Despite massive improvements this season, the Shelter Island School boys junior varsity team were unable to claim a winning record.
The team faced Mattituck May 12 in season’s final contest, coming up just short of a .500 season. The Indians finished the year 6-7 after Mattituck won the game 12-3.
After falling behind 4-0 in the fourth inning, the team stormed back to close the gap to 4-3. But Mattituck came back in the top of the fifth and continued tacking on runs.
Shelter Island’s offense was led by Peter Kropf and Billy Boeklen, whose booming double dazzled the home crowd. Also of note, future standout Junior Gil, a 7th grader, had two hits of his own. Kropf finished the last six innings of his high school career on the mound battling through a challenging lineup. Some defensive miscues on the field led to several unearned runs that were beyond the pitcher’s control.
The Indians excelled early in the season, sweeping Port Jefferson and taking two of three from Southold. But two week-long layoffs and stiff competition from larger schools caused the Indians to struggle down the stretch, with only one win recorded in the last eight games. Overall, the team maintained a positive vibe and players supported one another through wins and losses.
The future is bright with catcher Erik Thilberg behind the plate, Kal Lewis, Lucas Quigley-Dunning and Liam Adipietro on the field. Junior Will Garrison will be returning with his speed and positive attitude for his fifth season.
This coach will surely miss seniors Jack Kimmelmann, Boeklen, Richard Ruscica, Adrian Sulahian, Henry Lang and Kropf.
These young men have contributed to keeping the program alive when numbers were small. They displayed hard work, enthusiasm for the sport and always represented the school in a positive manner. The joy and laughter that can only be brought about by young players on a baseball field has created many wonderful memories.
Thanks to all the parents and fans who came out to support us. Again, special thanks to all the volunteers who made Fiske Field pristine. The new dugouts made the young men feel “big league”.