In his 26 years as Wantagh baseball head coach, Keith Sachs has never seen the pitching feat that Mason McLane pulled off.
Wantagh’s senior ace tossed his second consecutive no-hitter with 13 strikeouts in a 3-0 win against Lynbrook on April 23. A week earlier McLane held the Floral Park bats hitless while striking out 19 and taking a perfect game into the sixth inning.
“It’s crazy,” said Sachs of McLane’s back-to-back no hitters. “It’s nice to know we have a starter who can dominate
McLane entered the week only allowing two hits over his first four starts including an 18-stirkeout performance against Malverne in a 10-0 non-league win to open the season on March 28. He along with fellow starting pitchers Matt Saborio and Ethan Herman have keyed Wantagh to a 7-2 start in Conference A-IV that positions the Warriors for a chance at capturing a fourth straight county title.
The versatile McLane, who was Wantagh’s lone returning starter following an All-Conference 2018 season, anchor the middle infield at shortstop when not on the mound. He has also been a speak plug for the Warrior offense this spring and went 4-for-5 in a 14-3 win at Lynbrook on April 25.
The Wantagh bats have given plenty of run support for the strong Warrior pitching staff producing 10 or more runs in six games this season. Junior Nick O’Connor and senior Dylan Scott are both hitting close to .400 in the middle of the lineup. The duo both had two hits and scored two runs apiece in Wantagh’s 7-0 win against Floral Park during McLane’s first no-hitter.
Seniors John Bednor and Ray Rathgaber have also given Wantagh a lift this season. Bednor went 3-for-4 with five RBIs in Wantagh’s blowout April 25 win against Lynbrook to cap a sweep against the Owls. Rathgaber delivered two hits with an RBI in a 6-1 win during the second game of the Lynbrook series.
“It’s a very balanced team,” said Sachs, who has led Wantagh to the playoffs every year since taking over as head coach in 1994. “Everyone is doing their job and trying to maintain the tradition.”
Following the sweep of Lynbrook, Wantagh headed to Baltimore for the program’s annual spring trip aimed at boosting team bonding. The Warriors defeated Maryland’s Archbishop Curley 7-1 this past Saturday with Tim Migliaro throwing three and 2/3 innings of hitless relief.
Wantagh entered the week a game behind Division in the Conference A-IV standings going into a three-game series with the neighborhood rival that wraps up Thursday in Levittown at 4:30 p.m. The Warriors conclude the regular season next week with three games versus Valley Stream North.
A first-place finish would allow Wantagh to open upcoming postseason at home in what Sachs expects to be another challenging Class A playoff field. He said a grueling league schedule would serve as solid preparation for the looming high-pressure playoff games.
“It’s the toughest league in the county,” Sachs said. “We want to finish strong.”