Fanneron Commits to Northeastern University

08/22/2012, 2:23am EDT
By Jeff Noreman (photos by Jeff Noreman)
Nick Fanneron

Nick Fanneron of Massapequa has accepted an offer to attend Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Fanneron was simultaneously given a roster spot on the  baseball team. The Huskies play in the competitive Colonial Athletic Association.

Fanneron, who turns  17 this month, will be entering his third season as the starting catcher for the Massapequa High School Chiefs. He was an All County selectee, and batted over .450 this spring. He also plays on the Long Island Whalers 17 Navy team.

“They first saw me at the Area Codes Games tryouts in Staten Island,” said Fanneron. “The coaches kept in contact with me after that, constantly calling me. They invited me up on a visit after I came back from Florida, and that’s where they offered me.”

Nick Fanneron

After the Area Code tryouts, eleven schools contacted Fanneron to gauge his interest in enrolling at their school and playing for their team. Getting invited to these tryouts were “huge” according to Fanneron.

During his visit to Northeastern, Fanneron met with coaches Kevin Cobb, Mike Glavine, and head coach Neil McPhee. After tours and a meeting of a couple of hours, the Fannerons decided that Northeastern would be where Nick will go to college.

“We were excited to hear about Northeastern University. It was a perfect match,” stated John Fanneron, Nick’s father. “As parents, we wanted a high quality academic school, and Nick wanted a high level D1 program. Northeastern was the perfect fit.”

Fanneron’s goal is to study business finance. Northeastern has a strong business school, and a co-op program which arranges for internships for their students  in order to prepare them  for their careers upon graduation.

The entire Whalers organization wishes Nick and his parents, John and Betty, congratulations and wishes for Nick’s success.


Whalers Catcher Nick Fanneron will be a Northeastern Huskie next year.
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ACBL Announces 2012 Postseason Awards

08/17/2012, 9:35pm EDT
By ACBL

Solomeno, Roulis Share League’s MVP Award; Paez Named Top Pitcher; Anastasi Takes Home Best Reliever


Southampton’s Paul Paez led the ACBL in wins (7) and strikeouts (82) and was named the Darrin Winston Most Valuable Pitcher Award

The 2012 Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League (ACBL) season had no shortage of outstanding performances all year long, and on Friday, the league announced the winners of its individuals awards, with Center Moriches catcher Joe Solomeno (Pace) and Shelter Island infielder Thomas Roulis (Dartmouth) sharing Santy Gallone Most Valuable Player Award honors.

Southampton lefthander Paul Paez (Rio Hondo JC) reeled in the Darrin Winston Most Valuable Pitcher Award after leading the league in wins and strikeouts, while North Jersey southpaw Rich Anastasi (Fordham) was selected for the Outstanding Relief Pitcher Award after recording seven victories out of the bullpen for the ACBL champion North Jersey Eagles.

Solomeno also collected the league’s Hitting Award, awarded to the player with the highest batting average, while Staten Island catcher Gabby Molina (Keystone)earned the slugging award with a .726 slugging percentage.

Voting was done by a panel of the 17 field managers in the ACBL. The co-MVP honors were the first since 2009 when Jersey’s Ken Gregory and Riverhead’s Peter Greskoff split the award.

Solomeno had one of the best years in the league’s illustrious history, leading all hitters in average (.421), hits (61), doubles (14), RBI (53) and total bases (96). His year included a five-hit effort on opening night, a 10-9 triumph over Westhampton, and a stretch of 11 straight games in which he had at least one RBI. He was the starting catcher for the Hampton Division All-Star Team on July 19 at MCU Park in Brooklyn.

All Roulis did in his summer on Shelter Island was lead the league in runs scored (41) and stolen bases (24) while hitting at a .399 clip and finishing second behind Solomeno in hits (59). He sparked a Bucks offense that led the league in runs scored with 281; as a unit they carried the first-year squad to the Hampton Division regular-season crown. Roulis enjoyed a mid-season stretch in which he had a hit in 14 consecutive games.

