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Reid Johansen

By Steven Zaitz

With their playoff hopes hanging in the balance, Newfield Wolverine starting pitcher Matthew Hesselbirg fired a no-hitter on Friday, May 3 against Northport to keep his team alive in the postseason hunt. 

The senior righthander struck out seven Tiger batters and walked two over seven innings and despite not allowing a hit, fought through several troublesome innings when Northport put multiple men on base.

The Wolverines scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to secure the 2-0 win. Newfield right-fielder Brandon Seddio drew a one-out walk in the fourth and then stole second. Tiger pitchers Tyler Roethel and Vincent Staub combined to walk three batters in a row to force in Seddio and give the Wolverines a 1-0 lead. Seddio would knock in center fielder Kevin Brown in the fifth inning with a single to make it 2-0.

Meanwhile, Hesselbirg got harder to hit as the game wore on.  The Tigers had a man on second and third in the second inning but Roethel flew out to Brown to end the frame. Tiger catcher Reid Johansen reached on an error in the fourth and advanced to third on a ground out and a wild pitch. But he got no further. Hesselbirg struck out the side in order in the fifth and faced the minimum in the sixth.

He hit Tiger third-baseman Cody Hammer with one out in the seventh and allowed a walk to right-fielder Sean Buchanan to put the tying runs on base.

But Tiger pinch hitter Anthony Sylvanus hit a sharp grounder to shortstop Cayden Davis, who started a 6-4-3 double play to end the game and give Hesselbirg his no-no. 

Roethel pitched 3 2/3 innings and was charged with the run in the fourth. He struck out four. Side-armer Vincent Staub pitched the final 2 1/3 for Northport.

Newfield (7-9) needs to sweep Centereach in a three-game set this week to make the playoffs.  Centereach is the first-place team in Suffolk Conference III. Northport (10-8) has clinched a playoff spot, despite the loss, and will play Sachem East to close the season.

– Photos by Steven Zaitz