Memorial Day is coming and that means parades, barbecues, and Pierson/Bridgehampton baseball.
Might as well put it on the calendars — the Whalers will make the playoffs, and they will make trouble.
This year’s team is one of the better ones to come down the pike. The trouble is, all four teams in the Suffolk County Class C tournament are dangerous. Witness the May 17 affair between Pierson and Stony Brook.
The Whalers (19-2), the top seed, had the best record in League IX but Stony Brook, seeded fourth, boasted the league’s top pitcher, Joe Wozny, and he was rested and ready. But Pierson’s Tyler LaBorne is no slouch either, hurling a complete-game, one-hit shutout at Mashashimuet Park, as the Whalers prevailed by the slimmest of margins, 1-0.
The locals scored without benefit of a hit to secure the win though Wozny, who yielded only two hits, stymied the Whalers for most of the game.
The victory gave the locals a leg up on the county C championship but by no means clinched the double-elimination tournament. Next up was rival Southold, the third seed, on May 22, with the loser going against Stony Brook two days later. By the end of the week, Pierson will be back in action at Mashashimuet Park.
The Mattituck Tuckers (12-9) are also used to the travails of postseason action. The locals, perennial Class B championship contenders, kicked off their playoff run by beating Babylon 3–1 on the loser’s field. Bryce Grathwohl went 3-for-4 for the Tuckers, the third seed. Brady Mahon added two hits and scored twice. Sam Dickerson earned the win, striking out seven in the process.
Mattituck played Center Moriches on May 22 and, win or lose, both teams will remain alive in the double-elimination tournament.
The Southampton Mariners made an improbable run in the Class A playoffs. Jem Sisco hurled a one-hitter as the 11th seed upended Mount Sinai 3-0 on May 14. But the locals lost to Sayville 5-2 three days later. The Mariners were to face East Islip on May 21 with their season on the line.
It was supposed to be a short stay for the Hampton Bays softball team. Instead, the locals are packing their bags and planning some extensive traveling.
The odyssey began May 14 when Hampton Bays (the eighth seed) knocked off Westhampton, (seeded ninth) in an outbracket game. And then the unthinkable happened: Hampton Bays went to East Islip and knocked off what many considered one of the top teams in the county, East Islip.
The Lady Redmen (the school is located on Redmen Street), now 16-4, are the defending Class AA champs and were expected to dominate in Class A this season after dropping down. And they have dominated — until the Baywomen won on May 18, 6-4, behind senior Emma Candelaria’s pitching.
Candelaria also had the game’s biggest hit, driving in two runs in the top of the seventh including, fittingly, her younger sister Lily Candelaria, a sophomore. Emma also put out a fire in the bottom of the last inning to secure the victory.
Both teams are still alive and may face each other again. Hampton Bays, 13-7, plays at Miller Place, the fourth seed, on May 22. East Islip plays fifth-seeded Islip the same afternoon.
Mercy and Southold will play the best of three for the Class C title. The second game is set for May 23. The finale, if needed, will be two days later.