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Pierson takes early lead, but falls in state semifinal

Pierson pitcher Matt Hall throws against Tuckahoe during

Pierson pitcher Matt Hall throws against Tuckahoe during the state Class C Southeast Regional final at Pace University on June 8. Credit: Richard Harbus

ENDWELL, N.Y. – Pierson’s ride upstate began with a police escort for the team bus as it wrapped up participating in the school’s awards dinner Thursday night and headed here for a state Class C semifinal meeting against Cooperstown.

The end of the trip was something less thrilling.

The Whalers were able to grab an early two-run lead but couldn’t hold on. Cooperstown came back for a 5-2 win Friday at Maine-Endwell High School.

“We needed to be a little more perfect in the field and get a few more big hits if we were going to win this one,” Pierson coach Jonathan Schwartz said. “If we’d played a little cleaner, it would have made a difference.”

Pierson scored twice in the bottom of the first for the lead. Cooper Schiavoni doubled in Matt Hall with the first run and then scored the second on a Pierce Summers single. But Cooperstown, the Section III champion, scored three times in the top of the second to take the lead for good.

The Hawkeyes (21-4) got their first run on a throwing error. Kendall Haney’s two-run single made the score 3-2.

Pierson had nine hits – Cooper Schiavoni and Pierce Summers both had two – but couldn’t string enough together to push more runs across.

The Whalers (8-14) are the only Class C baseball program on Long Island this season and spent its regular season going against competition from higher classifications in Suffolk League VIII. They won the Southeast Region by downing Tuckahoe last weekend.

“We spent the whole season knowing we were playing tougher competition,” Cooper Schiavoni said. “We felt that if we could keep our heads up through that and get to the state tournament, we could make a run at it. We just didn’t have enough today.”

Cooperstown will meet Section VII champion Ticonderoga (17-2) in Saturday’s Class C championship game at Binghamton University. Ticonderoga defeated Gananda Central 3-1 in the other semifinal.

Hall took the loss despite throwing a complete game, Tucker Schiavoni had a double and Max Mensch and Dan Labrozzi had hits for the Whalers.

“It’s a pretty tough way to have things end, but we showed that we belonged here,” Schwartz said. “Our guys can go home with heads high.”

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