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All hands on deck: Junior varsity baseball team ready for the season

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | Senior Peter Kropf, warming up for the spring baseball season baseball
BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO | Senior Peter Kropf, warming up for the spring baseball season.

The Shelter Island School boys junior varsity baseball team’s season will begin this week with a three-game series versus Port Jefferson.

The Indians will be filling up the brand-new dugout this year at Fiske Field with 18 players, led by seniors Rich Rusica and Peter Kropf. Along with Henry Lang, Rusica and Kropf have played all four years of high school.

The team, comprised of athletes from grades 7 through 12, is in high spirits preparing for the season. All agree, this is a much-improved team from last year’s squad.

Pitching and defense has been the priority for the first few weeks of practice. The pitching staff looks poised to have a good season with Kropf, Rusica and Jack Kimmelman leading the group and 8th graders Liam Adipietro and Lucas Quigley Dunning filling important roles on the staff. Defense will be solid as well, with Will Garrison patrolling the outfield and Erik Thilberg manning homeplate.

New additions this year include Billy Boeklen, returning from a one-year hiatus, and 8th graders Kal Lewis and Walter Richards, who will play multiple positions, making the defense formidable from one side of the diamond to the other.

The boys are also very enthusiastic with the new conditions at Fiske Field. The field has been improved each year by the Hampton’s Collegiate Baseball League’s Shelter Island Bucks and local supporters pitching in to help. New dugouts, new fencing, netting and cleared trees make our field look very sharp. The boys would like to thank Darrin Binder, Fred Hyatt, Ian Weslek, Dave Gurney and all the other volunteers who have spent time and money creating a wonderful home field advantage.

Please come out and support the Shelter Island School boys baseball team this year. As the weather has improved this spring from last spring, the Indians hope to do the same for the upcoming season.