Nothing seems to faze the Wheatley baseball team these days. Not even a two-run deficit in the final half inning of a playoff game.
Andrew Hastings' bases-loaded single drove in Justin Borczuk as Wheatley scored three times in the bottom of the seventh for a 3-2 win over Spackenkill in a Class B Southeast Regional final Wednesday at Farmingdale State College.
"Bases loaded [and] you know he's not going to want to walk me to score a run," Hastings said. "I know he's going to pitch to me so I just looked for the pitch and I got it and I did what I could with it."
It was the fourth one-run win in the last five games and 11th straight win for the Wildcats (18-8), who play Section III's Clinton in a Class B state semifinal at 10 a.m. Saturday at Union Endicott High.
It's Wheatley's first trip to the state semifinals, coach Paul Paino said.
"We've been having these types of games all season," said catcher Billy McLean, whose run-scoring single in the previous at-bat tied the score at 2. "We've been working our tails off the past two to three weeks, playing some crazy games that just come down to the wire."
Spackenkill starting pitcher Billy Winnis was effective, giving up four hits through six innings.
"We knew what we had to do. We just had to get it done," Hastings said. "Go deeper into counts [and] see more pitches."
Wheatley's rally began with one out in the seventh when designated hitter Matt Rothstein stroked a ground-rule double to center. Relief pitcher Mike Carney was hit by a pitch on the ensuing at-bat. Borczuk followed with a single that scored Rothstein as Wheatley got on the board for the first time.
Wheatley also has starting pitcher Xavier Fallarino to thank for the win. The junior righthander gave up one unearned run and two hits in five-plus innings. He was replaced by Carney after getting hit in the leg on a line drive in the sixth.
"He's a great pitcher. He's more of a control, pitch to contact hitters," McLean said of Fallarino. "He pitches to contact, he gets weak ground balls and he gets pop-ups."