A slew of mistakes by the visiting Montauk Mustangs sealed a win for Shelter Island at the regular season finale at Fiske Field.
It also guaranteed a best regular season for the franchise with 26 wins in 2015.
After falling behind in the first inning, the hometown Bucks quickly scored 6 runs before adding another 5 during the eighth inning. Jack Machonis and Chris Hess led Shelter Island with three hits apiece. After Westhampton fell to North Fork earlier in the night, the Bucks clinched the number one seed as they enter the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League playoffs on Monday.
The Island boys jumped out to an early lead in the first four innings after the Mustangs committed their first in a series of errors. Dom Burgnoni singled to right field in the third, and was leading off first base when a failed pickoff attempt thrown by Montauk pitcher Jake Walker sailed into the brush surrounding Fiske Field, advancing Brugnoni to third. After Ryan Sabo drove in his teammate with a sacrifice fly, RJ Going singled and stole second following a wild pitch. He came around third to score the go-ahead run when Montauk’s left fielder misjudged Ben Prada’s line drive.
The Bucks added three more in the fourth, highlighted by a triple off the bat of left fielder Jonathan Moroney. Hess reached first after Walker failed to corral a blooper hit over his head, advancing Machonis to second. The pair scored when another Montauk outfielder made a critical fielding mistake, only to watch Moroney’s blast sail over his head.
Anthony Alicki pitched well through five innings, surrendering just two runs and striking out seven Mustangs. His record improved to 7-0 on the season, making him the winningest single-season pitcher in Bucks history. University of Hartford’s Kevin Wiltse pitched three scoreless innings in relief, and benefited from five runs of insurance added by the prolific Bucks offense in the eighth.
Six consecutive players reached base safely during the barrage, which was enabled by yet another pair of mistakes. Chris Tracz hit an infield single up the middle that a Mustang infielder was unable to field cleanly, and advanced to second when Montauk’s shortstop failed to turn a double play on Ryan Sabo’s grounder. Eddie Haus recorded a hit in his 11th consecutive game with a single to centerfield driving in two runs, before Chris Hess ended the scoring with a sacrifice fly that scored Haus.
Head Coach Jamie Quinn refused to comment after the game and no players were made available to the Reporter for comment.
Shelter Island will conclude the regular season with away contests on Friday and Saturday before returning to Fiske Field to host either Montauk or the North Fork Ospreys.