Down three runs to none with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, with junior Michael Gillow at the plate, the Peglegs, Stuyvesant’s baseball team, watched their season hang by a thread. Gillow worked up a full count and fought off some pitches, clearly determined to keep the game alive. Finally, after a formidable battle at the plate, Gillow made contact and hit a line drive to center field. As the ball entered the glove of the running McKee/Staten Island tech Seagulls’ center fielder, the Peglegs watched the most promising season in their recent history slip away. Final score, 3-0 Seagulls.
The Peglegs struggled with hitting throughout the entire game. It seemed as if they were making contact but simply couldn’t find the holes in the opposing defense. As a result, the team only managed five hits in the game. Unfortunately, senior and co-captain Tobias Lange’s solid performance, in which he allowed just three runs in six innings and struck out five batters, was trumped by the absence of production on the offensive side of the ball for the Peglegs. When asked about the game, head coach John Carlesi said, “Everything went well but our hitting. Pitching was excellent, and we didn’t make an error in the field. Unfortunately, their pitching held us to no runs, and I’ve never heard a team win while scoring zero runs.” The Seagulls scored one run in the first, third, and sixth innings, and that was enough to advance to the next round of the playoffs. “The last game was tough, knowing what most if these guys put into the team, the time, sacrifice and hard work; there wasn’t a dry eye after that last out, including myself,” Carlesi said.
Despite the disappointing ending to the season, where the Peglegs expected to go deep in the playoffs, the team has quite a bit to be proud of. This was the best season under head coach John Carlesi, and the team won more games this year (12) than they won in the previous two seasons combined (10). “I am disappointed in the early loss, but I am really proud of the way our team competed this year. Being the number 10 team in the city and the best team in Stuy history is nothing to be ashamed of,” senior and co-captain Jack Archer said. The season featured many memorable victories against difficult rivals—a victory against a Bayside team that was fresh off a championship victory, and a walk-off by senior Joseph Halim to defeat rival Beacon High School. “I would say beating Beacon on a walk off was the highpoint of our season. But to me, getting to spend all my time with this team has been the most rewarding part of the season. The baseball guys are like brothers. We have fed off of each other all year, and it has contributed to our success,” Archer said.
The strength of the pitching staff was a primary reason why the Peglegs fought their way to a successful season. Archer and senior and co-captain Tobias Lange had serious expectations of leading the team to success through their arms—and they did just that. The two were not only the best pitchers on the team, but they were two of the best in the AAA Western division. They each had five wins, tied for first in the division. Lange finished the season with 56 strikeouts and an earned run average (ERA) of 1.22. Archer was right behind him, finishing the year with 43 strikeouts and an ERA of 2.03. These statistics put these seniors among the best arms in the division. However, the offense and defensive contributions from many players on the team is what helped the Peglegs make a good season into a great one. Most importantly, “it was the team’s dynamics that really help during the season. The different personalities fed off one another in good times and bad. You couldn’t ask for a better chemistry in a team,” Carlesi said.
Ultimately, as the peglegs reflect on the success and fun they had this season, they also look toward the next one in hopes that they can continue the unprecedented progress they made over the past four years. As Carlesi said and Archer seconded, “I’m hoping that Max Onderdonk, Jeremy Rubin and Malcolm Hubbell can lead this team next year. I can only hope they are up to the task.”