By Gavin Menu
The Pierson baseball team is finding all sorts of ways to win games this season. Veteran and rookie pitchers have been light out at times, while production from up-and-down the line-up and defensive gems across the infield have led to a predictable result: The Whalers are a perfect 6-0 in League IX.
Pierson swept its opening two series against what was expected to be its main competition for the league title. After beating Smithtown Christian in three straight, the Whalers closed out a three-game series win over Southold with a blowout victory that was followed by a tight, 1-0 win on Friday.
The team’s 11-3 win at Southold last Thursday, April 10 came with senior pitcher Nick Kruel dominating on the mound. Kruel tossed seven complete innings, and allowed just four hits and two walks. All three Southold runs were unearned, and put the Whalers in an early 3-0 hole.
“He got better as the game went on and he did a great job of overcoming some early defensive mistakes,” head coach Jon Tortorella said about Kruel.
Freshman James Sherry went 2-for-4 with two RBI in the game, and Forrest Loesch and Kyle Sturmann also had two hits apiece.
The Whalers returned home on Friday and squeaked out a 1-0 win to close out the series against Southold. Theo Gray and Ryan Chisholm combined to pitch the shutout, while Sherry scored the team’s only run in the bottom of the third inning after Aaron Schiavoni beat out a potential inning-ending double play at first base.
“Theo and Ryan really stepped up big time today,” said Tortorella, who remains without the option of regular starter Tim Markowski, who is out with a hand injury. “We needed that from them, they gave us a chance. They had an opportunity and they took advantage of it. We’re so proud of them.”
Pierson played a non-league game at Babylon last night, April 16, after press time and will return home to start a three-game series with Greenport on Monday, April 21 at 4:30 p.m.