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Apr 26, 2010 3:52 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Just call them the comeback kids

Apr 26, 2010 3:52 PM

After the head coach, assistant coaches and three star players were ejected in the bottom of the first inning during the home opener of a three-game series with Elwood/John Glenn, the last thing anyone expected the Southampton baseball team to do was come back to win not only the first game, but the entire series.

But that’s exactly what the Mariners did.

What began as a bizarre week with plenty of negative news ended on a high note for the Mariners, who improved to 6-0 in League VII, 8-0 overall after sweeping the Knights (4-5, 5-5). The first game of the series, which began in Southampton on Tuesday, April 21, had to be suspended in the first inning with Glenn leading 5-1 after home plate umpire Fred Musumeci ejected both of Southampton’s assistant coaches as well as starting pitcher Conal Wood, starting catcher Jeb Schmidt and starting shortstop Chris Pike. Southampton head coach Ike Birdsall was suspended indefinitely for allegedly making incidental contact with Musumeci during a discussion with him after the umpire had already ejected the other coaches and players.

The suspended game was originally scheduled to be finished on Thursday at Glenn and followed immediately by the second game as part of doubleheader. The Mariners boarded the bus along with junior varsity coach Jon Loren, who was called on to coach the team in the absence of the other three coaches. The game picked up again in Glenn, but was suspended after less than an inning once again, this time because of lightning. The continuation of the first game finally got under way in Southampton on Friday, and that’s when the Mariners began their improbable sweep of the Knights.

Junior Colin Buoniello, freshman Alex Soyars and senior Ricky Wesnofske were the heroes in the first game. Wesnofske’s speedy and aggressive base running led the Mariners to a 6-5 win in extra innings. Wesnofske got on base with a two-out single in the bottom of the eighth and his feet did the rest of the work. The Glenn infielders made two errors while trying to pick Wesnofske off, throwing the ball away into center field on an attempt to pick him off at second base before overthrowing third as Wesnofske attempted to steal again, allowing him to score the winning run. Soyars—who was called up from the junior varsity to offset the loss of the suspended players—had an RBI single that scored Sean Johnson and tied the game at 5-5, capping a four-run inning for the Mariners.

Buoniello was the winning pitcher on the day, tossing seven innings of shutout ball with five strikeouts, five hits and no earned runs.

The teams took a 15-minute break before beginning the second game of the doubleheader on Friday and once again, the Mariners found themselves in a hole early. Wesnofske, a lefty, was on the mound but didn’t have his best outing. He gave up two runs in the first inning and Southampton did not counter until Wyatt Schmidt—typically the back-up catcher for his older brother, Jeb—hit a two-run single in the fourth to tie the game at 2-2. Glenn took the lead back with two runs in the fifth inning, but Soyars came up big once again, hitting a two-run single that scored Wesnofske and Vincent Abbate, tying the game at 4-4. In the sixth inning, senior Neil D’Acierno drew a bases-loaded walk that ended up being the game-winner.

Wesnofske allowed seven hits with three strikeouts and three walks, but he got out of a serious jam in the final inning. With the bases loaded and the tying run at third with two outs, Wesnofske induced a ground ball to Johnson, the shortstop, and the Mariners got the out at second base to end the game.

Southampton had its full team as well as assistant coaches Gary Pike and Jim Coady back on the diamond for the final game of the series with Glenn, which took place in East Northport on Saturday. Ace Chris Pike delivered a gem for Southampton to complete the sweep, striking out 15 batters while allowing just three hits in a 2-1 victory. Glenn drew first blood yet again, scoring a run in the first inning, but Southampton got on the board in the fifth inning when Pike got a base hit that scored Wesnofske, who had reached base with a single and stole second and got to third on another botched pick-off attempt. Pike stole second before Soyars launched a hit to left field, bringing home Pike for the winning run with two outs.

Johnson was 3 for 3 in the win.

Loren did not take credit for the two victories, but said it was simply a matter of the team coming together in the face of adversity. Loren was assisted by Scott Johnson and Robert Schmidt in the doubleheader and said that himself, Johnson and Schmidt had confidence in the team even as it faced a 5-1 deficit without its usual coaches and three of its best players.

“We told the guys that we were going to win both games,” Loren said. “We knew we had a mountain to climb, but we told them to pick their heads up and told them it was time for other players to step up.”

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Nice example to set for the kids.
By lablover (104), Southampton on Apr 22, 10 1:03 PM
2 members liked this comment
Or, in the alternative, coaching staff sticking up for their charges (players) in the face of abusive authority. There was clearly some extreme reached here.

