06/05/15 6:00pm
06/05/2015 6:00 PM
Liam Walker, who led Southold with a .507 batting average during the regular season, will join his teammates in the team’s first regional final since 2003 on Saturday. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

Liam Walker, who led Southold with a .507 batting average during the regular season, will join his teammates in the team’s first regional final since 2003 on Saturday. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

Before playing the big game, the Southold High School baseball team is playing the waiting game, and it is tiring.

The First Settlers will finally take the field in the Southeast Region Class C final on Saturday. What they don’t know is who they will play, or where.

Worse yet, coach Mike Carver said he doesn’t expect to know until the night before.  (more…)

11/04/14 3:09pm
11/04/2014 3:09 PM
Sean Moran (5) pumps his fist after scoring in sudden-victory overtime to bring Southold a second straight county title. Joining in the celebration are, from left, Ryan DiGregorio, Walker Sutton and Shayne Johnson. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Sean Moran (5) pumps his fist after scoring in sudden-victory overtime to bring Southold a second straight county title. Joining in the celebration are, from left, Ryan DiGregorio, Noah Mina and Shayne Johnson. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

SUFFOLK COUNTY CLASS C FINAL | FIRST SETTLERS 1, WHALERS 0 (OT)

Sean Moran described it as an “out-of-body experience.” The moments immediately after Moran’s goal brought Southold a second straight Suffolk County Class C boys soccer championship were like he was watching a movie, he said.

If it were to be a movie, it most certainly would be a drama because Tuesday’s county final between No. 2 seed Southold and No. 1 Pierson/Bridgehampton was nothing if not dramatic. (more…)

08/28/14 10:00am
08/28/2014 10:00 AM
Sean Moran and his Southold teammates indicated they are chasing something bigger than a county championship this year. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Sean Moran and his Southold teammates indicated they are chasing something bigger than a county championship this year. (Credit: Garret Meade)

On the first official day of soccer practice, players certainly can dream.

Some high school teams have modest goals in that they just want to improve their lot. Others want to transform themselves from a mediocre side into a competitive one. While yet others want to contend for a league or even county title.

The Southold High School boys team can dream, too, although the First Settlers have some loftier goals. They want to reach for the sky and are hopeful of completing the season in upstate Middletown on Nov. 16 on a joyous note. (more…)

09/17/13 9:45am
09/17/2013 9:45 AM

FIRST SETTLERS 6, PORTERS 1

School’s back in session.

That means it’s time for the students to learn — in and out of the classroom. And that also goes for coaches as well.

In fact, both coaches learned something about their teams in Southold’s 6-1 boys soccer victory over host Greenport on Monday afternoon.

Southold coach Andrew Sadowski said he “learned that we have to start playing the field better. We have to play outside wide. We have to create space that we could maintain possession.”

But the First Settlers (4-0, 2-0) did more than enough to win. After Kenji Fujita broke the ice with 22 minutes 17 seconds left in the first half, Drew Sacher and Sean Moran struck for 2 goals apiece in the Suffolk County League VIII match. Christopher Bucci added a single tally.

“I was happy with their overall effort,” Sadowski said. “I thought we played a little sloppy. We were disorganized in the back at times. It’s a work progress and we’re getting there.”

Greenport coach Chris Golden learned his team still has a lot of learn. After surrendering the first 3 goals, the Porters (0-3, 0-2) struck pay dirt on Bryon Rivas’ goal with 25:28 remaining in the match. But the visitors scored 3 unanswered goals down the stretch.

“Any type of athletic competition involves mental, emotional and physical readiness,” Golden said. “Many of the kids, physically, they can play. They go up and down. It’s the emotional part of the game, especially with the young players. We got down three goals. We fought back and we got one back, 3-1. At that point, you’ve got to really grind it out mentally. For 25 minutes we did all right but then we gave up that fourth goal. Then you could see that we gave up the fifth and the sixth. I’m looking for that ability to get that next goal, to go from 3-1 to 3-2 as opposed to 4-1, 5-1, 6-1. With a young team, that takes time.”

But it was Southold that took the lead on Fujita’s goal.

“It kind of takes them out of the game and puts us in the game,” Sacher said. “It gives us the momentum. We knew that once we scored one that more were going to come. We didn’t know how many, but six is a good number.”

Sacher made his contributions, scoring from point-blank range off a corner kick with 16:55 left and off a line drive with 24 seconds remaining in the first half.

The second half belonged to Moran, who struck twice. His first goal, which boosted Southold’s lead to 4-1 with 11:30 remaining in the match, demonstrated his determination. Sadowski said it was “just pure effort, pure hustle that he wanted to score.”

Moran’s second goal, an outstanding effort, showcased his vision and skill as he scored from 25 yards to the far left side past goalkeeper Alex Perez (10 saves) with 6:38 left.

“The ball squirted out and it was bouncing,” Moran said. “I just hit it across myself and hit far post. I was just trying to hit it hard and place it. … You just got to work hard and take your opportunities on goals like that.”

