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Sag Harbor Pierson Whalers Move Into Uncharted Territory With 5-4 Win Over Haldane

Andrew Nachemson

Both the Pierson Varsity Baseball team and Lady Whalers softball team are in NY State Championship Semi-Final. (Stock Photo)

The Pierson High School baseball team of Sag Harbor will advance to the New York State Final Four in Class C after winning the regional final on Tuesday, June 4. Pierson made it to the regional final last year as well, only to lose to Haldane High School, the very team they beat this year in a tight 5 to 4 game. Despite this possibility for enmity, Coach Jonathan Tortorella insisted the game wasn't personal. While he acknowledged that there might be an added feeling of satisfaction for some of the older players, for the most part he said the team is "a whole different group from last year. It didn't matter who it was, the game was just about getting to states."

The Pierson High Whalers scored first and early at the Dutchess County Stadium with Nick Kruel bringing Tim Markowski home. They would go on to take a 4 to 0 lead after the third inning, but Haldane wasn't done fighting back. By the end of the fifth, Haldane had tied the game up at 4, but it wouldn't stay that way for long. In the sixth inning, Markowski drove in Colman Vila to score the winning run (his 3rd RBI of the night) after Vila singled and stole second base.

Vila, who had pitched a no-hitter in the Long Island championship less than 24-hours earlier, took over the mound from pitcher Jack Bennett to close out the game in the last two innings.

On Saturday morning, the Whalers will face Seton Catholic High School in the New York regional semifinal with the winner advancing to the final later that afternoon. Despite never having advanced this far, coach Tortorella didn't seem intimidated by the high stakes. "As for pressure, no pressure," he said matter-of-factly. "We'll go out there and play baseball."

Meanwhile, about an hour away in Rockland, the Lady Whalers softball team was facing their Haldane High School counterparts in their final, but that game was far from a nail biter. The Lady Whalers claimed the regional championship with a 24 to 7 blowout, marking the first time in the Pierson High School's history that both teams have advanced to the state semi-finals in the same season.

Pierson Varsity Baseball takes on Seton Catholic in the New York State Championship Semi-Final on Saturday June, 8, at 10 a.m. on the Broome Community College (Hornet Field) in Binghamton, NY.

The Lady Whalers will play Frewsburg in the New York State Championship Semi-Final on Saturday, June, 8 at 9 a.m. at the Adirondack Sports Complex in Queensbury, NY.

For more information visit www.sagharborschools.org.

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