Paez, an 18th-round pick of the New York Mets in 2012, dominated from day one in Southampton, striking out 12 over five innings in his debut against Shelter Island June 4. He fanned a season-best 13 in Southampton’s victory over Riverhead on July 14, and Paez tied former Tomcat righthander Nick Tropeano for single-season wins by recording his seventh in the Breakers’ 9-4 triumph over Center Moriches on July 22.

He finished his season with 82 strikeouts, breaking Tropeano’s Hamptons mark of 77 in 2009. It also put Paez just outside the top five in ACBL history. Paez, who was named starting pitcher for the Hampton Division All-Stars, limited hitters to just 35 hits in 60 regular-season innings.

Anastasi tied Paez for the league high in victories despite making just two starts for the Eagles. He went 7-0 with a 2.11 ERA, also notching two saves. The senior missed bats all year long, striking out 57 batters in 42.2 innings, and his arsenal was particularly tough on righthanded hitters, who were limited to a .175 batting average against the Rams’ rising senior.

A Wolff/Kaiser All-Star selection, Anastasi shined in the postseason as well, recording the save in games two and three of the Wolff Division championship series, both played on the same day, the ACBL semifinal against Southampton, and then the ACBL final against the Kaiser Division champion New York.

Molina was a mainstay behind the plate for Staten Island, but he also wielded a mighty bat. Of the senior’s 27 hits this season, 16 went for extra bases, including 11 doubles and five home runs. Molina’s work allowed the Tide to claim the Kaiser Division regular-season title for the second straight summer.

Santy Gallone Most Valuable Player Award: Joe Solomeno (Pace/Center Moriches) and Thomas Roulis (Dartmouth/Shelter Island)
Darrin Winston Most Valuable Pitcher Award: Paul Paez (Rio Hondo JC/Southampton)
Most Valuable Reliever Award: Rich Anastasi (Fordham/North Jersey)
Hitting Award: Joe Solomeno (Pace/Center Moriches)
Slugging Award: Gabby Molina (Keystone/Staten Island)
All-Star Game MVP: Matt Moceri (Davis & Elkins/Trenton)

Eagles Topple Atlantics to Capture First League Title

08/05/2012, 11:42pm EDT
By Greg Diener (photos by Jeff Noreman)

Eagles Win Final Five Games By One Run to Bring Hardware Back to Wolff Division

OYSTER BAY, N.Y. – Heading into the ACBL playoffs, most people would have written off the North Jersey Eagles, who finished the regular season under .500 but still managed to grab the third seed in the Wolff Division playoffs. That didn’t stop the Eagles from overcoming the odds, and now they can head back to North Jersey as champions of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League, having defeated the New York Atlantics, champions of the ACBL Kaiser Division, by a final score of 3-2 at Charles B. Wang Athletic Complex.
North Jersey, which had never been in the playoffs in their four-year history prior to this season, earned their first-ever playoff berth near the end of the regular season. It overcame 1-0 series deficits against rivals Quakertown and Trenton to claim the Wolff Division crown. The Eagles continued their Cinderella run to the ACBL title defeating the Hamptons Division champ Southampton 4-3 before advancing to knock off the Atlantics. North Jersey’s last five victories came by one run.

NJ Eagles Chris Smith
New Jersey Eagles Chris Smith drives in a run.