While his team lost by 5 goals to their rivals and neighbors, Golden walked away encouraged, saying that his players “stood out in different ways.”

He was encouraged by sophomore right back Justin Bracken, who played back-to-back solid 80-minute matches. “I’m thrilled to death for him because now I can pencil him in for the next two years,” he said.

He was encouraged by the attitude of junior Angel Colon, who played some at defense, midfield and forward.

He was encouraged by senior goalkeeper-turned-field player Austin Hooks, “figuring it out in midfield in the second half.”

He was encouraged by Rivas’ goal. “Byron fighting off that thing, great composure scoring that goal with defenders all over him,” Golden said. “Last year, he shot from 40 from yards out or shot the ball over the goal.”

And he was encouraged by seventh-grade midfielder Mateo Arias, who played his third varsity match. “You know what? It’s got to be tough as a seventh-grader,” said Golden.

“Each of these kids, those little moments — I find the things each one of them did and that’s what I want them to remember when they go home,” Golden added. “Then they come back and we build on that tomorrow.”

04/11/13 8:10pm
04/11/2013 8:10 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Aaron Schiavoni dove head first to score Pierson/Bridgehampton's second run in the first inning while the ball eluded Southold catcher Matt Stepnoski.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Aaron Schiavoni dove head first to score Pierson/Bridgehampton’s second run in the first inning while the ball eluded Southold catcher Matt Stepnoski.

WHALERS 12, FIRST SETTLERS 0

One could make a case that there wasn’t a lot of separation between the Pierson/Bridgehampton and Southold baseball teams when they played each other in last year’s Suffolk County Class C finals.

That can’t be said now.

The gap between the teams has widened considerably. After Pierson/Bridgehampton won the 2012 county finals in three games, the Whalers went on to claim a Long Island championship and reach the state semifinals. They have been moving further away from Southold ever since.

That was evident by the four-game League IX series that Pierson/Bridgehampton swept with a 12-0 result at Southold High School on Thursday. The Whalers outscored Southold, 51-12, during the series. They looked sharp in every facet of the game. Some are convinced that the Whalers have gotten even better since last year.

“They definitely have,” said Southold sophomore Sean Moran, who played second base instead of catcher on Thursday in order to give his right throwing arm some rest. “I think their chemistry is better this year … and they’re more solid on defense, and they’re hitting up and down the lineup. It’s a tough team to beat.”

That explains Pierson/Bridgehampton’s record: eight wins from eight games.

The record doesn’t lie.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Southold's Anthony Esposito catching a fly ball in deep left field, with Shayne Johnson nearby.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Southold’s Anthony Esposito catching a fly ball in deep left field, with Shayne Johnson nearby.

“They’re a good team,” Southold coach Mike Carver said. “They got offense. They got defense. They don’t make mistakes. They got pitching. It would not be unrealistic to see them have an undefeated season.”

Pierson/Bridgehampton lost eight players — about half of them starters — from last year’s team, but as coach Jon Tortorella pointed out, “We also brought a lot back.”

Southold (3-5, 3-5), notorious for its slow starts to seasons, has begun to tighten up its defense. It wasn’t sloppy fielding that cost the First Settlers on Thursday, but tough pitching.

Forrest Loesch brought his record to 2-0, pitching five shutout innings and holding Southold to three hits. He struck out six and walked one.

Pierson/Bridgehampton scored in every inning but one as Colman Vila produced three hits, including a pair of doubles. Tim Markowski, Aaron Schiavoni and Loesch knocked in two runs each.

“All one through nine of them can hit,” Southold center fielder Shayne Johnson said. “Not one of them is really a bad hitter, and they all field well.”

Both of Pierson/Bridgehampton’s runs in the first inning came on the same play. Loesch (2 for 3) smacked a single, scoring Jack Fitzpatrick. Schiavoni followed him home when the ball slipped past an outfielder.

But the major damage came in the second. The Whalers struck for five runs from run-scoring singles by Kyle Sturmann and Loesch, a bases-loaded walk by Markowski, and a fielding error that allowed two runs to cross home plate.

Thanks to Vila’s run-scoring double in the third, Pierson/Bridgehampton held an 8-0 lead by the time Southold got its first hit, a two-out infield single by Johnson in the third inning.

The game was as good as over.

“We could have definitely hit the ball better than we did in this series,” Moran said. “It was rough.”

Southold may have felt as if it let the third game of the series, a 14-9 loss on Wednesday, slip through its fingers. The problem was errors. How many of them?

“Too many to count,” said Carver.

Speaking of that game, Johnson said, “We probably should have had that one.” He added: “Simple mistakes are being made here and there. We just need to work on fielding a little more and hitting the ball throughout the whole order.”

Southold made two errors on Thursday; Pierson/Bridgehampton had none.

The young First Settlers are making progress, though, said Carver. “We’re making less and less mistakes every day,” he said.

Looking at the bright side of things, the First Settlers can take note that they will not see the Whalers again this year — unless they meet in the playoffs.

“That’s the good news,” Carver said. “It was a tough week.”

[email protected]