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Bucks in the race for final post-season slot

BEVERLEA WALZ PHOTO Bucks pitcher Nao Fukuda on the mound Sunday at Fiske Field July 13 against the Long Island Road Warriors.
Bucks pitcher Nao Fukuda on the mound July 13 at Fiske Field  against the Long Island Road Warriors.

The Shelter Island Bucks won two out of three Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League games this weekend to raise their season record to 14-18-2.

Entering the last week of the regular season, the Bucks are neck and neck with the North Fork Ospreys for the league’s final playoff spot.

On July 13, the Bucks defeated the first-place Long Island Road Warriors in a 15-9 slug fest at Fiske Field.

First baseman Alex Volpi (Holy Cross) slammed his 13th homer of the season, tying the all-time HCBL single-season mark set by Westhampton’s Aaron Ping in 2016. Volpi needs just one more homer in the final six games to claim sole possession of the league’s home run record.

Volpi went 4-4 with two RBIs to lead the Bucks past the Sag Harbor Whalers 5-3 at Mashashimuet Park on July 14. Starting pitcher Patrick Webler (Southern Connecticut State) earned his third victory of the season and lowered his ERA to 2.05 after allowing just one run in five innings.

The Ospreys kept their winning ways alive on July 15 besting the Bucks 9-8 in a thriller at Fiske. After falling behind 3-0, the Bucks picked up their first run in the second on an RBI single by Cal Christofori (Yale), and tied the game in the third when Jake Mackenzie (Fordham) ripped a run-scoring triple down the right field line.

In the fourth, Mike Casaleggio beat out an infield single to score Christofori and give the Bucks a 4-3 lead. The Ospreys answered with three runs in the sixth, and added two runs in the seventh, and one more run in the eighth, to extend their lead to 9-6 entering the final inning.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Bucks threatened to mount a comeback.

After an infield single by Nyisztor, MacKenzie scorched a double to left center field, bringing the tying run to the plate with two outs. A walk to Dylan Robertson (St. Mary’s) loaded the bases for David Brehm (LIU Post),who ripped a single to center field to cut the lead to 9-8.

But Ospreys pitcher Ben Terwilliger (Maine Orono) forced a groundout from Aaron DuPont (St. John’s) to end the game.

The loss dropped the Bucks back to sixth place. The team is a half game behind North Fork for the final playoff spot. They are scheduled to play the Ospreys on Friday at 5 p.m. at Cochran Park.

They play the Whalers on Saturday afternoon at Fiske, and a doubleheader Sunday against the Road Warriors at Greenport High School at 2 p.m.

And the final home game is Monday the 23rd at 5 p.m. against Riverhead.