Bucks back in the hunt for league title with a big win

TARA SLEDJESKI PHOTO | Bucks southpaw Frank Trimarco dropping and driving on his way to pitching a gem against the North Fork Ospreys Wednesday night. Trimarco, one of nine Bucks named to the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball league All Star Game to be played Saturday, tossed a complete game two-hitter.

On the day that the 2013 Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League All-Star team rosters were announced, the Shelter Island Bucks played like a group of All-Stars.

The Bucks, who are sending nine players to the game Saturday night at Jean Cochran Park in Peconic, beat the North Fork Ospreys there by a score of 6-1 in a game they controlled from the start.

The win evened the Bucks record at 13-13 and moved them to within just two games of the first place Center Moriches Battlecats.

Bucks center fielder Cody Howard led off the game with a single and scored on a double by designated hitter Mac James. James then scored on another double by catcher Joe Burns taking a 2-0 lead, one they would never relinquish.

The team added to their lead in the fifth after second baseman Ty Blankmeyer kicked things off with a single and scored on a double by Howard. An infield single by shortstop Justin Jones set up another RBI for James allowing Howard to come around and score his second run of the game. Burns then followed up with his second RBI, putting the Bucks up 5-0.

The Island boys would tack on one more run in the eighth after Burns led off with a walk and scored on double by right fielder Kevin Brantley. At the end of the night, five Bucks players had multiple hits while James and Burns had two RBI’s apiece and Howard had two runs scored. James, Burns and Howard were among the Bucks named to the All-Star team earlier in the day along with Brantley, Jones and Jimmy Jack.

Following the game, both Howard and Bucks Manager Johnny Hernandez pointed to some new faces on the team as one reason they’ve hit so well lately. Coming off a recent five game losing streak, the team’s cold offense has heated up the past two games scoring a combined 13 runs. Both outfielder Sam Machonis, of Polk State College, and Blankmeyer joined the team on Tuesday and have already contributed, with Machonis going two-for-four Tuesday with two runs scored and Blankmeyer doing the same with a run scored against the Ospreys. The general feeling on the team is that the new players have added support to the lineup and has given the team new life.

Howard got some added inspiration when the Henderson, Nevada native’s parents made the trip to watch him play. For the 19 year old it was truly special.

“It was cool to see them. I was excited for them to come,” he said after his strong performance. “I was a little nervous, I had to play in front of my dad again. All I thought about was play the same game we always play.”

Not to be overshadowed by the Bucks’ good offensive performance was starting pitcher Frank Trimarco who didn’t allow a hit until the sixth inning while tossing a complete game two-hitter, giving up just one run.

Trimarco’s effectiveness came from having his full arsenal of pitches working. “I think all three of my pitches were on. I found the zone with every single one of them.”

Trimarco was one of three Bucks pitchers named as All-Stars earlier in the day along with fellow starter Mike Wallace, of Fairfield University, and reliever Ian Tresser, also of Fairfield.