The Eagles got all the offensive production they needed in the top of the fifth inning, when Chris Smith (Wagner) laced a single down the third base line for North Jersey’s first hit of the game. The hit by Smith ended a streak of 13 straight retired batters by New York starter Kevin Chenicek (LIU Post) to start the game.
Following a walk to Greg Smith (Rollins), the Eagles got the first run of the game on an RBI single by Jamie Wollerman (Southern New Hampshire). Kenneth Kirshner (St. Thomas Aquinas) and Stanley Paul (Connecticut) drove in the other two runs in the inning to give the Eagles a three-run lead. The Atlantics attempted to rally in the bottom half of the inning, when Mike Perrone (Vassar) ripped a double to right field that was fielded off the wall by the Eagles’ Tyler McCarthy (George Washington). McCarthy made an incredible throw to the cutoff man, who threw out Dan Roland (St. John’s) at the plate to keep the score at 3-0.
The Atlantics scored their first run in the game on a solo home run from Mike Russo (St. Thomas Aquinas) in the bottom of the seventh. Chris Kalousdian (Manhattan) hit a double to right center with two out that cut the score to 3-2.
Danny O’Neill (Rutgers) retired the Atlantics 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth to earn the save and clinch the ACBL championship for North Jersey. North Jersey starting pitcher Joey Gandolfo (Columbia) pitched the first four innings only allowing three hits with seven strikeouts.
The Eagles bullpen took over as Kevin Lee (Rhode Island) pitched a scoreless fifth inning, earning the win, while Pat Butler (Connecticut) and O’Neill pitched two innings each. For New York, Chenicek went the distance in the loss giving up three runs and five hits along with eight strikeouts with one walk.
The ACBL championship returned the Wolff Division for the first time since 2008. The Hampton Division captured the 2009 and 2010 crowns, while the Staten Island Tide chalked one up for the Kaiser Division last summer.

Pictures of both teams from this event are available here…

Eagles Best Breakers, Earn Spot in Championship

08/04/2012, 11:43pm EDT
By Jim Furlong (photos by Jeff Noreman)

North Jersey Faces Atlantics in ACBL Championships on Sunday

Brian Drapeau

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. – The resilient New Jersey Eagles continue to enjoy “a magical season.”

With Chris Smith producing the game-winning hit and Brian Drapeau pitching eight solid innings, the Breakers eliminated the Southampton Breakers 4-3 Saturday night in the semifinals of the 2012 ACBL playoffs.

“This has been a magical season for us,” said manager Jorge Hernandez. “We came through in the clutch. The whole roster is full of playmakers. Our pitching is the strong point of the team and clutch hitting. It’s hard to name an MVP because everyone contributes.”

The Eagles, the Wolff Division champion, won for the fifth time in seven playoff games, and earned their third-consecutive victory on the opponent’s field.

“This is like being an Olympic athlete and winning,” said catcher Chris Bonti. “We were terrible at the beginning (of the regular season); we started 3-9. Going into the playoffs, everyone doubted us. The other teams felt they had to win and that played to our advantage. We played loose.”

Before conquering the Breakers, the Hamptons champion, on their home field in eastern Long Island, New Jersey eliminated the Quakertown Blazers and the top-seeded Trenton Generals by a 2-1 playoff margins.

Drapeau, a poised righthander who pitched a season-best eight innings Saturday, is confident the Eagles will earn the 2012 ACBL title when they challenge New York Atlantics on the road Sunday.

“We are on cloud nine,” said Drapeau. “We have hit the point where we are at our best, and even when we are not at our best, no one can stop us when we play as one unit.”

NJ Eagles Chris Smith

The Eagles, playing their fourth game in less than 72 hours, rallied for three runs in the top of the sixth inning against the Hamptons’ premier 2012 pitcher, lefthander Paul Paez, who is considering transferring to Louisiana State.

“This (semifinal success) is rewarding, satisfying,” said Drapeau. “You put in the work every day. You are not going out at night, two-hour bus trips and get back at 1 a.m … it becomes your life. Then you realize all your hard work results in the ultimate win. Nothing can top that feeling.”

The Eagles, who are located in southern Bergen County, surged as the No. 3 seed from Wolff Division, and now own a 24-23 overall record.

“We are the ultimate Cinderella story,” said general manager Brian Casey. “I call us ‘Team Adversity.’ It was third-and-11 for all the playoff games.”

New Jersey, in their fourth season competing in the ACBL, lost both its openers in the Wolff semifinal and final. Hernandez directed hit squad to a 5-4 win to eliminate Quakertown. At Trenton, the Eagles came alive on Friday to sweep a doubleheader 7-6 and 3-2. North Jersey bounced back from a 9-3 setback in Thursday’s first game against the Generals.

