The Shelter Island boys’ baseball team started the season by sweeping the Stony Brook Bears, taking the series 3-0. Shelter Island scored double figures in all three games and while they were behind early in the third game, they came back with 11 runs in the final three innings to secure the win.
The season opener on Monday, April 7 was cold, but Shelter Island was hot. They defeated Stony Brook 20-7 on the road. The highlight of the first game was a monster 300-foot home run by Spencer Gibbs over the scoreboard. Richard Ruscica had a four-hit day and scored 5 runs. Peter Kropf was the winning pitcher as Shelter Island cruised to a victory.
At the home opener on Thursday, April 10, starting pitcher Matt BeltCappellino provided offense with two doubles and also made a nice running catch in foul territory. Will Garrison had a nice drag bunt down the third base line ahead of a double by Peter Kropf. Henry Lang had a single and a sacrifice fly for two RBIs. Shelter Island won 16-8.
Back at Stony Brook on the 11th, Kropf came in the 4th inning to get his second win. Billy Boeklen had two long doubles and two runs scored. The team scored 11 runs in the final three innings for the win. Spencer Gibbs struck out the side to finish the game.
Due to the number of younger players this year, the Blue and Gray is playing at the junior varsity level. The team does have veteran leadership and varsity experience from seniors BeltCappellino and Gibbs. Johnny Sturges, Ruscica, Lang, Kropf and Garrison also return from last year’s campaign. Charlie Binder is a first time high school player completing the seniors on the roster. In fact, Charlie’s father Darrin Binder is assistant coach this year, helping Head Coach Peter Miedema.
Gibbs, the big lefty, will hold down first base with his quick glove and 6-foot-5 frame, providing a good target for throws to first base. He will also pitch and provide power in the lineup.
BeltCappellino will be moved around the diamond, filling in at shortstop, pitching, covering first base and catching at times. Ruscica will hold down the hot corner at third base. Boeklen has been catching for the first three games and does a nice job behind the dish, calling pitches and playing defense. Seventh grader Erik Thilberg plays second base. Calm but competitive, Kropf will play shortstop and pitch.
The outfield will include Binder, speedy Garrison and fan favorite, Sturges. Lang, Max Moroz, Wyatt Fokine and Adrian Sulahian will also play all positions to round out the team.
Coach Miedema is very happy with the team’s pitching and hitting. The team will continue to work on defense and situational baseball and with more experience from the younger players, the team will provide some exciting baseball this season.
They are off this week for vacation. The next game will be at home against Southold on Monday, April 21 at 4:30 p.m. on Fiske Field.