Here is my game story from Mamaroneck’s 4-3 win over Mahopac:
MAHOPAC Mamaroneck right-hander Tommy Muratore wasn’t supposed to make an appearance in Wednesday’s Class AA first round game at No. 8 Mahopac, but plans can change in an instant when it comes to win-or-go-home situations.
“‘I’m ready to go,’” the junior told coach Mike Chiapparelli in the dugout during the sixth inning. “I’ve told him that I’m ready to go anytime that he’s needed me, and that’s going to be the same case again (Thursday) tomorrow.”
The ninth-seeded Tigers were expected to ride ace Will Hofmann and save Muratore for a potential start on Thursday, but with the Hofmann’s pitch count elevated, he was taken out to start the sixth inning. Reliever Kumar Nambiar allowed a two-run double to cut Mamaroneck’s lead to one-run, which prompted Chiapparelli to call on Muratore.
He came in with one out and runners on second and third, and induced back-to-back groundouts to escape the jam. The score would hold, as the Tigers advanced to the quarterfinals with a 4-3 win.
“I’m just trying to block out the crowd and throw strikes,” Muratore said. “I know that my defense will make the plays when I need them to, and they did.”
“At a point, they were cheering, ‘Hofmann! Hofmann!’” the senior right-hander said. “I think today was my worst control of the year, to be honest. Four walks and I hit a guy, and I made my own error. I bore down when I had to, but I think my stuff could have been better.”
Hofmann was pitted against Mahopac ace Kevin Kernan in what many considered to be the pitching the matchup of the day. Kernan was also effective – allowing just one earned run and four hits while striking out 10 in a complete game effort – but his defense let him down early in the game.
“Today, he was hitting spots,” Mamaroneck catcher Ryan Orgielewicz said. “It was amazing. He’s sneaky fast, and the curveball was great. We didn’t really hit him that much. It was the errors.”
Two errors in the first inning led to two Mamaroneck (13-8) runs, and two more errors in the third extended the lead to 4-0. The Indians (13-7-1) made six errors in total.
“The first half of the game it was our defense that wasn’t making the plays, and then the second half of the game we got the guys on, but we couldn’t seem to get that big hit,” Mahopac coach Chris Miller said. “It was like double disappointment.”
Mahopac put runners on in each of the final five innings – with John Delahanty’s two-run double in the sixth coming right before Muratore was brought in – but stranded a total of 12 runners.
Next up, Mamaroneck will play at No. 1 North Rockland on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
“Last year, Arlington was the No. 9 and came in and beat us as the No. 1,” Hofmann said. “We’re looking to do the same. As the underdog here, there’s not as much pressure on us.… Nobody is really picking us now against the one seed, so we’re going to do our best.”
Photos by Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News