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Shelter Island School baseball team putting it all together

The Shelter Island School baseball team is on a roll, winning three home games this week.

Two of the contests against Wyandanch in a Saturday doubleheader were blowouts. The third game Monday against cross-bay rival Greenport was a comeback thriller, with the Islanders scoring 6 runs in the bottom of the 6th inning for a winning final of 7-4 at Fiske Field.

It wasn’t the pitching of Harrison Weslek that accounted for the Islanders finding themselves in a hole on Monday, Coach Peter Miedema said. Some sloppy defensive play hurt the home team, although there were several gems from the Islanders infield, the coach added.

Pitcher Harrison Weslek going strong to the plate during the Islanders victory Monday against Greenport at Fiske Field. (Cliff Clark)

With a man on third and the Porters threatening another score, catcher Jackson Rohrer dropped a third strike and the batter streaked for first. But Jackson got to the ball in a hurry and threw a bullet to first baseman Jose Frausto, who recorded the out.

As the play was developing, the Porter on third made a dash for the plate, but Jose quickly threw home and Jackson tagged the runner out, completing a sparkling double play.

The bats came alive in the sixth inning, led by Harrison striking a long double.

Leonardo Dougherty diving back to first base on a pickoff move in the Islanders victory over Greenport on Monday. (Credit: Cliff Clark)

“And then the hitting became infectious,” the coach said. “Once we started, we didn’t stop.”

On Saturday, May 11, the team put on an offensive display in a doubleheader against Amityville at Fiske. The Islanders won both games, scoring 21 runs to the visitors’ 6. The home team got standout pitching in the twin bill, with the Weslek brothers handling the Warrior lineups with ease.

Harrison took the mound for the first game and struck out 11. Coach Miedema said that achievement was even more significant since the game was called after five innings, with the Islanders up 10-2. The Amityville coach and Coach Miedema agreed to stop the game, since “it was getting long and we had another game to play.”

Harrison throws hard, the coach said, “and has a good curve ball with good control.” Also, the coach added with a smile, he has been experimenting with a funky hesitation delivery à la Yankees lefty Nestor Cortes.

The Islanders’ bats came alive early and often, with center fielder Leonardo Dougherty smoking a long home run. “I wish the fences were up so we could have seen just how far he hit it,” the coach said. Leonardo also scored three runs.

Everyone on the team played, the coach said, and contributed to the win.

In the second game, Evan Weslek took the ball in the Islanders’ 11-4 win.

“Evan’s got a good fastball and gets in a groove,” Coach Miedema said, adding that he’s focused on the challenges facing him when he’s on the mound. “There’s not too much that distracts him.”

The coach singled out Jackson once again, who caught both ends of the doubleheader, and scored two runs in the second game. “Several coaches have said to me, ‘He’s really come a long way.’ Catcher is such an important position, the flow of the game depends on him. He’s caught every game for us. With Jackson, I don’t have to worry, it’s one of those ‘set it and forget it’ parts of the lineup.”

Proud of his team, which notched a record of 7 wins and 4 losses on the season, Coach Miedema said, “Everyone contributed again.”