Tag Archive | "Kyle Sturmann"

Boys Take Game One

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Pierson’s Hunter Leyser beats the throw to first in the Whalers’ 1-0 victory over Southold at Mashashimuet Park on Wednesday, May 23. Andrew Rudansky photo.

Pierson’s Hunter Leyser beats the throw to first in the Whalers’ 1-0 victory over Southold at Mashashimuet Park on Wednesday, May 23. Andrew Rudansky photo.

Whalers up one in a best of three series

by Andrew Rudansky

The Pierson Whalers took the first game of the best-of-three playoff series with the Southold Settlers, 1-0. The low scoring game, held on Wednesday, May 23 at Mashashimuet Park was the product of a defensive effort by both teams.

With the win, the Whalers are one step closer to being crowned the Suffolk County Class C champions. The winner of the series will move on to the Long Island Class C game later in June.

Frustration had settled in for both teams leading up to the finals, as rain delays pushed game one back on two successive days this week.

The Pierson Whalers were originally slated to host Southold in game one of the best of three series on Monday, May 21 at Mashashimuet Park. That game was cancelled by officials hours before the scheduled start time due to scattered showers.

The same happened when the rescheduled date for game one, Tuesday, May 22, was similarly cancelled due to rain delays.

Whalers Head Coach Jonathan Tortorella said that the rain delays could have been a blessing in disguise, as they gave the Whalers a few extra days to practice.

“We are better after these two days of practice, we got a lot of stuff worked out in that time,” he said.

Tortorella said the extra time afforded to the team by the rain delays has also allowed some of his injured players time to heal. He said that he has as many as 12 players on the roster who he could use as starters in the playoffs.

The extra days off seemed to do the trick, as the Whalers looked sharp in all aspects of their game.

Lefty strikeout artist Colman Vilá started the game for the Whalers. Vilá has been dominant on the mound all season, winning all seven of his starts.

In Wednesday’s game Vilá effectively managed the game through all seven innings, not allowing a run while tallying seven strikeouts.

The lefty did slow down in the later innings of the game, but later ended the match with two back-to-back strikeouts in the top of the seventh inning.

“If he is keeping guys off base, I don’t care about strikeouts. With a team like Southold they are going to put the ball in play,” said Tortorella. “I thought he was as good as he has been all year.”

The Whalers scored in the bottom of the third inning when Forrest Loesch hit a grounder to the second baseman. A wild throw to first base attempting to get Loesch out, allowed Hunter Leyser to run home from third base.

The Whalers were put in danger in the top of the sixth inning, with runners on first and second with no outs. The Whalers defense —  including Vilá’s great play throwing out a runner at third — was able to hold the Settlers at bay, leaving two runners stranded.

“Kyle [Sturmann] was great at second base, Aaron [Schiavoni] was awesome behind the plate, Colman [Vilá] fielded his position, there wasn’t that many hits into the outfield, so overall I think it was a great day defensively,” said Tortorella.

The Whalers reached the Class C playoffs this year after posting a stellar 18-2 regular season performance. The 18 wins allowed the Whalers to run away with the league IX title, their first in over a decade.

The Southold Settlers placed third in League IX, after they closed out their season with a respectable 13-7 record. Southold was one of only two teams this season to hand Pierson a loss in the regular season. That Settler win came on April 21, when a late inning grand slam by Southold put the Whalers away in their first loss of the season, 4-8.

This season Pierson won the regular season head-to-head series 3-1.

With game one now in the books, the Whalers will next travel to Southold for game two today, May 24 at 4 p.m. Pierson’s Jake Bennett is scheduled to pitch in the game.

Game three, if it is necessary, will be played at Mashashimuet Park on Tuesday, May 29 at 4 p.m.

“Is there pressure on them, yeah, but there is also pressure on us tomorrow as well, because we don’t want a game three,” said Tortorella.

Winning Ways Go On

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Whalers best Royals in season’s closest game

By Andrew Rudansky

It took three pitchers, 11 innings and one well placed hit to deep center field, but the Whalers baseball team was able to stave off the Port Jefferson Royals in a three and a half hour marathon game late last week.

By the time the Pierson/Bridgehampton Whalers were traveling up to Port Jefferson on Friday April, 13, they had already handily defeated the Royals three times this year.

This fourth and final game of the series between the two teams looked to be a forgone conclusion. The Whalers had outscored the Royals 27-8 in their three previous games. The Whalers were white-hot, cruising through a still-undefeated season, their best in well over a decade, while the Royals (3-6) were still dwelling in the cellar of League IX standings.

But from the start of the game it was the Royals that looked to be the world beaters, relying on stellar pitching and consistency at the plate to outshine the visiting Whalers. To add to their woes, the Whalers were playing down three players, two of them starters.

Despite this the Whalers were able to make a late surge to scrape by with a 9-8 victory, sweeping the series.

Sophomore Aaron Schiavoni started the game on the mound for Pierson/Bridgehampton. The righty had trouble containing the Royals lineup, allowing them to jump out to an 8-6 early lead by the end of the third inning.

Junior Colman Vilá took over pitching duties for the Whalers in the bottom of the fourth inning, allowing Schiavoni to move to his natural position at catcher. After knocking around the Whalers for the first three innings, the Royals were unprepared for the star lefty, who pitched lights out for the next seven innings.

While Vilá out-pitched the Royals offense from the mound, the Whalers were still unable to make up their two run deficit as the game went into the final inning.

Staring defeat in the face in that seventh and final inning, the Whalers bats showed up right in the nick of time. With two outs, Vilá hit a double, deep into centerfield. Tim Markowski followed this by battling his way to a full count before he was walked, putting the tying run on first base.

Schiavoni, who struggled on the mound earlier in the game, came through with a monstrous 2 RBI double to deep centerfield. The ball rolling into the outfield fence before being fielded.

The Whalers bench erupted in cheers as Vilá and Markowski trotted into home plate for the tie. Out on second base Schiavoni pointed a single finger up into the sky.

The Whalers, one out away from riding home on the bus in defeat, were now tied 8-8.

The game wasn’t called until the eleventh inning when the team captain, senior Sean Hartnett, came to the plate with bases loaded and two outs.

Hartnett hit a dribbler to the second baseman and took off sprinting towards first base. The toss to first was high causing the baseman to hop into the air to make the catch. Hartnett was called safe after making contact with the base right before the baseman descended to the ground.

His RBI single sent sophomore Kyle Sturmann home, giving the Whalers just enough to close out the game with a 9-8 win.

Jake Bennett was brought in as the closer in the bottom of the eleventh, and he promptly retired three batters to end the game. Vilá was credited with the win in the game.

Prior to Friday’s game against the Royals, the Whalers had won every one of their games this season by a margin of five or greater.

This razor-thin win gives the Whalers an 8-0 record so far this season, their best start to a season in recent memory. While the results of the second half of the season remain a mystery, it wouldn’t be outlandish to start thinking about playoffs.

The Whalers also had a game against Southold at home, the start of a three game series between the two teams, yesterday, Wednesday, April 18. The results of that game were not known as of press time.

The Whalers finish their series against the Southold Settlers this coming week. They will travel to Southold on Friday, April 20 at 4:30 p.m. and then again the following day, April 21 at 1 p.m.