WHITE PLAINS – With his pitch count at 99 entering the final inning against league rival White Plains on Saturday, Mamaroneck ace Bill Flatow had to do some convincing to get his coaches to send him back out to the mound.
A friendly wager was made to encourage a quick inning.
“I had a bet with my pitching coach, coach (Matt) Porricelli,” Flatow said. “If I had a 1-2-3 inning, he would buy me an ice cream at the truck.”
There would be no ice cream for the senior right-hander, as the efficient inning that he was hoping for never came to fruition. If anyone should have been buying an ice cream, it was Flatow for teammate Emerson Genovese.
The senior center fielder made an unforgettable catch to halt White Plains’ momentum, a full-extension layout that preserved a 6-5 win and kept Mamaroneck’s league title hopes alive.
“I thought it was probably a double, but he made an insane catch,” Flatow said. “If it wasn’t in high school, I bet it would be on ESPN or something like that.”
“Today was a tough day at the plate, so I was just thinking the whole time, ‘If I can just bring this one down, it’ll make my whole day,’ ” Genovese said. “When I caught it, I felt it in my glove and I knew. I just stood and patted myself on the chest and thought, ‘Thank, God. I needed that.’ ”
An RBI double from Spencer Lodes and a throwing error had cut White Plains’ deficit to one run, bringing Michael Ainsworth to the plate with no outs. The senior shortstop hit the ball hard, deep to right-center field. What looked like a sure extra-base hit off the bat somehow ended up in the glove of a lunging Genovese, leaving the home crowd in shock.
Flatow recorded the next two outs without incident to close out the win, as he outlasted White Plains ace Daniel Lotito by throwing 118 pitches in the complete-game effort. Mamaroneck and White Plains now each has one loss in league play, which means that Tuesday’s showdown in Mamaroneck will decide the championship.
Player of the game: Bill Flatow, Mamaroneck — Even with his team making seven errors behind him, the senior battled and showed his grit. Of the five runs that White Plains scored, only one was charged to Flatow.“That’s our No. 1 goal right now,” Genovese said. “You can’t really think, ‘Let’s go win a section title.’ You have to win the league first.”
“I thought I hit the outside corner well, and this is the first game I’ve ever thrown a changeup in,” he said. “It worked pretty well, but my cutter was probably my best pitch.”
Turning point: Mamaroneck set the tone by scoring five runs in the first two innings. Mark Adamo was in the middle of the action, doubling in the first inning before scoring on Brian Knapp’s ground ball and adding an RBI single in the second.
Stat line: Mamaroneck (15-2) — Flatow threw a complete game on 118 pitches (79 strikes), allowing five runs (one earned) on eight hits and three walks with four strikeouts. Adamo went 3 for 4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI, Jarrett Naghtigal had two hits and Peter Matt scored two runs. White Plains (10-3-1) — Lotito pitched five innings on 95 pitches (53 strikes), allowing six runs (four earned) on six hits and three walks with four strikeouts. Lodes went 2 for 4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI, Damian Vignone went 2 for 3 with two runs scored, and Mac Innes went 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored.
Quotable: “This is a very tough outfield to play in,” Genovese said. “There’s a big hill right in center field, so the first thing that I did was saw that it had a lot of hang time. I put my head down and I just decided to run up the hill to the top, just to make sure that I could get my footing down so I didn’t slip. Then I gave it a peak to see where (the ball) was, and I saw that maybe if I lunged or dived, I could probably snag it. I just laid out, and the tip of my glove just barely held on.”