Sachem North beat Sachem East, 6-1, in the sixth annual Tim Crowley Memorial Baseball Tournament held at Baseball Heaven in Yaphank Saturday evening.
Thousands gathered to watch teams from all levels in the school district play. The seven games were split 3-3-1, so North retained the plaque since it was the reining champion after last year's win.
Sachem North has won five out of the six tournaments that have been played since its inception in 2006.
Brian Hennelly's two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the second inning was all Sachem North (10-3 overall in League II) needed for the eventual win. Justin Carlo and Dan Farina scored on the hit.
North opened the scoring gap in the fifth inning, adding three more runs on four hits, a walk and a sacrifice fly. Sachem East's Mike Amato allowed two hits on his first two pitches in relief.
Anthony Palermo singled in Alec Sole and Brendan Garry drove in Palermo in the inning.
Sachem East's (6-7 overall) only offensive production came in the top of the sixth inning when Chris Kennedy hit a solo home run to right field.
Prior to this game, East had won five of its last six games, including a sweep of Brentwood and a big non-league win over Connetquot, a team Sachem North is playing this week as it looks to clinch a spot in the Suffolk County playoffs. East needs another five wins to have the same fate.
"It’s tough to swallow because it’s a rivalry game for us," said East coach Kevin Schnupp. "We weren’t happy with our intensity today. If we come out like this on Monday [against Longwood] we’re going to have a really tough time getting a win. We’ve been hot with the bats and they shut us down today."
For North, the playoffs are a lock. They're concerned with entering the post-season as a top seed and handling their own destiny with home field advantage.
"We have to come out playing like we did tonight," said North coach Tom Gambino. "If we get some timely hitting we should be alright."
Alec Sole from North and C.J. Hafner from East won the scholarships given prior to the game in honor of Crowley, a Sachem alum and baseball captain from 1993 who died in a car accident while attending Oglethorpe University.
Former Sachem baseball coach Bill Batewell, who currently coaches the baseball team at Bellport High School, threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the varsity contest.
"Tim was a great student, great player, great son and a great person," said Batewell, who won over 450 games at the helm of Sachem's baseball program. "One of the best."
Between the two schools, nine pitchers saw work Saturday. While Hennelly, who pitched two innings, recorded the win for North, Mike Vitale, Matt Cahill and Alec Sole all pitched scoreless innings. J.T. Kirk allowed one run.1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E Sachem East 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 4 1 Sachem North 0 2 0 0 3 1 X 6 10 2
Sachem North: Hitting: Alex Sole 2-4, Steve Kowalski 2-4, Brendan Garry 1-4, Nick Teta 0-2 (2 BB), Justin Carlo 1-3 (BB), Dan Farina 2-3, Nick Santangelo 0-2, Brian Hennelly 2-3, Mike Vitale 0-1 ... Pitching: Mike Vitale 1 INP - 1K, Hennelly 2 INP, Matt Cahill 2 INP, J.T. Kirk 1 INP, Sole 1 INP
Sachem East: Hitting: Tom Trifaro 1-3, Chris Kennedy 2-3 (HR), Dan Hetzel 0-2 (HBP), Dean Papakonstatis 0-3, Brian Castles 0-2 (HBP), Brendan Jones 0-3, C.J. Hafner 1-3, Mike Amato 0-2 (ROE), Bryan Vaccaro 0-2 (ROE) ... Pitching: Vin Bona: 3 INP - 4K, Pete Kersich 1 1/3 INP, Mike Amato 2/3 INP - 2K, Hafner 1 INP - 1K
Winning Pitcher: Brian Hennelly
Losing Pitcher: Vin Bona