By Andrew Rudansky
Sitting at the top of the order in the second, Pierson’s catcher Aaron Schiavoni started off a five run inning with a powerful shot right above the outstretched mitt of the Greenport Porter’s short stop. The single from Schiavoni was the first of a combined small ball effort by the Pierson Whalers’ varsity baseball team that effectively closed the game out in the second inning.
The game held on Tuesday, April 3 at Mashashimuet park ended in a 6-1 score, giving the Pierson Whalers their fourth straight win of the season.
The game also marked the first time this season that Pierson Athletic Director Montgomery Granger was able to bring in the school’s scoreboard and PA system for the game.
Following Schiavoni’s single, the Whalers were able to bat through their entire lineup in the second inning, including back-to-back RBI triples from second baseman Kyle Sturmann and outfielder Hunter Leyser.
The Whalers were unable to add to this lead in the fourth, when they failed to convert on a bases loaded, one out situation.
Pierson eventually did add to their 5-0 lead in the fourth inning, when Sean Hartnett hit a dribbler up the first base line. He was tagged out at first, however Paul Dorego ran home from third.
Pierson’s ace starter Colman Vilá made sure the Porters were unable to bounce back from this early deficit. In his second start of the season, the junior lefty pitched a one hitter, with 5 strikeouts, and 1 walk. Vilá has continued to impress early in the season, this being his second complete game in as many starts.
“When Colman [Vilá] is on the mound we play a different kind of game,” said Pierson Head Coach Jonathan Tortorella.
Greenport was able to reach the scoreboard only in the sixth inning, when short stop Jake Bennett misplayed a ground ball, allowing a runner on third base to race across home plate.
First baseman Emet Evjen closed the game out in the seventh and final inning when he made a sliding pop fly catch in foul territory in front of the Greenport dugout.
Although the season is still early, the undefeated Whalers can claim first place in League VIII.
Sturmann went 2 for 2 at the plate in the game, adding in 2 RBIs. Evjen went 2 for 3 with an RBI, Leyser went 2 for 4 with an RBI and Schiavoni went 2 for 3.
“Our hitting has been there, but our defense has been a little shaky, we still got to clean it up,” said Tortorella about his team’s performance so far this season.
Greenport’s best hit of the game came in the third inning, when a foul ball soared foul into the parking lot. The ball landed squarely on the windshield of a Black Volkswagen station wagon, cracking the glass. The owner of the vehicle was overheard saying that the car had just been to the shop.
Earlier last week on Friday, March 30 Pierson beat out Smithtown Christian in a League VIII game, 13-8. Despite the win, the Whalers did not walk out of the game unscathed.
Sophomore Forrest Loesch left the game in the third inning with a sprained right shoulder after taking a hit while running from first to second base. After being picked off at first base, Loesch continued to second. While in mid-dive Loesch’s right shoulder made contact with the knee of the awaiting Greenport short stop.
“I didn’t know what happened at first,” said Tortorella about the injury. “[Loesch] jogged off of the field and then I saw him in pain”
Loesch is expected to miss three to four weeks while he undergoes physical therapy.
“Its not that bad, he is going to be ok,” said Tortorella. “But anytime you lose your number three hitter, your short stop and your number two pitcher, it definitely hurts.”
Tortorella said that the loss of Loesch — who is all three of those to the team — provides a challenge and an opportunity for the rest of the team to step up.
Bullpen pitchers Kyle Sturman, Sean Hartnett, Michael Heller and Brendan Hemby will all see an increase in innings.
Pierson traveled to Stony Brook yesterday, April 4 to take on the Bears (0-5). Pierson won 9-0. Pitcher Jake Bennett threw a no-hitter with 11 strike outs. The Whalers next game will be against the Port Jefferson Royals (2-2) this Tuesday, April 10 at 12 p.m.