White Plains High School pitcher Gehrig Hauser admitted he did not have his best stuff against Mamaroneck High School on Saturday. The Tigers senior lefty pitched 4-1/3 innings, relinquished five runs on 11 hits and three walks, while striking out two, as the local Tigers lost to their League rivals the Mamaroneck Tigers, 6-2.
Not to take anything away from a stellar performance by Mamaroneck’s righty Truman Devitt, who threw a four-hitter, striking out six, walking one and giving up only two earned runs in a complete game win. But, the White Plains defense surely could have helped Hauser’s and their team’s cause while sustaining their first Section 1 loss (2-1) this season. The Tigers committed six errors in the game, which just kept prolonging innings and giving Mamaroneck extra opportunities to score.
“It was not my best. I did not have my best stuff or my best command but the reality of the fact is you have to pick up the baseball,” said Hauser. “When you make six errors in a game and not just the routine ground balls but the mental errors, it makes it very hard to win, especially on a day when I do not have my best stuff,” expressed Hauser, who is a White Plains Varsity Team Captain.
Mamaroneck surely put the lumber to the ball, while belting out 14 hits in the game. But they only scored one run in each of the initial six innings. Therefore, the local Tigers always had a chance to be in the game. But the six errors committed by their defense compiled with only getting four hits in the game just never gave them a chance to battle back.
“We have to play defense. We are giving up too many extra at bats that are just completely unnecessary and it puts too much pressure on our starting pitching,” reiterated White Plains Head Coach Marcel Galligani. “Gehrig (Hauser) was not great today but he was good enough. He grinded and battled his way through but we are just giving too many extra at bats away and putting runners on base that did not deserve to be there,” emphasized Galligani.
Mamaroneck started slow this season with five straight losses, after wining the League Title last year. As of Saturday, April 15, they had a record of 2-5 overall, 1-0 Section 1 Conference 2-B. This year is the first time that Mamaroneck Head Coach Mike Chiapparelli sustained five straight losses to begin a season in his 33 years at the helm.
Chiapparelli and Galligani have a special bond. “Chap” as he is affectionately known, was the Head Coach when Galligani played baseball for Mamaroneck High School, as a student, in 1986, ’87 and’88. “We have a special bond but when we play each other it is a war,” acknowledged Chiapparelli.
On Saturday, April 15, after their loss to Mamaroneck, White Plains remained, 3-3 overall and 2-1, Section 1 Conference 2-B. One thing about Galligani, even “Chap” is quite aware of, is despite the local Tigers defensive woes, his former player will mold a team that will be competing for the League Title, come the end of the season. “Marcel’s teams are always well prepared and well coached and they come to play,” admired Chiapparelli.
Besides White Plains and Mamaroneck, Section 1 Conference 2-B includes other tough teams, such as New Rochelle (2-0) and Clarkstown South (2-0). Nonetheless, Chiapparelli puts a lot of emphasis on the Tigers vs. Tigers two games home-and-away neighboring series, on Saturday, April 15 and in White Plains, on Monday, April 17.
“This is a big series because we are probably going to fight for the (League) Championship. Other teams are involved too but we are predicted to be the two teams fighting for it,” projected Chiapparelli, who was inducted into the Westchester County Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.