BY ANDRES RIVAS
After a rough and shaky start to the season, the Bellport varsity baseball team is back on track after defeating Eastport-South Manor and Deer Park.
The Clippers had a rough season opener, falling 10-3 to Deer Park. In the next game, they had a shaky last inning and Hills West managed to walk off with a 11-10 win. Then against West Babylon, they had the hits but couldn’t bring the runs in and fell 6-3.
Brennan Beatrice was in charge of getting the ball to break the three-game skid and pitched a complete game, recording all 21 outs. He had a shaky first inning, giving up two runs. He also gave up two runs in the third inning, but after that he was dealing. He ended up giving up two hits to the last 14 batters he faced. After two innings, the Clippers trailed 3-1 and and after a 1-2-3 inning they decided it was time to wake up the bats.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Rafael Vargas had a single and Justin Maler followed up with a double. With two on and no one out, Beatrice helped himself, legging a two-RBI double to tie the game at three apiece. Kareem Holloway put the ball in play to make it a 4-4 game. Beatrice held his end getting quick outs.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Clippers needed some runs. Once again, a single by Maler and Beatrice reached first on a fielder’s choice. Andrew Veit moved the runners over with a sacrifice bunt and Holloway was in charge of delivering the clutch hit to take that 6-4 lead. Beatrice finished off the opposing team for their first victory. Maler finished 3-3 with a double and three runs scored.
“I wasn’t throwing strikes, so I buckled down and let my defense make plays. It felt good to get the confidence from the coaches and we kept it going,” said Beatrice.
“The team was going to keep hitting and have Brennan’s back. The hit felt good,” added Holloway.
With one victory in hand, Bellport needed to make it two straight and stay on track as they faced Deer Park. Bellport has had a historical rivalry with Deer Park, splitting games last year and losing in their first meeting. But Bellport got it going from the first inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Beatrice continued to stay hot, getting a two-RBI single for the 2-0 lead and Veit followed up with an RBI single of his own.
For the Clippers, Trevor Virno got the ball with a 3-0 lead behind him. He’d only give up three hits and one run through the first five innings. Deer Park, a well composed team, took advantage of some errors and tied the game. In the bottom of the sixth they got the RBI single to make it a 4-3 game.
And here we go again. Another nailbiter.
The top of the order was due up and Anthony Jacabacci got the rally started, hitting the first pitch he saw for a double. After walks to Ryan Baumann and Virno, Vargas, who was 0-3 with three strikeouts, got a two-RBI single, scoring Jacabacci and Baumann. Veit added one more on a fielder’s choice and Holloway had an RBI single to make it a 7-4 game. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Vargas got the ball to close it out and although the Falcons got two more runs, the Clippers held their ground, winning 7-6.
Jacabacci finished 3-3 with two doubles and a walk. “This time I focused on jumping on the first strike and not letting myself fall behind,” he said.
“It’s always great to have an extra motivation behind me. Deer Park gives us a tough time,” added Virno.
“I approached the at-bat knowing I needed something big to get us up,” said Vargas.
Bellport (2-3) as of press time faced Comeswogue this past Wednesday and faces Deer Park tomorrow at home at 4 p.m.