It was a festive atmosphere Monday, the last day of the Shelter Island junior varsity boys baseball team’s season. There was an end-of-year barbecue and walk-up music for the players at Fiske Field. But not festive enough to seal the deal. The Indians lost to the Mattituck Tuckers 15–12.
Nevertheless, the team ended the season four games over .500 with a record of 10-6.
The first batter for the visitors sent a line drive to center for the first base hit of the game. Ben Waife was on the mound, and a combination of errors, passed balls and hits led to one run after another.
The inning ended with the Tuckers on top 9-0.
The bottom of the first produced no change in score and the Tuckers tacked on another run in their half. In the bottom of the inning Walter Richards and Waife broke the ice and scored to make it 10-2.
Coach Peter Miedema brought in Lucas Quigley-Dunning to pitch and Waife took first base. After one strike out, an out at first and another strike out, the boys were back at bat. Nico Seddio, in the last baseball game of his high school career, got on base, stole second and third and Walter Richards sent him home with the RBI to make it 10-3.
Strong pitching kept the opposition off the board in the fourth, and in the bottom of the inning, Matt Straus was hit by a pitch. Henry Binder doubled, advancing Straus to third. Dan Martin sent Straus home with a base hit and the inning ended at 10-4.
In the bottom of the 5th the Islanders clawed back to score 3 more and Quigley-Dunning made short work of the Tuckers, keeping them scoreless in the sixth. In the home half, after a Seddio strike out, Quigley-Dunning ripped a single, and stole second and third. On a full count, Quigley-Dunning came home on a passed ball. The inning ended with the score 11-8.
When the Tuckers loaded the bases with no outs, Coach Miedema pulled Quigley-Dunning and brought in Nick Young in relief. A runner headed toward home on a passed ball but Richards ran him back to third. The next batter grounded one to Quigley-Dunning who scooped it up and threw to Richards for the sliding tag at home, but the bases were loaded again. A short fly ball to center was good for two RBI’s and then an error brought another runner in. The Indians got out of the inning with the score 15-8 Tuckers.
The Indians weren’t going quietly into this last good baseball night, though. A Waife walk was followed by a booming Straus double, advancing Waife to third. Steve Cummings pinch hit for his last at bat in high school baseball. On a passed ball, Coaches Miedema and Mike Dunning were hollering, “Run!” to Cummings and he took off like a shot. Waife took the opportunity to take a base and both boys were safe at first and third.
Waife came home on the next passed ball and Straus advanced to third. Binder was up when Cummings stole second base. Binder cracked an RBI single and Straus brought the score to 15-10.
The two final runs came when Seddio doubled, sending Cummings and Binder home. The game ended with a score of 15-12, a strong comeback from being down 10 runs.
“Despite the fact that we were down early, our kids continued to work and compete,” Coach Miedema said. “That’s the best part about our team — we are workers who finish the job. No matter what.”
The coach added that he wanted to thank his players for being great teammates and loyal friends who pick each other up. “I’m very proud of them and all the intangibles they bring,” he said.