Somers Splits with Lakeland on Diamond

Michael Hirsch delivers against visiting Lakeland. Credits: Rob DiAntonio

SOMERS, N.Y.— It hasn’t been an easy season for Somers’ baseball team.

There have been some tight losses to powerhouses like North Salem, but the Tuskers have also been on the wrong side of some lopsided scores.

Somers may have turned a corner last week when it picked up a win over rival Lakeland and a clutch, one-run victory over Albertus Magnus.

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The Tuskers began their week on May 2 with a dominant 7-1 league win over visiting Lakeland, who is one of the favorites in Class A and boasts a 10-5 record.

“It’s definitely a big morale booster,” said Somers senior Garrett Wilson, a team captain. “We were pretty down in the dumps lately—not being able to get a good win. (This win) really shows the kind of team that we can be.”

Senior Michael Hirsch shut down the Hornets on the hill, tossing six innings while allowing just one earned run for the win. He scattered eight hits, struck out five and had no walks. Colin Smith closed the game out.

“Hirsch threw an absolute gem,” Wilson said. “He’s been amazing lately and he put in so much work in the offseason.”

Hirsch said that he knew Lakeland is a strong fastball hitting team, so he mixed it up and hit his spots on the mound.

“I knew I couldn’t leave too many fastballs up in the zone,” he said. “My off-speed was working, so I threw it a lot.”

Somers coach Joe Wootten wasn’t surprised by the senior’s performance.

“Hirsch has been doing it for us the entire year,” he said. “He’s been mixing his pitches very well. He’s a confident pitcher now, which is something that he wasn’t last year.”

The Tuskers battered the Hornet pitching staff all day with Matt Mariani (3 for 4, 3 RBI, 3 runs scored), Wilson (2 for 3, 2 RBI, 2 doubles) and Matt Pires (2 for 3, RBI, run) sparking the offense.

The scoring started in the second inning when Mariani doubled home Hirsch and then Wilson drove in Mariani with a double of his own to make it 2-0 Tuskers.

“From the get-go we were scoring runs and we really just put the bat on the ball today,” Wilson said.

Somers added three runs in the next inning. Marc Maestri started things up with a single and Nick Keating followed with a single of his own. Mariani then singled home Maestri and Keating. Wilson tattooed a double to bring in Mariani and the Tuskers were well on their way to victory with a 5-0 lead.

Maestri added a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning to drive in Pires then Pires’ RBI single scored Mariani in the fifth.

Hirsch was very appreciative of the run support, which helped him settle in.

“If it’s 6-0 going into the fifth inning, I don’t have any pressure at all,” Hirsch said.

Somers followed that up with another victory, edging host Magnus 7-6 the next day.

Pires and Maestri each went 2 for 3 with a home run, RBI and two runs scored. Chris Boncardo also launched a home run.

Logan Carriero got the victory on the hill. He tossed five innings, let up three earned runs, scattered six hits, walked three and fanned three.

In the rematch with the Hornets, the Tuskers were outmatched this time in a 14-3 road setback. Boncardo (RBI) and Nick Fiore (double, run) provided the offense for Somers.

The Tuskers lost to host Pearl River 9-2 on May 6. Keating (2 for 3) and Boncardo (2 for 3, run) led a quiet Somers offense. Errors did in the Tuskers as the Pirates scored five runs with Hirsch on the mound with none of them being earned. The senior allowed three hits, walked one and struck out two.

Somers knows that its 5-10 record is a bit deceiving as it has played a tough schedule and been in a number of tight games with top-notch competition.

“When we really do come together, we can compete with the best of the teams,” Wilson said.

Somers traveled to John Jay-Cross River on May 10 and will host the Indians on May 12 in a home-and-home league series. The Tuskers finish up the regular season when they host Hendrick Hudson at 11 a.m. on May 13 and then travel to Roosevelt for a 4:30 p.m. contest two days later.

“We just have to continue to play hard, not make errors in the field and have great pitching performances,” Mariani said.

Wootten hopes the team can put the first month of the season behind them.

“We’re just looking to put April in the rearview mirror,” Wootten said. “We really need to turn it on and hopefully this leads us into next week and the week after.”

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