Both of Pierson (Sag Harbor) High School’s Final Four state playoff teams lost in semifinal contests Saturday; the boys were edged 1-0 in a pitchers’ duel by Seton Catholic, a Binghamton area team, and the girls were shut out 7-0 by Frewsburg.
Seton Catholic and Frewsburg went on to win the state Class C championships, in baseball and softball.
The 1-0 loss was the first in two years for Pierson’s senior left-hander, Colman Vila, who during that span went 19-1. He threw a no-hitter against Friends Academy on June 4 as Pierson won the Long Island Class C championship and was credited with a save the next day as the Whalers, with Jake Bennett pitching most of the way, downed Haldane 5-4 in a regional final.
Although pitching on short rest, Vila, who’s to attend the University of Delaware in the fall, went the whole way Saturday, at Broome Community College in Binghamton, giving up five hits, walking one, and striking out eight. Seton Catholic’s run was unearned.
His opposite number, Michael Korchak, was a tad more effective, shutting out the Whalers, who had four hits, received one walk, and struck out 12 times.
Nevertheless, according to The Sag Harbor Express’s Gavin Menu, who made the trip upstate, “Pierson had base runners in the second, the fourth, the fifth, and seventh innings.”
“Forrest Loesch doubled in the second, but was stranded as Korchak, who is a lefty like Colman, struck out the next two batters. Colman had an infield single in the fourth, but got no farther. Joe Faraguna, the designated hitter, singled in the fifth . . . we didn’t do anything in the sixth, but in the seventh, Loesch reached first base safely on an error, but then Korchak struck out Jake Bennett and got Faraguna to ground out.”
Pierson’s coach, Jon Tortorella, was quoted as saying in Newsday’s account that Korchak, who mixed fastballs with off-speed pitches, kept his hitters off-balance all day. “He was amazing,” said Tortorella, adding that “I couldn’t be more proud of Colman — he wasn’t as rested as he usually is . . . I couldn’t be more proud of him. He put us in this spot.”
Menu said Seton Catholic’s run came in the third. “Joe Wasko, their center fielder, hit a two-out line drive to right that got by Jake Bennett, who had pulled up after charging in to make the catch. The ball skipped by him, and went all the way to the wall as Wasko went on to third. It was called a triple, but it was more like a single and an error. The next guy hit an awkward little bloop between first and second, which bounced off Kyle Sturmann’s glove, and the run came in.”
“They were very disappointed,” Menu said when asked how the Whalers had reacted to the loss.
However, most of the team, with the exception of Vila, Bennett, and Faraguna, will be back next year.
And that was the good news for Pierson’s softball team too. Following its 7-0 loss at Queensbury to Frewsburg, Caitlin Daniels, who’s been assisting Melissa Edwards in coaching the team, said, “We had four eighth-grade starters this year, we’ve got five freshmen, three sophomores, two juniors [the team’s stalwarts, Kasey Gilbride, the hard-hitting shortstop, and Samma Duchemin, the pitcher], and only one senior [Julia Schiavoni]. The other team had eight or nine seniors. So, we’ll be back.”
It was also a consolation to know that Saturday marked the first time Pierson’s baseball and softball teams were competing together in state Final Fours.