At Southampton, the home team scored in the first when Robb Scott’s RBI single plated Vinny Zarrillo, who led off with a double.

Chris Smith slugged a solo homer in the second, but it was the bottom of the third proved key to the outcome. Drapeau, with a 3-2 summer record, walked four consecutive Breakers to force in a run – Rob Fonseca got the RBI. The Breakers hoped for a big uprising, but the threat died with a 5-3 double-play grounder.

Paez, who lost for only the third time in 11 decisions this summer, dominated for the most part, notching 11 strikeouts. Still, the Eagles managed to piece together a rally in the sixth. Stanley Paul walked and Kyle Grimm smacked a single. Tyler McCarthy’s RBI single then tied the score 2-2. With two outs, Chris Smith doubled to left to score two more runs.

“I just wanted to come though for the team,” said Smith. “It was a big spot and (Paez) tried to sneak a fastball by me and I turned on it. … This is definitely something we were capable of.”

In the seventh, the Breakers cut their deficit to 4-3. Zarrillo walked and stole second base. Brenton Allen added a bloop single to left field for an RBI. They mounted another threat in the ninth against lefthander Rich Anastasi, who matched Paez’s seven wins despite pitching predominantly out of the bullpen. The Breakers put two men on thanks to an infield error and a Scott single, but Anastasi shut the door with back-to-back strikeouts.

“We have to try to stay stable until we win the whole thing. Then I might go nuts,” said Hernandez, knowing his team needs one more victory against the New York Atlantics.

The Breakers were denied their first ACBL crown.

“It stinks to lose the last game after coming all this way (the last two months), but I made a great group of friends,” said Fonseca  “We didn’t make it happen. There is always next year.”

Zarrillo said a lack of timely hitting hurt.

“We didn’t get hits in big spots,” he said. “We had a great season. We won the division, but we didn’t go all the way. We came up a little short.”

Southampton, with a 25-20 overall record, won four of its six playoff games, eliminating two Hamptons rivals, the North Fork Ospreys and the Riverhead Tomcats.

“I am proud of our guys,” said Southampton manager Rob Cafiero. “They played well all season, especially down the stretch, but it is a disappointment to lose your last game.”

For Scott, his three-year Southampton career ended with impressive individual highlights (including setting the HCB career records for runs scored and hits and games played) but no ACBL trophy for his team.

“That was really tough – my last game here,” said Scott. “This has come almost like my home out here. … We left it all on the field. We all emptied the tank. Everyone is absolutely exhausted.

“No regrets.”

Photos of both sides from this event are available here…

Atlantics Take Their First Kaiser Division Championship

08/03/2012, 1:47am EDT
By Jeff Noreman

Sweep Doubleheader in Staten Island to Win First Division Title

2012-08-02 Tide vs Atlantics (Doubleheader)

In a best of three series, the second game is always do-or-die for one team. If it gets to a third game, it’s do-or-die for both. On Thursday, the New York Atlantics tooks both games at the Richmond Hill Youth Complex to claim their first Kaiser Division Championship. It’s only the Atlantics second year in existence.

First Game – Atlantics 15 – Tide 4

John Yohe (Bentley) pitched six strong innings, allowing four runs en route to the Atlantics 15-4 victory in game one. Chris Kalousdian (Manhattan) went 4-for-5, smacking a home run and four RBIs.

“All season he’s been a leader for us,” said manager Lou Bernardi. “He’s accepted and taken the role of captain for us. He led us to victory today.”

Mike Russo (STAC) also collected four hits in his five at-bats, including a double while driving in two runs.

“From Day 1, he’s been a middle of the lineup guy,” said Bernardi of Russo. “He’s assumed the role of every day catcher. When we need that big power hit, Mike Russo is there to deliver for us. He’s a game changer.”

Mike Perrone (Vassar) was 4-for-6 with a double, two stolen bases, and three runs scored.

