On a beautiful Father’s Day evening at Fiske Field, the Shelter Island Bucks proved, in a 14-10 victory over the Southampton Breakers, that they never give up.
Down three separate times by three or more runs, the Bucks staged three comebacks to ensure the win. The victory moved the team’s standings back to .500 at 5-5.
After falling into a 3-0 hole in the top of the first, the Bucks responded in their half by scoring three runs of their own. Center fielder Steven Pinales of Sullivan County Community College got things started with a double before advancing to third on a ground out. After Pinales scored on a wild pitch, designated hitter Jimmy Jack of Loyola Marymount University walked and right fielder Trevor Freeman of Florida Southern College singled. Jack scored on a wild pitch before left fielder Troy Scocca of Fairfield University singled to score Freeman and tie things up.
But the Bucks quickly got back into a hole and by the bottom of the third they were trailing 8-3. Third baseman Darien McLemore of the University of Texas at Arlington kicked things off for the team this time around with a single before Jack followed with a single of his own. Freeman then singled to bring home McLemore before a Scocca base hit plated Jack and Freeman and moved the score to a more manageable 8-6.
You know how the story goes by now: The Bucks once again let the Breakers get on the board and by the bottom of the fifth the deficit was now 10-6 for the Island boys. Once again Scocca found himself in the midst of a rally as he walked to start the inning, catcher Dylan Isquirdo of the College of San Mateo then took one for the team and was hit by a pitch before first baseman Juan Soriano of the University of Louisiana at Eunice walked to load the bases.
Shortstop Scott Donaghue of Quinnipiac University worked a walk to force Scocca home before second baseman Will Savage of Columbia University reached on a fielder’s choice that allowed Isquirdo to score. Soriano scored on a wild pitch to move the Bucks to within one. After McLemore walked he got caught in a rundown between first and second base, but Savage was took advantage of the situation and crossed home to tie things up before McLemore was tagged out to end the inning.
With momentum in their favor, the Bucks finally took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the seventh. A double by Isquirdo and both Soriano and Donaghue getting hit by pitches loaded the bases for the team. This set up Isquirdo to score the go ahead run on a sacrifice fly by Savage. A single later in the inning from McLemore allowed Soriano to score and give the Bucks a two run lead. The team would then tack on two more in the bottom of the eighth to ensure the unlikely victory.
Scoring three runs in the game, Isquirdo thought the victory said a lot about the team as a whole. “Getting down early and then coming back showed a lot of heart,” he said. “It showed what kind of team we really are and how much offense we can put together.”
Manager Jon Karcich was just happy his team won, repeating the same mantra he’s had all season: “A win is a win.”
The victory came a day after the Bucks traveled to face the Montauk Mustangs in a double header that the teams split. In game one, Freeman hit the first Bucks home run of the 2014 season in a 4-3 victory. The winning run was scored in the top of the seventh after Savage got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, allowing left fielder Andrew Casali of the University of Maryland Baltimore to score.
In game two of the twin bill, Pinales went deep in the top of the first in what would end up being the Bucks’ lone run of the game. In the bottom of the first the Mustangs responded with a two run homer which would be all they needed in the 2-1 victory. Bucks’ starter Brandon Kacer of Elon University was a tough luck loser, pitching six innings while striking out six.
The game against the Breakers at home on Father’s Day marked the first time all season a Bucks’ starter allowed more than three runs in a game. No one experiences the strong pitching like Isquirdo from behind the plate, and it’s made for an enjoyable summer for him.
“I have a lot of fun catching them,” the catcher said.