Baseball: Another defeat leaves First Settlers shaking their heads

Stony Brook's Ben Walter steals second base while Southold second baseman Patrick McFarland applies the tag. (Credit: Garret Meade)
Southold third baseman Alex Poliwoda tags out Stony Brook’s Mike Palermo. (Credit: Garret Meade)


The record is incongruous with the team.

The Southold High School baseball team is 1-8. For a team with unquestioned talent, that record is awfully hard to believe. It even has the First Settlers themselves shaking their heads, trying to figure out how they put themselves in the difficult position they are in.

If the First Settlers are to qualify for the playoffs, they will need to win all six of their remaining regular-season games, three-game series against Smithtown Christian and Greenport.

“There’s no margin for error,” said Southold coach Mike Carver, whose team is 1-5 in Suffolk County League IX and has lost six straight overall.

The First Settlers’ 1-0 loss to Stony Brook on Wednesday at Southold High School was indicative of the kind of misfortune that has plagued them. Although they played flawless defense and matched Stony Brook hit for hit, the lack of timely hitting proved to be their undoing. In four of the seven innings they left two runners on base. Three of those innings ended with both runners in scoring position. Altogether, they stranded nine runners, hitting 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position.

The fact that it was a non-league game between the two League IX teams didn’t offer much solace. It is Southold’s fourth loss by one run and the second straight game in which it has ended up on the short end of a 1-0 score.

What Stony Brook (3-2, 2-1) was able to do that Southold didn’t was squeeze a run home. The game’s sole run was the product of back-to-back infield singles and a pair of walks. Bryce Jackson and Ben Walter (3 for 3, stolen base) opened the fourth inning with hits. One out after Dan Scott drew a walk, Rob Sparacio picked up a run batted in with a pass of his own.

Southold averted further damage that inning, though, when it turned a 4-6-3 double play on a ground ball by Justin Sinclair to end the inning.

The First Settlers threatened throughout the game, including in the seventh. Patrick McFarland sliced a single to right field but was then thrown out trying to steal second base by catcher Mike Nordby for the second out. Rob Mahony kept Southold’s hopes alive by lining a single over the shortstop. Mahony stole second and advanced to third when Shayne Johnson reached base on a fielding error. Johnson stole second, setting the table for Anthony Fedele. Fedele smashed a ball back to the pitcher, Jackson, who knocked it down, retrieved it and fired to first baseman Mike Palermo to end the game.

It was another exasperating defeat for the First Settlers.

In addition to delivering a pair of hits, Jackson (1-1) pitched the complete-game shutout, allowing six hits. The right-hander had four strikeouts and did not issue a walk.

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