by Jesse Rosenthal
It’s been a rough road for the Pierson Varsity Baseball team so far this season. Following a blowout 11-1 loss in Hampton Bays to conclude their non-league series, and posting a 5-4 loss in Port Jefferson on Tuesday, the boys let the lead slip away at home last night against Port Jefferson, losing 5-3 in the second game of a three game series.
“We keep making mistakes,” said Coach Tortorella immediately following the loss to Port Jefferson. After playing solid baseball through five innings, mistakes in the field late in the game are indeed what cost the Whalers a win last night.
After Kyle McGowin gave up an early run in the top of the first, the Whalers offense responded quickly in the bottom half to tie the game. A single through the gap into left field off the bat of Tyler Gilbride, and another base hit from Jake Federico, followed by a stolen base from each base runner put runners in scoring position for Pitcher Kyle McGowin, who was able to drive in Federico on a ground ball to the shortstop.
With no runs scored in the second or third from either side, McGowin struck out the side in the top of the fourth, and the Whalers were able to go ahead in the bottom half.
A walk and a single for McGowin and Jake Weingartner put two on for slugger Brandon Kruel. A long sacrifice fly to center field from Kruel let McGowin tag up for the go-ahead run. A double up the right field line from LF Gavin Kudlak drove in Weingartner to make it 3-1 Whalers.
Unfortunately, Pierson wouldn’t be able to hold on to the lead. An uneventful fifth gave way to a sixth where poor decision making was costly. With two outs and a man on second, a grounder to third and wide throw to first left runners on the corners. After an uncontested stolen base put both runners in scoring position, Port Jefferson’s batter produced a lucrative check swing.
Catcher Eddie Schall lost the ball behind the plate allowing one run to score. Compensating, Schall through to third but the ball ended up in shallow left and the game was tied at three a piece.
After going three-up three-down in the bottom of the sixth, the top of seven saw the wheels falling off for the Whalers. A walk and two stolen bases put a runner on third for Port Jefferson. A good play on a hard ground ball to short and a solid throw home from Tyler Gilbride weren’t enough to keep Port Jeff from scoring the go-ahead run. A missed tag allowed another runner to steal second. Another ground ball to short, followed by a wild throw to first base gave Port Jefferson their fifth and final run of the game.
The Whalers were able to load the bases with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but were unable to capitalize on the situation, leaving the bases juiced to end the game.
“We played better in spurts tonight,” said Tortorella of Wednesdays loss. “We just need to be more consistent. That goes for all aspects of the game.”
The Whalers have one more coming up on Friday in Port Jefferson to round out the series, and a three game series with Southold next week. Home games are on Tuesday and Friday the 27th and 30th.