Jacob Stracner reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances on Tuesday evening at Fiske Field as the Shelter Island Bucks hosted the Southampton Breakers in a Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League (HCBL) contest.
And on each of the first three at-bats, catcher Tyler Warshefskie knocked Stracner home. Those three RBI and a strong start from Connor McNamara, who went seven innings allowing just one run, provided the Bucks with a much-needed win. The Islanders added three more runs during a two-out rally in the sixth. Final tally: Bucks 6, Breakers 1.
Losers of their previous four and just 2-8 over the last 10 games, the Bucks have fallen out of the fourth and final playoff spot. In the HCBL, a win is counted as two points with a tie counted as one. At 15-19-1, the Bucks have 31 points, standing five points behind
North Fork and six behind Riverhead with seven games remaining.
A critical double header at Riverhead on Thursday, July 20, could decide whether the
Bucks are mathematically alive when they return for the final homestand of the season on Saturday, July 22 versus Riverhead, Monday, July 24 versus Long Island and Tuesday, July 25 versus Westhampton.
Freddy Sabido powers Tomcats over Bucks
A day after defeating the first place Aviators on July 11, the Bucks welcomed Riverhead to Fiske Field on with a chance to get to .500 for the season. The Tomcats sat in fourth place, one spot above Shelter Island for the final playoff spot.
Kyle Haag started for the home team and pitched solidly for six innings, but trailed 2-0 by virtue of two solo homers off the bat of first baseman Freddy Sabido. In the seventh, Haag appeared to tire, walking the leadoff hitter, giving up a single, an intentional walk, two more singles, a double and five runs before retiring the ninth Tomcat to bat in the inning for the final out of the frame.
Casey Johnson started for the visitors, but left the game after 3 2/3 innings with an elbow injury. Nick Morena took over and repeatedly pitched out of trouble as the Bucks left the bases loaded in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.
Overall the Bucks left 14 men on base, committed four errors and the loss became official when the new 10-run “mercy rule” was employed after Riverhead tacked on three more runs in the top of the ninth. Final tally: Tomcats 10, Bucks 0.
Aviators avenge loss to Bucks
Four days after losing 7-4 to the Bucks, the first place Westhampton Aviators came back to Fiske Field on July 15. After a walk and a ground rule double, Griffin Hulecki took Buck’s starter Patrick Clyne deep for a 3-run homer and the Aviators would never looked back.
A solo shot from Brian Goulard in the bottom of the first proved to be the Bucks only run and only hit of the game off starter Brian Weissert who dominated the home team allowing only five baserunners after the home run.
The Aviators pushed across a run in the third and another in the fifth before AJ Montoya’s grand slam in the top of the seventh off reliever Lukas Hall put the Aviators up 9-1. Two walks and three consecutive singles in the top of the eighth gave Westhampton an 11-1 lead and the game was ended by virtue of the mercy rule.
Calling all kids: The last of the free baseball clinics is Tuesday, July 25 from 10 to 12 a.m. at Fiske Field. Bring your bat, glove and water and learn from the Bucks on their home field.