Tag Archive | "whalers baseball"

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.

Season Warm Up

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Boys gearing up in series of scrimmages

by Andrew Rudansky

With most of the team’s pre-season baseball scrimmages out of the way, the Pierson/Bridgehampton Whalers are just a few short days away from the home opener. With a completed roster, Whalers Head Coach Jonathan Tortorella’s team, especially its defensive performance, has looked sharp in these friendly scrimmages.

The Whalers saw their first taste of action against the Southampton Mariners on Saturday, March 17. A pair of scrimmages followed against the East Hampton Bonackers, first at home on Monday, March 19, and then at East Hampton on Wednesday, March 21.

Both East Hampton and Southampton are larger Class B schools and in a different league than the Class C Whalers. Pierson/Bridgehampton would not normally play either of these teams in the regular season.

While these scrimmages had no bearing on season standings, and were played with slightly different rules, as per Section XI guidelines, they still presented a great barometer for the upcoming season.

This year the Whalers are lucky to have an older, more experienced roster, one  that includes eight seniors and no freshman.

According to Tortorella, he will have eight pitchers taking turns on the mound as both starters and relievers. Junior Coleman Vilá will be put at the top of the rotation, with Hunter Leyser, Sean Hartnett, Mike Heller, sophomore Forrest Loesch, junior Jake Bennett, sophomore Aaron Schiavoni, and sophomore Kyle Sturmann behind him.

During these pre-season scrimmages, Tortorella was given a first look at how this pitching rotation faired against the big bats of this Class B competition. While many upper-class pitchers like Vilá and Hartnett looked confident while on the mound, the younger pitchers still seemed to be shaken up by the pressure.

Luckily for the team, the defense looked sharp in the scrimmages. Paul Dorego and Schiavoni look to be solid anchors behind the plate at catcher, while on the infield Tortorella has a string of athletic playmakers.

At times during the scrimmages, the Whalers were out-powered at the plate, but were able to make up for it with their speedy defense.

It will be interesting to see if Tortorella can use his team’s defensive capabilities to overcome the power hitting and consistent pitching that his squad is in short supply of.

The Whalers have a final scrimmage before the season officially begins next week. That will be at McGann-Mercy in Riverhead on Friday, March 23 at 4:30 p.m. The season opener pits the Whalers against the Port Jefferson Royals at Mashashimuet Park at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27.

Pierson Baseball Sweeps Southold but Falls to the Porters

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Heller_Whalers-Greenport Baseball '11_0110

By E.J. Yennie

The Pierson Whalers (5-2-0) won their second straight series, sweeping Southold to put them in second place in the league behind Port Jefferson (6-1-0). After pounding the Settlers in Southold, 8-3 on Tuesday, April 12, the Whalers did it again on Thursday at home, winning 9-3. Friday, they traveled back to Southold, winning 8-3 again. In a surprise upset, Pierson lost to Greenport on Monday, 3-2, giving the Porters their first win of the season.

Pre-game on Thursday, senior Frank Romeo declared, “If we stay focused and play the way we can, we should be able to beat any team we play.”
The Whalers did just that, staying focused throughout the game,
hammering base hit after base hit. After the Settlers scored one run in the first, the Whalers quickly got down to business. Hits by Tyler Gilbride and Sean Hartnett were followed by a Jake Weingartner sacrifice pop, scoring Gilbride, tying the game. Gavin Kudlak’s drive to centerfield scored Hartnett. Frank Romeo popped a ball to left field, which was dropped, bringing in Kudlak. By the end of the first, Pierson was up 3-1.

Southold scored two times in the top of the fifth, tying the score. In the bottom of the inning, Kudlak was walked, followed by Frank Romeo, who was hit by a pitch. Forrest Loesch singled, scoring Kudlak. A base hit by Colman Vila loaded the bases. Gilbride’s hit scored Romeo for Pierson’s second run of the inning.

In the bottom of the sixth, with bases loaded, Southold brought in a new pitcher, Lucas Hokansor to replace their starter, Anthony Fedele. A double by Whaler Hunter Leyser scored Emet Evjen and Loesch. Next at bat, Gilbride doubled, scoring Mike Heller and Leyser. At the top of the seventh, the Whalers retired the inning with three plays to first base, for a 9-3 win.
The Whalers had their second league loss on Monday, a surprise upset to the Greenport Porters, 3-2. The Porters fielding their first team in 20 years, were 0-3-0 in league play and 0-5-0 overall before Monday’s victory over the Whalers.

