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Bucks fighting for every win: Off the road and coming back big time at home

The Bucks played a wild one at Fiske Field Tuesday after coming off a tough four-game road trip. The Islanders scored 6 runs in the bottom of the 9th to tie the North Fork Ospreys. After a dispute on the field, that’s the way the game ended, when the game was called on account of darkness.

The Bucks opened their road trip with a 5-3 loss to those same Ospreys, Down early by 3 runs, the bucks were unable to get untracked for the rest of the game. One standout for the Island’s Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League franchise was infielder Blake Salaman (Northwood U) who is hitting at a .435 clip.

Game two for the road warriors saw the Bucks dropping one to the Westhampton Aviators. After the Bucks maintained a 3-0 lead for most of the game, the Aviators struck back for 6 runs late to take the win. The following day, the Bucks had a double header against the South Shore Clippers.

The Islanders showed real determination in game one, pulling ahead and winning 6-3. They wasted no time in game two, beating the Clippers 8-5. The Bucks faced some trouble in the 4th inning when they were down 5-2, but a herculean effort resulted in a surge in the 6th that put their opponent away.

Pitchers Max Brulport (Stonehill Col) and Matt Zguro (Iona Col) were a big part of this, with extremely clutch pitching from Brulport and only 3 hits allowed in Zguro’s 3 innings.

The Bucks returned home Tuesday on a hazy, overcast evening to square off against the Ospreys at Fiske Field. The Islanders couldn’t get anything going offensively for the first 4 innings and the North Forkers held a firm 6-0 lead. In the bottom of the 5th, the Bucks plated 2 runs through solid hitting by outfielder Ryan Vogel (Bradley U) and outfielder Conor Kiely (Stonehill Col).

In the bottom of the 9th, the Bucks were down 10-4 and it looked to some like the game was over.

That is, if you weren’t paying attention to the energy radiating from Head Coach Vern Hasty and his club. Before every play, Coach Hasty reiterated the same message of a one-step-at-a time mentality. The team echoed this idea and the bench was alive with chatter. One by one, the batters found their rhythm and got on base.

In the 9th, Kiely stepped up and drove two runners home with a solid hit to center, closing the deficit to 10-8. Vogel then got Kiely home, to make it a one-run game with 2 outs.

With the bases loaded, infielder Jack Lincoln (Lincoln U) got Vogel home and Salamon looked to have slid home safe behind him. But the umpire waited, and his late call was “out.” It looked like a tie game, but then the Ospreys challenged the score, maintaining they were up 11-10.

Both teams were on the field, staring at each other in a deadlock as the coaches and scorekeepers debated the real score.

In the end, the Ospreys lost their case, and the Bucks had turned what seemed to be certain defeat in the darkening day into a tie. Head Coach Hasty said, “A tie is better than a loss,” adding, “I’m so proud of these guys. They just never quit. I’ve coached summer baseball for 20 years, but this group of guys is special — the best I’ve ever had.”

The Shelter Bucks were back on June 22 at Fiske Field, the first of five home games.

The Bucks still need housing to keep the season going. If you can host one or more players, get in touch with David Austin at [email protected], or call 415-613-1991; General Manager Brian Cass at [email protected], or call 631-445-0084; or Frank Vecchio at [email protected], or call 516-317-8687