It’s too early to pick the contenders from the pretenders, but it’s safe to assume come June the Pierson Whalers will be playoff bound.
It’s almost a sure thing, like taxes and snow on the ground during a baseball game. This year’s edition of the enduring classic has jumped off to a 2-0 record, including a 12-1 drubbing of old rival Southold to open the season at home on March 26. The next day the Whalers did it again, besting Greenport at home 9-4.
The Whalers return a good nucleus of players including Sam Warne, a senior and the staff ace. E.J. Burke, an outfielder with pop, should help get some runs on the board. Playing in League IX, the Whalers usually have to contend with Southold, but the Settlers are in a rebuilding year after last season’s 23-2 mark. Southold lost to Mercy 6-5 on March 27 and given that the Catholic School is closing at the end of the season, the Monarchs may have some extra incentive to make a move in the postseason.
Southold plays Greenport at home Thursday weather permitting at 10 AM and gets Pierson/Bridgehampton at home Monday at 4:30 PM.
In League VIII Mattituck, a perennial powerhouse, may be vulnerable after graduating some key components. But Steve Decaro’s Class B champions, 19-6 last season, will call on Sam Dickerson and Bryce Grathwohl to serve as co-aces and count on junior sparkplug John Lisowy to jumpstart the offense.
Mattituck opened the season on March 26 by thumping Hampton Bays 14-4. Jason Scalia provided the fireworks, a grand slam in the second inning. Chris Nicholson went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Dickerson worked four good innings for the win.
The Tuckers play at Babylon Friday at 10 AM and get Hampton Bays (0-2) at home Tuesday at 4.
Southampton also hopes to contend for the League VIII title. The Mariners beat Hampton Bays on March 27 at home 8-4. Jayden Pepitone raised some eyebrows with his pitching performance, which featured eight Ks. Pepitone can hit, too, as evidenced by a long double. He also scored twice. Will Raffle had a hit and three big ribbies for the winners. Southampton plays at Center Moriches Friday at 6 PM.