Pierson’s only two runs came in the second inning, with Aaron Schiavoni scoring off a base hit by Sean Romeo. Romeo scored off a sacrifice fly by Weingartner.

Romeo reported, “We played clean; we just didn’t get the hits.”

Pierson traveled to Greenport on Wednesday, to face the Porters for the second game of the series. Hunter Leyser scored the only run for Pierson, who lost 2-1 in nine innings. With the score 1-1 tied after seven, the game went into extra inning.

A Porter double endsed the game in the eighth, 2-1.

“Pierson just couldn’t get the hits” said Romeo.

Pierson’s two league losses to Greenport dropped Pierson to third place in the standings behind Southold and McGann-Mercy. The Whalers will finish the series with Greenport at home on Saturday at 2 p.m.

The team travels to Riverhead next to play a series against first ranked Mercy, who bested Greenport 12-2, on Tuesday, April 26 and again on Wednesday, April 27, at home at 4:30 p.m.

According to assistant coach Benito Vila, “The team is doing great on defense. If they keep doing the little things without pushing too far, they will be successful.”

Whalers Head to Division Playoffs

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The Hampton Whalers beat the Peekskill Robins yesterday, 3-0, in a one-game playoff and will face the N. Y. Metro Cadets in a best of three series starting Monday at 7 p.m. at St. Johns University. In their inaugural season with the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League, the Whalers have a chance to win their division and play for the league championship.

The win capped a late season turnaround for the Whalers, who spent most of the summer in the cellar of the Kaiser Division. After starting 0-6 and struggling throughout June, the Whalers went on to go 13-7 in July and win seven of their last eight, climbing into a tie with the Robins for second place in the division.
New York Tech sophomore Andrew Guarrasi pitched eight and a third innings for the Whalers on Sunday, giving up two hits and striking out eight batters. Mike Connors from Southern Connecticut State came in for the save.

“We had a long week off and it was great to see the guys come back and play at the level they did,” said Whalers’ manager Julio Vega. “Obviously they came out ready to go.”

The Whalers quickly got on board in the first inning when Kyle Crean, a freshman from Albany, knocked in University of Charlotte junior Alan Parks with a single. Freshman from the University of Rhode Island Tom Coulombe did the same to score Fordham freshman Chris Walker. The score remained 2-0 until the bottom of the fifth when Walker hit a RBI-single to score Southern Connecticut State junior Karl Derbacher.

Guarassi kept the Robins in check, pitching five hitless innings. In the top of the ninth, after giving up his second hit of the game and hitting a batter, Vega decided to go to the bullpen.

Connors made quick work, getting one batter to fly out and striking out another to end the inning and the game. Vega described Connors as “lights out” since he was added to the team less than a month ago.

“The great thing about [Connors] is he competes. Every time he goes out there he wants to be perfect,” said Vega. “Just having that type of guy competing at the end of the game is great.”

The day got underway as Whalers’ President Rusty Leaver paraded local celebrity and baseball fanatic Jerry Seinfeld out on to the field to meet the players and throw out the game’s first pitch. Leaver presented Seinfeld, a “grand slam” contributor and one of the founders of the team, with a personalized jersey, a team photo and a baseball signed by the entire squad. The right-handed comedian side-armed the first pitch to catcher Chris Walker as photographers and film crews postured to capture the moment.

Vega said the atmosphere Seinfeld created was “amazing” and said he was happy for his players. “Jerry coming out was great,” he said. “[The players] deserve this. They deserved a day like yesterday.”

As for the upcoming series against the Cadets, Vega is optimistic. The Whalers got the best of the Cadets in regular season play, going 5-3. Vega said Phil Kline, the freshman from Youngstown State who pitched a perfect game against the Cadets two weeks ago in Sag Harbor, will get the start Monday night.

The Whalers return to Mashashimuet on Tuesday to face the Cadets in the second game of the division championship series. Game time is 5 p.m.

Top photo: Jerry Seinfeld meets the Whalers. (photo by Mike Heller)

Bottom right photo: Mike Connors came in and forced one batter to fly out and struck out another to get the save on Sunday against the Peekskill Robins. (photo by John Bayles)