I await a follow-up report.
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on Apr 22, 10 5:09 PM
um excuse me were you there? no he DIDNT touch the umpire he was arguing with the umpire because he was standing up for the kids, who got ejected for no reason. and the other coached got ejected because they said "can we just play baseball" so dont talk unless you know it all.
By asdfghjkl (9), southampton on Apr 24, 10 9:50 AM
I'm missing something here. What was the "dispute" about, exactly? I think that got cut during editing this story for online posting or something.
By DrEngine (10), Brookhaven on Apr 22, 10 1:36 PM
It would be nice to know why they were ejected....
By pstevens (406), Wilmington on Apr 22, 10 3:31 PM
chris pike was ejected because he struck out (the calls were unfair), and he went behind the dugout and threw his helmet. the other two boys did nothing. the pitcher said can we play, the ump said one more word and your out, he said what? and was thrown out following that the catcher said what just happened and he got thrown out. the coaches did nothing to get thrown out they were just arguing after the kids got thrown out for no reason. and they did not touch the umpire
By asdfghjkl (9), southampton on Apr 24, 10 9:53 AM
PROBABLY A COUPLE OF F BOMBS WERE DROPPED. IMMEDIATE EJECTION WHEN THAT HAPPENS.
By ELECTRICUTIONER (65), east islip/montauk on Apr 22, 10 3:58 PM
no. thats it not what happened, they did not do anything to get thrown out. one threw his helmet behind the dugout, one said what and another said lets play
By asdfghjkl (9), southampton on Apr 24, 10 9:55 AM
This umpire has been brooding for ten months since that Newsday article. He came back to Southampton with an axe to grind. This game wasn't about two teams of kids playing in a eagerly awaited competetive series, it was about an umpire who wanted satisfaction for his bruised ego. The last kid ejected said "can't we just play baseball." He was thrown out for that. Those words were so harsh that the umpire immediately called the game and declared it a forfeit. This "professional" has no business ...more
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Apr 22, 10 7:01 PM
2 members liked this comment
Ump called a 3rd strike in 1st inning on Pike and he didn't agree; automatic ejection. Coaches didn't agree, either; more ejections. Umps can be a bit uppity and hold grudges, that ruins the game because they can determine the outcome, not the ballplayers.
By Non-Political (125), Hampton Bays on Apr 22, 10 7:08 PM
Pike didn't disagree on field in front of umpire. A helmet was thrown in Southampton dugout area. No warning to coach or player. Trust me this umpire was going to push all the buttons to get his redemption.
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Apr 22, 10 7:56 PM
1 member liked this comment
before the game started he asked if pike was pitching and said he was mad because pike said something about him in the paper and her got 30 calls about it. he was in a bad mood to start
By asdfghjkl (9), southampton on Apr 24, 10 9:56 AM
Ah good ol coach Musumeci...

