Pierson / Bridgehampton falls in state baseball semi
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- It didn't take long for spectators at Broome Community College's Hornet Field Saturday to realize a pitching duel between two lefthanders was brewing.
"I knew right away," said Pierson/Bridgehampton coach Jonathan Tortorella.
The starting pitchers set a menacing tone early and carried that demeanor all the way to the game's completion. Whalers senior lefthander Colman Vila allowed five hits, a walk and one unearned run with eight strikeouts in a complete game. Yet his adversary on this day, Seton Catholic Central (Binghamton) southpaw Michael Korchak, was ever so slightly better. Korchak tossed a four-hit shutout with a walk and 12 strikeouts as Pierson/Bridgehampton fell to Seton Catholic, 1-0, in a state Class C baseball semifinal.
The Whalers finish the season 23-2.
Vila had (9-1) thrown a no-hitter in the Long Island championship Wednesday and he pitched 12/3 innings of relief a day later in the Class C regional final.
"He did this on short rest and he's been there everyday for us whenever we asked him," Tortorella said. "I told him before, 'You're a warrior out there today.' He wasn't as rested as he usually is and didn't get his throwing in between and I just couldn't be more proud of him. He put us in this spot."
Seton Catholic took the lead in the third when Joe Wasko, who led off with a triple, scored on an error. Wasko (2-for-4) was the only batter on either team to have a multi-hit game.
Pierson/Bridgehampton had a runner in scoring position with less than two outs on three occasions but were unable to cash the opportunities.
Korchak, a junior, was a major reason why. After allowing a leadoff single to Whalers centerfielder Jack Fitzpatrick to begin the game, Korchak fanned four of the next six.
"You know coming into these games that it's going to be a battle," said P/B catcher Aaron Schiavoni. "Colman came out and pitched great and gave us the best chance to win. I'd say [Korchak] was one of the toughest pitchers we faced all season. He pitched a great game and so did Colman."
Korchak mixed locations with his fastball and used an array of off-speed pitches to keep the Whalers off balance. His ability to throw more than one type of pitch for a strike made it hard for the Whalers to adjust, Schiavoni said.
"[Korchak] was amazing," Tortorella said. "He kept us off balance, and he threw strikes. We did everything we could. But right now, I'm still just proud of our guys, we wanted it bad."
The Whalers have won six county championships but never have reached the state title game, according to Tortorella. Schiavoni, a junior, said the objective next year is to change that fact.
"It's tough, but we have to keep our heads up and just think about how much of an amazing season we had, and how good of a run it was," he said. "Our goal is to get back here next year. We know what it takes and we know this feeling and we're going to make sure that this doesn't happen again."