In League VIII baseball, there’s the Pierson Whalers, and then there’s everybody else.
The Whalers have been untouchable in league play this season, improving to 9-0 (10-3 overall) after their latest three-game sweep last week. Pierson crushed last-place Greenport (0-6, 1-7), winning 11-0 at home on April 21, 11-3 on the North Fork on Thursday, and 14-0 at home on Friday.
In their nine league wins, the Whalers have scored a total of 70 runs, while allowing a total of just 17, outscoring their opponents by an average of nearly six runs per game. The Whalers have been held to less than six runs in a game just twice this season, and have allowed more than three runs only once.
The game-one win over Greenport officially clinched a spot in the Class C playoffs for the defending Suffolk County and Long Island Champion Whalers. Forrest Loesch went seven innings with four hits, no runs, three walks and five strikeouts to get the win, and he was also 2 for 5 with a triple, 2 RBIs and a run. Catcher Aaron Schiavoni was 3 for 4 with a double, RBI, three runs and a walk, while second baseman Kyle Sturmann was 2 for 3 with an RBI.
In the second game, Pierson put it out of reach right away, scoring seven runs in the first inning. The Whalers scored their 11 runs on just seven hits, taking advantage of six Greenport errors. Forrest Loesch was 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run, while Sturmann was 1 for 3 with a pair of RBIs and a run. Nick Kruel got the win, going seven innings while giving up five hits and striking out three, allowing no walks and one unearned run.
Pierson struck early and often again in the final game, scoring two runs in the first, seven in the second, and five more in the third. James Sherry struck out eight Greenport batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits with no walks in his first complete-game win. Pierson had a total of nine hits on the day, and Greenport made 10 errors. Theo Gray was 2 for 2 with 2 runs, while Johnny Chisholm was 1 for 4 with 2 RBIs and 2 runs.
Sherry added two walks and an RBI;
As of Monday, Pierson was the only team in League IX that had officially clinched a playoff spot. Second-place Smithtown Christian was just one win away, but because Smithtown Christian is a Class D school and the Whalers play in Class C, they would not meet each other in the postseason. That means it’s up to Stony Brook (2-4), Southold (1-5) and Greenport (0-6) to find a way to qualify for playoffs and challenge the Whalers for the county title, a task that will certainly be an uphill battle for any of those teams. The Whalers were scheduled to scrimmage Center Moriches, the second-place team in League VIII that has already qualified for the Class B playoffs, on April 28 and 30 before beginning its final three-game series of the regular season with Stony Brook.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Monday, 5/5, at Stony Brook, 4:30 p.m.; Thursday, 5/8, at Stony Brook, 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 5/9, vs. Stony Brook, 4:30 p.m.