Huntington Baseball Team Wins League Championship, End Drought
HUNTINGTON, NY – The Huntington Blue Devils baseball team ended a 56-year drought on Thursday.
The high school team beat Lindenhurst by a score of 8-5, winning the league championship for the first time since 1965, the school district said on Facebook. The team participates in the Suffolk League II.
Superintendent Jim Polansky threw the first pitch in what started a “big day for Huntington,” according to the district.
“A lot of players have dreamed of this day since they first adapted to Huntington in seventh year,” the district wrote. “Their hopes were dashed last spring when the COVID-19 crisis caused the season to be canceled after a week. But they simply would not be denied.”
Left-handed starting pitcher Palmer O’Beirne played five innings for the Blue Devils, striking out four on strikes and three on walks. He allowed nine hits. Alex Bellissimo saved the save by securing the last six strikeouts.
With the Blue Devils leading 4-3 in the bottom of the third, team captain Chris Segreti netted a brace to clear the bases on a 3-2 count to give Huntington a 7-3 lead. Dylan Schnitzer followed with another long double to score Segreti and put Huntington ahead 8-3.
The Lindenhurst Bulldogs couldn’t catch up.
The victory marked the Blue Devils 10th in a row, pushing their overall record to 15-3.
The crowd of around 325 included manager Brenden Cusack and retired Huntington baseball coach Harry Waller, as well as a who’s who of current and former students and players, coaches from other teams. Blue Devil, teachers, parents and family members, depending on the district.
The Huntington High School alumni of the 1965 Blue Devils League Championship team, which advanced to the county finals before losing a 3-2 decision to Commack, were also in the crowd. They were standing behind Polansky as he threw the first pitch.
“For a long time, the Huntington baseball games were a sleepy business with small crowds,” the district wrote. “Not this spring as the school and community rallied around the Blue Devils, who thrived in the limelight.”
The Blue Devils aren’t done yet, as they aim to prove they are the best in the county.