Game Summary

The NY Knights played three games this weekend against two top-ranked opponents, solidifying their stance as the team to beat. Rob Maier fired a four-hit shutout, Dan O'Shea pitched a complete game, and Pat Conway went 8-for-11 with a game-winning two-run home run as the Knights won all three games; 7-4 against the Nassau Mets, and 9-0 and 8-6 in the doubleheader against the annoying Sachem Yankees.

Game 1 Saturday against the Mets wasn't as close as the score indicated. O'Shea (4-0) kept the Mets off balance all game, striking out 8. Offensive stars included Conway, who went 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs, and Sean McGuire and Tommy Reilly each went 2-for-3. Frank Giglio, who had an extra base hit robbed, went 0-for-2 to snap his 9-game hitting streak, the second-longest such streak for a Knight this year up to that point.

Sunday's doubleheader was typical Knights - virtually the minimum number of players, of which three were still feeling the effects of late-night boozing.

The first game featured the shutout by Maier (2-4) against the hard-hitting Yankees. Maier struck out 9 for what may have been his been turn yet among his many great efforts this season. He lowered his ERA to 2.45, and if you remove his second appearance which lasted just one inning, it is a microscopic 1.14.

Conway went 2-for-3 with 2 walks and 3 RBIs, while McGuire and Reilly each had two hits and a walk amongst the balanced Knights offensive attack. The Knights spread the nine runs through several different innings, indicating that they can score at any point during the game. Anthony Chiaramonte made a great diving catch of a line shot near second base later in the game.

The second game was quite exciting, somewhat ruined only by the Yankees tendency to talk smack for no particular reason. After spotting the Knights five runs, the Yankees pulled even at 6-6 late in the game. But Conway, the muscular 6-foot-3 target of many of the Yankees' taunts, silenced the Yankees once and for all with his bat in the bottom of the sixth inning, crushing a demoralizing two-run home run which proved to be the difference.

Reilly (2-0) picked up the win, pitching 3 2/3 innings in relief, striking out 6 using a mixture of blazing fastballs and sharp sliders, despite a suffocating strike zone and the inspiration for the following quote uttered at arrival: "You got some gum? My breath is 100 proof."

Conway had 3 hits in game two, making him 23-for-30 (.767) in his last 9 games. Sean McGuire made another incredible catch, diving headlong with his back to home plate to rob an extra base hit in the first inning. Giglio had 3 RBIs, and he and Paxton Provitera each had two runs. And first baseman John Bosch went 0-for-4, snapping his 12-game hitting streak, which is (you guessed it) the longest such streak this year for a Knights player.

Yoo-hoo - the Knights have now won six straight games to push their record to 14-6. In those six games, they've outscored their opponents by 48 runs. And against legitimate playoff contenders. But this reporter looks up into the stands and sees ... stands. Those stands (a misnomer, by the way, as you are supposed to SIT on them) are there for a reason. You don't like sitting on hot metal? Well, that doesn't preclude the use of lawn chairs, beach towels, and..uh...oh, those inflatable things, you know, it looks like a water raft but you use them on grass. The point is, the Knights have clearly established themselves as the team to beat, and they're only getting better, so put off those mundane weekend plans (e.g. going to the beach, dreidel-spinning) and get the hell over to Greenlawn Park to watch the Knights take on the Division I Tri-Village Giants this Tuesday at 8:30 PM.

Other Knights Knotes:

* The Knights have a team batting average of .376 ... and an on-base percentage of .467. That means 7 of every 15 batters have reached base (even more if you count those who have reached on errors)

* Conway now has the longest active hitting streak at nine games and has had a hit in 17 of 18 games this year.

* The Cooperstown tournament is coming soon (August 24-26) so make your hotel reservations soon, and join the Knights for at least five games in the baseball capital of the world.