Two of the best baseball players in Nassau County battled it out for nine innings Thursday - both on the mound and in the batter's box.
Wantagh's Greg Welch and Island Tree's Mike Jeannetti both tossed 9 inning complete games and hit home runs, with Welch and Wantagh coming out the victor Thursday, 3-2.
With the win, Wantagh ties the best of three game series at a game a piece, after
"[Jeannetti's] a great pitcher, he put it all out there. I put it all out there," Welch said. "Fortunately, I came out with the win."
Island Trees got on the board first when Jeannetti hit a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Kyle Nigro.
That 1-0 lead would prove to be short-lived. On the very first pitch the next inning, Welch blasted a solo home run to the opposite field, to tie it up at 1.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth, Island Trees could have taken the lead headed to the final inning. Welch, however, would get out of the jam, getting James Ragusa to pop out to end the inning.
With Wantagh in the lead 2-1 and Welch in command, the game looked to be all but over entering the last inning. Jeannetti, however, had other things in mind – he would blast a solo homer to left center, his ninth total on the season, sending the crowd into a frenzy and the game into extra innings.
"I mean, both guys just unbelievable," said Wantagh coach Keith Sachs. "Coming up with big pitch after big pitch, big out after big out. Then coming up with big hits against each other – the only person that beat them was each other."
In the top of the ninth, Wantagh’s Alex Shortell would score the winning run on an infield error, and Welch would close out the bottom of the inning, getting Jeannetti to strikeout and giving the Warriors the 3-2 victory.
Sachs said it was one of the best games he's ever been apart of.
"We’ve been in a few county finals games together, one run games," he said. "It’s right up there. These two programs have been in a lot of games like this, it’s a lot of fun."
Welch said the team will focus on offense going forward. If he keeps hitting the way he has been, Wantagh fans shouldn't be too worried.
“It just was a big win, really big for us. It’s boosts us as a team," Welch said.
The deciding third game will be held Saturday starting at 11 a.m. at .Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 F Wantagh 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 3 Island Trees 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 2
W: Welch L: Jeannetti HR: Welch (1), Jeannetti (1)