June 07, 2006
Whalers Claim First LI Title
The Pierson baseball team won its first-ever Long Island Class C championship on Sunday afternoon, defeating Nassau County Class C champion East Rockaway 5-2 at St. Joseph's College behind the superb pitching and hitting efforts of senior Andrew Mayer.
Mayer, who has been the ace of the Whalers (14-14 overall) pitching staff this season, threw yet another complete game on Sunday, striking out four and walking only one while scattering eight hits to win his fourth straight start. He improved his record to 7-3 for the season and was economical with his pitches, throwing 84 in seven innings.
Mayer also helped his cause by coming through with the game-winning hit in the bottom of the fifth inning as he stepped to the plate with the bases loaded, and delivered a two-run double to the outfield gap that snapped a 2-2 tie and gave Pierson a 4-2 advantage. The Rocks (5-14 overall), a team that lost 10 of its last 13 games before Sunday's contest, could not recover from the fatal blow struck by Mayer and senior Julian Rossow-Greenberg selected his pitches wisely two batters later to draw a bases-loaded RBI walk off Rockaway starting pitcher Larry Ulip to build Pierson's lead to three runs.
Ulip struggled with control throughout the game, walking six Pierson hitters while Mayer, who will attend SUNY Maritime in the fall, settled in despite having to throw off the high pitchers' mound at St. Joseph's. He was in and around the strike zone all game, walking only one Rocks batter. It was a battle of nerves and Mayer and the Whalers prevailed.
Defensively, Whalers catcher Dan Reiser threw out three East Rockaway runners attempting to steal during the first three innings on Sunday. "It shut down any rally that they [Rockaway] had," said Pierson head coach Sean Crowley.
Pierson defeated Bishop McGann/Mercy two-game-to-one in their best of three series to capture the Suffolk Class C championship on May 29, winning easily 9-4 despite losing game one of the series. Mayer struck out five, walked two and allowed no earned runs in complete-game seven-hit 3-2 win on May 27 to even the series
The Whalers were scheduled to play the winner of the Keio Academy (Section I)-Millbrook (Section IX) game yesterday at St. Joseph's for the Southeast Regional Class C championship. The winner would advance to the state final four which takes place this weekend in Binghamton.
"It's been a great weekend and a great run," Crowley said. "At this time of the year, it's a snowball effect and we just want to keep winning. We've played well the past four weeks and we had some learning experiences along the way. The group of seniors that we have is very special. They're all terrific individuals and it's great to see them win this championship in their final season. They're getting their time in the sun."