The Pierson baseball team featured one of the most potent offensive attacks in Suffolk County this year, averaging nearly nine runs per game during an 18-2 campaign that led the team to a League IX Championship. But with the Suffolk County playoffs set to begin this week, the stakes have been raised and the level of competition will increase, especially on the mound.
Pierson will open the Class C postseason against Stony Brook on Thursday, May 17, in a double-elimination format that also includes Mercy and Southold. The top-seeded Whalers will likely face Bears ace Joe Wozny, who will pitch for the University of Connecticut next year, in game one on Thursday. Pierson swept Stony Brook in four games this year, including a 3-2 victory over Wozny on May 2.
“I think this first match-up is a complete crap shoot because of each team’s starting pitcher,” said Pierson head coach Jonathan Schwartz, who on Tuesday was not quite ready to name either Sam Warne or Tyler LaBorne as his game-one starter. Warne and LaBorne both posted perfect records on the mound this season, and LaBorne led the team with a .508 batting average.
“Assuming everyone’s number one goes, really anything can happen,” Schwartz added, “and if you make it out of that first match-up you have a huge advantage in that second game.”
Pierson would advance in the winner’s bracket with a win over Stony Brook on Thursday and would face the winner of the other Class C playoff game between Mercy and Southold on Monday, May 21, at home at 4 p.m. A loss would send the Whalers to the loser’s bracket for an elimination game on Saturday, also at home, at 11 a.m.
“We just have to win that first game and we’ll be in great shape for that second game because the rest of our pitching lineup is pretty deep,” Schwartz said. “It would really be great to keep everything steady and calm and have that time between games and watch the other two beat up on each other.”
The winner of the Suffolk Class C Championship will advance to a New York State Regional semifinal on May 31 against the winner from Nassau County at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue.
Softball Season Comes to a Close
The Pierson softball team will not compete in the postseason after a rocky one-win campaign in a newly-aligned, 24-team League VII that is all but assured to go away next season. The Lady Whalers hosted Port Jefferson, one of the few Class C teams they played all season, for Senior Day on May 9, but lost, 19-9. The team closed out its season with losses at Miller Place and Islip on May 10 and 11, respectively, ending the careers of seniors Cassie Arbia, Jade Maldonado, Leigh Hatfield, Shannon Sloane, Annabelle Schroeder, Isabella DiRussa, Ava Kiss and Eleanor Byrne.