Bucks select new skipper for 2014 summer season

COURTESY PHOTO | Former college baseball star and ex-minor leauger Jon Erik Karcich, 26,  has been tapped as the Bucks head coach for 2014

The Shelter Island Hot Stove Baseball League just got some extra fuel.

The Shelter Island Bucks front office announced that Jon Erik Karcich, a former Division I college and minor league professional player, signed on as the new head coach for the 2014 campaign.

Mr. Karcich, 26, played shortstop and was MVP for Santa Clara University and was drafted in the early rounds by the Los Angeles Angels organization.

He has since coached on the college level and currently is assistant coach at  Chandler Gilbert Community College in Chandler, Arizona.

Reached in Arizona Tuesday, Mr. Karcich said he was honored and excited to be taking on the new post. He saw it as an opportunity not only for himself but for the players he’ll coach this summer.

The Bucks are the Shelter Island representatives in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League, where college age men from across the country play to improve and refine skills and hope to catch the eyes of major league scouts.

The Bucks finished  with a 17-23 record last summer and missed the playoffs after flirting with first place earlier in the season. Bucks Co-General Manager Cori Cass said  when the season ended that from a purely baseball perspective the season was “very disappointing. I was disappointed in the lack of leadership on the team.”

But he praised Islanders for being the “best fans in the league,” and they proved that by making the Bucks the most financially successful franchise in the HCBL.

Mr. Karcich said he wasn’t coming in with any pre-conceived ideas about the upcoming season. “I’m going to wait and  see what kind of players I have,” he said. “Coaches should adjust to players, and not the other way around.”

He wasn’t interested in micro-managing a team, but said he already had some rules. “We’ll work hard, play the game the right way and respect the game,” Mr. Karcich said.

Bucks Co-general manager David Gurney said there was news from the HCBL that it was “parting ways” with the Center Moriches Battlecats and have added a new team, the Montauk Mustangs.

Mr. Gurney said the Bucks are looking for “host families” to house Bucks players while they’re here on the Island in June and July. He added that the Bucks were also looking for anyone who is willing to volunteer time at games to cooking, selling merchandise, game day set-ups and/or day-to-day operations for the team.

To volunteer or for more information on being a host family, contact Mr. Gurney at 433-1502 or Mrmet22@aol.com.