On Perrone, Bernardi noted that “he brings the element of speed to the game. He’s a threat to steal at any time. He’s a great asset to the team and we’re glad to have him.”

Adding to the offense was Derek Hirsch (STAC) with a 3-for-4 day and 3 RBIs. Kevin Chenicek (LIU Post) was also 3-for-4 with one RBI.

“We knew it was win or we’re done,” Bernardi noted after the first game. “We wanted to get into their bullpen as quickly as possible. We were able to get to three of their arms in Game One, which I believe helped us in Game Two.”

Surprisingly, there was no breakout inning for the Atlantics offensively. They scored steadily though the game.

Second Game – Atlantics 3 – Tide 2
It all came down to one pitch, one play.

With the Championship clinching game tied at 2-2 in the ninth inning, Julian Plana (St. John’s) lead off with a double. Dave George (Florida Tech) followed, and delivered a bunt that he managed to beat out for an infield single. A groundout advanced George to second, and Plana stayed safely at third. With Mike Perrone (Vassar) at the plate on the first pitch, he executed a suicide squeeze up the first base line. Although they got Perrone at first, he gave the Atlantics the run they needed to go ahead and take the decisive game in the Kaiser Division Championship.

“If there’s one guy in the lineup that you need to handle the bat, whether its a hit and run or a squeeze, it’s Mike Perrone that you’d want to have in that situation,” stated an elated manager Lou Bernardi. “With Plana being a smart baserunner, it was the perfect situation.”

“It was a great day for us,” he exclaimed.

Offensively, Julian Plana stroked two hits, driving in one and scoring the game winning run. Mike Martin (Manhattan) started on the hill, throwing 6 ? innings, allowing only runs (one earned).

Bernardi told us “we’ve called upon Mike to give us an outstanding performance, to lead the team from the mound. And he did it tonight.”

Following Martin was Greg Lettini (Hofstra) who hurled 2 ? scoreless innings to earn the win. He only allowed two hits, striking out two, and issuing no walks.

“He did exactly what we asked of him,” said Bernardi. “He came in from the bullpen, he kept the ball down, he commanded both sides of the plate. He gave us a chance. He came out in the ninth, was a bulldog for us…”

About his team and the series, Bernardi stated “it was a group effort. Every single member of the team contributed. The coaches, Dan Luisi and Chris Mastasi, were key in making our performance better all year. It was our goal to reach this. It is truly gratifying as a coach to watch our college athletes perform on this level on a day to day basis.”

Southampton Soars To First Hampton Division Title

08/02/2012, 11:03pm EDT
By Jim Furlong

Breakers Belt Three Homers In Rout of Riverhead, Await Next Foe in ACBL Playoffs


Jon Testani (2) is greeted at home plate by Rob Fonseca and Brant Whiting after belting a two-run homer in the eighth.

No doubts.

The Southampton Breakers are peaking and extended their surge by dominating the 2012 HCB championship. Pounding out 16 hits, including three homers Thursday, the Breakers overpowered the Riverhead Tomcats 12-4 in the clincher at the Riverhead High School varsity field.

Southampton won the opener of the best-of-three series by a 6-2 margin at its home field on Wednesday.

“As a team, I feel everyone thinks we are the best team in the Hamptons,” said right fielder Brenton Allen (UCLA). “We are all competitors and we are definitely happy we won this. We see this as a big step, but we still have a job ahead.”

The Breakers – who have won nine of their last 11 games – advance to the 2012 ACBL semifinals on Saturday, and they are eager to learn  the site where they will challenge a team from the Kaiser or Wolff divisions.

Achieving HCB supremacy for the first time in their franchise’s four-year history, the Breakers coaches, players and fans gleefully embraced the first-place HCB trophy.

“This is my second year (with the Breakers) and it is awesome to win as a team,” said catcher Brant Whiting (Stanford). “It points to how much work we put in this summer. We had a lot of talent. We were a little streaky, but we turned it on at the end when it counted. All our talent came together nicely. For two months, we had a close bond.”