He was an assistant for westhampton baseball in 1996, i remember the entire team walking off the field and not practicing because of this hot head. He wasnt a very nice guy.
By slamminsammy (104), East Moriches on Apr 22, 10 8:18 PM
This is where High school sports gets out of hand. Coaches are supposed to set a good example for their student athletes. A good coach, teach life's lessons thru their chosen sport. Adversities that present themselves, are where good coaches shine and their subordinates learn valuable life lessons. I've seen countless instances when coaches ,and especially parents, are so caught up the "win win at any cost attitude" or the "bad call" syndromes, that the kids don't learn anything except how to argue, ...more
By Johnny Nova (83), Northampton on Apr 22, 10 11:25 PM
2 members liked this comment
um excuse me were you there? no he DIDNT touch the umpire he was arguing with the umpire because he was standing up for the kids, who got ejected for no reason. and the other coached got ejected because they said "can we just play baseball" so dont talk unless you know it all.
By asdfghjkl (9), southampton on Apr 24, 10 9:57 AM
Thank God you are now no where near our kids as a coach or umpire, You are angry and have a chip on your shoulder. They have medication to help you...call your doctor. If you were at the game as I was, the other umpire should have called the game when he realized the head umpire was acting in an unprofessional agressive manner...reading your comments it sounds as if you and that unprofessional umpire have a lot in common. Our players did nothing wrong, nor did our coaches. Your anger is displaced..maybe ...more
Apr 30, 10 9:31 AM appended by Parent
Stay locked up in your closet Johnny Nova where you belong!
By Parent (2), southampton on Apr 30, 10 9:31 AM
I respect people who deserve to be respected. I don't give carte blanche to arrogant pompous jackasses who abuse their power. I have never been in trouble with the law. You sound like one of those pompous arrogant jackasses, Johnny Nova.
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Apr 23, 10 6:48 AM
1 member liked this comment
Sounds like you're taking you own issues out in the wrong way and on the wrong people Nova....just like that umpire did.
If your were coach then you would understand that if the SH coach does not stick up for his kids, they will lose all respect for him. THAT is a fact!
By YEAROUNDER (81), East Hampton on Apr 23, 10 12:54 PM
2 members liked this comment
Yearounder, I agree, as a coach you do stick up for your players as I always did. It's the way they stuck up for them that all should have a problem with. As a coach when you question an umps call, it is proper for the head coach to call time out and approach the home plate umpire in private conversation to discuss the call, but that did not happen. For THREE coaches to be told to leave the premises just shows their mishandling of the situation and their true character, that's what make them "Jackasses" ...more
By Johnny Nova (83), Northampton on Apr 23, 10 9:27 PM
Yess thank you someone actually understands!
By asdfghjkl (9), southampton on Apr 24, 10 9:58 AM
sorry, that was for yearrounder. NOT YOU
By asdfghjkl (9), southampton on Apr 24, 10 9:59 AM
Dear Nova, were you at the game? If not, maybe you should keep your comments to yourself. If you were at the game you would have seen that the umpire obviously had it out for Pike and the rest of the team from the beginning. Nobody was harassing the ump and nobody deserved to be ejected. What gives you the right to call these coaches 'jackasses'? Do you even know them? If you did you would know they are 3 upstanding citizens who want nothing more than the best for these kids they are coaching.
By SAWB (3), Sag Harbor on Apr 23, 10 1:56 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Johnny Nova (83), Northampton on Apr 23, 10 9:00 PM
Nova,do you know how stupid you sound commenting on a situation that you weren't even present at . You should just keep your head in the sand at Northampton and try not to mingle with people. The umpire before the second inning starts mumuring this game is going to be a forfeit. He tells the pitcher not a word out of anybody, pitcher shrugs his shoulders, umpire ejects him. Catcher standing right next to umpire says "can't we just play baseball" He is ejected. With those harsh words by the catcher, ...more
By Mets fan (1501), Southampton on Apr 24, 10 9:30 AM
thank you someone understands!
By asdfghjkl (9), southampton on Apr 24, 10 10:00 AM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By SHlocal12 (16), Southampton on Apr 24, 10 6:25 PM
One inning, three Mariner players and the entire coaching staff were ejected by home plate umpire. Glenn was winning 5-1 when the game was suspended.
What's there to get? Am I reading the wrong story? Sounds like a lot of you are just sour grapes and sore losers.

By Johnny Nova (83), Northampton on Apr 24, 10 7:32 PM
no, you have no idea what really happened because YOU WERE NOT THERE!
By asdfghjkl (9), southampton on Apr 25, 10 10:17 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By Johnny Nova (83), Northampton on Apr 24, 10 8:19 PM
Yes, congrats to the team and to Coach Loren. But for you to comment about a coach you OBVIOUSLY don't know and to even bring up his name? Are you kidding me? Do you have nothing better to do? Why don't you ask any of the kids he has coached and any of their parents if they have anything bad to say about him. Stop commenting about people and situations you know nothing about. Have you noticed that YOU are the only one who has anything bad to say? And you weren't even there.
By SAWB (3), Sag Harbor on Apr 24, 10 10:24 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By kathleen , Sag Harbor on Apr 28, 10 1:58 PM
This comment has been removed because it is a duplicate, off-topic or contains inappropriate content.
By itsamazing (224), Southampton on Apr 24, 10 8:29 PM
1 member liked this comment
Johnny Nova - let's clarify things as you think you know so much - first if Ike Turner is the only Ike you can relate to that tells the reader quite a bit. Do you not recall a President and General named Ike? Second, it is Jon Loren not John.
By metsfan2 (163), southampton on Apr 25, 10 9:31 PM
I played for Musemechi in high school. To any doubters out there, this whole situation was probably instigated by him! He is a hot head and will throw his weight around to feel important. Poor kids most likely did nothing wrong.
By GoldenBoy (351), EastEnd on Apr 27, 10 5:26 PM
as did i...almost 15 years ago.

i find it comical that almost 15 years later hes still going at it with these high school kids. He must be sour or something that he 'never made it' in baseball, as a player or coach....now hes failing as an ump. LOL.

By slamminsammy (104), East Moriches on Apr 27, 10 11:20 PM
1 member liked this comment