The Shelter Island Bucks got their first win of 2013 in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League on the road Tuesday defeating the Southampton Breakers 4-1.
The impressive win featured one of the plays that comes once in a blue moon in baseball: a triple play.
After dropping their first game in a squeaker against Sag Harbor Sunday, the Bucks looked sharp in every aspect of the game against the Breakers.
Bucks’ starting pitcher Frank Trimarco of Monmouth University, in his first start of the year, pitched six innings of scoreless ball. But Trimarco’s artistry was only the second biggest story of the night.
With a man on first and second in the bottom of the seventh inning and the Bucks leading 3-1, reliever Geoff Sanner of Slippery Rock University, came in to face Breakers’ second baseman Drew Bryan. Bryan lined sharply to Bucks’ shortstop Justin Jones, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, who was playing behind the second base bag. The Breaker on second took off at the crack of the bat and was beaten to the bag by Jones for the force. The runner on first had also taken off and was nipped at the bag by Jones’ throw, completing the triple play.
A rare feat at any level of baseball, but this triple play was more impressive considering the players involved have been working together for less than a week.
“Anytime you can witness a triple play that’s pretty special,” Coach Johnny Hernandez summed it up.
The game was a scoreless pitching duel for the first six innings before some small ball got the Bucks on the board in the top of the sixth. Jones singled to lead off and stole second to put himself in scoring position. A passed ball then allowed Jones to take third and he scored when the Breakers’ catcher couldn’t find the ball.
The Shelter Islanders tacked on two runs in the top of the seventh off a double by designated hitter Jesse Lee, of the University of Rhode Island. The final run of the game was scored in the top of the ninth after a dropped third strike allowed Bucks’ right ielder Kevin Brantley, of Hofstra University, to score. Brantley had a big night, reaching base all four times he was up, scoring twice and stealing three bases.
“Great pitching, good defense, and timely hitting” Coach Hernandez said, pleased with his squad’s first victory of the summer.
Trimarco summed up the game in a similar matter following his strong outing. “We played hard, we hit when we wanted to, good pitching, solid defense,” he said.
Trimarco was quick to play down his own performance. “I struggled the last inning and my roommate Geoff [Sanner] came in and got the triple play,” he said. “We just shut the door.”