Whalers Beat Port Jefferson To Defend County Baseball Championship

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It took two days, but the Pierson baseball team finally claimed its second straight Suffolk County Class C title at Mashashimuet Park on Wednesday, May 29, with a 9-4 win over Port Jefferson.

The Whalers were slated to face Nassau County champion Friends Academy for the Long Island Class C championship on Tuesday, June 4, at Farmingdale State College. That game ended too late to be included in this edition’s sports section, but coverage can be found in this week’s news section and at 27east.com.

The Whalers and Royals initially took the field in the rain on May 28, but the game was suspended because of deteriorating weather conditions after three innings with Pierson leading 7-0. The teams met back at Mashashimuet Park the following day to finish the contest. Port Jeff made it interesting, scoring four runs in the top of the fourth off pitcher Nick Kruel, who eventually settled down to finish the game without allowing any more runs. Jake Bennett was the starter on Tuesday, and although his pitch count was not high when the game was suspended, Pierson head coach Jon Tortorella elected to go with Kruel on Wednesday.

The Whalers tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. James Sherry led off and got on base after the third baseman overthrew his groundball to first. After Aaron Schiavoni popped out, Forrest Loesch hit an RBI single to score Sherry. Then, after a Joe Faraguna fly-out to right field, Tim Markowski blasted an RBI double to make it 9-4. Port Jeff put the leadoff runner on in the top of the seventh, but Kruel took care of the rest. He adeptly snagged a ball hit hard back to him for the first out, then induced two groundouts to close out the victory.

After a short celebration and a team photo on the field, the Whalers hopped in beds of a few pickup trucks driven by parents and were escorted on a victory lap through the village by the Sag Harbor Fire Department.

After the game, catcher Aaron Schiavoni said that he and his teammates didn’t let the mid-game suspension get them down.

“I felt the way we played [on Tuesday] gave us great momentum going into today,” he said after the game. “Port Jeff is great team and we knew they’d come ready to play. We couldn’t look at it as a 7-0 game, we had to look at it as 0-0 and keep going.”

Port Jeff coach Jesse Rosen was disappointed with the loss, but said after the game that he wasn’t about to blame it on the weather or back-to-back trips his team had to make out to Sag Harbor to finish the game.

“When you look at it over the course of seven innings, they scored more runs than we did,” he said. “They didn’t win because of the rain.”

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