Most schools would be happy to send just one team to a state final four.
This year, Pierson High School is lucky enough to send two.
Both the school’s baseball and softball teams advanced to the New York State Final Four in Class C by beating their counterparts from Haldane High School (Section I) in regional final games on Wednesday. The Lady Whalers enjoyed a 24-7 romp at North Rockland High School, while the baseball team won a 5-4 nailbiter at Dutchess County Stadium,
It marks the first time in the school’s history that both the baseball and softball teams have made the state final four in the same season.
The baseball team exacted revenge by beating Haldane, the team it lost to in the same game last year, and Tim Markowski was the hero this time, driving in teammate Colman Vila with a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth to break a 4-4 tie. Vila had reached base with a walk and then stole second before Markowski brought him home. It was the third RBI of the game for Markowski.
Pierson got on the board first in the second inning, when Markowski singled. He was later brought home on a hit by first baseman Nick Kruel. It was one of two RBIs on the day for Kruel.
Jake Bennett was the starter for Pierson and he allowed only three earned runs on eight hits. Vila, who pitched a no-hitter in Pierson’s Long Island Championship win over Friends Academy less than 24 hours earlier, came on in relief and got the final five outs for the Whalers to clinch the win. Haldane threatened in the final inning, but Pierson catcher Aaron Schiavoni helped stifle the rally by throwing out a runner attempting to steal second base.
The softball team’s experience in the regional final was the polar opposite. The offensive onslaught was led by shortstop Kasey Gilbride and pitcher Sam Duchemin, who were both 4 for 5 on the day, while catcher Emma Romeo was 3 for 5. Pierson made it to states last year as well, losing in the semifinals to eventual champion Greenwich.
The baseball team will play Seton Catholic (Section IV) in its Class C semifinal game on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. at Broome County Community College, on Hornet Field, in Binghamton. If they win, they will play for the state championship in the afternoon at the same site against the winner of the Geneseo/Voorheesville at 4 p.m. The girls will return to the site of last year’s tournament, the Adirondack Sports Complex in Queensbury, and will play their semifinal game against Frewsburg at 9 a.m. If they win, they will play for the state championship at 2 p.m. against the winner of the Greenwich/Sand Creek game.
For the latest updates, check 27east.com and follow sports editor Cailin Riley on Twitter, @sportsgal27east.