You could forgive the Southold outfielders if at times they were daydreaming Tuesday afternoon against The Stony Brook School. The way junior Kyle Clausen was pitching, the First Settlers had little use for outfielders.
The right-handed Clausen pitched a gem against Stony Brook, giving up just two hits in an 11-0 victory at Southold High School. Of the two hits he gave up, one was an infield single and the other was little flare over second base — the only ball to go as far as the outfield.
Most outs ended in the glove of catcher of Anthony Fedele. Clausen fanned 10 Stony Brook batters as he finished a complete game just two over the minimum 21 batters.
“My arm felt incredible today,” Clausen said. “I was warming up good and on the mound I felt like I could throw 1,000 pitches.”
He only needed 94.
When the Bears did put the ball in play, the defense behind Clausen was sharp all game. Clausen even helped himself in the field. With two out in the third, Will McEvoy hit a high pop up in foul territory between home plate and first. Clausen raced off the mound and beat the catcher and first baseman to the ball to make the grab next to the fence.
Third baseman Andrew Conway got the most work in the field and he made all five plays on balls hit his way.
Southold jumped on Stony Brook starter Dan Collasanto early with three runs in the first. Once Collasanto exited in the fifth inning, the flood gates opened as the First Settlers pounded out seven more runs in the next two innings.
After splitting a double header against Smithtown Christian April 20, the First Settlers came into this series with Stony Brook hoping to gain some momentum. A win Tuesday put them on the right path as they’ll look to take the next two against the Bears to complete the sweep.
Tuesday’s win improved the First Settlers’ record to 3-7 in League VIII and 3-9 overall. Stony Brook is winless at 0-7.
“This is huge because we need wins starting now,” Clausen said. “It was pretty clutch of us getting the hits, the runs and having a solid pitching performance for us to have a win and now we can bring it tomorrow and hopefully win.”
Southold hasn’t always had the best of luck hitting the ball this season when myriad of hard hits have ended up right at fielders. But the First Settlers found the holes and benefited from some shaky defense by Stony Brook.
“The hitting hasn’t been there for us and that came through today,” said Southold coach Mike Carver. “Even the last couple of series we’d be hitting the ball hard but right at [fielders]. We couldn’t buy a break.”
Left fielder Will Fujita reached base four times. He was hit by a pitch, walked, singled and tripled. His triple on a ball driven to right field in the sixth inning brought home shortstop Luke Hokanson to make it 7-0. Hokanson scored three runs and stole two bases. Fedele had a big day at the plate going 2-for-2 with 4 RBIs, two runs and a stolen base. He also walked and was hit by a pitch.
The First Settlers were aggressive on the bases all game and it added up to seven stolen bases. They were 7-for-8 in stolen bases attempts for the game.
“We’re definitely not the fastest team,” Carver said. “I wanted to play more aggressive.”
Carver said he’ll likely turn to Matt Stepnoski to throw the second game of the series Wednesday and have Fujita pitch the series finale Friday.