Before the third-seeded Breakers (a 25-19 overall record) conquered the fourth-seeded Tomcats, manager Rob Cafiero’s squad went 2-1 in the HCB semifinals to eliminate the second-seeded North Fork Ospreys.

“I am very happy for the kids,” said Cafiero. “They put in the hard work all summer and we got hot at the right time. We accomplished our task and now we have two more games to win.”

The Breakers led all nine innings Thursday, grabbing a 5-1 advantage in the top of the third inning.

Starting and winning pitcher Anthony Eichhorn (Molloy) threw the first five innings. Reliever Andrew Gallagher (Fairfield) shut down the Riverhead offense for the second-straight day, with four scoreless innings.

Second baseman Jon Testani sparkled with four hits and four RBI. Testani (Connecticut) smacked a two-out, two-run single in the first inning and a two-run homer in the eighth. First baseman Rob Fonseca (Northeastern) slugged a four-bagger in the sixth.

“Everything came together,” said Testani, after his 10th homer of the summer. “Now we are clicking. All of us have the same goals in common: to make yourself better individually and now it is about the team winning it all.”

Allen, with a two-run homer in the sixth, contributed three hits and three RBI. Shortstop Robb Scott (Bucknell), left fielder Connor Jones (Villanova) and designated hitter Ryan Kirman each added an RBI hit.

Allen also produced Thursday’s best defensive highlight, preventing a homer by Riverhead first baseman Jim Luppens (Canisius). After Luppens’ drive carried deep to right in the fifth, Allen leaped at the fence, caught the ball and tumbled over the fence. At first, the umpire ruled a homer, which would have tied the score 5-5, but after a long discussion Allen was credited with his exceptional catch.

Riverhead’s final two losses wiped out the momentum the Tomcats gained when they swept a doubleheader last Monday against the top-seeded Shelter Island Bucks in the HCB semifinals.

“I am a little disappointed, but we gave it a good run,” said pitcher Scott Klever (Xavier). “(The Breakers) are solid and deep.”

Third baseman/pitcher Joe Forney, one of the Tomcats’ more versatile players, slugged a two-run homer in the third, but the Breakers scored the game’s last seven runs.

“They are definitely the hottest team,” said Forney (Xavier). “They hit the ball well the last two days (a combined 28 hits). They had a deeper pitching staff. We had some guys leave.”

The Tomcats, with a 23-21 overall record, were missing their top two hitters due to injury as well as two All-Star arms. Their hopes took another blow in the semifinal round when catcher Jordan Parris (Tennessee Tech) was hit in the trachea with a foul ball and couldn’t play. With a full compliment of players, Caden thinks his team could have prevailed in the series, but he nevertheless tipped his cap to Southampton, which won seven of nine results against the Tomcats.

“They proved they are the best team,” said Caden. “They won it all. They knocked us out and we are the second-best team.”

Tide Rips Late Comeback Over Atlantics

08/02/2012, 10:04pm EDT
By Jeff Noreman (photos by Jeff Noreman)

Tide Take Game One in Best of Three Kaiser Championship

Rich Mejia rips a double to left center in the eight, giving the Tide the lead

2012-07-31 – N.Y. Atlantics vs Staten Island Tide

Offensively, the Tide was quiet for much of game at Richmond County. But in the eighth inning, they smacked back with a wave of seven runs and built a four run lead. They made that lead stick and won by the score of 8-4 in the first game of the Championship Series of the Kaiser Division.
The Atlantics cruised through seven innings, building up a 4-1 lead. Up to then, they had seven hits against Tide starter Robert Maguire (Sacred Heart), several Tide errors made all of those runs unearned. Maguire pitched 6 2/3 innings, and then Richard Anderson (College of Staten Island) took over and held the Atlantics scoreless.

