Revenge is sweet.
The Southampton baseball team continued its winning streak and remained undefeated atop League VIII by avenging what was a disappointing season-ending loss to rival Babylon (1-5) in last year’s Class B Suffolk County championship series. The Mariners (6-0) dominated the defending Class B champions with a combination of stellar pitching, solid defense, and a potent offense to earn their second consecutive series sweep, beating the Panthers 7-0 on April 2 in Babylon, 11-5 at home the next day, and 21-4 back in Babylon on April 5.
The Mariners are demonstrating early on that they have both the pitching depth and the hitting to do well this season. Wyatt Schmidt (2-0), Thomas Beckman (1-0), Henry Egan (1-0), Eddie McLaughlin (1-0), and Garrett Pike (1-0) have combined for six wins thus far. As expected, Kevin Edgar and Alex Soyars have provided the necessary offense, but other Mariners are contributing too. In the third game of the series, Soyars went 4 for 6 including a triple, double, an RBI and four runs. Henry Egan was also productive, going 3 for 5 with a double, three RBIs, and three runs scored. Pike earned his first win of the season.
“It’s really nice to return your first five batters,” said head coach Ike Birdsall, who also added, “We’ve been playing really good defense, pitching, and hitting the ball well.” The Mariners have scored 80 runs in 42 innings, averaging 13 runs per game so far. Defensively they’ve allowed only 13 runs.
In the second game, the Mariners jumped out to an early lead and seemed to be coasting along nicely, but Babylon put together a rally scoring five unanswered runs in the fourth inning to close within two runs. Southampton answered back however, scoring five more runs to shut the door and provide the final margin. McLaughlin gave up three runs over five innings and struck out eight, but more importantly he helped himself out at the plate going 2 for 3 with two RBIs and a run. Edgar was perfect at the dish, going 3 for 3 with two stolen bases, an RBI, and he scored four times.
Schmidt set the tone for the Mariners in the series opener. He pitched a gem, allowing only two hits and one walk, while fanning 15 over seven complete innings to earn his second win of the season by a score of 7-0. The Southampton offense gave him more than enough run support. David Kirshy went 2 for 4 with three RBIs and added two stolen bases. Garrett Pike also went 2 for 4 and added two RBIs.
Birdsall likes the way his team is playing overall, and sweeping the Panthers was especially satisfying.
“Beating Babylon is always a good thing for us,” Birdsall said. “Any time we can get a win against them we enjoy it.”
In a competitive league where several teams could easily vie for the top spot, Birdsall stressed it was important for his team to win all three games against Babylon to show the rest of the league how competitive it will be.
“Knowing our team and the way we play, and having seen Babylon drop two games to Mattituck, we felt we needed to sweep them,” he said. “We wanted the league to know we’re the top dog.”
Southampton will have a chance this week to settle another score from last season as they take on second place Center Moriches (5-2). The Red Devils won last year’s series with the Mariners.
“They took 2 out of 3 from us last year,” said Birdsall, who also thinks there’s a good chance they could meet up with Center Moriches later in the postseason.
“They’ve got some talented players, this is going to be a real test for us,” he added. “Hopefully we’ll get a lot of fans out there to cheer us on.”
The series kicks off on Tuesday, April 9, at Southampton at 4:30.ON THE SCHEDULE: Tuesday, 4/9, vs. Center Moriches, 4:30 p.m.; Wednesday, 4/10, at Center Moriches, 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 4/12, vs. Center Moriches, 4:30 p.m.; Tuesday, 4/16, at Hampton Bays, 4:30 p.m.