SUFFOLK COUNTY CLASS C FINALS, GAME 2 | FIRST SETTLERS 6, WHALERS 0
After prevailing in an epic thriller of an opener to the Suffolk County Class C baseball finals, what does Southold do for an encore?
Well, for starters, its No. 2 pitcher flirts with a no-hitter. And then the First Settlers win their first county championship since 2003.
When Southold shortstop Noah Mina squeezed a popup hit by Pierson/Bridgehampton’s Matt Burke for the final out of a 6-0 victory on Thursday, the First Settlers went into celebration mode. They hopped for joy, hugging each other by the pitcher’s mound at Mashashimuet Park in Sag Harbor, having swept the series in two games. It is quite a turnaround for a team that went 4-12 last year.
Southold coach Mike Carver said he believes it is the third county title in team history.
Pierson/Bridgehampton, a state finalist last year, had won the county crown the past three years.
Because Nassau County doesn’t have a Class C team, the First Settlers (20-2) advance directly to a Southeast Region final on June 6 against an opponent to be determined.
In the first game of the county finals the day before in Southold, the First Settlers had prevailed in eight innings, 5-4, on a walkoff single by Liam Walker. For all the thrills and chills that game brought, Game 2 belonged to the Southolders virtually from start to finish. They hit the ball well (11 hits) and put up four runs in the second inning for an early lead. In the meantime, sophomore pitcher Pat McFarland (5-2) took a no-hitter into the fifth inning. But Pierson/Bridgehampton’s first batter that inning, Ryan Chisholm, broke up the no-hit bid, driving a single past diving third baseman Greg Gehring.
McFarland, whose command was on, stayed strong, though. The right-hander finished with a two-hitter, the only other hit he allowed being a two-out single up the middle by John Chisholm in the sixth. McFarland walked one and struck out three.
Shayne Johnson and Sean Moran delivered three hits each for the League IX champions.
Run-scoring doubles by Dylan Clausen and McFarland highlighted the four-run rally in the second, with McFarland’s drive down the left-field line coming on a hit-and-run play. Moran scored on a Gehring groundout and Clausen charged home on a wild pitch for the other runs.
The First Settlers started off the fourth with successive singles by Clausen, Gehring and Luke Hansen to stretch the lead to 5-0. Johnson later singled in the sixth run.
Southold won five of its six games against the Whalers (14-8) this season.