06/05/13 1:27pm

TARA SLEDJESKI PHOTO | Bucks’ starter Frank Trimarco warming up on his way to six innings of scoreless ball on the road against Southampton for the Bucks first 2013 win.

The Shelter Island Bucks got their first win of 2013 in the Hamptons Collegiate Baseball League on the road Tuesday defeating the Southampton Breakers 4-1.

The impressive win featured one of the plays that comes once in a blue moon in baseball: a triple play.

After dropping their first game in a squeaker against Sag Harbor Sunday, the Bucks looked sharp in every aspect of the game against the Breakers.

Bucks’ starting pitcher Frank Trimarco of Monmouth University, in his first start of the year, pitched six innings of scoreless ball. But Trimarco’s artistry was only the second biggest story of the night.

With a man on first and second in the bottom of the seventh inning and the Bucks leading 3-1, reliever Geoff Sanner of Slippery Rock University, came in to face Breakers’ second baseman Drew Bryan. Bryan lined sharply to Bucks’ shortstop Justin Jones, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, who was playing behind the second base bag. The Breaker on second took off at the crack of the bat  and was beaten to the bag by Jones for the force. The runner on first had also taken off and was nipped at the bag by Jones’ throw, completing the triple play.

A rare feat at any level of baseball, but this triple play was more impressive considering the players involved have been working together for less than a week.

“Anytime you can witness a triple play that’s pretty special,” Coach Johnny Hernandez summed it up.

The game was a scoreless pitching duel for the first six innings before some small ball got the Bucks on the board in the top of the sixth. Jones singled to lead off and stole second to put himself in scoring position. A passed ball then allowed Jones to take third and he scored when the Breakers’ catcher couldn’t find the ball.

The Shelter Islanders tacked on two runs in the top of the seventh off  a double by designated hitter Jesse Lee, of the University of Rhode Island. The final run of the game was scored in the top of the ninth after a dropped third strike allowed Bucks’ right ielder Kevin Brantley, of Hofstra University, to score. Brantley had a big night, reaching base all four times he was up, scoring twice and stealing three bases.

“Great pitching, good defense, and timely hitting” Coach Hernandez said, pleased with his squad’s first victory of the summer.
Trimarco summed up the game in a similar matter following his strong outing. “We played hard, we hit when we wanted to, good pitching, solid defense,” he said.

Trimarco was quick to play down his own performance. “I struggled the last inning and my roommate Geoff [Sanner] came in and got the triple play,” he said. “We just shut the door.”

05/31/13 12:42pm

TARA SLEDJESKI PHOTO | Two Vegas boys meeting at third. University Nevada-Las Vegas infielder Justin Jones taking a throw as Cody Howard, a fellow Runnin’ Rebel, advances. Both players, on the Bucks’ roster this summer, were at the team’s first practice Thursday.

Summer hit Shelter Island instantly Thursday with temperatures rising into the 90’s, just in time for the first practice of Bucks baseball.

At least one new player on the team representing the Island in the Hampton Collegiate Baseball League had a bit of a shock. Outfielder Cody Howard’s  first impression of Shelter Island was a sticky one. “It’s crazy.” Mr. Howard, who plays for the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, said about the humidity. “I definitely sweated a little bit more out here than I did at home. It’s a completely different world out here compared to Vegas.”

General Manager Cori Cass is excited for the summer of 2013 following a 21-19 inaugural season that resulted in a league title. However, disappointment still lingers over the team’s first round playoff loss. This season, Mr. Cass’ goal  is to win the HCBL Championship. But he understands there are obstacles in the way. “It’s a very competitive league so it will be tough,” he said.

Mr. Howard and  many of his teammates had their real first taste of life on Shelter Island at Thursday’s practice. Some got onto the Island for the first time and headed straight to Fiske Field. On an unbearably hot day, the work out was a typical baseball practice featuring a variety of traditional drills.  Rookie Coach Johnny Hernandez oversaw his team’s first efforts by getting involved, hitting and pitching to his players.

Hernandez was pleased with what he saw following the first practice. “I feel pretty good about the team,” he said. “They’re my type of guys. They look like they’ve got some speed and can put the ball in play. They look like a bunch of grinders out there. The pitchers threw pretty well. I really like what we have.”

Asked what he thought would be the team’s strong spots following his first look, Hernandez was quick to put emphasis on pitching. “Anytime you’re playing baseball it’s going to be pitching and defense,” he said. But he also noted the importance of hitting, especially on a team with speed.

