Backed by another stellar pitching performance by senior Wyatt Schmidt (7-0), the Southampton baseball team shut out Babylon 4-0 to advance to the second round of the Suffolk County Class B playoffs on Friday. Schmidt also scored the winning run in the first inning. He led off the game by reaching first after being hit by a pitch. He stole both second and third and then Alex Soyars drove him home after reaching on an error. Schmidt struck out 12 batters and allowed just two hits through seven innings.
When asked about his strategy going into the game, Schmidt alluded to staying ahead of batters.
“Just throw a lot of strikes and get ahead of the count,” he said. Babylon gave the Mariners a bit of a scare in the third inning with runners at the corners, but Schmidt gave no indication he was concerned. “I knew if I just pumped my fastball through and got my curveball over for a strike I knew I could get the guys out.”
Indeed, Schmidt has proven that he can get batters out and keep opponents from scoring. He hasn’t allowed an earned run since March 27.
As he’s done all season, Schmidt kept the Panthers in check and several Mariners gave him some breathing room. David Kirshy scored in the bottom of the fifth after reaching on a single and then stealing second. Kevin Edgar singled home Kirshy to take a 2-0 lead. Then in the bottom of the sixth with one out, Eddie McLaughlin doubled to right center. Head coach Ike Birdsall inserted Jon Wasserman as a pinch runner. Thomas Beckman followed with another double, easily scoring Wasserman to increase the lead to 3-0. Henry Egan then grounded out to first, advancing Beckman to third. Jake Marano then hit a single to drive in Beckman for the final run of the game.
Birdsall was pleased with his team’s effort to hang on to a one-run lead for most of the game.
“It was 1-0 for a while there,” Birdsall said. “Wyatt stayed tough, our infield and outfield was tight and made the plays.” Birdsall also pointed out how Schmidt was able to battle out of a jam in the top of the sixth with runners on first and third when he struck out the batter to end the Panther rally. Schmidt then struck out the side in the seventh.
Southampton will face Center Moriches on Monday at 4 p.m. in the second round of the double-elimination bracket. The game will be played at Southampton. If Southampton wins, they will play Saturday. If they lose, they will play again on Wednesday.