Anthony Alicki pitched a four hit, complete game shutout Tuesday in his first start of the year as the Shelter Island Bucks beat the Southampton Breakers 1-0 in classic pitcher’s duel.
The Shelter Island ace improved his all-time record as a Buck to 9-0 behind an RBI single in the first inning from second baseman Dan Hetzel (New Mexico State).
With their second consecutive win, the Bucks improved to 4-8-1 in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League season. After tying Westhampton on June 14, the team lost three straight, including a 9-3 drubbing at the hands of these same Southampton Aviators on the June 15 and a 9-4 defeat to Sag Harbor on the two days later. On June 19 the Bucks split a double header against Montauk.
Alicki’s afternoon started slowly with the first two Aviator hitters reaching base in the first inning.
However a strike-’em-out, throw-’em-out double play on a beautiful throw from catcher Nico Cuccia caught Kevin Kolesar (Queens College) stealing.
An easy fielder’s choice out ended the threat. Alicki would not allow another hit until there were two outs in the sixth inning.
In the bottom of the first, left fielder Tim Zeng (Fairfield) reached on a throwing error by Southampton third baseman Michael Cusenza. Zeng stole second as second baseman Jesse Russo struck out. Dan Hetzel singled home Zeng and that was all Alicki would need to lock down the victory.
Using a variety of pitches, including a sharp breaking ball, Alicki struck out eight, scattering four hits over nine innings. Hetzel, whose RBI was the only one of the game, also singled in the sixth to go two for four on an afternoon when the team only managed four hits.
Southampton starter John Rooney (Hofstra) was the hard luck loser. Pitching five strong innings while striking out eight, Rooney’s only blemish was the unearned run in the first. The Buck’s managed one hit off Rooney all afternoon. In the fifth inning, which would be his last, he struck out the side in order.
Relievers for the Aviators allowed three hits and stranded six Bucks over the last three innings.
In the top of the ninth Alicki allowed a broken bat single to left to the lead-off batter Hunter Courson. He set the next three batters down in order to earn his complete game gem.
General Manager Frank Emmett summed it up moments after the game: “That was a nail biter.”
The Bucks visit Aviator Field to play Westhampton on Thursday July 23 followed by a home game Friday, July 24 and a double header at Cochran Park vs the North Fork Ospreys on Saturday, July 25 at 5 p.m.
The next free baseball clinic to be hosted by the Bucks is Tuesday, July 5 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Players aged 7 and up are welcome. Bring your bat, glove and water to Fiske Field. Any questions, call Dave Gurney at 631-433-1502.