Shelter Island Boys baseball team ties a bow on 2023 with a winning record
The Shelter Island junior varsity baseball season wrapped up last May 16, finishing with a winning record — 8-5 — defeating the Wyandanch Warriors on the road 20-5.
The stands were full and parents brought a feast for the boys to celebrate their last home game. Seniors Elijah Davidson, Luca Martinez and Bazzy Quigley-Dunning posed for photos with the team, their coaches and each other as “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra played in the background, reminiscent of how every Little League game ended during the course of their time playing on Fiske Field.
Fifteen players took the field this year, a great turnout for any East End school, much less a smaller district like Shelter Island. Five of those players were new to the team; the youngest, Ryan Sanwald, is in 7th grade and had a successful first season.
The Weslek brothers were solid, with Harrison on the mound and Evan often relieving when he wasn’t manning first base.
Jackson Rohrer brought some solid play as always, and you better watch out when Leo Dougherty is holding a bat.
Jose Fausto showed true promise in his first year on the field, covering Evan at first when he went in to relieve.
Harry Clark is one to watch as he just keeps improving with every game, along with Hayden Davidson who is always ready to go where he’s needed.
Sebastian Martinez, Miguel Hermosura and Byron Vasques were grinding this year as first time players, and we look forward to seeing how they do in the years to come.
And Daniel Hernandez showed great improvement while keeping teammates loose with his humor — and maybe a Teeny Award this year?
Coach Miedema and Coach Dunning brought a passion for the game and their players. This coaching duo has been together for close to 10 years and they truly complement each other.
As for the boys, they were always in good form. A number of games had to be rescheduled due to the ever-present shortage of umpires, but they made it work.
There was an issue with a faulty bus that left them stranded in Smithtown. No problem for these players — they bought a wiffle ball and bat at Dick’s Sporting Goods next to the Shake Shack where they had stopped for dinner, and had a pickup game in the parking lot of the mall while they waited for a replacement bus.
The guys entertained themselves and the fans all year with their eclectic walk-up music. Winning is great, but laughter coming from the dugout is almost as good.
“This year brought back a pure enjoyment of the game for people,” Coach Miedema said. “Being competitive in every contest, watching the seniors emerge as leaders, while the younger guys improved daily, was the best part of our season.”
Coach Dunning agreed. “This team has a lot to be proud of. Special shout-out to seniors Bazzy, Elijah and Luca. I’ve had the pleasure of coaching these guys since they were five years old and have enjoyed watching them grow as players but, more importantly, into great young men.”
Senior Bazzy Quigley-Dunning ended his high school baseball career with a dugout clearing grand slam deep to left in the final game at Wyandanch. Quigley-Dunning, who will be attending Trinity College, said, “Next spring will be the first time in 14 years I won’t play baseball on Fiske Field. I’m going to miss it.”
Senior Elijah Davidson truly honed his pitching skills this season. Davidson, who will be attending University of Connecticut, said, “It’s going to be sad not to play organized baseball again.”
Senior Luca Martinez was the main man at third base this year as well as the one manning the aux with his walk-up music, cracking up his teammates as always. Martinez will be majoring in finance at Bryant College this fall.
Good luck boys, and all the best to what is proving to be a very viable team next season.