By Benito Vila
The Sag Harbor Whalers of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League played five games this week, going 2-3 and giving the squad a 4-4 start on their 40-game schedule.
The three losses came in contests with the high-flying league-leaders, the Westhampton Aviators (4-2) and the North Fork Ospreys (6-3). The Whalers split their doubleheader with the Aviators in Mashashimuet Park last Sunday, seeing game one get away 2-0 on a bases loaded double in extra innings and playing “small ball” to prevail 2-1 in game two, a bunt and a fielder’s choice scoring the go-ahead run.
The team is back in the park again this Sunday for a doubleheader against the Long Island Mustangs, who are off to a 1-4 start. Game one Sunday is set for 2 p.m. and game two 5 p.m.; both games scheduled to go seven innings.
Looking at how his team has performed of late, Whaler skipper Jason Lefkowitz sees “a strong offense that has run into some good pitching. We’re not putting together good at-bats consistently right now. We’re getting a good one here and then one there. Consistency will come with playing and with playing together. The guys are putting in the work and, for a lot of them, it’s just a matter of getting their timing down. I know we’re going to start getting better results. And that’s great, because so far our pitching has been strong and we’ve been in all our games.”
Going into last night’s game against the Mustangs at New York Tech, former Pierson Whaler Mike Labrozzi (Farmingdale State) led the team in batting at .500 (12 for 24), with Ed Squeri (Dowling), at .308, being the only other Whaler over .300. Bonacker-alum Gardner Leaver (Rhode Island) leads the club in innings pitched (11.1) and has yet to surrender a run.
Steve King (Farmingdale) leads the pitchers with two wins and Brian Russell (Davidson) tops the staff with eight strikeouts in eight innings. Brandon Boykin (Rutgers) is third in hitting at .292. The team has turned ten double plays on defense in the eight games while the offense has only hit into four.
This week the Whalers are at Riverhead Tuesday, at Westhampton Friday and then back in the park next Sunday for two against Southampton. The weekday away games start at 5 p.m.