“Like I said, we have some runners so we will be able to hit and run and lay some bunts down, steal a bunch of bases so I think we will be pretty strong,” he added.

Just like Mr.Cass, Hernandez also has high expectations “My goal is to win it,” Mr. Hernandez said referring to the league.

The players are pumped to win the league also, but a few have other goals. Mr. Howard said his main goal was to improve. “Just basically get some more at bats and get better,” Mr. Howard said. “Get stronger, get faster and get better every day, basically.”

The environment is not the only thing Mr. Howard will have to get used to while playing for the Bucks this summer. “It’s different with a wood bat,” he said. “The field is definitely way different than I’ve been playing on all year, it’s not really a stadium, it’s just the teams and maybe a couple fans, so it’ll be different, it’ll be fun.”

The Bucks begin their season this Sunday, June 2  on the road against the Sag Harbor Whalers. Their first home game is Monday, June 3 against the Center Moriches Battlecats at 5 p.m. at Fiske Field

Part of the experience of the league for the players is saying with host families. Currently, eight host families are still needed for this summer. Anyone interested,  please contact Mr. Cass at  516-361-4399, or email him at [email protected]

05/31/13 12:42pm

TARA SLEDJESKI PHOTO | Two Vegas boys meeting at third. University Nevada-Las Vegas infielder Justin Jones taking a throw as Cody Howard, a fellow Runnin’ Rebel, advances. Both players, on the Bucks’ roster this summer, were at the team’s first practice Thursday.

Summer hit Shelter Island instantly Thursday with temperatures rising into the 90’s, just in time for the first practice of Bucks baseball.

At least one new player on the team representing the Island in the Hampton Collegiate Baseball League had a bit of a shock. Outfielder Cody Howard’s  first impression of Shelter Island was a sticky one. “It’s crazy.” Mr. Howard, who plays for the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, said about the humidity. “I definitely sweated a little bit more out here than I did at home. It’s a completely different world out here compared to Vegas.”

General Manager Cori Cass is excited for the summer of 2013 following a 21-19 inaugural season that resulted in a league title. However, disappointment still lingers over the team’s first round playoff loss. This season, Mr. Cass’ goal  is to win the HCBL Championship. But he understands there are obstacles in the way. “It’s a very competitive league so it will be tough,” he said.

Mr. Howard and  many of his teammates had their real first taste of life on Shelter Island at Thursday’s practice. Some got onto the Island for the first time and headed straight to Fiske Field. On an unbearably hot day, the work out was a typical baseball practice featuring a variety of traditional drills.  Rookie Coach Johnny Hernandez oversaw his team’s first efforts by getting involved, hitting and pitching to his players.

Hernandez was pleased with what he saw following the first practice. “I feel pretty good about the team,” he said. “They’re my type of guys. They look like they’ve got some speed and can put the ball in play. They look like a bunch of grinders out there. The pitchers threw pretty well. I really like what we have.”

Asked what he thought would be the team’s strong spots following his first look, Hernandez was quick to put emphasis on pitching. “Anytime you’re playing baseball it’s going to be pitching and defense,” he said. But he also noted the importance of hitting, especially on a team with speed.

“Like I said, we have some runners so we will be able to hit and run and lay some bunts down, steal a bunch of bases so I think we will be pretty strong,” he added.

Just like Mr.Cass, Hernandez also has high expectations “My goal is to win it,” Mr. Hernandez said referring to the league.

The players are pumped to win the league also, but a few have other goals. Mr. Howard said his main goal was to improve. “Just basically get some more at bats and get better,” Mr. Howard said. “Get stronger, get faster and get better every day, basically.”

The environment is not the only thing Mr. Howard will have to get used to while playing for the Bucks this summer. “It’s different with a wood bat,” he said. “The field is definitely way different than I’ve been playing on all year, it’s not really a stadium, it’s just the teams and maybe a couple fans, so it’ll be different, it’ll be fun.”

The Bucks begin their season this Sunday, June 2  on the road against the Sag Harbor Whalers. Their first home game is Monday, June 3 against the Center Moriches Battlecats at 5 p.m. at Fiske Field

Part of the experience of the league for the players is saying with host families. Currently, eight host families are still needed for this summer. Anyone interested,  please contact Mr. Cass at  516-361-4399, or email him at [email protected]