By Gavin Menu
A good week turned even better Monday afternoon for Colman Vila, who has been nothing short of sensational for the Pierson-Bridgehampton baseball team this season.
The Whalers’ lefty ace tossed a no-hitter with 17 strikeouts, allowing just one walk in the first inning, to beat visiting Shelter Island, 9-0, in the first meeting of a three-game series with the rival Indians on Monday.
Vila stated the obvious after the game, saying that pitching the no-hitter did not come easy. He immediately gave credit to his teammates, especially catcher Aaron Schiavoni, and to his head coach, Jon Tortorella, for h delping achieve the milestone.
“It was definitely hard,” Vila said. “Tortorella said at the start of the game to be smart with my pitches and Aaron called a great game. And there were a couple line drives to Kyle [Sturmann) and Nick [Kruel] where they made nice plays.”
Earlier in the week, Vila decided that he would attend the University of Delaware next year, where he will be given a chance to walk on for his freshman season and play Division I baseball in the Colonial Athletic Association. Vila was not awarded an athletic scholarship, which was less important since he had already secured scholarship money for academics.
“I’ve been talking to the coach and he said if I play well I could have a shot at making the team,” Vila said on Tuesday. “He told me last Sunday he has a spot for me on the fall roster and from there I have to try-out to make the team in the spring.”
Vila’s father, Benito, who is also an assistant coach for the Whalers, said Delaware is short on left-handed pitching and that the strength and conditioning coach was already planning to provide Colman with a workout routine for the summer.
“Playing on that level requires lots of work off the field, as well as in the classroom and after school,” Benito said. “It’s constant and consistent effort, often with little immediate reward.”
Vila on Monday allowed an early walk after an error by third baseman Joe Faraguna that put two runners on base for Shelter Island. But he picked up his pace on the mound and routinely sat down hitters for the rest of the afternoon using an effective mix of fastballs, change-ups and curveballs. What began as a showdown between two talented southpaws quickly became the Colman Vila show as Indians lefty Spencer Gibbs was unable to keep pace.
“His control was a little off early, but then he started finding his groove,” Tortorella said. “He got his location back and when guys put the ball in play, the defense helped him. He did a good job adjusting.”
Offensively, Tim Markowski hit a two-run single in the first inning and Johnny Chisholm came off the bench with a two-run single in the fifth. The Whalers tacked on four more insurance runs in the sixth inning.
The Whalers improved their League IX record to 14-1 and with only five games remaining hold a two-game lead over second-place Smithtown Christian. Pierson can lock up the league title as early as next week. The series with the Indians shifts to Shelter Island today at 4:30 p.m., before wrapping up back at Mashashimuet Park tomorrow, May 3, with another 4:30 p.m. start
Tortorella has scheduled scrimmages against Mattituck and Southampton for the week after the season to help prepare the Whalers for what is sure to be stiffer competition once the playoffs begin.
“Hopefully those scrimmages are a little more competitive,” Vila said on Tuesday, having already shifted his focus to upcoming games and his ultimate goal of winning a state title.