By Gavin Menu
The Pierson baseball team wasted little time exerting its dominance over League IX competition this season. Over the last week, the Whalers swept a three-game series against the Smithtown Christian Crusaders, widely considered the Whalers’ top competition for the league title, and picked up a win over North Fork rival Southold on Monday.
The two meetings with Smithtown Christian last week came on April 3 and 4 in the wake of an injury to senior Tim Markowski, whose broken hand will keep him out of action for at least the next month. Freshman James Sherry, the hero in Pierson’s thrilling opening-day win over the Crusaders early last week, pitched effectively in game two to pick up his first career varsity win while leading the Whalers to an 8-6 victory.
Ryan Chisholm, a sophomore, pitched two innings in relief to close out the win for Pierson (4-0, League IX).
“James Sherry was outstanding,” head coach Jon Tortorella said. “We’re so proud of how we played today. After losing Tim, we needed to all step up and believe in each other. James and Ryan were huge on the mound, they pitched like they were both seniors and really competed.”
Senior Nick Kruel took the mound on Friday for game three and pitched seven complete innings while allowing just six hits and two runs in an 8-2 victory.
“Nick was awesome and our defense played really well,” Pierson head coach Jon Tortorella said. “He showed some guts out there.”
At the center of everything, Tortorella said, was Aaron Schiavoni, the team’s senior leader and catcher who excelled at the plate while managing the team’s pitching rotation to near perfection.
“Aaron was awesome, as always, behind the plate,” Tortorella said. “We couldn’t be happier about our performance this week.”
The Whalers began their second series of the season with a 6-1 win over Southold on Monday. Loesch escaped a bases loaded jam with no outs in the top of the sixth inning with Pierson leading 1-0. The Whalers responded with five runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a commanding lead into the seventh and final inning.
Theo Gray went 2-for3 with two RBI’s in the game, while Schiavoni went 2-for-3 with an RBI of his own.
“Our bats were quiet today,” Tortorella said, praising Loesch and the team’s defense for keeping the game close through six innings. “You’re going to face good pitching and runs will be limited, so we just need to keep grinding out at-bats.”
The Whalers will resume their series against Southold today, April 10, on the road at 4:30 p.m. before returning home for game three tomorrow, April 11, also at 4:30 p.m. A two-game series against Babylon will begin on the road on Monday at 3:30 p.m.