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Bucks playing hard for loyal fans: Third in league after an up-and-down week

The Shelter Island Bucks resumed their solid campaign in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League on July 1 at Fiske Field versus the North Fork Ospreys.

The game ended in a thrilling 14-14 tie, highlighted by timely hitting from first baseman Blake Salamon (Northwood U), who drove in four runs.

The Bucks got out to a quick 3-0 lead and raked Osprey pitching to soon make it 8-0. But the visitors came storming back in the 5th inning, turning a 8-1 deficit into a 10-8 lead. Before the inning ended, the Bucks showed their own fight to make it 11-10 Bucks.

The Islanders kept the pressure on the Ospreys, with a 3-run 7th. In the see-saw battle, the Ospreys delivered 4 runs to tie it up, and neither team was able to break the deadlock.

On July 3 the Bucks hosted the Westhampton Aviators for a Sunday double header, coming out on top in the opener with a 2-1 victory. Center fielder Ryan Vogel (Bradley U) and Conor Cooke (Brown U) scored runs in the 3rd and 4th innings, respectively.

After a 1-0 lead from the Aviators in the first inning, the Bucks’ solid pitching and stellar fielding didn’t let the Aviators on the board again. Pitcher Max Brulport (Stonehill Col) went the distance with six strikeouts. Third baseman Jack Lincoln (Bradley U) and first baseman Blake Salamon (Northwood U) were standouts in the defensive battle. In the end, these two helped the Bucks fly higher than the Aviators.

Game two of the doubleheader went in a different direction, with the Aviators beating the Bucks 12-7. After two innings, the Aviators led 7-0, but Islanders bounced back with 4 runs in the 3rd, however, the Aviators never let go of the lead. Designated hitter Blake Salamon (Northwood U) continued his solid hitting, carrying a team-high .393 average. Ending the day with a game apiece, the Aviators lead the season series 3-2-1.

On Independence Day the Bucks traveled to Sag Harbor to take on the league-leading Whalers, losing 5-2. The Bucks had a good start with a 2-0 lead after the 2nd inning, but couldn’t keep the Whalers submerged. Sag Harbor’s sizzling pitching stifled the Bucks.

Back at Fiske Field on Tuesday, July 5, the Bucks squared off against the South Shore Clippers, but were unable to snap the two-game losing streak after playing well until the 8th inning.

The Bucks were in a good position right off the bat, setting the Clippers down in order in the 1st. Good teamwork and communication from the Bucks helped Shelter Island native, pitcher Liam Adipietro (Villanova U), get settled into the game early and keep the pressure on the Clippers.

The bottom of the 1st was just as successful, and the crowd was feeling it was the Bucks’ day, as a light rain ceased and the fans started to settle in. A bomb off the bat of third baseman Jack Lincoln (Bradley U) doubled home center fielder Ryan Vogel (Bradley U) and first baseman TJ Keefe (Pace U) giving  the Islanders a 2-0 lead in no time.

Liam Adipietro had the hot hand for the Bucks, not allowing a base runner for the first three innings. At the top of the 4th, the Clippers finally got a run in, but two superb catches from right fielder Matthew Wessels (Iona Col) stopped them from gaining any more traction. Left fielder Conor Kiely (Stonehill Col) led the charge in the bottom of the 4th, hitting a double to  bring in teammates. 

Adipietro was relieved, but Karsun Barrett (Embry-Riddle U) wasn’t able to hold off the visitors. Six runs scored making the final a 7-4 Clippers win.

The Bucks — in 3rd place in the league with a lot of baseball left to play — take the field again on Thursday, July 7, against the Southampton Breakers, but don’t play another home game until July 14. Bucks playing hard for loyal fans: Third in league after an up-and-down week