But 10 game winning streak comes to an end
By Andrew Rudansky
It’s a good news, bad news week for Pierson varsity baseball. The Whalers are the first in League IX to clinch a playoff berth, grabbing their eleventh win only one game after their 10 game winning streak came to an end.
The streak came to a halt last weekend after the Whalers split a two game series with the third place Southold Settlers (6-6).
The Whalers took the first game on Friday, April 20 after junior lefty Colman Vilá notched another shutout. Vilá pitched all seven innings of the 3-0 win, recording 14 strikeouts, no walks and only 3 hits.
The Whalers put the game away in the third inning when senior and team captain Sean Hartnett batted in sophomore Aaron Schiavoni from second on a RBI single for the third and final run.
The Whalers could not keep the momentum going and fell short, 8-4, in the second game of the series played on Saturday, April 21. The loss was the first of the season for the Whalers.
Southold jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the second inning of the game. Pierson started chipping away at this lead when relief pitcher Jake Bennett gave up a two-outs grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning which broke the game open for the Settlers.
Hartnett led the Whalers at the plate, going 3-4 with a triple, two doubles and 3 RBIs. Schiavoni went 2-3 with a double and 3 runs scored.
“They made plays that day and we didn’t,” said Whalers’ Head Coach Jonathan Tortarella of the team’s first loss.
After splitting the series with Southold, the Whalers began a three game series with the Smithtown Christian Knights. The Whalers came out on top in the first game of the series, 6-5, on Tuesday, April 24, officially punching their ticket to the League IX playoffs.
Bennett managed the back-and-forth game from the mound, keeping the Knights at bay as the the Whalers piled on the runs.
Schiavoni went 2-2 at the plate with two RBIs, while Michael Heller went 2-3 with an RBI.
The Whalers have a comfortable two game lead in League XI play, standing head and shoulders over the rest of the league with a record of 11-1.
Tortarella said that despite clinching a playoff berth, he is pushing his team to finish the season strong.
“We are hoping for that top seed,” he said. “We know that was one of our goals at the beginning of the season. In order to achieve that goal we need to get better and better every game.”
The Whalers’ three game series with the Knights continued on Wednesday, April 25; however, the results of that game were still unknown when this paper was put to bed. The third game of that series will be played at Mashashimuet Park on Friday, April 27 at 4:30 p.m.