Featured Story

Shelter Island baseball team off to strong season: Open with three wins in four games

The Shelter Island School baseball team has had a significant start, opening the season with three straight victories.

Even their first loss, at Greenport on Tuesday, showed the mettle of the young team. The Islanders came back twice against the Porters and went ahead, before finally bowing to the home team.

“But it was a great experience for the players,” Coach Peter Miedema said. “We had players playing out of position,” and they adjusted well. It was an exciting game for players and fans alike, he added. “When you have bases loaded, the infield in, you know you’re watching a really good game.”

The team is fully staffed with players, with 18 athletes wearing the Islander colors. Coach Miedema said the numbers give an advantage to the team of slotting players in when needed, but also helps camaraderie and teaching opportunities “for the older guys to help the younger guys.”

One sport has inspired another, he said. The number of players coming out for the team had to do with a number of factors, but Coach Miedema said it was partly due to the renewal of the school’s soccer program in the fall, which had been dormant for decades. The experience of practicing, playing and competing in soccer together was one that many players wanted to keep alive, and the baseball program provides that opportunity.

“It’s a really great group,” said the coach, who is aided by Assistant Coach Mike Dunning.

There have been many standouts so far, including Harrison Weslek, who has started two games and gone six innings in each, and catcher Jackson Rohrer has been an alert, solid and confident field general behind the plate, Coach Miedema said. “He’s got a good sense of keeping the pace of the game moving.”

The team has good focus. “That’s a challenge these days with so many distractions for young people,” he said, adding, with a smile, “Or maybe that’s just the opinion from an old guy who’s getting ready for his portrait.”