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Shelter Island Bucks continue winning ways at Home Opener, run record to 4-0

The Shelter Island Bucks Opening Day Tuesday at Fiske Field in their Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League 2024 campaign was a second win against the Southampton Breakers in the young season.

Tuesday’s winning score of 8-1 adds to the team’s sizzling start of four wins in a row.

The evening began with the National Anthem performed by a pre-recorded instrumental by the Marine Chorus. This season’s ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Nick Gross in memory of his mother, Chrissy Gross. Ms. Gross was an avid baseball fan, and housed many Bucks players over the years.

The Bucks and the Breakers remained in an intense stalemate throughout the first four innings of the home opener. The Breakers were playing for redemption after being handily defeated over the past weekend by Shelter Island.

Bucks pitcher Colin Carver (Marist College) was on form; his fastball averaged around 80 mph, according to Brady White, who was in the stands recording pitching speeds for the teams.

The two teams remained at an impasse, battling back and forth with consistent pitching, powerful hitting, and smart base running. “It was a slow start,” Coach Vern Hasty said in a post-game interview.

But in the top of the 5th inning, the Bucks broke free of the standoff, playing strong defense with a triple play pulled off by Colin Carver, Briggs Loveland (Emerson College), and John Gannon (St. Lawrence University). The play started with Carver dealing a formidable pitch that was returned right back after leaving his hand. Quickly thinking, he threw to Loveland at second base, who then sent it over to first where Gannon caught it with his foot on the base. Both runners were out.

By the bottom of the 6th inning the Bucks were leading by a 2-1 score. But the home team really got into their groove an inning later, showing great communication in both the infield and outfield, as the Breakers fought to even out the score.

Players Ty Bourne (Emerson College), Josh Endo (Southwestern University), and JD Stemhagen (Manhattan College) patrolled the outfield flawlessly. Infielders Julian Abreu (Elms College) and Briggs Loveland had several show-stopping displays of teamwork on defense.

Logan Detty (Capital University) took the pitcher’s mound in relief at the top of the 7th and continued the line of unhittable fastballs Carver started in the 1st inning.

Detty threw with confidence, knowing he had a sharp defense behind him. Infielders Abreu and Gannon were fast on their feet and made quick relays, sending Southampton batters walking back to the dugout. And if a pitch was out of the infielders’ reach, outfielders Bourne, Endo, and Stemhagen were right there as the second line of defense, expertly tracking the ball while smoothly communicating to one another.

The Bucks were hot in all aspects of the game, and the crowd could feel their energy, as the team ran onto the field for the 8th inning. The score now 5-1, Abreu took second and then raced to claim third with his teammate Stemhagen at the plate. Aidan Paradine (Siena College) smashed Breakers Ben Cohen’s pitch far into left field, driving in Abreu and Stemhagen.

The Shelter Island Bucks have begun their 2024 season strong and undefeated as of Tuesday, and are looking to keep the streak alive.

Come on down to Fiske Field to see some exciting and winning baseball by the Island’s team.