After reaching the New York State semifinals for the first time in 2015, the Southold High School baseball team made an impressive attempt at returning to that stage in 2016.
Although they fell two wins shy, the First Settlers had quite a run. After winning its first 15 games of the season, Southold claimed back-to-back Suffolk County Class C championships for the first time in program history, according to coach Mike Carver, who believes the program has four county titles to its credit.
“They fight,” Carver said. “They’re scrappy.”
That combative character helped Southold sweep Pierson/Bridgehampton, 9-1 and 12-5, in the county finals on the strength of strong outings by pitchers Dylan Clausen and Pat McFarland, the League VIII pitcher of the year.
“It’s definitely something special,” McFarland said after Game 2.
Southold met its match in the Long Island final, though. East Rockaway pitcher Ryan Kelly threw a one-hit shutout as the Rocks claimed their second Long Island championship with a 3-0 shutout of Southold. It was Southold’s only loss to a Class C team in 2016. The First Settlers finished with an 18-5 record.
Southold scored 127 runs for the year, but none in its final game. The First Settlers hit 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position against East Rockaway, stranding seven runners.
McFarland said, “It definitely hurts being stopped here and not making that journey [to the state semifinals] again like we did last year.”
Photo credit: Garret Meade, file