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Jun 9, 2010 10:44 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Mariners fall short of trip to state final four

Jun 9, 2010 10:44 AM

For the second straight year, the Southampton baseball team fell just one win short of a berth in the New York State semifinals, suffering a 9-5 loss to Section I champion Kennedy Catholic of Somers in the Class B regional final at Manhattanville College in Purchase on Tuesday.

The Mariners lost to eventual state finalist Dobbs Ferry in the regional final last season.

Hits were not hard to come by for the Mariners on Tuesday, but outs were. The Kennedy Bears continued to prove that they are one of the best hitting teams in the state, scoring seven runs after just two innings to take a commanding 7-2 lead.

Early on, things looked good for Southampton, which had to play as the visiting team for the second year in a row. Junior Colin Buoniello had a two-run double to put the Mariners up 2-0 in the first inning. Kennedy responded with a run in the bottom of the inning when starting pitcher Erik Bauer hit an RBI single to left field. Southampton starter Ricky Wesnofske got out of the inning when catcher John Giordano flew out to senior Conal Wood in center field, but the senior lefty ran into trouble in the second. Wesnofske did not have his usual command and left several curveballs up in the zone and the hot-hitting Bears took advantage. Steve Kessler led off the inning by hitting a single to left center off a 0-2 count. Kessler moved to second on a passed ball before Mike Ennis hit a single to left, giving Kennedy runners on first and third with no outs. The number nine batter Remy Fields then hit a grounder to shortstop Chris Pike, who fielded it cleanly before making a low throw to first, which Buoniello was unable to scoop up. The tying run scored and Kennedy had the momentum with runners on second and third with no outs. Leadoff hitter Ryan Patterson hit a line drive to Mariner second baseman Joey Guerin and Dave O’Dell popped the ball up to Pike for two outs. Southampton then intentionally walked Joe Smith, the number three hitter, but Wesnofske issued a bases-loaded walk, which gave Kennedy a 3-2 advantage. Bauer and Giordano then hit back-to-back two-run singles to put the Bears up 7-2. After giving up the hit to Giordano, Wesnofske motioned for coach Jim Coady to come out to the field and he was removed from the game. Wesnofske rubbed his elbow as he walked off the mound and, according to Coady, had felt a “pop” while he was pitching to Giordano.

Buoniello came on in relief while senior Neil D’Acierno took over at first. Wesnofske finished the game at centerfield. Buoniello got Kessler to fly out to Wesnofske to end what was a very long inning for Southampton.

The Mariners didn’t threaten in the third and Kennedy added another run in the bottom of that inning when Patterson hit a triple along the right field line and Smith drove him in with a single. In the fourth, Mariner catcher Jeb Schmidt got on with an error and freshman designated hitter Alex Soyars hit a single. Senior Joey Guerin moved his teammates over to second and third with a sacrifice bunt, but Wood struck out and Wesnofske grounded out to end that half of the inning.

Kennedy tacked on yet another run in the fourth but Southampton started to make a comeback in the fifth. Vincent Abbate doubled to lead off the inning and Pike drew a walk. Kennedy then brought in relief pitcher Matt Kern. Buoniello hit an RBI double off Kern to cut the lead to 9-3 before Soyars hit a two-out, two-run single to trim the deficit to 9-5.

Buoniello had a 1-2-3 outing in the bottom of the fifth and the Mariners were in a good position to get even closer with the 9-1-2 hitters coming to bat. Wood singled to center field before Kern got both Wesnofske and Abbate to strike out. Pike singled down the left field line with two outs, but Buoniello grounded out to end the inning.

In the sixth inning, Buoniello gave up a leadoff single to Flanagan before Southampton brought in Pike, who had pitched eight innings on Sunday in a 3-1 win over Oyster Bay in the Long Island Championship. Pike struck out Bauer and got Giordano to pop out before picking off Flanagan at third.

The Mariners went quietly in the seventh—Johnson hit a foul pop that was nabbed by Giordano, Schmidt flew out to center field and Soyars struck out to end the game and the season for Southampton.

There were plenty of misty eyes in the Southampton dugout after the game. The Mariners were intent on getting to states after the sting of falling one game short last year and with eight seniors graduating, it was the last chance for most of the players on the team.

Pike, who will go on to play Division I college ball next year—he’s being recruited by Hofstra and Florida Atlantic University, among other schools—was disappointed with the loss but was able to put things in perspective. The Mariners were the only team on Long Island, among all five classifications, to defend the Long Island title they won last year. Before last season, Southampton had never won a Long Island Championship and hadn’t won a county title since 1978.

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Congratulations on a great season! It is also nice to see that some kids on the East End still play baseball.
By reality 101 (137), East Hampton on Jun 9, 10 11:23 AM
Congrats to SHS on a very good season. However in my opinion why would you display this banner to rile up the opponent? True champions let their bats, arms and gloves do their talking. With less than 10 Class B schools on Long Island who field a baseball team, the Mariners can claim that they are LI Champs........of 10 schools
By big fish (5), quiogue on Jun 9, 10 12:29 PM
Really little fish,how old are you?? This is the comment you make to high school kids who work ten months or more per year to achieve this goal. What happened Chris Pike strike out your kid? It's amazing how many jealous low-class losers like little fish you come across when a school has it's most success in thirty one years.
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Jun 9, 10 4:19 PM
Chris Pike was 4 and 0 against "A" schools. The team had a winning record against "A" schools as well.
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Jun 9, 10 7:24 PM
It is appropriate that Mets fan makes this comment....my point is to set your goals higher. If you won LI last year than achieve the goal of being the Regional champ. By the way Chris Pike is a nice player but he is a big fish in a small pond. What did the "A" schools which he beat accomplish? True champs live by the phrase that the game which really matters is the next one. when is the Mariners next game?
By big fish (5), quiogue on Jun 10, 10 1:52 PM

Actually, The Mariners play this weekend up at the NYS championship; for track that is. Wish them luck, I know that they will come back proud. Just watch Owen Laub and Nick Collazos bring Mariner Pride home!


These young men will remain on in our small town athletic system, even as they go ...more
By reelocal (4), Southampton on Jun 10, 10 6:28 PM
There sure are some petty people on this web site (big fish)
By DJ9222 (85), southampton on Jun 10, 10 10:07 PM
What is your point little fish, their goal was a state championship, they were disappointed they didn't go farther. Their next game is college and life. They will take the lessons they learned of playing together in unison and as a team. They will take with them that a great dogged work ethic can propel you to accomplish things that weren't even dreamed of. They gave a sense of determination and desire to every young boy and girl in Southampton to want to accomplish great things and that it is possible.
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Jun 11, 10 9:50 AM
1 member liked this comment
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By accabonac clam (1), east hampton on Jun 21, 10 10:07 AM
Hey Mets Fan, I'm the Uncle Of S,H,,star pitcher.. I'm a bonacker.and I can filet a fish pretty darn well, Would you like to join me for some Blow Fish? Big Fish, probably rode the pine, or got cut in the T-Ball league, MVP to him must mean,, Momma Very Pleasing
By accabonac clam (1), east hampton on Jun 21, 10 10:11 AM