Two underdog baseball teams that have had impressive postseason runs will play in a winner-takes-all game on Friday in the county finals.
No. 8 Island Trees took game 1 in the class A finals over No. 16 Plainedge on Tuesday, 2-1, only to drop game 2 on Wednesday, 12-3.
In game 1 in the bottom of the sixth, Steve Connelly singled up the middle with one out to get things going. Zach Dolgos pitch ran for him and advanced to second on a wild pitch, and with two outs, Tyler Byrne drove him in with a line drive single to right center to make it 2-1.
Mike Jeannetti tossed a complete game six hitter, walking five and striking out seven. Plainedge ace Tyler Manez took the loss.
Game 2 was a different story, however, as the Bulldogs "just didn't have it," falling 12-3.
"Plainedge jumped on us for four runs in the first, aided by an error on our short stop, and we fell behind 6-0 after two innings," said Island Trees coach Joe D'Auria. "We scored two in the top of the third to make it 6-2, but could never muster a rally."
The Bulldogs have had quite the run this postseason - they defeated rival Division in an elimination game, beat No. 2 Wantagh in the quarterfinals in a memorable series, then swept No. 5 Manhasset in the semifinals. Island Trees has now made it to the final four for six seasons in a row and have made it to the county finals in four of the past six seasons.
Arguably just as impressive has been the run by No. 16 Plainedge - they swept No. 1 Clarke in convincing fashion in the second round, then beat No. 3 South Side in three games.
Game 3 of the series takes place on Friday, June 1 at Farmingdale State College, 4 p.m.
"I preached to our team that we had to be a dangerous team with nothing to lose," D'Auria said. "It has been an amazing run by a team that many thought wasn't capable of making it this far."
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