Floral Park’s 18-4 season was an out away from ending when the Knights scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to walk off against Manhasset, 7-6. Ryan Callaghan played hero, capping the rally with a simmering RBI single into right center field that scored Jimmy Guerriero and set off a wild celebration in the infield.
The win meant Floral Park and Manhasset played again on Friday, May 22, with the winner getting to move on to the Nassau County Class A Semi Finals.
Manhasset came into the game off of a sound 4-0 win over Seaford on Tuesday, May 19, and they started off sharp. With runners on first and second in the top of the first inning, the pitcher Tim Curtis made an impact before stepping on the mound, driving a ball off the wall in center field. The shot turned out to be one of the longest singles of the season, as the runners prepared to tag on the long fly ball and were only able to advance to second and third. An error allowed one run to score before catcher David Spampinato added two runs on a double.
Manhasset added two more runs in the second inning and were seemingly safe with a 5-0 lead going into the bottom of the sixth. On the mound, Curtis was in complete control of the game, striking out five batters and allowing just two hits before the wheels started to come off in the sixth.
After retiring the first batter of the frame, Curtis took a hard line drive off of his lower leg, but as quick as the crowd had gasped, Curtis was back on his feet and throwing a warm-up pitch to quiet any worries. But a few hits later the Knights had cut Manhasset’s lead to two.
Manhasset’s Anthony Vieto gave Curtis some needed breathing room in the top of the seventh inning when he slugged a towering home run to right field. But reliever Bailey Brosnan otherwise held Manhasset.
But the breathing room wasn’t enough. After getting the first out, Floral Park strunged together three singles in a row to bring themselves within two. A wild pitch scored another when the runner just slid under Curtis’ tag.
Tom Spano, the biggest offensive producer for Floral Park on the day, then laced an RBI single that plated Brian Barry and brought Callaghan to the plate. Spano ended the game with three hits in four at-bats, including three RBIs. Curtis laid a fastball on the outer half of the plate and Callaghan roped it into the outfield, giving his side one more shot to play Manhasset and advance to the semi finals.