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Resilient Bucks go on 3-game win streak: Bounce back after blowout losses

The Shelter Island Bucks had an up-and-down five-game series, picking up right after a 10-0 loss to the Sag Harbor Whalers on July 11.

The following day, the Riverhead Tomcats beat the Bucks 13-6. The Island’s Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League franchise suffered, as they have all season, with not enough pitchers on the staff.

On July 14, the Bucks traveled to Southampton to take on the Breakers and lost 15-5. The Breakers started hot, plating 9 runs in the first two innings. Down 12-0 in the bottom of the 3rd, the Bucks tried to claw their way back into this game with 3 runs, but it was too little, too late. However, the next three games were a very different story.

The Islanders returned to beautiful Fiske Field July 15 for a rematch against the Tomcats, winning 12-2. In the 1st, left fielder Conor Kiely (Stonehill Col) led the way with a double, and by the end of the inning the Bucks were up by 3 runs. Pitcher Marco Siracusa (Pace U) clearly had the hot hand. By the bottom of the 4th, the Bucks sealed the game with 6 runs.

The Bucks were back. They swept a home doubleheader against the South Shore Clippers on July 17. In the opener, the Clippers were clipped 10-4. A revitalized offense was showcased by three consecutive doubles from second baseman Andrew Flowers (Northwood U), first baseman Blake Salamon (Northwood U), and center fielder Ryan Vogel (Bradley U) to put the Bucks up 5-1.

They closed the game with a 5-run 6th. Great pitching from Max Brulport was part of the winning mix, with Brulport going six innings for the victory.

What’s better than a two-game winning streak? The Bucks would say, “Let’s make it three.”

In game two of the doubleheader, the Islanders trimmed the Clippers 8-4, digging deep to counter good baseball from their opponents. Solid hitting carried the day for the Bucks, with the usual suspects scoring, including Andrew Flowers (Northwood U), Conor Kiely (Stonehill Col), and Ryan Vogel (Bradley U).

Tough pitching from Liam Doyle (Russell Sage College) and Liam Adipietro (Villanova U) kept the Bucks in the game.

It was the final home game of the regular season for the Bucks, who hope to host playoff games.

Shelter Island Bucks GM Brian Cass on 2022 season

Brian Cass, General Manager of the Shelter Island Bucks, discussed Tuesday the season on the field and Shelter Island’s support of the team.  After a two-year hiatus of no Bucks baseball, GM Cass said, “It’s been great being back. There have been some awesome host families who reached out to help, purchased post-game meals, and gave all their support during the games.”

His only regret is that, if not for a lack of pitchers and a few breaks not going the Bucks’ way, the team would be in first place. Some of the short pitching depth was due to a lack of housing initially, but once the season picked up,  GM Cass said there wasn’t a tight position on housing. By the second week of the season, families were reaching out to offer to house players. “By the third week of June, families had already decided they wanted to keep players for July. The community was amazing.”

After seeing the effect the Bucks’ players had on the host families, GM Cass only had one thing to tell them: “Whatever you guys are doing, keep doing it.”

The GM felt the size of the crowds was good, but could have been bigger. He’s hopeful to have one or two playoff games at Fiske Field. Recounting the last home game, a doubleheader against the South Shore Clippers, he said, “The fans were wild for two awesome games. We won both, and our fielding was great. Throughout the season our fielding sometimes let us down, sometimes with a lack of relief pitching or unnecessary errors, but in these two games the fielding was great.”

As the season closes, GM Cass is already in contact with many host families for next year, but he can always use more, he said.