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Power and pitching put Bucks on winning pace

Frank Vesuvio cutting second base on his way to third.
BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO Frank Vesuvio Tuesday at Fiske Field cutting second base on his way to third.

The Shelter Island Bucks returned to Fiske Field on Tuesday, June 20 winners of three of the their last four games and tied for second place in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League.

After a thrilling 6-4 comeback win on June 14, the Bucks split two road games, winning 3-0 against Southampton behind six and two thirds innings from right hander Patrick Clyne (Long Island University), before dropping a 2-1 contest to the last place Sag Harbor Whalers.

Shelter Island went to work early against Long Island Road Warrior starter Anthony Visconte on Tuesday. After Bucks starter Connor McNamara (Marist) shut down the visitors in the top of the first, Steven Barmakian (George Washington) led off the home half with a booming triple to right.

Team batting average and RBI leader Jacob Stracner followed with a walk and a stolen base. First baseman Brian Goulard promptly laced a double off the wall and the Bucks led 2-0.

The hard throwing McNamara was brilliant over his five innings of no-hit, shutout ball, allowing just three baserunners. The Bucks struck again for a run in the bottom of the fourth on another lead off triple, this time off the bat of designated hitter Frank Vesuvio. A single from Stracner brought him home.

In the bottom of the eighth, leading 3-0 the Bucks would tack on four more runs on three hits, including a double from Stracner, a wild pitch and a passed ball. Relievers Thomas Thatham, Rasesh Pandya and Nick Artymowicz completed the three hit shutout for the home team and the Bucks finished the day alone in second place with a record of 8-5-1.

Bucks strike late to steal a victory
Nick Robinson, a 6-foot 5-inch right hander started the June 14 game by allowing three hits, three stolen bases and 2 runs (one earned) in a shaky first inning that included a throwing error by shortstop Alex Cerda.

In the bottom of the first, Southampton starter Travis Bruinsma began a string of six dominant frames where he would allow just one hit and three baserunners to the normally potent Bucks offense.

Robinson settled down after the first, giving up just one more unearned run over his five innings of work. Pandaya started the bottom of the sixth for the Bucks, but after two quick outs, a mini-rally allowed one more Breakers run to score and the visitors led 4-0.
Goulard led off the home seventh with a single and stole second. It seemed Bruinsma was tiring. Bobby Fulkerson followed with an RBI single and after a strikeout and a fly ball to right, he was caught stealing to end the inning.

Tatham, (Wofford College) in relief of Pandaya, pitched a one-two-three eighth inning for Shelter Island.

In the bottom of the eighth, trailing 4-1 and having had little success against Bruinsma, the Bucks’ bats really came to life. The once dominant Bruinsma suddenly looked spent. Elijah Brown started things off with a single. Catcher Ryan Smoot followed with another. A wild pitch by Bruinsma gave the Bucks second and third with nobody out.

Frank Vesuvio walked to load the bases, but still Breakers coach Rob Cafiero didn’t call on the bullpen. Alex Curb stepped up and laced an RBI single leaving the bases loaded for Stracner who tied the game with a two run single. Ian Clark (St. Mary’s College), in relief of Bruinsma, allowed a sacrifice fly to Goulard and a hard hit single through the box to Fulkerson before securing the final two outs of the eighth.

The Bucks led 6-4.

In the top of the ninth, Bucks Coach Matt Wessinger called on right hander Will O’Brien (St. Thomas Aquinas). O’Brien fanned Phil Quartarero, but Straton Podaras was hit by a pitch and the Breakers had one on, one out with the tying run at the plate.

Podaras was caught stealing by Bucks catcher Ryan Smoot erasing the threat. O’Brien ended the game by striking out Jacob Talamante (St. Mary’s College).

Thursday June 15, the Bucks followed up that thrilling win with a 3-0 shutout of the same Southampton team behind an stellar pitching by Clyne and two RBI by Cerda.