to start off the game. In the bottom of the third, senior first baseman Tom Valerio hit a deep home run over the right field fence to give the Rams an early 2-0 lead.
The Owls countered though, getting three runs in the top of the fourth after a walk and hits by Grossi and outfielder Jack Pender.
The West Hempstead bats came alive again in the bottom of the fifth with a double to left field by Valerio and a single by Albert Amiel. After getting on base with a walk, Joe Palladino used his speed to steal home plate and regained the lead for the Rams, 5-3.
Lynbrook tied the game in the top of the sixth with hits by Bilello, Grossi, Marks and first baseman, Michael McHenry.
Rams Shut Down in Game 2
The Owls used the momentum of their seventh inning swingfest to shutout the Rams in the second game of the doubleheader, 13-0.
Junior pitcher Alex Weingarten was masterful on the mound, allowing only four hits and striking out 11 batters. He also went 3-3 with 3 RBI's.
Third baseman Spencer Kirsch was 2-3 with two doubles and two runs.
The Rams are now 0-9 (0-7 conference) and will play at home against Great Neck North on Monday at 10:30am. The Owls are now 7-1 in conference and will play at Lawrence on Monday at 10:30am.