The Pierson baseball team completed a three-game sweep of League VIII foe Stony Brook in exciting fashion at home on Friday, earning an 8-7 win with some last-inning heroics.
Facing a 7-6 deficit going into the bottom of the seventh, the Whalers started their comeback with a double off the bat of sophomore Kyle McGowin, who moved to third base when the Stony Brook center fielder made an error. The next batter, Mike DePetris, laid down a bunt that failed to score McGowin but Stony Brook couldn’t get the out at first, giving Pierson runners at the corners with no outs. DePetris stole second base before sophomore Brandon Kruel tallied an infield hit that scored McGowin to tie the game at 7-7. After a strikeout by Joe Dowling, Stony Brook issued an intentional walk to Andrew Mitchell, loading the bases. Senior Keith Robinson delivered the winning hit, launching a single to right field that brought home DePetris and ended the game.
Kruel also picked up the pitching win, the first of his varsity career, after throwing four innings in relief of starter DePetris. Kruel allowed just one earned run, four walks and two hits while striking out three of the 17 batters he faced.
Stony Brook had taken a 7-2 lead into the fourth inning before Pierson began its comeback and also clamped down on defense. Although DePetris was ineffective on the mound, he did make several key defensive plays at third base, while McGowin, playing in the outfield, made a key catch in the sixth inning that saved a run.
Pierson coach Sean Crowley said he was also happy to see big hits from the lower part of the lineup on that day.
“The bottom of the order contributed and it’s good to have that confidence in the sixth through ninth batters,” he said.
Prior to the sweep-clinching win, Pierson cruised past Stony Brook 15-5 in Stony Brook on April 16 and started the series with a 6-4 win at home on April 15.
The Whalers improved to 5-4 in League VIII prior to a series against Center Moriches, which began on Monday in Sag Harbor and wrapped up with a double-header in Center Moriches on Tuesday.
In the first game against Stony Brook, junior pitcher Joe Mascali had his best outing of the year, getting the complete-game win with 10 strikeouts, three walks, eight hits and four earned runs. He faced 32 batters on the day ,and all of Stony Brook’s runs came in the final inning. The Bears brought the tying run to the plate in that inning, but Mascali was able to finish the job.
Mascali gave up four hits in the final inning, but Crowley said he had faith that his starter could get the job done since he came into the inning with a low pitch count of just 71. He finished the game with 98 pitches thrown.
The top of the order carried Pierson that day, with Casey Crowley going 2 for 4 with two doubles and two RBIs, while Mascali had three hits, including a double and an RBI. Ryan Miller was 2 for 4, and DePetris was 2 for 3 with a double.
In the second game, McGowin duplicated Mascali’s performance by going the distance on the mound, facing 31 batters while issuing two walks, allowing seven hits and three earned runs and striking out six batters. The Whalers scored four runs in the first inning and blew the game open with six runs in the fifth inning.
Joe Dowling highlighted the first inning with a home run while Crowley was 2 for 4, Miller was 3 for 5, McGowin was 2 for 2 with three walks and four runs scored and Kruel had two hits.
Prior to the start of the Center Moriches series, Crowley led the team with a .516 batting average. In 10 games, he is 16 for 31 at the plate and has an on-base percentage of .619. Mascali leads the team with 12 RBIs, while McGowin is the leader with 12 runs scored.
McGowin and Mascali both have 21 innings of work on the mound and are both 2-1. Mascali has struck out 21 batters to lead the team while Kruel has a team-leading ERA of 1.62.
Pierson will begin a series with Shelter Island/Ross on Tuesday, April 29, in Sag Harbor at 4 p.m. The Whalers will travel for a game on the following day at 4:15 p.m. and will close the series at home on May 2 at 4 p.m.