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Shelter Island Bucks bats come alive in doubleheader victory — On top of Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League

Under the scorching sun at Fiske Field, the Shelter Island Bucks won both ends of a Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League doubleheader on Sunday, July 7, against the South Shore Aviators by scores of 7-5 and 13-3.

The Bucks now lead the HCBL with a record of 15-9, with the North Fork Ospreys trailing right behind at 14-10. The Island’s team has been on a tear, going 8-2 in their last 10 games.

Starting off on Sunday, the Bucks offense put two runners on base, followed by Buck Briggs Loveland (Emerson) taking home on a passed ball to put the first run on the scoreboard.

The Aviators responded in the second inning with 2 runs scored after Aviator Luca PiPia (Ithaca) hit a line drive into deep center field. The Aviators got one more run after a wild pitch allowed runners to advance, putting the Aviators ahead 3-1. In response, Buck Ryan Leclair (Stonehill) hit a home run in the bottom of the second inning to narrow the Aviators lead to 3-2. 

After no runs were scored in the third inning, and the Aviators were unable to score in the fourth, in the bottom of the inning Buck Jack Lincoln (Bradley) crushed a ball deep into the outfield for a home run to tie the score 3-3.

In the fifth inning, the Bucks pitching was strong, only facing three batters, with two strikeouts and a routine pop fly. The Aviators allowed a double and a walk, putting two runners on base. However, three routine fly balls allowed the Aviators to get out of the inning unscathed.

Going into the sixth, the Bucks pitching and defense remained strong, starting out with a strikeout, but allowing one runner on base. Following a second strikeout, the Aviators runner attempted to steal second base but was thrown out to end the inning.

With the score still tied at 3-3, the Aviators changed pitchers, but the Bucks offense began to put consistent at-bats together, putting three runners on base because of multiple defensive errors, and base hit after base hit scored 4 runs, putting the Bucks ahead 7-3.

Starting the seventh, the Bucks switched pitchers, and struggled. The visitors got two runners on base, and Aviator Tres Organ (Southwestern) hit a ball into a gap in center field, allowing 1 run to score. Aviator Kai Cunningham (Santa Clara) hit a ball into deep center field, but Buck Josh Endo (Southwestern) snagged the ball near the center field fence, only allowing one more run. However, a routine pop up in the Bucks infield ended the game with a Bucks 7-5 victory.

In the first game, the Bucks pitching and defense was mostly reliable, but their offense set the tone for the rest of the day. Later that day, Coach Vern Hasty noted that, “Our starting pitcher was solid, but we let in a few walks. Once our players started putting at-bats together, it gave all of our pitchers a needed boost.”

The Aviators started the second game of the doubleheader with multiple base hits, but the Bucks defense only allowed one runner to score. In the bottom of the first inning, the Aviators defense struggled to find a rhythm, allowing two runners to score after errors.

With the score 2-1 in the Bucks favor, their defense shut down any scoring opportunities for the Aviators in the top of the second inning, which was followed by a 4-run Bucks rally.

After a walk, and an infield error, Buck Ryan Leclair (Stonehill) hit a line drive into center field, scoring one run. Buck John Gannon (St Lawrence) swung at strike three, but a dropped ball and efficient base running left Gannon safe at first and another baserunner scored. After a base hit, two more runners scored to make it 6-1.

As the Bucks continued to lead, the Aviators offense put up a run on the scoreboard following a walk in the top of the third, but the Bucks responded with 2 more runs following multiple walks and a line drive into left field by Leclair, making it 8-2 in favor of the home team.

At the start of the fourth, the Aviators gained a baserunner following a walk, and Aviator Tyler Smith (Saint Peters) hit a line drive into center field, scoring a run. The Aviators defense stopped Shelter Island from scoring in the bottom of the fourth, with the score 8-3.

The Bucks pitching stopped the Aviators from scoring any runs, with two strikeouts and a routine ground ball. Then the Bucks put two runners on after base hits, but the Aviators defense made two outs from pop flies. However, the Aviators pitcher hit Buck Tyler Galletti (Sacred Heart), which was followed by a grand slam by Julian Abreu (Marist), to make the score 12-3.

Following a base hit, Buck Charlie Knighton (Washington) dodged the Aviators catcher to score the 13th run, winning the game because of the league’s 10-run mercy rule.

The Bucks next home game is today, Tuesday July 9, at 5 p.m. against the Breakers, as they continue their run for a championship.