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Bucks fall to 18-17 in push for the playoffs

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO| Bucks John LaRossa sliding safely home against the North Fork Ospreys at Fiske Filed July 18.

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO| Bucks John LaRossa sliding safely home against the North Fork Ospreys at Fiske Filed July 18.

A three-run bottom of the eighth inning for the Southampton Breakers sunk the Shelter Island Bucks on the road Tuesday night. The lone half inning proved the difference in the 4-2 loss for the Islanders, dropping their record to 18-17 on the season.

The Bucks still have a lot of work left to do to make the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League playoffs that start Monday, July 28. They remain in fourth place in the league, two games back of first. But they are a half game ahead of the Breakers and one game up on the Westhampton Aviators in the battle for the final playoff spot.

Leading 2-1 in the bottom of the critical eighth inning, the Bucks allowed a leadoff single. Willis Robbins of Columbia University was brought into pitch and got the first Breaker he faced on a ground out to first.

The ball could have potentially been a double play ball before it was bobbled at first base,

The next Southampton batter hit a single to center, tying the game. The runner on first base stole second and third and the Breaker at the plate was intentionally walked to set up a possible double play. Another walk to the next batter loaded the bases with still just one out for the Breakers.

Again, Robbins did his job getting the next batter to ground out to short on what could have been an inning-ending double play. But the Bucks suffered another error after the out was made at second and the throw to first was wild, allowing two runs to cross and putting the Breakers up 4-2.

The Bucks had taken the 2-1 lead in the top of the seventh after Scott Donaghue of Quinnipiac University reached second on a bad throw to first on a groundout. A single by Will Savage of Columbia University plated Donaghue and put the boys from Shelter Island in the lead.

The Bucks struck first in the game in the top of the second. Brian Kraft of Grand Canyon University hit his fourth triple of the season to start things off before he came across the plate on a sacrifice fly to put his team ahead 1-0.

Kraft now is the league leader in triples and he’s tied the HCBL record for most three baggers in a single season with four. Last summer Nick Heath, who played for the North Fork Ospreys, hit four triples.

The Breakers tied things up in the bottom of the fifth with two outs. After an error in center field allowed a Southampton batter to advance to second on a single, another single by the next batter knotted the game.

The run in the fifth was the lone run Bucks’ starter Brenton Arriaga of Loyola Marymount University allowed over six innings pitched.

The Bucks will now turn their attention to their final home game of the regular season Wednesday evening against the Montauk Mustangs. The Mustangs are 14-23 on the season and last place in the league, but they’ve given the Bucks trouble this season, going 3-3 against them.

On Thursday afternoon, the Bucks will travel to Westhampton to finish up a game that was suspended last week in a 3-3 tie. On Friday afternoon, the Bucks play two games against a Sag Harbor team ahead of them in the standings and they’ve beaten just once this summer. Then on Saturday evening the Bucks conclude the regular season with another game at Southampton.