The Tide began rolling in their half of the eight. They began the inning with a Matt Troisi (Manhattan) single. After Juan Bueno (Manhattan) popped out to the catcher, Cliff Brantley (Wagner) reached on an error. Shane Alvarez (Kean) singled to left, loading the bases for Chris Selden (Seton Hall) who singled to center and drove in two runs. Atlantics starter Max Schonfied (Molloy) got Gabby Molina (Keystone) to ground to third without the runners advancing. But the next batter Richard Mejia (Adelphi) doubled in the two runners and the Tide took the lead for good.

“Rich Mejia came through with the big hit,” said manager Tommy Weber. “He’s been clutch all season long. Outstanding hitter, kid out of Adelphi that’s going to have an outstanding future.”

“I got it off the end a little bit, so I thought he was going to catch it, actually,” said Mejia of his eight inning double to left center. I got lucky, it found a gap in a good spot. The ball carried, so it was good.” Mejia ended the day 3-for-4 with two RBI’s and two runs scored.

“We’ve been through this with these guys so many times,” said Selden about the eight inning comeback. “It’s kind of the way our team is this year. We’re kind of relaxed. We don’t press, we don’t get excited where we have to score. It was the bottom of the eight and we still had another half inning to score.”

“Chris Selden has been, in my opinion, the best player in the league all year,” said Weber. “Once again, came through with a huge base hit in that last inning. He had a couple of miscues (at third base), so it was really good to see him make up for it with a big base hit.”

The series is a best of three and continues today, Thursday August 2, at the Richmond Hill Youth Complex, 1350 Travis Avenue in Staten Island (directions are available here). Admission, as usual, is free.


Pictures of both teams at this event are available here…

Shelter Island Topples North Fork To Clinch Home Field Advantage in Hampton Playoffs

07/28/2012, 12:01am EDT
By HCB

Guglietti’s Four-Hit Day Paces Potent Bucks Attack; Bucks, Ospreys to Host Semifinal Game Sunday

The Hampton Division’s most prolific offense put up yet another big number in its regular season finale and it resulted in securing home field advantage throughout the division playoffs, which begin on Sunday.

Shelter Island registered double-digit runs for the 10th time this season, pulling away from North Fork, which entered the day in first place, by the count of 10-5.

Although the teams could still finish the season with an identical record, Shelter Island gets the edge on the Ospreys due to its advantage head to head, having won five of seven contests this season. The Bucks will begin their inaugural run in the playoffs on Sunday at 4pm. They will face one of three opponents – Southampton, Center Moriches or Riverhead. It all depends on the final regular season games on Saturday.

North Fork (22-17), on the other hand, has guaranteed the second seed in the draw. Its first-round opponent will be either Southampton, which it will coincidentally visit to close out the regular season on Saturday, or Center Moriches, which would gain the three seed if it won and Southampton lost on Saturday.

On Friday, Shelter Island (23-17) and North Fork were tied at 4 until Shelter Island put together the type of big inning it’s accustomed to posting. The Bucks, the single-season runs leader in HCB history, plated four runs in the sixth. Geo Saba (Stanford) doubled to left to drive in a pair of runs, and then Zach Collett (New Haven) singled in another two runs one batter later. Shelter Island added two more in the ninth on an RBI single by Collett and a lined double to right by Vin Guglietti (Quinnipiac).

Guglietti finished the day with three doubles and four hits altogether. Saba, Collett and Rennie Troggio (Southern Illinois) also had a pair of hits for Shelter Island.

North Fork got out to just the start it wanted, with starter Ryan Calby (Dominican) having an easy first inning and his offense scoring twice in its half. Robb Paller (Columbia) led off the frame by doubling to center, and he changed places with Dan Kerr (Brown) two batters later when Kerr doubled to right. He later came around to score.

Shelter Island answered quickly in the second as Mike Bradshaw (St. John’s) hit a two-run homer to tie the game at 2. The next inning, the Bucks posted two more runs, the first coming on a single by Troggio and another when Bradshaw scurried home after a wild pitch.

For the Ospreys, Paller finished 3 for 3 with a homer and a double, and Alex Perez (Virginia Tech) added a pair of hits, one of which was a solo homer in the ninth.